Paramount+ Now Has One of TV's Most Iconic Shows

Paramount+ just added all 180 episodes of I Love Lucy to its catalog, and classic TV buffs are overjoyed. The sitcom is one of the most iconic shows in the history of television itself, but it has been difficult to revisit even in the streaming age. Now Paramount+ gives you access to the whole series all in one place.

I Love Lucy starred Lucille Ball and her husband Desi Arnaz as Lucy and Ricky Ricardo — a young couple trying to find their way in New York City. The show was about their struggle for a middle-class lifestyle with sacrificing their dreams or aspirations. Many fans would say it was the first sitcom as we know them today, and it certainly helped pioneer the genre. It premiered in the fall of 1951 and ended in the spring of 1957, and in those years it made innovations that are still rippling through pop culture to this day.

I Love Lucy has been trapped in a web of odd licensing contracts for years now, but it is finally starting to untangle. The series originally aired on CBS, so it's no surprise that it ended up on the network's affiliated streaming service in the end. However, those looking for another option can still stream 102 episodes of I Love Lucy on Hulu, or the 40 episodes included with Amazon Prime Video.

In the show, Ricky is a singer and bandleader kicking off his career as a nightclub performer in NYC. Lucy is a housewife who spends her time trying to put together the perfect home for her and Ricky and getting into misadventures with their neighbors and friends. The ensemble included Fred and Ethel Mertz and William Frawley and Vivian Vance, the Ricardos' landlords and their close friends.

As the show continued, Lucy began to long for a career in show business alongside her husband, pushing the boundaries of conventional life even more. The titular star of the show was characterized as naïve but determined, often dragging her wary husband into trouble with her.

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Lucy had a baby in Season 2 of the show, which was a plot point added to account for Ball's real-life pregnancy. As she and Arnaz welcomed Desi Arnaz Jr. to the world in real life, their characters welcomed Ricky Ricardo Jr. on the show.

The legacy of I Love Lucy looms large in the TV industry and has inspired several retrospective documentaries over the years. Right now the interest is especially high because of the new documentary Lucy and Desi, which was released on Prime Video this month. You can stream it now along with I Love Lucy on Paramount+.