I Love Lucy Show- Morals and Values





I Love Lucy Show- Morals and Values

The I Love Lucy Show has often been referred to as a groundbreaking sitcom that ran from October 15th 1951 to May 6th 1957. The show revolves around the life of a nuclear family: Lucy Ricardo and her husband Ricky and son Little Ricky. Lucy is a naïve yet ambitious woman determined to break into stardom but only seems to get herself as well as her husband into trouble. Despite being a colossal failure in all her attempt, Lucy managed to remind the audience that women too have desires and ambitions (Eliza 1). The sitcom paints a picture of a 1950’s American family. Lucy Ricardo’s endless attempts to break out of her role as a mere housewife provided the show with the comic effect. Being a show that revolved around the family and in the 1950’s, a period where decency was highly regarded on television; the show managed to remain decent yet real enough to represent its course.

Lucy is married to Ricardo who is of Cuban descent. The show brings to the viewers’ attention the fact that an interracial marriage is not entirely out of the norm. At first the producers of the show felt that Desi Arnaz (Ricky) was “too ethnic” to play the role. However, the two managed to go ahead with the show and reach out to American families seeing as America is the melting pot of all different races and ethnicities (socfamilylesly 1). Ricardo’s reservations about Lucy’s ambitions are clear in the sitcom as he is of the opinion that her ambitions are unseemly and would much rather have her at home. This thereby explores the restrictions placed upon women in a male-dominated society. The resolution however of every episode showed Ricardo forgiving his wife and Lucy a better wife by going back to the status quo of domestic life. (Anderson 1).

The rather reserved and reticent nature of the show is evident through out its course. When Lucy gets pregnant with Little Ricky, the show pushed the boundaries of a typical 50’s show by incorporating Lucy Ball’s pregnancy into the script. With pregnancy being a major taboo at the time, the producers brought into the set a rabbi, a priest and a pastor to vet all the pregnancy episodes. The characters were not allowed to say “pregnant” but use euphemisms such as “expecting” to refer to the pregnancy. (Eliza 1). I Love Lucy, managed to portray the ideals and norms of the time. The couple also maintained separate beds during the pregnancy as in most families back then. This display of decency fused with actual representation of an American family is plausible.

Although the producers attempt to bring a bit of morality into the show, they fail when they depict the girls, (Lucy and her best friend Ethel) as a foolish pair that is always getting their husbands into trouble unnecessarily. There are constant displays of sexism and degradation towards women in the show’s episodes. In the episode, “Lucy Thinks Ricky is Trying to Murder Her” (5 November 1951), Lucy gets too involved in a book she is reading about a husband who is trying to kill his wife that she thinks Ricky is trying to kill her. When she finds out that Ricky had slipped baby powder into her drink and not poison she embraces him as though it is the right of her husband to drug her. The blatant display of patriarchal dominance leads the audience to question whether the views expressed are what the society should recognize.

The show should educate as much as entertain its viewers. The display of humor in each of Lucy’s attempt to break out of her domestication begs the question: are women not valued for their intelligence? Should they remain as just mothers and wives without achieving any sort of career success? (Research report 1)

Works cited

Anderson, Christopher. “I LOVE LUCY U.S. Situation Comedy”. Museum of broadcast communications. Illinois department of commerce and economic opportunity. Web. 15 August 2014.

Eliza, Coleen. “Feminist History, The Comedy Edition: I Love Lucy”. Slutwalk DC. Web. 15 August 2014.

N/A . Research Report. Web 15 August 2014

Socfamilylesley. “Changing nature of the American Family”. Web. 15 August 2014.


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