ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

I Love Lucy

The Classic Moments

Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 1999

“Lucy has been part of all our lives,” Watson writes in the introduction to this snapshot of the good ol’ days when baby boomers were young and so was television. Now readers can experience it all over again.

“The Classic Moments” captures the best of the humor, surprise, pranks and guffaws of Lucy and Ricky and their neighbors Ethel and Fred Mertz during the television show that aired from 1951 to 1957 and set the stage for the modern American sitcom.

The book is filled with photographs from familiar scenes such as a frosty Lucy in the meat freezer, the scowling Lucy and Ethel that are wearing the same dress, the chocolate factory fiasco as well as the foot stomping wine-makers. Captions complement the photographs to describe the action in the photos and the plot behind the scenes.

A chronological order to the book helps readers re-live each of the best episodes page-by-page as they once did week-by-week. Another bonus is a detailed table of contents that help readers flip to their one favorite moment quickly and easily.

Those who want to know more about the woman who was Lucy and the Hollywood romance with Desi that eventually ended in divorce will be disappointed. This oversized tabletop book offers more light-hearted television trivia than profound insights into the real-life drama of Lucille Ball’s life.

The text offers plenty of interesting tidbits to keep readers entertained and smiling though. Examples: “I Love Lucy” created the television
plague of reruns to give Lucy maternity leave; Desi Arnaz, a proud naturalized American, vetoed a scene that suggested the Ricardos cheated on their taxes; Lucy and Desi shed real tears of joy as the character Lucy told Ricky she was pregnant by requesting the song “We’re Having a Baby, My Baby and Me” during his night club act—they were embarrassed about the emotional display and re-taped the scene only to realize reality is more powerful than acting; the longest sustained audience crack-up during the show was sixty-five seconds when an unknowing Ricky tangos with a secretive Lucy who has hidden eggs in her blouse.

This is the ultimate “remember when” book. For those who love Lucy—whether they met her through original broadcast or cable television reruns that continue today—Watson provides a treasure filled with the golden years of “I Love Lucy.”

Marjory Raymer