Let’s take time out from the serious, frightening, gut-wrenching issues in the news and focus on something less earthshaking but something that touches me deeply.
Today’s New York Times featured a piece which was really a rant by Neil Genzinger in what is called the “Critic’s Notebook” The piece was called; “Sure you Loved Lucy, But Vintage Has Limits”.
The reporter was complaining about the proliferation of old tv situation comedies around the cable networks and, to an extent, I agree. There is one station that apparently shows Mr. Ed for several hours on weekend mornings.
Say what you want about that phenomenon but it was this line that stunned me: “But today, the broad humor (of I Love Lucy) draws only the occasional chuckle.
I am shocked.
I was so astounded by this line that I ran to my I Love Lucy Box Set and watched Lucy, dressed as Carmen Miranda, lip-synch to one of her records while it unexpectedly sped up and then slowed down. “Occasional Chuckle”? I was on the floor laughing and I’ve seen it more than 100 times.
Every single episode of I Love Lucy has at least one example- and many have many more- of precise comedic timing, daring bits of physical humor, unforgettable facial expressions and the beauty of an ensemble cast working together. It is genius.
And, while we’re at it, the author of the Times’ piece called Green Acres “empty-headed”. What? Green Acres was one of the most brilliant pieces of comic writing, full of self-deprecating humor with cute, creative touches (such as when Lisa would find the credits written on the sheets she took out of the laundry).
He claims that the Honeymooners’ seems sad because Alice and Ralph screamed at each other. The verbal abuse is a little hard to take but watch that show carefully, they love each other with a depth that comes through the yelling. And, when Jackie Gleason plays Ralph Kramden, you are watching an artist at work.
Well, enough of that for today. Just so you know how I feel. Now back to the real world. Do we have to?