‘I Love Lucy’: Go Behind the Scenes of a Classic Episode

by Madison Miller
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“I Love Lucy” would forever change the TV landscape.

Not only because it was outright hilarious and heartwarming, but also due to a variety of technical reasons. For example, “I Love Lucy” was shot with three cameras on 35mm film in front of a live studio audience.

A Look at Filming an Episode of ‘I Love Lucy’

This allowed for the comedic aspects of the show to really shine. Seeing as “I Love Lucy” thrives off on physical comedy, it allowed the actors to act with no interruptions. Lucille Ball could also respond to audiences as well.

Clearly, there’s a lot that went into making the show. There’s a YouTube video that gives fans a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the filming process. On the other side of the Ricardo’s home is a massive seating area where some well-dressed people would sit down to watch and laugh.

Overhead are lights and sound systems and people twisting massive cameras around. Also, it was a tradition for Desi Arnaz to come out and talk to the live audience. During this behind-the-scenes look, Arnaz explains to people sitting that the crew will never get in the way of them being able to see what’s going on. He makes it into a clever joke as the cameras literally surround him.

Then, Arnaz introduces the rest of the cast to the audience. When it comes time to introduce Ball, Arnaz called her his “favorite redhead, my favorite wife.” Arnaz is showing just how involved he was in the production process in this behind the scenes. You can also witness this in the new drama film focusing on a week of production on an episode of the show, “Being the Ricardos.” It stars Nicole Kidman and Javier Bardem and does an excellent job of showing the role Ball and Arnaz had in the filming process.

The episode the crew is filming that day is “The Benefit” from season one.

Another Way in Which Show Changed TV

In technical aspects, “I Love Lucy” created new methods and go-to ways of filming.

The show was also incredibly influential due to its content as well. For example, the show cast a Hispanic lead. This was a bold move for the 1950s, but Ball and Arnaz had an undeniable chemistry that made the show so electric and entertaining.

Also, Lucille Ball became one of the first visibly pregnant women on TV. While making the show she became pregnant with her second child. The Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters prohibited depictions of pregnancy or any other sexual innuendos.

According to Time, Arnaz was appalled at the idea of her hiding that pregnancy. He told executives, “What is so wrong if she has a baby in the show as Lucy Ricardo?” Audiences adored her journey on the show as a mother. It was also a way in which audiences could feel connected to Ball herself.

Outsider.com