Depsite all the negative comments aimed at Paramount Home Video recently, I want to give them some credit. Yes, I also would have loved to have been able to get Lucy in complete season box sets (but not for anything over $50) yet I had resigned myself to pick them up in these four-episode-per-disc volumes - similar to how the original Star Trek series was released on dvd. (Star Trek got two shows per disc.)
To Paramount's credit, these Lucy dvd's have lots of extra goodies on them...and that is more than many other TV shows on dvd can say. (Most other TV shows on dvd are just the episodes, with NO extras of any kind.) I love that these Lucy dvd's include any of Lucy's old radio show, "My Favorite Husband" that correspond to or inspired the "I Love Lucy" episodes on the disc. How many of us have had the opportunity to hear these classic shows anywhere else? And it's really fun comparing them to their I Love Lucy counterparts.
Also, there are scenes and music cues which have been restored, most of which haven't been seen since the show's original broadcasts in the '50's - especially any footage referring to the show's then-sponsor, Phillip Morris. No, I don't like all the smoking references, but since this was how the show was oringally made, it's great to see all this footage restored for historical interest and accuracy.
Each dvd has included sections on "Flubs" which are very amusing. Some of them I've noticed over the years watching the show, and others I never would have noticed without these supplements pointing them out.
There are "Guest Cast" sections on each disc too. These are wonderful as they give us some little bit of background on the many regular and one-time-only guest cast members that have appeared on the show. Also, for people who made multiple appearances on the show, this section includes a list of all their I Love Lucy appearances. Very nice.
The inclusion of the original animated opening is also very welcome. Before these dvd's, many of us never had a chance to see this footage either. Some of the discs include interesting Production Notes, and Behind-The-Scenes footage or stills. Again, very welcome and interesting.
The most recent disc, Season One, Volume 9 includes a special End-of-Season tag which was only broadcast one time, when the last episode of season one ran back in 1952. While it's mostly a plug for the show's summer replacement that year, and for Phillip Morris, it's still extra footage of Lucy and Desi as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo that I for one had never seen or even heard of before this dvd. What Lucy fan doesn't want to see more of that kind of "lost" footage?
I hope that Paramount is not dissuaded from continuing on with the other seasons in the I Love Lucy show. As far as I'm concerned, Paramount has been doing a grand job with these Lucy discs. Please keep 'em coming!