Must they colourise I Love Lucy?

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CBS is set to “colorize” two episodes of I Love Lucy for a one hour special, after it did the same to episodes over the Christmas season.

Variety reports “L.A. at Last!” and “Lucy and Superman,” which were filmed in the 1950s, will be given “a vintage look” for the special in May.

“Lucy and Superman” follows the trials of scheduling kids’ birthday parties and features George Reeves (The Adventures of Superman). William Holden guest stars in “L.A. at Last!” which has Lucy and Ricky finally landing in Los Angeles because Ricky is appearing in a new motion picture.

The special will also show additional material that has not been broadcast since the episode first aired in 1955.

No doubt the advancements have come a long way since the early days of colourisation -which still left greys alongside painted skin tones- but I think the only way to watch these is as they were originally produced: in glorious black and white.

14 Comments:

  1. If anyone is curious to how this can be done well, I urge to to check out the early original Star Trek episodes on blu-ray, including the pilot (with Captain Pike). Sure, purists can scoff, but there are so many people out there for whom a brush up gives them the opportunity to connect. I’ve got no personal interest in Lucy but there’s a legion of fans waiting to discover her and a respectful mastering can do that.

  2. TasTVcameraman

    I admit it I am a snob, I hate Black & White, I used to process thousands of feet of B & W news film. Probably why I hate is so much. Same as todays digital cameras, the arty types shoot or convert to B & W….Why ? Ther world around us is in colour.

    I would love to see my TV set of Maverick in colour.

  3. I agree they should leave it along, that said updating some shows to wide screen does work where they were filmed and not video taped. Shows like Seinfeld and Friends come to mind and even I dream of Jeanie, which I noticed has had it’s first season colorized when it played on 111 Hits.

    I just think leave it as an option, if you can still see or buy the original then go for it and open up some classic shows to a new 21st century audience.

  4. Okay I am a huge I Love Lucy fan and my opinion is that it will always be presented best in its truest form, the original black and white …But I also think there’s nothing wrong with an occasional colourised special if it’s done right (like the recent Christmas special, which was a huge improvement over a much earlier attempt). It’s just a bit of fun really and if anything, might expose the show to a whole new audience.

    There’s a huge difference between replacing the entire series’ existence with something artificial and putting together a new prime time special once or twice a year.

  5. I won’t mind it for just a couple of episodes. It’s better than colourising whole seasons like they did with Bewitched, Jeanie and Gilligans. Unfortunately though thats the only way we get to see them, there are a lot of b&w shows we just don’t get to see. I do hope we get to see this Lucy special though, as a fan of both Lucy and 50s Superman.

  6. They did this with the first season of Gilligan’s Island and Foxtel showed those episodes in the late 1990s. When the DVD box set came out a few years later the original black and white episodes were used and the colorized episodes hopefully thrown in the bin.

  7. The reality is a lot of people don’t like black and white and CBS is trying to avoid the turn off factor. I think it’s fine – the original is still there for purists – and will expose Lucy to people who otherwise might not ever see it.

  8. I don’t see why people have an issue with this. It’s not like they’re colourising a physical painting. The original is still available, and if people want to watch it in black and white, they still can.

    I personally would never watch anything that was black and white, but that’s just me.

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