The Who2 Blog

Why I Hate Lucy

Lucille Ball was born 100 years ago today, and Google is celebrating with a clever video Doodle that reminds us how much we all hated her.

It reminds *me* of that, anyway. What you are reminded of is your own business.

The Google Doodle is a compendium of Lucy’s most horrid moments:

  • Lucy bawling “Waaaaaaah! We might as well face it, Ricky, I’m a big fat flop.” (She’s right!)
  • Lucy baffled by the sight of a friend singing in a passably pleasant manner, then jumping in to screech like a dumb crow.
  • Lucy proving incompetent at grape-smashing, a task requiring nothing more than balance and a bit of modest endurance. Lucy has neither.
  • Lucy and Ethel proving incompetent at wrapping candy — so incompetent that they stuff their faces and bras with chocolates. Everyone’s favorite scene!

Gee, how could they leave out Vitameatavegamin?

Those episodes horrified me even when I first saw them as a child. I would actually run from the room, cringing, to avoid watching Lucy humiliate herself again. She made me feel demeaned and humiliated just to be watching. How could somebody be so stupid and craven as Lucy?

She is supposed to be EveryWoman — the clown in all of us. But to me, the Lucy of “I Love Lucy” is not a clown but an idiot — an idiot who is not clever, attractive, amusing, charming, or even likable. Her voice is the piercing squeal of bad brakes. In every show she reverts to the same dumb trick, getting into trouble and then trying to hide it from Ricky, from her boss, or from whomever is unlucky enough to be in the vicinity.

And every show ends up with Lucy bawling in her hideous, blubbering way, while Ricky looks on in dismay. As well he should! His life partner is literally good for nothing, as she herself admits. Ricky can’t think of anything she’s good at, either. He’s right! That’s entertainment!

On top of all that we must endure the notion that “everybody” loved Lucy. “Lucy was one of us,” simpered Time magazine in 1998. “The show has the timeless perfection of a crystal goblet.”

Phagh! I not only do not love Lucy, I hate her for setting the stage for every bad TV sitcom and horrid laugh track to come. Lucy’s pathetic escapades must be accompanied not by chuckles or guffaws but by SHRIEKS of laughter. SHRIEKS!!! Her stupidity is so HILARIOUS!!!

And of course, we must also salute Lucy for being pregnant on TV — the moment that broke down all of TV’s old taboos and opened the door to sex talk from Jerry Springer and hookups with Snooki. Hooray!

Look, Lucy doesn’t need my love. She made her mark and got rich doing it. Somebody liked her. But I feel I must file this minority report, if only so that future generations will realize that not everyone was insane.

The only silver lining is that by the time Lucy’s 200th birthday celebration comes around, I too will be dead and won’t have to endure it. Waaaaaaaah!

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  • Zeke

    I love this article! “I love Lucy,” was my favorite show in 1951 when I was five. My older brothers would call me when it came on and I would come running. What I liked best about it was that it was about a woman and not about men in hats with guns. I also liked that Lucy would make funny faces or open her mouth wide and cry like a little baby and the audience would laugh so I would know to laugh, too. By the time I was six I had outgrown it and was embarrassed that I had ever liked it.

  • FritzH

    Amen, friend! Another voice for sanity. 🙂

  • Nana Berry

    I cannot abide Lucy, the tv character OR the flesh and blood human.
    Both are abominable examples of the female sex.

    • Well, there’s no reason to drag the entire female sex into it. I think we can just agree that Lucy’s monstrousness transcended genders.