I Love Lucy TV Poster Image

I Love Lucy

Classic clowning from comic genius; for all ages.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value
Not applicable
Positive messages

While the show wasn't out to teach any overtly positive messages, it has a warm nature and generally upbeat portrayal of friendship and marriage. That said, it's a product of its time, and there's definitely some material that wouldn't be considered PC today.

Positive role models

Lucy can be insecure and whiny, but she can also be creative and resourceful. Not surprisingly for the show's vintage, there's some stereotyping (based both on gender and race). But the Ricardos' mixed-race marriage was groundbreaking for 1950s TV.

Violence & scariness

Slapstick stuff -- poking behinds, bonking heads, etc.

Sexy stuff

None. They couldn't even say the word "pregnant." Lucy does vamp it up and use her "wiles" on Ricky from time to time, but it's all totally innocent.

Not applicable

Early episodes were sponsored by a tobacco company, but references to this are no longer shown.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Smoking in some rarely seen episodes. Some drinking for comic effect or in the background. Lucy gets quite tipsy in the memorable Vegameatavitamin episode.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that I Love Lucy is a still-hilarious (and ubiquitous) 1950s comedy classic that is entirely tame by contemporary standards, though some episodes do show the characters smoking or drinking. In one famous episode, Lucy gets more and more drunk as she films a commercial for Vegameatavitamin, showing alcohol consumption in a funny light. Also, old-fashioned family stereotypes (like the clueless housewife and the patronizing husband) form the basis of the show's narrative structure, and some racial stereotyping occurs, with Ricky's Cuban accent often becoming the butt of jokes.

What's the story?

As Lucy Ricardo in I LOVE LUCY, Lucille Ball charms audiences with her clownish pranks and vaudevillian charades, She stars alongside her real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, who plays Lucy's husband, Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo. In a running theme of the series, Lucy tries all manner of disguises and tricks to gain a part in Ricky's nightclub show. William Frawley and Vivian Vance co-star as their neighbors, Fred and Ethel Mertz, who are often recruited into Lucy's many schemes. In one classic episode, Lucy and Ethel get jobs on the assembly line at a candy factory. But as the conveyor belt moves faster and faster, the duo can't keep up. So Lucy pops passing candies into her mouth as fast as she can -- and hilarity ensues.

Is it any good?


Despite its dated references and old-fashioned family dynamics, this show remains hilariously entertaining. Lucille Ball was one of the greatest comic actors of all time and so her physical comedy is timeless. Her antics in this pioneering show have made I Love Lucy one of the top sitcoms in TV history. If younger viewers can get past the black-and-white presentation, even the littlest kids will enjoy her goofy faces and silly mishaps.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the difference between families in the 1950s  and today. What do kids notice was different in the '50s, as demonstrated by I Love Lucy?

  • How have things changed for the better (or the worse)? Specifically, how have the roles of women and minorities changed? What changes have parents been most affected by?

  • What makes Lucille Ball so funny?

  • How do the characters on I Love Lucy demonstrate self-control? Why is this an important character strength?

TV details

Premiere date:October 15, 1951
Cast:Desi Arnaz, Lucille Ball, Vivian Vance
Networks:Syndicated, TV Land
Character strengths:Self-control
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of I Love Lucy was written by

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Kid, 11 years old January 12, 2014

Great show and I'm only 11

I love this show and I'm only 11 and it is funny and entertainment.I watch this all day.But they do drink and smoke but there are positive messages like stay true to you friends.Also there is only one episode that lucy gets drunk but that's All.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 11 years old July 4, 2015

I even love I love Lucy

Lucy and Ricky kiss quite often but that's the worst it gets. They also smoke (but it's a show from the 50's.) THE END
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008