Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

I Love Lucy
The Complete Series


Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, William Frawley and Richard Keith
Distributor: Mediumrare Entertainment
RRP: £99.99
Certificate: U
Release Date: 30 May 2016

The sitcom that set up the standard for the genre, I Love Lucy features Lucille Ball as scatterbrained housewife Lucy Ricardo. Joined by husband Ricky (Desi Arnaz), a nightclub bandleader, and the couple’s best friends and landlords, Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance). Lucy’s antics and hair-brained schemes have captivated generations of audiences, making her one of television’s most iconic and beloved characters. Whilst most shows come and go only to be forgotten, there are some that are assured of their place in television history; I Love Lucy is without doubt one of them...

I wouldn't consider myself a fan of I Love Lucy. I'd heard of it (obviously), and seen several episodes, but to be honest I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it if it was on TV, but if it happened to come on I wouldn't turn it off.

I suppose, in all honesty, this is a rather pointless review. No one is going to pick up a £100 DVD box set of a '50s American sitcom without at least knowing what they're letting themselves in for. And even then, I'd argue that only those that really love the show will want to add this to their DVD collection.

The box set contains 33 discs - all 6 seasons (181 episodes) including the original pilot and "lost" Christmas episode. Bear in mind that we only received the first disc for each season to review this collection from - so a breakdown of interesting episodes is not possible, nor is a comprehensive discussion on the quality of the extras. What I've done is give an overall feel for the collection and who will get the biggest kick out of it.

To start with, I was surprised at how - almost from the start - this show hits the ground running. It's impressive to see how quickly the cast gel together as a believable team. But then this could have a lot to do with the fact Ball had pretty much got comfortable in the role as she'd played pretty much the same character on the radio in My Favorite Husband, not to mention that Ball and Arnaz were already married and so the onscreen chemistry was natural.

In addition the slapstick comedy action is also flawless in its timing. Probably the only thing I'd say dates this is the opinions and views of the time - but even then the show breaks boundaries. In the first season Job Switching sees Lucy and Ethel going out to work while Ricky and Fred stay at home and do the housework.

Each episode allows you to play from the start, chose certain scenes, or even skip straight to the songs. They also open with a brief description of when the episode was originally broadcast.

Extras are where the show's serious fanbase will get a huge kick out of the attention to detail. You get: Flubs (numerous "blink and you'll miss 'em" mistakes that someone with a keen eye has spotted in the episodes); Guest Cast (Text based look at guests in each episode); Special Footage (Lost and original footage which was changed when the show went into syndication. These also contain things like restored music that was cut); Production Notes (Background text information on the episodes); Slide Shows; and Lucy on the radio (29 min, 41 sec 1949 radio episode of My Favourite Husband, which inspired I Love Lucy episode The Handcuffs). No doubt there are numerous other extras which are on the other discs.

So, it's pretty much a release that you're either going to buy or not without any recommendations from a third party. I doubt any review would sway anyone to pick this up if they weren't already planning on buying it. For fans of the show this is a no brainer. Pick it up and enjoy.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.