Thursday, October 8, 2015

My Brother, My Father S3E17

Synopsis: Sophia’s priest brother Angelo comes to visit she makes Dorothy and Stan pretend to be still married. Meanwhile, Rose and Blanche audition for a local production of The Sound of Music.

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “Phew, it’s really coming down out there.”
Rose: “What’s coming down?”
Dorothy: “The Liberace marquee at Caesar’s Palace.”

Musical Moments
Stan: “I've got a crush on you/Sweetie pie/All the day and nighttime/Hear me sigh.”
Dorothy: “Oh Stanley Zbornak, I don't believe that you're trying to charm me.”
Stan: “Is it working?”
Dorothy: “I don't think so...”
Stan: “Embrace me/My sweet embraceable you/Embrace me/You irreplaceable you.”

Crazy Continuity
This is the first episode where Sophia's brother Angelo appears and from now on, her sister Angela (who made two appearances in Season Two) seems to have never existed.

Let’s Get Political
Sophia: “Stanley, think of me as the Berlin Wall. Try to climb over me, and you'll know what barbed wire between your legs feels like!”

That’s What She Said
Stan: “You leave me no choice; I’ll have to pull out the big gun.”
Dorothy: “You’re wasting your time Stanley, I’m familiar with the big gun.”

Picture It
Uncle Angelo: “Picture it: Sicily, 1914. I promised our dear sainted mother on her deathbed I'm-a gonna join the priesthood. On my way to the seminary in Palermo, I stop off at a local trattoria for a glass of Chianti. The waitress bring drink to the table is a vision. Luscious lips, full bosom and a behind so round, so firm, you got to fall down on your knees and cry out at its magnificent regal beauty. I'm-a butt man. Anyway, my devotion to God doesn't waver. But suddenly, the idea of living with a bunch of guys in itchy robes doesn't seem quite as appealing as that tuckus. So I tear up my priest application, ask Philomena to marry me, and we lived the next 72 years in wedded bliss.”

Zbornak Zingers
Stan: “I was a little disappointed that Michael didn't want go into the novelty business with me.”
Dorothy: “Yes. It was a crushing blow when he decided to join the Boston Philharmonic instead of selling rubber dog poop door-to-door.”

Insult Watch
Angelo, to Dorothy about Stan: “He still make you laugh like he used to?”
Dorothy: “Not really, but then again I haven’t seen him naked lately.”

Product Placement
Stan: “Stan Zbornak doesn't have to beg a woman to get into bed. Women come to me!”
Dorothy: “Yeah, right after they get the approval number on your MasterCard.”

Sassy Sophia
Dorothy: “I don’t know where he is, you know Stan is always late. He was even late for our first date.”
Sophia: “And then you were late.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Blanche: “A gay theatre director, did you ever hear of such a thing.”
Dorothy: “It’s absolutely shocking; next think you know they’ll have Black basketball players in the NBA.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche, on the phone: “Hello. Hi, Walter. How are you? Yeah, I feel like a caged animal in heat too. Oh! Walter, you naughty boy! Keep on talkin'. What am I wearing? Well, to be perfectly honest, a nun's outfit!”

Golden Quotes
Stan: “Hello, Mama Bear. Papa Bear's back in the cave.”
Dorothy: “I could vomit just looking at you.”

and of course:

Blanche, pretending to be a nun while holding her underwear: “I’m Sister Blanche. We’re here, uh, collecting lingerie for needy sexy people.”

Critique: You guys, where the hell is Aunt Angela? She said everyone else back in Sicily is dead! So, who the hell is this Uncle Angelo? There's something rotten in the state of Denmark. And I'm not talking about their cheese. But I digress. This really is a classic episode. It has a totally typical sitcom storyline with characters pretending to be something they’re not, but it really makes for some fun dynamics. Stan and Dorothy pretending to be married is a hoot as is the sight of Rose and Blanche as nuns. The two stories come together perfectly. Everyone has a standout moment here. Blanche’s lingerie line is still one of my all-time favorite Blanche quotes. Sophia getting confused when Rose runs her Sound of Music dialogue is simply hilarious. Bea Arthur is particularly strong here as evidenced by her Emmy Award-winning performance for this episode. A

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Grab That Dough S3E16

Synopsis: The girls fly to Los Angeles to appear on the game show Grab That Dough and have a delightfully miserable time.

80s Flashback
Blanche: “Dorothy and I are gonna team up with the Kaplan brothers.”
Rose: “The Kaplan brothers? You mean you and Dorothy are joining a country western band?!”
Dorothy: “That’s the Gatlin Brothers, Rose.”

