Which ''I Love Lucy'' set is best?
Which chapters of TV comedy’s Bible According to Lucy do you live by? The Gospels: all 31 episodes of the original show’s season 2, including the candy factory and the birth of Little Ricky? Or Revelations: 24 ''best-loved'' episodes of her fourth series, Here’s Lucy, handpicked by children/costars Lucie Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr., remastered in eye-poking color, stuffed with cameos by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor (that’s Liz’s real Krupp diamond, not a prop, stuck on Lucy’s hand), and a lot funnier than you remember? On novelty value alone, we say the latter; in fact, we have a whole new appreciation for the oeuvre of Gale Gordon.
The Paramount box has trivia, flubs, original openers and closers, and episodes of Ball’s late-’40s radio show, but the Shout! set digs deeper: rehearsal footage, commentary by not only Lucie and Desi Jr. but guests like Carol Burnett and Wayne Newton, and rare tape of Ball’s producer/second husband Gary Morton warming up the crowd. Rare for good reason: He was terrible. ''I Love Lucy'': A- ''Here’s Lucy'': A