The biggest drawback is the price. It's expensive! Even though I've found it cheaper other places, it still costs a lot of money. Of course, you do get 9 DVD for the price. And if you bought the discs as they came out, you have no reason to get this set since you already have all the material.
On the plus side, you get the 35 official season 1 episodes plus the "lost pilot" that was found and released several years ago. The episodes have been restored and I doubt they looked this good when they first aired. Picture is original full frame black and white and sound is original mono. Bonus features include behind the scenes trivia and photos, guest cast information, restored footage (some of which is a hoot), the original animated opening, and at least one episode per disc of Lucy's radio show "My Favorite Husband" that inspired certain episodes.
For me, I find some of the episodes near the start of season 1 to be rather slow and not as funny. This is a common complaint of mine with most TV shows. The writers and actors need time to find the characters before things really take off. Still, there are some early gems like "The Diet" and "The Fur Coat." The second half more then makes up for the first with many classic moments and hilarious episodes like "The Ballet," "Breaking the Lease," "The Gossip," "Pioneer Women," "The Freezer," and "Lucy's Schedule." I can watch these episodes over and over again and laugh myself silly every time.
Of course, this doesn't mention the single most famous episode of season 1 - "Lucy Does a TV Commercial." If this title doesn't ring a bell, I have just one word for you. Vitameatavegamin.
Is this a perfect set? No, and its flaws are a little more obvious then most. The good news is that future seasons of this classic show will be released in cheaper to buy full season sets. In the end, if you love Lucy, you will be glad you spent the money to get this set.
1. Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her-Lucy reads a murder mystery and jumps to the conclusion that Ricky must want to murder her as well.
2. The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub-For Fred and Ethel's wedding anniversary, Ethel wants to go to a nightclub, but Fred wants to go to the fights. Ricky and Lucy try to solve the problem.
3. Be a Pal-Lucy thinks that she and Ricky have nothing in common, so she begins to adopt his interests, including poker, much to Fred's dismay.
4. The Diet-When Lucy auditions for a part at Ricky's nightclub, he tells her he'll hire her if she can fit into the costume: a size 12.
5. The Quiz Show-Desperate for money to balance her household accounts, Lucy goes on a quiz show and agrees to bring home a total stranger and introduce him to Ricky as her long-lost husband.
6. The Audition-Lucy hires a coach to prepare her to audition for Ricky's show. This episode nearly mirrors the show's pilot, including Lucy's hobo act.
7. The Séance-In order to get Ricky in the good graces of Mr. Meriweather, Lucy and Ethel arrange a bogus séance so that Mr. Meriweather can contact his dead wife.
8. Men are Messy-Lucy is tired of cleaning up Ricky's messes, so when a magazine photographer comes to take snapshots of Ricky's home, Lucy decides to teach her husband a lesson.
9. Drafted-When Ricky receives a letter from the War Department, Lucy thinks he's been drafted. When Ricky catches Lucy knitting socks and then hiding them, he thinks she's pregnant. Ethel and Fred also adopt similar wrong conclusions.
10. The Fur Coat-When Ricky brings home a fur coat he rented for a show, Lucy mistakenly believes it's for her, and Ricky can't get her to take it off.
11. Lucy is Jealous of a Girl Singer-A recurring theme throughout the show, Lucy is jealous of a girl at Ricky's club (who is actually a dancer, not a singer).
12. The Adagio-Lucy hires a Parisian dancer to prep her for an audition at the Tropicana, but the dancer has romance in mind.
13. The Benefit-Lucy and Ricky agree to perform for Ethel's benefit club, but while rehearsing Lucy notices that Ricky delivers all the punch lines. She decides to change things...without telling Ricky.
14. The Amateur Hour-To earn extra money, Lucy agrees to take care of a lady's two bratty boys. She and the boys later appear on a TV show.
15. Lucy Plays Cupid-Lucy tries her hand at matchmaking for the first time with one of her neighbors and the grocer.
16. Lucy Fakes Illness-Lucy promises she'll have a nervous breakdown if Ricky doesn't hire her in his new show.
17. Lucy Writes a Play-Ricky refuses to play the leading role in Lucy's play.
18. Breaking the Lease-Lucy and Ricky have a huge fight with Ethel and Fred, so they decide to break their lease with vengeance.
19. The Ballet-Lucy lies and claims she has professional ballet experience to get a part at Ricky's nightclub.
20. The Young Fans-A teenager in the apartment building has a crush on Ricky, so Lucy tries to find her a boyfriend her own age. That young man (played by Richard Crenna) subsequently develops a crush on Lucy.
21. New Neighbors-Lucy and Ethel spy on their new neighbors, and Lucy creeps into their apartment while they're gone. They return while she's in a closet, and she overhears what she thinks is an elaborate espionage plot.
22. Fred and Ethel Fight-Lucy tries to patch up Fred and Ethel's marriage when the two split up.
23. The Moustache-When Ricky grows a moustache, Lucy plasters on a beard...that won't come off!
24. The Gossip-Ricky and Fred try to prove that women are bigger gossips than men.
25. Pioneer Women-Ricky and Fred think Lucy and Ethel are spoiled housewives who couldn't live without their modern conveniences. So all four decide to live like pioneers without electricity, running water, contemporary clothing, etc.
26. The Marriage License-Lucy discovers that she and Ricky are not legally married because Ricky's name is listed as "Nicky Nicardo" on their marriage license.
27. The Kleptomaniac-When Ricky finds out that Lucy is hiding mysterious valuables in the closet, he assumes she compulsively steals them.
28. Cuban Pals-Some of Ricky's old friends from Cuba come to visit, including a little girl Ricky used to dance with...who isn't a little girl anymore, much to Lucy's dismay!
29. The Freezer-Ethel buys a huge commercial freezer from her uncle, and she and Lucy fill it up with meat: two sides of beef. When they try to hide the huge expense from their husbands, Lucy accidentally locks herself in the freezer.
30. Lucy Does a TV Commercial-Probably the most famous "I Love Lucy" episode, Lucy does a commercial for Vitametavegamin, an health "tonic" with some shady ingredients.
31. The Publicity Agent-Feeling that Ricky has fallen out of the public eye, Lucy dreams up an elaborate publicity stunt: She poses as the Maharincess of Franistan who can't live without Ricky Ricardo's records.
32. Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio-Lucy is so impressed with Ricky's knowledge of American history that she gets him to be a contestant on a radio quiz show.
33. Lucy's Schedule-Ricky puts Lucy on a strict schedule to teach her the importance of punctuality.
34. Ricky Thinks He's Getting Bald-Lucy gives Ricky scalp treatments to combat his fears of growing bald.
35. Ricky Asks for a Raise-Lucy presses Ricky to ask for a raise.
ADDENDUM: Don't buy this garbage about only four episodes being on a disc to "preserve quality." For benefit of argument, I invite anyone to check out the complete first season release of a show like "ER," which has all 25 hour-long episodes on FOUR discs WITH bonus features, and the quality of the episodes is fantastic.