I love Lucy is a famous sitcom starring one of the most famous TV couples, Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, a real-life couple played by Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. The show—and their relationship—was known to everyone around the world, and the comic writing and performances made it an absolute classic.
However, this is a show from the 1950s, which means the standards surrounding relationships, sexism, and their romantic interactions were much different than they are now. As we look at the relationship between Lucy and Ricky Ricciardo on screen today, there are some candid moments that will haunt viewers that will never be on TV today.
Updated on January 14, 2022: More than seventy years after the show premiered, I Love Lucy is one of the most famous and influential sitcoms of all time. Helping to establish both the genre and the tropes that it would come to exemplify, I Love Lucy was a seminal series that shaped television history in ways it would not have imagined it to be produced.
That said, there’s no denying that the show has gotten pretty old. From age-old stereotypes to ridiculous marital requirements, I Love Lucy has a lot in common that just doesn’t take off with modern audiences.
15 Ricky Teaches Lucy the Made Up Rules for Golf
Ricky is embarrassed by Lucy’s athletic disqualification, so he and Fred teach. Best friend couple Lucy and Ethel Make up rules for golf that are downright ridiculous and weird in the hope that they’ll stop playing with them.
Ricky shouldn’t be ashamed of his own wife. Lucy only wanted to spend time with him, and she was willing to do something that Ricky loved dearly. Even if Ricky didn’t want Lucy to play, he should have at least been honest with her and voiced how he felt without thinking of an outlandish plan to get his way.
14 Ricky tries to make Lucy’s camping trip miserable
In a similar scenario, Lucy wants to spend time with Ricky, so she decides to join Ricky on a camping trip. Ricky doesn’t want this to happen, so he “practices” camping trips with her to see how she likes it. He hopes to tire her out and scares her never to go to camp with her again.
This is another case where Ricky should have been honest with her and appreciates the fact that his own wife wants to spend time with him. Once again, the show plays into gender stereotypes in a painfully explicit way.
13 Ricardo visits Cuba
in 1956 I love Lucy In the episode “The Ricardos Visit Cuba,” Ricky and Lucy travel to Cuba, and Lucy eventually wins the love of Ricky’s family. It was a very heartwarming episode and a scintillating moment of their on-screen wedding, but it faced a lot of controversy.
Tensions between the United States and Cuba were at their peak at that time, as the Cuban Communist Revolution was already underway. Today, however, there would be no reason to tip-toe around Ricky’s legacy.
12 Lucy tests Ricky’s loyalty
Lucy is worried that Ricky might be tempted by other women, so she wears a black wig and pretends to be someone else to test Ricky’s loyalty.
Even though Ricky caught Lucy’s plan early on, Lucy shouldn’t have even tried to do it in the first place. A key component of a marriage is trust, and Lucy and Ricky need to communicate with each other if they had a problem with Lucy being unfaithful to Ricky, rather than nearly betraying Ricky.
1 1 lucy cries wolf
To test Ricky’s love for him on several occasions, Lucy pretends to be a robber in the apartment in the hopes that she will scare Ricky and see if he comes to her rescue. It gets to the point when some real badass binds her up, with Ricky, Ethel and Fred not believing her, thinking she’s found a way to tie herself up. Lucy should have trusted Ricky’s love for her rather than intimidate her for his safety – and of course, she shouldn’t have lied about something so serious.
10 Lucy’s pregnancy
one of the most controversial aspects of I love Lucy The conduct of the show was about Lucille Ball’s real-life pregnancy. Rather than try to hide it, the writers opted to incorporate it into the story of the series. Pregnancy, at the time, was a relatively taboo topic, with many still believing that it should not be discussed on television.
Today, this aspect of Ricky and Lucy’s relationship will not be an issue. A lot of sitcoms have discussed this topic many times with no problem, and, Were I love Lucy adapted to the modern ageLucy’s pregnancy doesn’t register as anything unusual.
9 Lucy lets Ricky go to jail
When Lucy and Ethel trick Ricky and Fred into thinking a restaurant is being robbed, Ricky and Fred run to their rescue. When they find out that there really isn’t one, they trick Lucy and Ethel into thinking they’re actually scoundrels. Lucy and Ethel are annoyed, even though they tried to trick Ricky and Fred at first, and they allow the police to take Ricky and Fred away, which they believe is actually the reason for robbing the restaurant. Were trying to.