Crazy Continuity
On Grab That Dough, Blanche and Dorothy win an electric skillet and a lifetime supply of soup. Yet in every episode that aired after, not one bowl of this prized soup is ever consumed. Perhaps the Kaplan brothers took it all?

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “Nancy, honey. Now, I don't generally like to throw my name around, but you really leave me no choice. It so happens that I am Miss Angie Dickinson. And now, if you don't mind, I would like two rooms.”
Nancy: “You don't look like Angie Dickinson to me.”
Blanche: “I know. I have altered my appearance for a very important movie role.”
Dorothy: “Yeah, it’s about a woman who eats her way from behind the Iron Curtain.”

That’s What She Said
Guy Corbin: “Welcome to Grab That Dough, the show where all you really need to know to win is how to make a fist!”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “Listen up everybody, I’ve got something in this old lady purse that’s gonna make you scream, holler, and jump for joy.”
Blanche: “Are the batteries included?”

Picture It
Sophia: “Would you stop complaining, we've got it easy. Back in Sicily, I was on a game show. It was Torture.”
Rose: “What was it called, Sophia?”
Sophia: “I just told you. Torture. Mussolini asked the questions and you'd better have the right answers.
Things like: Who do you like better, me or Hitler? Who's got the snappiest boots, me or Hitler? Who's got the cuter girlfriend, me or Hitler? And you always had to answer, 'Mussolini!' Otherwise, they forced you to play the lightning round. They used real lightning.”
Dorothy: “Oh, come on, Ma, you're making this up.”
Sophia: “Like hell, I did. Goodson-Todman brought it to the United States, changed a few of the rules and called it 'Tattle Tales.' Now count your blessings and go to sleep. Good night.”

Zbornak Zingers
Guy: “Name the current Secretary of State.”
Willard: “Charles Schultz.”
Dorothy: “He created Peanuts.”
Willard: “I thought that was George Washington Carver?”
Dorothy: “Willard. Don’t. Ever. Touch. Your. Buzzer. Again.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “I’m going to grab today, Guy.”
Guy: “Wonderful Dorothy, you oughta make quite a haul with those meat hooks.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “Rose is my daughter now and you Dorothy are the biggest disappointment to hit the streets since the AMC Pacer!”

Oh Shut Up, Rose!
Guy: “Rose is on a roll and the blue team is leading 300 to nothing.”
Rose: “All right!”
Blanche: “Oh, shut up Nylund!”
Rose: “You shut up.”
Guy: “Why don't you both shut up and answer this next question.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “We tape tomorrow afternoon in Hollywood.”
Rose: “Hollywood California!?”
Sophia: “No Rose, Hollywood on the planet Rumulac.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Well, hello Tiffany. It is such a pleasure to meet you, honey. I want you to know that I thought those pictures of you in that sleazy girlie magazine were so tastefully done. By the way, was that a real English bobby spanking you there in front of Big Ben?”

Back in St. Olaf
We learn from Guy’s introduction of Rose that she was once voted ‘Girl Most Likely to Get Stuck in a Tuba.’

The Boob Tube
Blanche: “Oh, Grab That Dough is my favorite game show.”
Rose: “Oh, mine too, and I think Guy Corbin is the cutest host on TV. He's like Gene Rayburn, Chuck Woolery and Bob Eubanks, all rolled into one.”
Dorothy: “That's an awful lot of teeth and polyester.”

Reel References
Blanche: “We can hitchhike. See I can lift up my skirt you know like in that Clark Gable movie ‘It Happened One Night.’ Boy we’ll have a ride in no time.”
Sophia: “Please, you lift up your skirt and someone might mistake your thigh for the on-ramp to the freeway.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “I can't believe somebody stole my bags.”
Blanche: “Oh honey. Don't worry about it. With all the money we're gonna win, you'll be able to replace those bags and everything in them.”
Dorothy: “Yeah, what about my bags?”
Sophia: “Relax, with your share, you can have your bags surgically removed.”

And of course:

Guy: “For 100 points complete this famous saying: ‘Better late than… [Blanche rings in] Blanche?”
Blanche: “Pregnant!”
Guy: “That's incorrect, but certainly not untrue.”

Critique: Did anyone else notice the horse statute behind Dorothy in the hotel lobby is the same one the girls have in their living room at home? Or have I watched this episode one too many times? But I digress. This is my all-time favorite episode. And I have my reasons. For one, I love that the entire storyline involves all four ladies. There is no pointless, minor Sophia B-story to be found here. The change of setting really gives it something extra and when bad things happen to the gals, it means good things happen for the viewer. Not to mention when the prospect of winning money turns them all against each other. The fictional game show Grab That Dough, is just plain stupid not to mention completely lame. It's like a bad car wreck: you can't help but look. The questions aren’t challenging, the game logistics don't make any sense, and like bad sex the whole thing lasts for about five minutes. The sight of Dorothy using her meat hooks to grab that dough is just hilariously awkward. And they end up with an electric skillet and a lifetime supply of soup and another make another jab at Three Amigos! God I love this episode. GRADE: A

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dorothy's New Friend S3E15

Synopsis: Dorothy becomes friends with a snobby local author which drives a wedge between her and Rose and Blanche; Sophia woos a man down at the center.

