Saturday, December 21, 2013
Last night CBS aired two classic I LOVE LUCY episodes but colorized them. They looked absolutely ghoulish. I think the whole idea of colorizing black and white is reprehensible anyway, but since Ted Turner first adopted this nasty practice some twenty years ago you’d think the technology would improve.
Instead, the process looks worse. Gray sets, day-glo orange hair for Lucy, creepy skin tones, and muted colors for the clothing. What makes it even more unconscionable is that color home movies exist of the filming of I LOVE LUCY. They had the ability to match actual colors and either didn’t bother to or their technology was so bad they couldn’t pull it off. (Note: earlier this year I featured that home movie. You can find it here.)
What’s next? Painting the statue of David? Showing STEAMBOAT WILLIE in 3D? Attaching arms to Venus de Milo?
I admire the fact that CBS wanted to show two episodes of I LOVE LUCY in primetime – even though it was on a Friday night (TV’s graveyard shift). I LOVE LUCY was instrumental in the success of CBS television. But at least have the respect to show it in its intended form. Have enough faith in the product and artistry that you can air it in its original form.
I turned it off after ten minutes. And next year I’ll do the same if they show LASSIE and digitally add clothing to the dog. Or AMOS & ANDY if they digitally make all the characters white.
CBS, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.
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By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM