Sunday, June 25, 2023

Books (Isaiah, Stan, Ava and C.I.)




As we did in 2021, we're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community. Isaiah's "GET LOST" went up nearly two weeks ago and Stan's "Lucille Ball and HERE'S LUCY went up Saturday. Both were books you read via AMAZON's KINDLE UNLIMATED.  Both subscribe to the service.  We were covering the service in 2021.  Anybody want to note anything different since then?


 Isaiah: They have more content.

Stan: First, what's that we're listening to? I know it's Diana Ross and the Supremes but what album?


REFLECTIONS from 1968. We started on side two or you would have known it. 

Stan: Thanks.  Along with more content, you're seeing, in 2023, books that came out this year available in KINDLE UNLIMITED.  Not a lot but when we started with KINDLE UNLIMITED in 2021, I don't remember them offering any book that was newer than 2016.


And what did you think of the books you read?

 Isaiah: I liked mine. GET LOST THE END IN COMICS tackles all three issues os 1954's humor magazine GET LOST created by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.  The drawings were great but the colors were even better.  This was like MAD MAGAZINE but it was more of a comic version.  If you can remember far enough back, you know that outside of the cover and the backcover, there were issues of MAD that were all black and white -- and I don't go back to when MAD started, that was before I was born.  But GET LOST really did want to be a humor magazine presented as a comic book. 

And the humor?

Isaiah: The film parodies were funny.  The rest was hit or miss.  I'm not sure it was that way back in 1954.  In 1954, it might have seemed funnier and also, in 1954, it might have been appreciated for all that was happening then.

One thing happening in the fifties was Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz conquering TV with the sitcom I LOVE LUCY.  Stan, the book you read picks up after that?

Stan: Correct. Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince's THE SAD AND TRAGIC ENDING OF LUCILLE BALL: VOLUME TWO (1961-1989) OF A TWO-PART BIOGRAPHY focuses on the period after I LOVE LUCY.  That awful Aaron Sorkin film left a bad taste.  Too many lies and I'm just not wanting to open a book and be reminded of that awful film.  I love Lucy -- all three characters of her hit sitcoms as well as the actress Lucille Ball.  I found the film to be sexist as well as dishonest.  But noting Sorkin's sexism at this late date it like noting that the sun will rise tomorrow. 

You liked the book.

Stan: I really did.  Actually, I loved it.  It had a lot of tales and anecdotes about HERE'S LUCY which is a sitcom I love.  And it also had stories about shooting THE LUCY SHOW -- the sitcom I'm really not that fond of.  You learned a lot of things. 

Give us an example of something that you didn't note in your review.

Stan: Sure.  In the review, I noted that Lucie Arnaz was really a great comic.  And she was.  But one thing that I didn't know until the book was that she got input from her mother, of course -- every actor on the show got input from Lucille.  But in terms of talking about her craft and being a soundboard, Lucie leaned a lot on Vivian Vance.  I don't think you could learn comedy from two better teachers: Lucille and Vivian.

Since you brought up Lucie, I was curious because in your review, you noted that you found Lucie and Desi Arnaz Jr. to be great as Kim and Craig -- Lucy's kids on HERE'S LUCY but you said Desi Junior was good while Lucie was great.

Stan: Right.  I'm a big fan of HERE'S LUCY.  As a kid, I was lucky in that it was syndicated then.  She didn't syndicate in the 70s.  She only allowed it to be syndicated briefly from like the mid-eighties to the end of the eighties -- Lucille Ball only allowed it.  She owned the show.  So I watched as a kid and now you can watch it in a variety of places -- currently TUBI has all six seasons of the show.  So go watch an episode.  Watch one early on or season three or whatever.  But Desi Jr. isn't a regular after season three. He does appear as a guest in season five.  But where ever you watch you'll see that the camera can pick up Lucie anytime.  She can be moving in the background or the camera across the room and she's briefly in the shot but just in the background.  Watch for that and watch how she's in character the entire time.  Desi Jr. isn't bad and he's in character when he has lines but the whole time Lucie is on stage in front of the audience, she's Kim.  She commits to it completely and that's why Kim is so believable. She got applause and praise doing drama in TV movies.  And that's great and I'm sure it helped her esteem because no one wants to be thought of as a copy of their parents -- no matter how much they love their parents.  But if I had a magic lamp, I'd rub it and ask Aladdin -- at least one wish -- to get Lucie in a sitcom before 1976.  After that, I think she'd reached the point where she really didn't want one and who could blame her with all the excitement from being in dramatic projects.  But her not getting a solid sitcom created around her -- that nonsense in the eighties was not created for her or any actor -- really deprived us of a comic who really could have carried a sitcom. 

Thank you.  Isaiah, the book you read had all three issues of GET LOST.  It only lasted three issues because, despite the three issues selling well, the company publishing it went out of business.

Isaiah: Yes.

Do you think if it had been around for a year or two it could have rivaled MAD?

Isaiah: I don't think so.  It would have a lot of catching up to do.  You can pick up any issue of MAD, from any decade, I saw one from the 70s the other day about disco, and the magazine works and it makes you laugh and so much more.  I don't know that two guys being in charge of everything could ease up enough to let the magazine grow. And it needed to grow.  It was good but I don't know that it would have gotten my ten cents.  In the book, it's noted how much competition there was for that dime.  And I really think that MAD -- even CRACKED -- was superior. 

Okay, thank you both.




Previous book discussions this year.

"Books (Trina, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ann and C.I.)," "Books (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Ann, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)" and "Books (Ava and C.I.)."




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