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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Lucy and Desi

Being the Ricardos on IMDb

Plot Overview

pencil in handThrough age seven little Lucille Ball was influenced by her kindly grand­father Fred who championed the working man. In his honor she checked the box for Communist when registering to vote, but she never read any of their literature or attended any meetings. Later when such things mattered, reject she revoked her Communist member­ship card and so passed scrutiny by the FBI. Now some rag is calling her out on it, but so far major media is in the dark. To a star even bad publicity can be good, but still— As Eric Goldman tells us, “utterly innocent people were losing their jobs. Irene Wicker, the ‘Singing Lady’ of television, who was soon to have an audience with the Pope and be given a special blessing for her work with children, found her TV contract cancelled [due to innuendo in] the McCarthy-type magazine Counter­attack” (400.) Lucy may need some­one with more juice than the Pope's to save her bacon.

fife and drumHer husband Desi Arnez fled the Bolsheviks when they took over Cuba, and he became a loyal American. Immigrants from south of the border are never­the­less marginalized here, and Ricky being a hot conga drummer in a club's salsa band sees his share a vulgar speculation in the press. When he doesn't come directly home from his gigs, Lucy worries about all those groupies thronging him. They fight about it.

babyAs if all that isn't enough, Lucy has gotten pregnant in an era when pregnancy wasn't displayed on the boob tube. Before long she will be showing. “Being the Ricardos” takes us behind the scenes of putting on a successful TV program week after week, all the while having these swords of Damocles hanging over them.


Our complicated world seems easier to understand from seeing this retro movie. Take how we view marriage now compared with what it has been from time immemorial. For a proper definition, I'll quote Dr. Ide: “The Con­tem­por­ary Christian stan­dard was defined not by the bible but gen­er­ated by Roman law as defined by the jurist Modes­tinus who argued that marriage was ‘consortium omnis vitae, divini et humani iuris communi­catio: a life-long part­ner­ship, and a sharing of civil and religious rights’” (83–5). In Bible days the whole village got in on celebrating the nuptials. Later the church and state got involved. In some South American countries, marriage requires two separate ceremonies: a religious and then a civil. In Albania where religion was prohibited, believers would get married by the (atheistic) state and then have a separate (clandestine) ceremony in the woods with a priest. Here in America we have religious liberty, and the church having an interest in marriage, its priests are licensed to perform the ceremony; it's just that they all have to be similarly licensed so as to avoid the establish­ment of any one particular religion.

In Green v. Utah a Mormon polygamist was found guilty of “misusing the marital label” when he talked about his “spiritual wives.” The state has reserved the marital label for only those unions they license. For the purposes of this review, I'm using the Catholic phrase “domestic church” which they as well as the Orthodox Church apply to holy matrimony. The word matrimony itself comes from a Latin root mater meaning mother, and monium meaning state of; matrimony being the state in which it is permitted (in Catholicism) for a woman to enter mother­hood. Since a homo­sexual couple cannot produce a baby, strictly speaking the word cannot apply to them. Curiously, the expression “gay marriage” must be left to refer to a happy hetero union, as the Supreme Court narrowly legalized “same-sex marriage” not gay anything as the word gay has too many other meanings for needed legal precision.

From a Christian perspective, Jesus weighs in with, (Matt. 19:4-5) “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” To Christians marriage is between a “male and female.” Further­more, they are not supposed to ever divorce, (Matt. 19:6) “Where­fore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What there­fore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” There is an exception for when one cheats on the other, (Matt. 19:9) “And I say unto you, Who­soever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” That applies to Christians and to others with similar standards.

Homosexual couples have had domestic partnerships aka civil unions, and can now be included in the state's de facto trade­marked designation marriage giving them “equality” with heteros at the latter's expense of the religious dimension of the term. Most Christian couples automatically include the state's domestic partnership in their weddings any­way, so they would hardly notice this difference in marriage.

In “Being the Ricardos” Lucy had changed her political party at will much as these days one can easily swap out his or her partner for a new one wrt domestic partner­ships/civil unions/marriages. For her to break up with Desi in their domestic church/matrimony/gay marriage, how­ever, would require her to catch him in adultery. And to have a baby means she'll be a domestic/drudge on screen during the shooting days.

Production Values

” (2021) was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. It stars Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, Nina Arianda, and J.K. Simmons. These four principals were hardly dead ringers for the original show's characters, but they emulated them quite well, especially in the B&W screen shots.

MPAA rated it R for language. The time line hopped around quite a bit, but it was easy to frame the story in one's mind. It seemed to be historically accurate from what I remember hearing over the years. The original “I Love Lucy” show was funny, but this one sticks to drama, although it can't help but evoke laughter in some of its scenes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

I found this an interesting drama with some funny reminiscences thrown in. It should appeal to any­one with an interest in the history of media. It demurred from trying to upstage the block­buster series on which it was based. A good job for what it does.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Average special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Goldman, Eric. The Crucial Decade—And After. Copyright © 1956, 1960 by Eric Goldman. As reprinted in Prof. Stephen B. Oates, Portrait of America Vol. II. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973. Print.

Ide, Arthur Frederick. Noah & the Ark: The Influence of Sex, Homo­phobia and Hetero­sexism in the Flood Story and its Writing. Las Colinas: Monument Press, 1992. Print.