How ‘I Love Lucy’ survived 50 years

Written by Staff Writer CNN Films is releasing a documentary series to mark the 50th anniversary of “I Love Lucy.” “Being the Ricardos” is the second part of the series, a behind-the-scenes look at…

How 'I Love Lucy' survived 50 years

Written by Staff Writer

CNN Films is releasing a documentary series to mark the 50th anniversary of “I Love Lucy.” “Being the Ricardos” is the second part of the series, a behind-the-scenes look at the legendary ABC series from 1965-1966.

The 10-part series, produced by Ridley Scott, covers the birth of the long-running series and explores the construction of a television show that stayed ahead of the curve. Steven Spielberg, Bob Shaye, and Michael Eisner were among those who interacted with creator Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz to shape the television series.

Here are five tips to help you recuperate from your laughter and move on to the next episode of “Being the Ricardos.”

1. Be able to laugh

In a 2017 interview, Desi Arnaz discussed how Lucy and I often joked around during filming. While in recovery from cancer treatment, Arnaz told the Monitor that there was one moment when he was interviewing Desi Ball, his wife Lucille Ball and Louis Gossett, Jr.

Arnaz: This was in the final weeks of shooting ‘I Love Lucy.’ I was dying of cancer, and Lucille was dying. (Gossett and Ball were also in recovery from serious illnesses.) I said to Lucille, ‘I’ve got to stop this coffee and just get away, I’ll be right back.’ I decided not to have coffee but, as usual, we had plenty of music. Lucy said to Lucille, ‘I don’t feel very well, and I’m not paying attention to you.’ So she asked me to back up and now I’m standing with the three of us. So that’s the reason I’m here now.

2. Live for the work

The first episode of “Being the Ricardos” focuses on the couple’s changing relationship over the show’s seven years. The discussion takes into account the release of Lucy’s autobiography, “Lucy’s Story,” which was written with Arnaz in 1985.

While the retrospective covers the period when the television series was on the air, the new episode focuses on Lucy’s death and Ira’s decision to work on the sitcom after Lucy had died.

Ridley Scott’s behind-the-scenes look: ‘Being the Ricardos’

3. Live for the work

“Being the Ricardos” celebrates the late director John Vukovich, who was married to Lucy’s sister Ernestine. The documentary documents the creation of “I Love Lucy” from Vukovich’s perspective.

Here’s one example of what seems to have been a collaboration between Lucille Ball and John Vukovich:

In one interview, Vukovich spoke about one of the more outlandish scenes in the opening segment of the show:

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz on the set of “I Love Lucy” © Getty Images

4. Share (your) goal

As an excerpt from the documentary notes, “I Love Lucy” gave the older sibling family the opportunity to work together on a project that they could be proud of.

5. Be a boss

Desi Arnaz was often in charge of Lucy, Lucille Ball and her sister Ernestine while the show was on the air. The documentary discusses how Arnaz helped lighten the mood on the “long days” of filming and how important it was to him to create what he called “a happy set.”

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