Wednesday, November 2, 2011

My First Experience of I Love Lucy

I never would have known about I Love Lucy, and it would be my great loss, if not for taking a module on American History. My university instructor played the episode Lucy is Enceinte for us.

Being labelled as a Generation Y gal, I would never have in a million years, watched a black-and-white sitcom. Nobody my age in my country (Singapore) would have known about I Love Lucy. People today are exposed to movies and television shows of sex, vulgarities, glamor, drugs, alcohol and violence. None of us would appreciate pure comedy devoid of these "values" ingrained in us. The media makes us think what it wants us to think. Therefore, if I have never been introduced to the world's funniest sitcom, I wouldn't have known it existed.

My experience was tainted with disdain at first. I remember thinking "black-and-white tv show? Oh, brother!" Something then caught my attention, "what was the audience laughing about?" And "hey, the laughter's too real to be a laughing track- they had live audience!"

It was when I really paid attention to the jokes. I didn't get a few of the jokes because of the difference in cultures and the generation gap. But most of the jokes are timeless- you could have laughed at them 50 years ago, and you can laugh at them today and 50 years down the road!

I remember laughing hysterically when Lucy played out her fantasy on breaking her news to her husband that she was expecting. In those conservative days, the censorship board banned the use of the word "pregnant". It had to be replaced with "expecting", "having a baby", "infanticipating" and the writers even used the word "enceinte" which means pregnant in French! I was taken aback!
While clutching my aching stomach while aching for air, a rational, sane voice in me suddenly echoed "when was the last time you actually laughed this hard, so hard that for a moment, all your worries have magically vanished?" I was hooked.

I recall being slightly taken aback upon hearing Ricky Ricardo's (Desi Arnaz's) accent the first time. I also recollect the poignant scene where Lucy finally broke the wonderful news to her husband in a poignant and touching manner. While watching Ricky sing while hugging his on-screen wife, it suddenly occurred to me that the way they held each other, they way they looked at each other, they way they cried, and the way they kissed were all too intimate to be an act! Indeed, my instructor told the class that they were a real married couple.

For the first time in my life, I was convinced that a pure and heartwarming sitcom was head and shoulders above others that depict sex, vulgarities, glamor, drugs, alcohol and violence. I Love Lucy is a great sitcom for reruns- a grim reminder to the society with depreciating morals and values that there are intangible things from the past that should be brought forward to the present times.


  1. I loved your post. You're a wise young person to "get it" re: the wit and wisdom of I Love Lucy. I was born in 1948, so grew up watching the original show. Now 64, I watch it every morning from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. here in Southern California before starting the day. I highly recommend you reading Lucy's autobiography which was not discovered until two years after her death. Also, read Bart Andrews' book. It's an encyclopedia about the show from beginning to end. Here's the link:

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading your future blogs. Lillian, San Diego, Calif.

    1. Dear Lillian,
      I'm very touched by your message, you've made my day! Oh wow! I've never corresponded with anyone who has watched the original show, and it is indeed a privilege to know you. I'm from Singapore, and I Love Lucy isn't shown on tv. Thankfully I've purchased the DVDs from amazon. Yes! I've read Lucy's autobiography and it never fail to leave me with tears each time I read it from cover to cover. Lucille Ball was always one to insist on a happy ending and her autobiography reflected that. Thank you for your recommendation, I'll read Bart Andrew's book when I get the chance to!

      Thank you, I'll continue blogging about her! Tracy, Singapore