Showing posts from November, 2017

The "I" in I Love Lucy

“Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!” Ricky Ricardo never said this. Yet somehow in the vast iconography of I Love Lucy, this is the phrase that often springs to people’s minds. The actor who portrayed Ricky was no stranger to audiences forgetting his contributions. As the straight man to one of history’s greatest comediennes, Desi Arnaz was often overlooked for his work in front of the screen. Whereas his fellow cast members were nominated for Emmys more than once—indeed, Lucille Ball was nominated for all seven seasons—Arnaz never received an acting nomination. Critics and audiences adored I Love Lucy, but most of the credit seemed to go to the eponymous redhead rather than the talented Cuban by her side.

Behind the scenes, however, it was a different story. Arnaz helped facilitate many changes to the television sitcom, making I Love Lucy a groundbreaking series that set conventions shows still follow today. Most importantly, though, Arnaz influenced Latino/a representation by brin…

Portraits of Garbo

Is there anyone who was more of an enigma than Greta Garbo? There have been actors who remain a bit hard to understand -- Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Spencer Tracy are some who come to my mind -- but Garbo is by far the trickiest. As an actress, she astounds me, her mere presence bringing a brilliant spark to any scene she is in. As a person, though, I'm not sure we'll ever really know Garbo. To be honest, I'm not sure she completely understood herself, either.

Nevertheless, I set out on a minor mission. Pouring over the internet and all of my books on film, I wanted
to try to capture something of Garbo by looking at others' interactions and remembrances of her. The picture this created is still fuzzy to me, unfortunately, but it became fascinating to read what other people thought of her. Because of her self-imposed isolation and her unwillingness to fully accept her fame, the myths and falsities about Garbo are countless. I ran into quite a few stories that conf…