All you need to know: This is the one with Vitametavegamin
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 05/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Volume 8 of Season One of "I Love Lucy" on DVD includes what has been universally recognized as the funniest episode of the classical sitcom. Need a clue? How about one word: Vitameatavegamin (and it's tasty too!). Even without that biggie the other three episodes by writers Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Pugh, and Bob Carroll, Jr. are way above average as well:Episode 28, "Cuban Pals" (April 21, 1952) finds Lucy insanely jealous about the gorgeous Latin dancer (Rita Convy) who was Ricky's dancing partner back in Cuba. Whatever will the redhead do about this floozy?Episode 29, "The Freezer" (April 28, 1952) contains another classic "I Love Lucy" sight gag. Lucy and Ethel have a new walk-in freezer that is not as big as think. As a result, the girls have to go into the meat business. Meanwhile, there is that walk-in freezer with a lock on teh door and that can only mean one thing with Lucy around.Episode 30, "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (May 5, 1952) is an absolute classic. Lucy has been trying to get into showbusiness and she may have finally found her opportunity as a TV pitchwoman for Vitametavegamin, a cure-all tonic (that is only 23 percent alcohol). What is interesting is that Lucy is pretty good when she starts practicing. But with each rehersal using the actual product she descends into a drunken stupor and ascends to the heights of hilarity. Note: Lucy appeared in the 1946 MGM movie "Ziegfeld Follies," in which Red Skelton did a burlesque routine in which he was peddling a product called Guzzler's Gin. Whether this was indeed the inspiration for this "I Love Lucy" episode or not, it indicates the Lucille Ball's gift was not in originality but in performance. Episode 31, "The Publicity Agent" (May 12, 1952) has Lucy "helping" Ricky's career by posing as a Middle Eastern princess who is Ricky Ricardo's biggest fan. Of course, no publicity stunt by Lucy goes unpunished. During the first season of "I Love Lucy" in 1951-52 the show had a Nielsen rating of 50.9, which means on Monday nights literatlly half the television sets in the United States were on and tuned to CBS at 9:00 p.m. (and the show only finished THIRD in the ratings). However, the next year the show would make it to the top spot in the Nielsens with a rating of 67.3 as Lucy, both the actress and the character, gave birth. Today you can take the ratings from the four main networks and probably throw the two minor ones into the mix and still not come close to that number during any hour of the week. This is why there is "I Love Lucy" and then the rest."
The Queen of Comedy on DVD.
Deanna | Maryland | 05/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The eighth volume of I Love Lucy's first season contains episodes 28-31, which feature some of the show's best moments, like Lucy getting locked in a freezer, dressing up as foreign royalty and doing a commercial for Vitameatavegamin. Although, like I've said before, I wish they would release season-by-season DVDs, this is still a must have collection. Lucy's brand of humor and physical gags transcends time and it shows, like always, on this set. And who doesn't love Lucy?1. "Cuban Pals" (aired 4/21/52)- When Carlos and Maria, old friends of Ricky's from Cuba, come for a visit, Lucy insists that another friend of his, Renita Perez, should do an act with Ricky at his club. Of course, this is before Lucy sees what a gorgeous woman Renita is now. Jealous, she has Fred pose as a taxi cab driver who is supposed to take her to the Tropicana, but takes a "shortcut" through Philadelphia.2. "The Freezer" (aired 4/28/52)- The girls buy a freezer from Ethel's uncle and decide to order two sides of beef, not knowing that two sides of beef is over 700 pounds. Lucy's scheme to steal the customers away from the butcher shop to sell her beef to them fails, so while trying to hide the meat from Ricky, Lucy gets locked in the freezer.3. "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" (aired 5/5/52)- Lucy is desperate to get a spot in the live commercial that will air during a TV show that Ricky is doing. She auditions as Lucy McGillicuddy and wins the part. But during rehearsals, she gets drunk on the Vitameatavegamin tonic that contains 23% alcohol.4. "The Publicity Agent" (aired 5/12/52)- When Ricky thinks that his career is in a slump and that he needs some publicity, Lucy rises to the occasion to help him out. Unknowingly to Ricky, she transforms herself into the Maharincess of Franistan, who is so obsessed with Ricky Ricardo, that she travels clear around the world for a private command performance."
Lucy samples Vitameatavegamin and dances the rumba!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 08/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I LOVE LUCY continues on DVD with this 8th volume of episodes from the historic first season."Cuban Pals" - Lucy is delighted to meet a troupe of Cuban performers, touring through America, who are old friends of Ricky's. But when she discovers that the beautiful, lithsome dancer Renita Perez will be dancing with Ricky, Lucy sets out to replace her as the "Lady in Red", with hilarious results..."The Freezer" - Lucy and Ethel decide to buy a freezer, stocking it with more meat than they can eat...or pay for! But with Lucy's brush with the meat 'black-market' turning into a dismal failure, the girls have to go home and face the boys..."Lucy Does a TV Commercial" - Lucy decides to appear on Ricky's new television special, advertising a rather-suspicious health tonic called Vitameatavegamin. The tonic is largely made of alcohol, and Lucy bombs (and gets bombed) as she samples the elixer during multiple "takes"!"The Publicity Agent" - Ricky's career is in the doldrums, so Lucy decides to shake things up in the press by masquerading as the 'Maharincess of Franistan', who has come to America just to hear Ricky singing in his club!Starring Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance and William Frawley. The DVD includes restored elements, special footage, a bonus episode of the "My Favorite Husband" radio show, flubs, guest-cast information and audio supplements. (Single-sided, single-layer disc)."
Vitameatavegamin and Some Other Laughs
Mark Baker | Santa Clarita, CA United States | 06/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The eighth volume of season one brings us one of the best known and loved episodes of I Love Lucy. But there are four episodes on this disc, all of which are great."Cuban Pals" gives Lucy and us a chance to meet some of Ricky's old friends. But when one of them turns out to be cuter then Lucy is comfortable with, she gets a visit from the green-eyed monster.In "The Freezer," the gals get in over their head buying meat for a new basement freezer.When "Lucy Does a TV Commercial," she gets much more then she bargained for when the product turns out to be alcoholic. While I normally don't enjoy people acting drunk, this episode kills me every time I see it. It's a classic for a reason.Finally, we get "The Publicity Agent." This one finds Lucy pretending to be the Maharincess of Franistan to give Ricky some much needed publicity.This DVD is a collector's dream. The episodes are presented in their entirety, and they look and sound sharp. There are occasional flaws in the picture, but considering the source material is 50 years old, it really isn't bad at all. The sound is presented in mono. While it won't challenge your sound system, it serves the purpose well and is faithful to the original audio recording. The extras include the now familiar guest cast info, original opening, mistakes, and episode of "My Favorite Husband." It also features an excerpt from Jess Oppenheimer's books about the creation of "The Freezer" and "Lucy Does a TV Commercial."I Love Lucy is a classic TV show, and this disc features a classic episode. Not only will fans of Lucy want this disc, so will anyone who loves all time classic TV."