80s Flashback
Blanche: “Now Dorothy, if you’re saying you can’t get stimulating conversation around this house I beg to differ.”
Rose: “I can’t believe it. It says here that since Michael Jackson can’t buy the Elephant Man he’s now put in a bid for the remains of the Big Bopper.”

St. Olaf Vocab
Oogle and Floogle – an adult version of hide-and-go-seek

That's What She Said
Barbara Thorndyke: “A man came up behind me, put something in my hand, and said, 'This is what you need.'”

Lewd Ladies
Blanche: “Offering to make him dinner just made you look too easy.”
Sophia: “Please. Black underwear and pasties couldn’t make me look easy.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “Dorothy, the masquerade ball is Friday night. You know how much it means to me. I’m counting on you to be the rear end of my horse.”
Dorothy: “Rose, sweetheart, this Friday I can choose between rubbing elbows with Norman Mailer or doing the Hokey Pokey in a horse costume with your behind in my face.”

Insult Watch
Blanche: “Rose, what was your first impression of me?”
Rose: “I thought you wore too much makeup and were a slut. I was wrong, you don’t wear too much makeup!”

Sassy Sophia
Barbara Thorndyke: “Sophia, your daughter is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met.”
Sophia: “Boy, you writers never stop using your imagination.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Dorothy: “Blanche, honey, I hope you don't mind. I borrowed your rhinestone necklace.
Blanche: “No that's alright, but I should point out it was designed for a dainty neck.”
Dorothy: “Yes, Blanche, but I don't know Mike Tyson well enough to borrow his jewelry.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “I remember when I was a little girl back in St. Olaf. There was this old lady who lived up the street. She never smiled. I mean she always looked angry. The kids said she'd kill anyone who even stepped on her property. We used to call her Mean Old Lady Hickenlooper.”
Blanche: “Yeah, kids can be pretty cruel.”
Rose: “No. That was her name. Mean Old Lady Higgenlooper. She had it changed legally 'cause everybody called her that anyway… One day I got up the courage to go up to Mean Old Lady Hickenlooper and ask her why she always frowned. Well, she had been born with no smiling muscles. I pointed out that a frown is just a smile turned upside down. So from then on, whenever I'd go by, she'd stand on her head and wave!”

Oh Shut Up Rose
Dorothy: “Why is it so important that I go to this masquerade ball?”
Blanche: “Because it's so important to Rose. Just look at her Dorothy, she's crushed, torn up, devastated by your shocking insensitivity to her feelings.”
Rose: “I don't feel that bad.”
Blanche: “Shut up, Rose!”

Best of B.E.D.
Rose: “Blanche, what's a metaphor?”
Blanche: “It's when you use a phrase to mean somethin' else. Like when I say, 'Men are blinded by my beauty,' they're not really blinded. They get their sight back in a day or two.”

Product Placement
Barbara Thorndyke: “I’m just a writer, Malamud’s an author.”
Rose: “I thought malamuds were chocolate cookies with marshmallow?”
Dorothy: “Those are Mallomars, Rose.”

Literary Intelligentsia
Dorothy: “Oh, gee, everything sounds so good. The Crepes of Wrath. The Old Man and the Seafood Salad. I think I will have the For Whom the Stuffed Bell Pepper Tolls.”
Barbara Thorndyke: “And I'll have a turkey sandwich on Catcher in the Rye bread with a side order of George Bernard Slaw.”

The Boob Tube
Dorothy: “I think I saw Jack and Janet give Chrissy this treatment on an episode of Three's Company.”
Blanche: “Oh at last, a reference from Dorothy that even we illiterates can understand.”
Rose: “I guess her well of knowledge has run dry. That's a metaphor, Dorothy.”

Reel References
Blanche: “All right. I don't like Barbara. I think she's a phony.”
Dorothy: “Oh. This from a woman who tells her dates that she was Angie Dickinson's body double in Dressed to Kill.”
Blanche: “That's just a little white lie.”
Dorothy: “Yeah? Then why is it on your job resumé?”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “I once stood in line two hours at a bookstore for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autograph.”
Dorothy: “You know, when I think of great literary figures of our time it’s usually Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Schwarzenegger.”

and

Barbara Thorndyke: “I was in Morocco working on a novel, not to mention a dashing young Moroccan. When I had a severe attack of writer's block. My head was devoid of all ideas and thoughts.”
Rose: “That happens to me a lot.”
Barbara Thorndyke: “Do you write?”
Rose: “No. Why do you ask?”

