“Being the Ricardos”: Crisis on Infinite Balls

Being the Ricardos!

Our A-list stars resembling Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz about as much as they resemble Julianne Moore and Jeff Goldblum in The Lost World.

Remember the four worst things that ever happened to you? The four biggest challenges to your family, livelihood, reputation, or whatever? Now imagine if an evil time-travel despot had folded your timeline in on itself and all four moments of The Worst had befallen you in the same week. Be grateful they didn’t, but just imagine…what if? Enormous pain, right?

That’s the narrative conceit of Being the Ricardos, the third true-story project from writer/director Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7, Molly’s Game), yearning to avoid the trappings of a formulaic three-hour biopic, with their pedestrian history-book retelling and their leaps and bounds across their subject’s unremarkable years to deliver the Good Parts version of someone’s life. If it’s inescapable that your Hollywood production will bend some truths to achieve Art no matter what, why not embrace compromise and use your truth-bending skills to weave a smaller, tighter basket and have all the conflicts happen at the same time? While we’re at it, why not also have a film in which Queen Elizabeth II mourns the death of her father, Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, and Prince Philip all happening in the same week? Historians would have apoplexies, but just imagine the potential pageantry of a Hollywood-designed four-way royal funeral procession.

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2013 Road Trip Photos #26: the House That Vitameatavegamin Built

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

We spent the late afternoon some 220 miles westward in Jamestown, birthplace of a certain funny redhead that brightened your grandparents’ lives. She used to be in all the papers.

The centerpiece of Lucy tourism is kept downtown in a dual storefront. One half recalls the production company Lucy created with her first husband, actor/musician/bandleader Desi Arnaz..

…and the other half of that storefront is the Lucy Desi Museum, devoted to souvenirs from the lives of TV’s original wacky couple, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Inside these walls lies a veritable cavalcade of whimsy and wonder and all the Lucy gift-shop merchandise you can carry home in your long, long trailer.

Lucy Desi Museum

This way for more loving of Lucy…

2013 Road Trip Photos #25: Paying Respects to Lucille Ball

Day Seven of our road trip was divided between two different towns in upstate New York, each boasting a hometown hero who left home to become a classic TV trailblazer. We spent the morning in Binghamton, where Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling spent his formative years learning how to write, narrate, and remain invisible to everyone around him.

We spent the late afternoon some 220 miles westward in Jamestown, birthplace of a certain funny redhead that brightened your grandparents’ lives. She used to be in all the papers.

I Love Lucy mural, Jamestown, New York

An intro to Lucy’s old stomping grounds…

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