Lucy and Ethel eventually get them out of jail, but no jokes or mean tricks allow someone you to go to jail only to teach a small, innocent lesson. Not to mention wasting the resources and time of those who should have dealt with the actual crime.
8 Ricky refuses to recreate the day he proposed to Lucy
When Lucy senses that their marriage license is invalid, she tries to recreate the day Ricky proposes to her. Ricky doesn’t care for this scenario, and, when Lucy tries to romanticize Ricky, it frustrates him.
Clearly, Lucy cares about this, so Ricky should have done his best to support her. He was selfish, instead, and it’s no wonder Lucy got mad at him. Their engagement was one of the best memories of Lucy’s life, and the fact that Ricky didn’t even try to recreate it for his show shows that their marriage needed some work.
7 recreating lucy’s husband
Although it is primarily remembered as an innovative television series, I love Lucy actually started out as a radio program titled my favorite husband, It starred Lucille Ball and Richard Denningaccording to CBR, was cast in favor of Desi Arnaz as the network feared how the public might react to the mixed-race couple.
Today this would never have been an issue and Desi Arnaz would have been cast in the role of Lucy’s husband from the very beginning. This, of course, isn’t to say that Denning didn’t work in the role, he was just an unnecessary addition.
6 Ricky didn’t let Lucy go into show business
A recurring plot line on the show is Lucy’s eagerness to be a part of Ricky’s performance or any other audition she may come across. Ricky just wants an ordinary housewife, and he certainly doesn’t want Lucy to be on his show or any other show. He constantly demands that she obey his orders, but Lucy always finds some way to get involved without Ricky making her plans.
Lucy is a grown woman who has a right to perform if she really wants to. Ricky should have no control over this, and he should have supported her in any way he could. The notion that she has to take permission from her husband at all will leave the audiences shocked today.
5 Ricky flirts with a young lady right in front of Lucy
When Lucy and Ricky go out to dance, they meet a young woman, K played by Barbara Eden i dream of jenny fame, Ricky immediately becomes infatuated with her, causing him to seduce and dance with her in front of Lucy.
Ricky didn’t even think about how his own wife would feel about it, especially since Lucy herself was watching the whole thing. His casual disregard for his wife would not be acceptable today.
4 Ricky put Lucy on schedule
When Lucy calls herself and Ricky late to dinner with her boss, Ricky makes a schedule for Lucy for all hours of the day.
It should be up to Lucy to devise a program for herself if she notices a pattern to her latency. However, her own husband creates one for her to follow, and he later says that she is like a “trained seal”. This upsets Lucy, and she seeks revenge. Lucy certainly needed to be responsible and manage her own time, but it certainly isn’t right for her own spouse to do the same—especially every minute of every day.
3 ridiculing Ricky’s accent
One of the most memorable skits in the entire series sees Ricky struggling to read a children’s book to his child. Confused by the pronunciation of words such as “bough,” “ruff,” and “through,” Lucy remarked that it showed how little she knew about the English language.
While some good-natured ribbing is fine, Lucy takes a real problem with Ricky’s pronunciation of certain things, and she seeks to ridicule Ricky for helping him. Given that the two are married, Ricky’s accent shouldn’t really bother Lucy.
2 Ricky Spank Lucy
On a few occasions, when Lucy does something that upsets Ricky, he beats her up. Lucy is an adult woman who has the right to make her own decisions. No matter how Ricky feels about them, he has no right to use force on Lucy to do what he wants her to do.
At that time, many would have looked the other way. Today, however, this type of behavior is nowhere close to being acceptable in a marriage.
1 Desi Arnaz real life scandals
Although they were always portrayed as a happy couple who always managed to make things right in the end on TV, in real life, the marriage between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz was nowhere near as idyllic. The two argued incessantly and tried to divorce several times, and their marital conflict was only exacerbated by Arnaz’s notorious infidelity.
The two managed to make it work back in the 1950s, but, in the modern social climate, a show would likely be decimated by such scandals. The two had a tumultuous career, but it probably wouldn’t have happened if the show had premiered in the recent decade.
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