(Or: The Racism / Or: The Misogyny )
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Hi Ballers. You ever heard of Apache dancing? I hadn’t. It’s horrible. Let’s get started.
We open on Ethel eating some turds while everyone watches her.
Then the ladies get up to “put on a new face.” Fred crosses his fingers:
Fred: “She goes out to put on a new face and she always comes back with the old one.”
He and Ricky talk about Lucy being naked.
And guys, so far I haven’t made any of this shit up.
Lucy and Ethel come back in and the boys explain how they think the girls need new faces. Lucy asks Ethel the most subtext-heavy question of the season:
Lucy: “You ever wish you had something else to marry besides men?”
These ladies were 60 years before their time. I Love Lucy: 2015 would have Lucy and Ethel joining a softball team and rescuing a pit bull mix. For now, they sweep and touch up their mascara.
Ricky gets up to call Jerry because he needs Apache dancers for his show. Lucy hears “Apache” and “show” and she dances around like Tiger Lily… if Tiger Lily could be more offensive.
Ethel clarifies: Apache dancing is
“where the tough Frenchman grabs the girl by the hair, and throws her over his shoulder, and slams her down on the floor, and steps on her.”
And she’s absolutely right. This dance (which is technically pronounced “a-PAHSH”) was named after hooligans in France that people nicknamed Apaches because they were considered savages.
Stick with me.
These street gangs inspired a dance team to create “Apache dance,” based on a pimp beating the shit out of his prostitute. So basically it’s got everything possible wrong with it, all condensed into one fluid motion. And by fluid, I mean the blood of victims of domestic abuse and human trafficking.
Lucy acts a version of this out, and it would be really funny if the whole time you weren’t thinking, “The fuck? What is happening? Is this real? Did people really perform this?”
Ricky tells Lucy, if you want a part in the show, just ask.
He says no.
Lucy believes she can convince him, though, if she finds a partner and rehearses. Fred throws his hat in the ring. He was, after all, a vaudeville star once.
Lucy and Fred practice together, and somehow he manages to choreograph it so he gets a boob shot, a butt shot, and a chance to thrust his pelvic bone into her lady parts, nearly knocking her down. But she accidentally steps on his toe and he acts like she partially decapitated him.
It’s clearly not working out for them.
Fortunately, Ethel found a replacement! The nephew of the French laundry owner: Jean Valjean Raymand. What they don’t tell her is he’s an escaped convict who became mayor, and he and his adopted daughter moved here during a small student uprising. #LesMiz #ifIwroteit
Jean comes in, and they’re playing the French anthem and he’s wearing a beret and it’s fucking ridiculous.
He has a hand fetish. No surprise there. He’s from France. France is French for fetish.
Lucy doesn’t want Ricky to know they’re rehearsing, so she hides Jean in the closet. Ricky comes in and thinks his wife wants a nooner. He’s like mmmmmm a little afternoon delight, s’il vous plaît? Lucy’s like NO. FRED JUST BRUISED MY UTERUS.
So Ricky leaves, and Lucy’s weird ass dance partner starts sexually harassing her again. He chases her around the house and seems a little unstable; but hey, at least he’s in character for the fucked up dance he’s supposed to be good at.
She says no and he says yes (gross), and he vows to return and woo her.
That night Lucy and Ricky are getting ready for the movies, and Jean shows up at Lucy’s window. The ladder falls behind him and he’s stuck there. Lucy really doesn’t want Ricky seeing this douchebag, so she stands in front of him at the window.
In the meantime, Ricky’s complaining that there’s no hot water. He thinks they should move to the country. I wonder if he realizes people on Long Island expect you to pay rent.
While Lucy hides her lover behind her, Ricky lights 2 cigarettes and talks about Westchester. Our boy is pretty dense.
But there’s no hiding an amorous Frenchman!
Ricky finds Jean, who reveals he’s there to elope. Then Jean hits Ricky with his glove and challenges him to a duel, because apparently the French are two centuries behind everyone else. Jean offers two pistols, and it’s only slightly horrifying to realize he’s been armed this whole time.
Ricky barely thinks about it. He’s so tough; he’s like “fine.”
So Lucy leaves and Ricky turns around, and it turns out Jean was bluffing. You won’t believe this show would stoop to such stereotypes, but they make the French lover into a coward! Shocking, I say!
It turns out, Jean thought he was supposed to act romantically because that’s what women want from French men. No, Jean. We just want you to wear deodorant and not touch us unless we ask, which is what we want from any man, French or otherwise.
Ricky plays with his loaded gun like a true American. He’s upset with Lucy for something (honestly, not really sure what). So to get back at her, he and Jean shoot their guns into the air.
Ricky, this is why they don’t fix your hot water. In a city of 8 million people, you’re the actual worst tenant.
Now Lucy is out in the living room with Fred and Ethel, and she hears the gunshots. She’s certain Jean murdered Ricky. She’s horrified and so sad, and blames herself for having dreams and wanting to be in the show. She thinks her ambition is what killed him, and it’s so damn tragic. I mean, shit.
But it turns out he’s alive, so that’s good. I guess.
That night, in bed:
Ricky: “I just wanted to teach you a lesson.”
Lucy: “Well, I guess I had it coming to me.”
She didn’t have it coming to her. She tried rehearsing instead of mopping, so Ricky pretended her dance partner shot him in the face. That was an over-reaction.
Lucy kinda realizes this, and in a moment of empowered rage, she drops ice water on him. She actually doesn’t think it was funny at all, and she’ll never speak to him again.
Then he kisses her, which always seems to shut her up. And it’s a red hot kiss, lemme just say. Little Ricky won’t be born for another year, but they’re certainly praaaaaaacticing!!!
Join me next week for S01 E13: The Benefit. New posts every Friday!