Blu-ray Review “I Love Lucy: Ultimate Season 1”

lovelucy1Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley, Vivian Vance
Number of discs: 6
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: 907 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

“I Love Lucy”, who doesn’t? This 1950’s classic television show is coming to Blu-ray thanks to CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment in this 6-disc Blu-ray release of “Ultimate Season 1”. This season includes the first 35 episodes of the show, which starred the legendary Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley and Vivian Vance. This season includes some of the most beloved episodes includes “The Ballet”, “Pioneer Women” and “The Freezer”. These episodes are still hysterical today and that just proves how amazing this show was going strong still over 60 years later. I am looking forward to the rest of the seasons hopefully season two will come later this year, hint hint!

Official Synopsis: You’ve loved and laughed at Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel for years, but you’ve never seen I Love Lucy like this on glorious high-definition. Coming to Blu-ray in a highly collectible set with special gloss packaging that includes every episode from the first season, each one beautifully restored in high definition, in original night-of-broadcast form with original sponsor openings and closings. The set also includes a number of as yet undetailed special features, many never before released on home video.

These episodes are presented in their original aspect ratio: 1.33:1 and have never looked better. The pilot episode has also been remastered from a newly discovered original 35mm negative. The episodes look extremely crisp and have very sharp black color (since the show is black and white only). The audio comes with a PCM 2.0 mono track that has been cleaned up a bunch and really delivers the comedy aspects very well for this show. Paramount really has been great with restoring older shows to Blu-ray ala “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.

Here are a full listing of the episodes includes for season 1. “Pilot”; “The Girls Want to Go to a Nightclub”; “Be a Pal”; “The Diet”; “Lucy Thinks Ricky Is Trying to Murder Her”; “The Quiz Show”; “The Audition”; “The Séance”; “Men Are Messy”; “The Fur Coat”; “Lucy Is Jealous of a Girl Singer”; “Drafted”; “The Adagio”; “The Benefit”; “The Amateur Hour”; “Lucy Plays Cupid”; “Lucy Fakes Illness”; “Lucy Writes a Play”; “Breaking the Lease”; “The Ballet”; “The Young Fans”; “New Neighbors”, “Fred and Ethel Fight”; “The Moustache; “The Gossip”; “Pioneer Women”; “The Marriage License”; “The Kleptomaniac”; “Cuban Pals”; “The Freezer”; “Lucy Does a TV Commercial”; “The Publicity Agent”; “Lucy Gets Ricky on the Radio”; “Lucy’s Schedule”, “Ricky Thinks He’s Getting Bald” and “Ricky Asks for a Raise”

The special features are equally impressive as the season itself. First we have “I Love Lucy: The Very First Show CBS special”, which is a great. There are audio commentary on select episodes by Lucille Ball, Desi Arnes, Jess Oppenheimer, Madelyn Davis, Bob Carroll, Jr. and others. There are 13 episodes includes with alternate elements, which is a real nice bonus. There are on-set color “home movies” from the season. There are also selected episodes of Lucille Ball’s “My Favorite Husband” radio series. Lastly there are bloopers, guest cast bios, production notes and photo galleries included.

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