The Golden Girls: Henny Penny — Straight, No Chaser vs. I Love Lucy: The Operetta

A classic romantic operetta vs. a classic children’s musical! And let me just say, this was a TOUGH matchup.

In I Love Lucy, Ethel and Lucy write an operetta for their women’s club because Lucy (as treasurer) has so badly managed their finances that they desperately need to fundraise without spending any money. The show starts off really well. We get to see Ethel as the ingenue, which is nice because the show frequently forced Vivian Vance into a frumpy look, and its great to hear her show off both her lyric and coloratura soprano styles.

Ricky play the romantic lead and Lucy plays the “queen of the gypsies” whose solo song is drowned out by a chorus of much better singers — much to Lucy’s chagrin. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the full production because Lucy paid for all the costumes and set pieces with a post-dated cheque. Annnd everything gets repossessed mid-production. That said, the set pieces are truly beautiful and we do get to hear some of the wonderful music as composed by series composer Eliot Daniel. I would almost have awarded I Love Lucy the point for costumes…but…The Golden Girls knocked it out of the park on this one.

I mean SERIOUSLY just look at the detailed feather work here, people!

Henny Penny - Straight, No Chaser (1991)
Now, there is some nice choreography in “The Operetta,” but “Henny Penny–Straight No Chaser” has our girls doing some excellent goose, turkey, and chicken walking in heels. The music is cute, but it’s all one song. So there was really no competition from The Golden Girls on the music front and I Love Lucy easily won that point. I also gave The Golden Girls the point for the plot because we do in fact see a full story. Who knows what Lucy would have shown us, but of course, everything was re-possessed.

This was a close matchup, but The Golden Girls won with three points over I Love Lucy‘s two. Here’s a snippet of the winning production production:

Very Special Winner: The Golden Girls

Bracket Challenge: The Show Within a Show Showdown

It’s been a looong time since we did a bracket challenge, Very Special Readers! In fact, I thought of doing one during quarantine but I couldn’t remember how to do them because that’s how much my brain didn’t work! Anyway, I’m happy to say that most (if not all) of my executive functioning has since returned. With that said, allow me to introduce The Show Within a Show Showdown.

The Golden Girls': Memorable Images from the Iconic 1980s Series | IndieWire

Each of the shows in the showdown were selected because each production included a least one of our regular lead characters. The productions are “real” within the context of the show, a.k.a. no dream sequences, daydreams, or hallucinations (this excluded the “Lucy Goes to Scotland” episode of I Love Lucy).

We also must see the cast in full costume for a minimum of one full minute’s worth of airtime (this excluded a super cute Sister, Sister sequence which only had about forty seconds worth of “show within a show time” and just isn’t enough airtime to compare it to the other contenders.) While my reviews will describe the episode in its entirely, points will only be awarded for the show within a show. Thus, there needs to be enough of the play or musical itself to be able to give it a score within the point system.

Saved By The Bell”s Most Iconic Episodes | ETCanada.com

Here’s the point system:

All episodes will be graded on a 5 point scale and the winning episode will have the higher score in each matchup:

For MUSICALS*
-Overall Plot of the musical – 1 point
-Music – 1 point
-Choreography – 1 point
-Costumes – 1 point
-Scenic Design – 1 point

For PLAYS
-Overall Plot of the play – 2 points
-Costumes – 1 point
-Scenic Design – 1 point
-Staging – 1 point

*Please note, I will use the play rating scale for the final round when a musical faces off against a play.

Any questions? Pop them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

Grab your bracket below! And stay tuned for posts every Monday starting January 10th.

Bizzaro Episodes: The Most 2020 Trope

2020 has been nothing if not bizarre. So let’s round-out the year with a look back the moments when your favorite tv shows got well, weird.

So in case you’re like — hey, hey wait as second what is a bizzaro episode anyway? It’s anytime a show breaks from form or tone in such a remarkable way that the episode gives regular viewers an uncanny feeling. As Pop Culture Crime says of one dark episode of I Love Lucy, “I felt like I was in the midst of a weird fever dream.” If that’s the vibe you’re getting from a show you regularly watch (unless that show is Twin Peaks) then chances are — you’re viewing a bizarro episode!

Stay tuned this week for an in-depth look at bizarre episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Miami Vice, and Murder, She Wrote.