It’s remains, and most likely will always be, the world’s most famous and funniest TV series.
Now fans can celebrate Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel all over again with “I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Second Season” Blu-ray, arriving August 4 from CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media Distribution. Every episode of the beloved sitcom’s second season is beautifully restored, giving fans a chance to relive their favorite moments in a whole new way.
This set includes all 31 episodes of the series’ second season in night-of-broadcast form with sponsor openings and closings that had originally aired from September 1952 to June 1953. (The First Season Blu-ray set was released May 6, 2014.)
Viewers also have the option of watching the program with the more traditional “heart” openings and closings without commercial interruptions as well. A highlight to the second season collection is the famous “Job Switching” episode, with the iconic, laugh-out-loud scene of Lucy and Ethel scrambling to contain a chocolate factory conveyor belt. Viewers can experience the classic episode in multiple ways with this collection, which includes the original black-and-white broadcast form with option for audio commentary, as well as the newly colorized version (ugh!), which first aired on CBS December 7, 2014, and even in its rarely seen French-Canadian version, including unique opening and closing graphics and French-Canadian audio track.
This collection also includes the groundbreaking “pregnancy episodes,” including the touching moment at the Tropicana when Lucy breaks the news to Ricky that they are going to have a baby, and when “Lucy Goes to the Hospital,” in which Lucy gives birth to their son.
Jam-packed with tons of special features, the collection also includes the debut of “I Love Lucy: The Movie,” comprised of three season-one episodes edited together with additional interstitial material to form a seamless storyline. Also included in the set are scenes from “Stars in the Eye,” a CBS special from November 1952, featuring the I Love Lucy cast, an I Love Lucy comedy sketch originally presented on “The Red Skelton Show” in May 1953, select episode galleries, guest cast profiles, production notes, radio broadcasts and much more.
Lucie Arnaz is our pal, so we asked a few questions.
AWP: Your mother was a genius, even though she told me she was not, making an indelible mark on TV history. So many people think Lucille Ball is Lucy Ricardo.
LA: Yes. Audiences know Lucille Ricardo but not Lucille Ball. For decades, the one question people have been asking me is ‘What was she really like?’ From the looks on their faces, they want a happy answer. They do not want to believe that my mother was not the woman who stomped grapes or who sold Vitameatvegamin. I tell then Lucy Ricardo was a character, while Lucille Ball was a real person, responsible and serious.
AWP: I spent a day with Lucy at her house. I was sitting thisclose to my idol! And how I remember she firmly reminded me that she was not funny.
AA: Exactly! Thank you for this. My father always saw things funny, buy my mom was an actress who understood how to make things come to life. She always said to her writers, ‘On paper, it’s not funny. My job is to help make it believable.’ It was the writers who made her funny. She always gave them credit, and people need to know that.
AWP: After so many years, why do we love Lucy so much?
AA: I wish I could that one. My mother and father never thought the show would last all these years. When they were alive, they were delight that Lucy was still on the air and being broadcast in 80 countries and in seven different languages. That made them proud. Mom was very proud that parents could feel safe having their kids watch the show—the show’s humor was clean, funny and not corny. ‘I Love Lucy’ never poked fun at religion or politics or ethnicity. Except for my father’s accent, and since he was the one who always came out right, it was okay! ‘I Love Lucy’ had all the right elements—great cast, great writers. Great directors. Lucy would get into all kinds of terrible situations but in the end, everything turned out well and Ricky never lost this love for her. And that was the most important element: unconditional love. I think that, perhaps more than anything else, is what the show has survived. Laughter is a powerful healing medicine.