If you asked me what my favourite show of all time is, in terms of romance, it definitely would not be I Love Lucy. It would be Bewitched or I Married Joan. I can’t quite pick one.
Surprisingly. I know.
I Love Lucy is probably the most iconic of 1950s TV couples, a married couple who were frequently used as a stereotype of the age when it came to family and marriage. Lucy the housewife and Ricky the working musical man.
Or are they?
You would take a gander at my blog and think I’d like I Love Lucy, though yes, yes I did. The key here being the use of past tense. I fell for the glamour. I fell for the cute housewife outfit. I fell for the sweet kisses on the cheeks and Lucille’s signature wrinkling lips. It’s a wonderfully written and funny show, I have to give it that.
However, I just can’t bring myself to like it anymore the more I watch it. I believe in a traditional marriage and a traditional relationship with set roles that work to men and women’s strengths. Most women are wonderful at home, they are maternal nurturers that have the great capacity to take care of the household and offer a sweet and accepting affection through their femininity. Not all, but I truly believe most women have this capacity. The same with most men as strong providers and protectors who could also look out for their family, be the sturdy rock of the household and someone to look up to.
Well, nowadays everyone is a far cry because of all the feminist brainwashing however I believe in the capabilities. It’s biology.
If you really look closely at it- I Love Lucy does not depict a loving, traditional marriage. It does not even depict a traditional relationship.
While Lucy is quite sweet and quirky, she is quite demanding and at many times childish (I understand that is part of the charm)- though it is immature to the point she causes truly big trouble for everybody and is blatantly disrespecting Ricky. She is always nagging at him to let her live a quasi-performing career out through commercials, performances at his club and many other roles. However, when Ricky says no and constantly tells her he just wants a ‘wife and mother to his children’, Lucy never accepts it. She never really did in any of the episodes. Then of course, she hatches schemes to try and force herself into the entertainment roles she truly wants, which is in a way spitting at Ricky’s face and his decisions. While these schemes are often comedic and that’s the point, it serves well to simply think back and actually look at what she literally does. Kidnap people. Physically hurt someone. Deceive others.
Lucy is no criminal but think about this. Many slapstick comedy schemes of this era are usually centred around the character accidentally getting themselves into trouble and trying to figure out how they can solve it, stumbling all over themselves. Lucy is actually willingly committing these acts to get what she wants. She starts them. On top of the disrespect for Ricky.
Another thing that really resounded within me was the episode where Ricky did not allow Lucy to star in his club’s commercial. During the morning after their disagreement, Lucy is sitting on their bed with a massive pout as Ricky emerges from the bathroom after getting ready for work. He asks her if she is making breakfast and – Lucy sticks her tongue out at him. Funny, at first. Then Ricky becomes slightly desperate and reasons with her that he needs his strength. They may have a disagreement but Ricky needs some pleasant company in the morning and a basic thing such as a food so he can have the energy to go into work and provide for her. Ricky is not abandoning his duties as a husband and provider to Lucy, despite their disagreement. Lucy is the opposite- she can’t even give her husband his strength!
We all know she was still a housewife that very day, in charge of the chores and the cooking, but she has already abandoned her duties because she didn’t get something she wanted. Was it something that threatened their whole marriage and life? Not really. Was Ricky getting to eat a basic human need for someone who goes out to work? Yes.
Lucy is spoiled and as much Ricky would like for her to be at home and the mother of his children- she never really acted like she was enthusiastic about her role. You rarely see her commenting about how she enjoys her housework or cooking.
Ricky picked the wrong woman to be his wife.