I remember watching this show and totally enjoying it.
But - upon looking back and comparing it to "I Love Lucy" - it is trumped by all the story/ character devices and comedy techniques employed by the Lucy/Desi effort.
Where do I start?
- Lucy and Desi were a real-life couple - so of course TV audiences of the 50s found that compelling
- Lucy and Ricky Ricardo always had possible allies/enemies in the Mertzes, so story lines had more possibilities
- Lucy ripped off her comedic technique from the Marx Brothers - so she always kept things "physical" in a way that had been proved by other classic comedians
- Ricky Ricardo's "fame" was offset by his Cuban heritage/bandleader ID; Joan's husband Brad the Judge just seemed "too intelligent" to up with Joan's wackiness (we could accept that a non-English-speaking musician would marry wacky Lucy; but why would a degreed, accomplished legal professional ever have the patience to put up with - and ultimately marry - someone like Joan - unless he himself was somewhat "off" - in which case - how could Brad ever have made it through law school???)
- The show seemed too deliberate in its invocation of "I Love Lucy": "I Married Joan" - save for the middle past participle, copies the Lucy's show title in form; the announcer states that Joan is the "queen of comedy" - but why state that unless you're trying to wrest the crown from someone previously so-designated?
- Ultimately, Joan was not the beauty that Lucy was - nor did Joan ever go to the lengths that Lucy did to achieve "comedic effect" (that, of course, was a much the result of Lucy's writers as well as Lucy herself: there were no "Hollywood" or "Europe" sojourns - nor were there any "baby/Little Ricky" plot lines).
I don't mean to diss Joan Davis - I think she put herself out and played some very funny roles during her career.
I just don't think her star - and this show - ever rose to heights of Lucille Ball and "I Love Lucy" - and for good reason.