The Impact of “I Love Lucy”: How Lucille Ball Changed Television
The show “I Love Lucy“ has been a major influence in television, thanks to its lead character who goes beyond the typical role of a housewife.
I Love Lucy has gone down in history as one of the most influential sitcoms to have ever aired. Lucille Ball‘s character, Lucy Ricardo, was revolutionary for its time, shattering the idea that women should only be wives and mothers. It was the first show of its kind and without it, other influential television shows like Seinfeld would never have been made.
I Love Lucy premiered on CBS in 1951 and ran for six seasons. It followed the marriage of Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, with Lucy‘s frequent hijinks with her best friend Ethel providing much of the show‘s physical comedy. Lucy and Ricky‘s relationship was also groundbreaking, as they were the first multiethnic couple to be featured on television. Ricky was Cuban and was very conservative, believing that Lucy should stay at home and threatening to take away her allowance when she didn‘t pay the bills on time. In contrast, Lucy was a progressive homemaker who took odd jobs and involved Ethel in her adventures. The two were the ultimate embodiment of female friendship, which has been hugely influential.
In addition to this, the show made another significant mark on television history when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz‘s real–life pregnancy was written into the show with the guidance of religious figures.
I Love Lucy was revolutionary for its time as it was the first show to feature a live studio audience rather than canned laughter. This added to the energy of the show, and Lucille Ball was able to gain feedback from the viewers in the moment. Additionally, it was one of the first multi-camera sitcoms, allowing for more quality film and a variety of shots. Desi and Lucy chose to film in Los Angeles and took a pay cut, but the show earned them millions in reruns. I Love Lucy also highlighted the importance of female friendships, pushing boundaries of social norms, and providing some of the most iconic slapstick comedy ever seen. Even though Lucille Ball went on to other projects, nothing compared to the success she achieved with I Love Lucy. It will continue to be a classic for years to come.