DVD Review: I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2

Legacy is not a one time job for a TV series. Every few years, there needs to be an event that will excite devoted, renew the interest of casual fans and attract new viewers. Back in the ’80s, a vintage show got a boost with a prime slot on Nick At Nite. At the turn of the century, the arrival of DVDs established a stronger bond. Fans who’d seen every episode would snap up boxsets to see episodes unmolested by complete episodes instead of hacked syndicated prints. There was even a huge buzz with bonus features of footage locked deep in the vault. But what can be done now? There are cities that have had I Love Lucy on the air since it debuted in 1951. So how can a show that’s been rerun hundreds of times create buzz? How about colorizing classic episodes? That’s exactly what was recently done when CBS aired I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2 when it let audiences see Lucy with red hair.

Like the previous special, they’ve added hues to episodes that were part of the time Lucy (Lucille Ball), Ricky (Desi Arnez), Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance) went out to Hollywood. “Lucy Visits Grauman’s” was the premiere of season five. Ricky’s time at the studio is coming to an end. Lucy will miss her time rubbing elbows with the movie stars. She and Ethel make one last trip around the neighborhood to gather up a few more souvenirs for the return to boring New York City. They stop by Grauman’s Chinese Theater to compare their hands and feet to the stars. The duo discover John Wayne’s slab is loose. The duo scheme to heist the ultimate way to make people be amazed about their trip. “Lucy and John Wayne” is basically part two as something goes wrong with the slab. Gruman’s Chinese Theater is not amused at what Lucy and Ethel did. This leads to Ricky trying to sort things out by contacting John Wayne to fix things up. But nothing goes easy and Lucy ends up having to secretly give the Duke a massage.

The colorizing of the episodes use tones that give it the feeling of tinted photos and postcards instead of trying to completely fool us into thinking CBS had the color negatives sitting in the vault. Having both episodes connected does make it feel like a Special. For traditionalists who object to colorizing, the original black and white versions of the episodes are also included. I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2 is the perfect way to get the attention of old, causal and new Lucy fans. I Love Lucy won’t be vanishing off your TV dial anytime soon.

The video is 1.33:1 full frame. The transfers allow the new colors to shine on the screen. The color makes the film enjoyable without becoming annoying. This is a fine tint job. The audio is Dolby Digital mono. You’ll hear the details of Lucy swiping John Wayne’s slab. The episodes are subtitled in English and Spanish.

Black and White Versions of the colorized episodes.

CBS DVD presents I Love Lucy: Superstar Special #2. Starring: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnez, William Frawley, Vivian Vance and John Wayne. Boxset Contents: 2 episodes on 1 DVD. Released: January 17, 2017.

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