Critique: Who else would of loved to see Rose and Dorothy dressed in a horse costume? Um, everyone of course. And how great could The Mortimer Club's breakfast really be since we know they probably don't serve bagels. That's a shame really. But I digress. There is so much good stuff going on in this episode and way too many good quotes to post here. As you know I tend to enjoy it when the girls are at odds with each other it, the insults usually come swiftly and harshly. Dorothy’s friend Barbara Thorndyke is such a delightful bitch it’s really fun seeing her play against Blanche and Rose. Blanche’s explanation of a metaphor is a gem. A highlight of the episode is Dorothy’s lunch date with Barbara in which the menu items are book references. The writers are really having fun and it shows. The best reveal is when Barbara turns out to be an anti-Semite who despises the surname Guttman. Barbara really lives up to her surname. This is a good one. Dammit, now I could really go for some Edgar Allen Poe-tatoes. GRADE: A

Friday, October 2, 2015

Blanche's Little Girl S3E14

Synopsis: Blanche’s estranged model daughter Rebecca comes to visit, but there’s a lot more of her than Blanche remembers… meanwhile, Sophia deals with her strict boss at Pecos Pete’s Chow Wagon.

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “Blanche is depressed, Rose.”
Rose: “Do you think she’s depressed about Rebecca?”
Dorothy: “No Rose, she’s depressed because Marblehead Manor is only on once a week.”

Crazy Continuity
The character of Rebecca returns in season 5 but as a different actress, and no mention of her having ever been fat or a model.
Also, it seems like Candi the Stewardess must of gotten fired for losing that big bolt and ended up working at Pecos Pete's Chow Wagon.
Lastly, even though Blanche and Becky haven't talked in four years, I refuse to believe that she's never been to Blanche's house, where she lived with George.

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “I’m so happy I could cry.”
Rose: “Blanche, you are crying.”
Dorothy: “Admit it Rose, you worked for Allied intelligence during World War II.”

Lewd Ladies
Blanche: “Girls you’ll never guess what I got in the mail today.”
Rose: “If it’s another one of those adult toys from the back of a sleazy magazine I’m not interested.”

Picture It
Sophia: “Picture it: Sicily, 1922. An attractive peasant girl, who has saved her lira, embarks on a glorious vacation to a Crimean resort on the Black Sea. For weeks, she frolics at the seaside resort and enjoys the company of many young men, all of whom adore her.”
Edna: “All of them?”
Sophia: “Shut up, Edna. I work alone. All of them. When it's time to return to Sicily, three different suitors beg her to stay. But she can't decide who to choose, so she chooses none of them. But she agrees to meet with them at the same resort many years later. To her trio of suitors, that eventful gathering was referred to as 'Rendezvous With Sophia.' But to the rest of the world, it was better known as the Yalta Conference.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “Oh there’s so many different ways to say farewell: Auf wiederhoren, arrivederci, adios, hasta luego…”
Dorothy: “Get lost.”
Rose: “See there's another one, good Dorothy.”

Insult Watch
Sophia: “You’re Blanche’s daughter, the model. What did she model, car covers??”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “We'll just leave you to your negotiations.”
Rose: “Before we go, can we get you some milk or some Double Stuf Oreos?”
McCracken: “No, thank you, ma'am.”
Dorothy: “Boy, he's tough.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “I tell you, it sure makes me appreciate the special relationship I have with my daughter. Pussycat?”
Dorothy: “Yes, Ma?”
Sophia: “Dial your sister for me. I never remember the area code.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “You know Sophia, the problems you’re having at work remind me of something that happened back in St. Olaf.”
Sophia: “Please, dust reminds you of something back in St. Olaf.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Jeremy: “Yeah I wanna get there early, and buy Becky a Dodger cap, see how many people mistake her for Tommy Lasorda.”
Dorothy: “That's it. That is it!!”
Blanche: “Dorothy, now calm down. We'll bring you back a cap too.”

Best of B.E.D.
Rose: “You're daughter's a fashion model?”
Blanche: “She's just beautiful. Always has been. Gorgeous blonde hair, sparklin' blue eyes, a figure men would mortgage a house for. We were always so much alike.”

The Boob Tube
Blanche: “I'm so nervous about seeing Becky after such a long time, you know. I want everything to be perfect…But I haven't seen in her in about four years, I don't know what to say to her.”
Rose: “Johnny Carson had that same problem the other night with F. Murray Abraham.”

Reel References
Sophia: “Oh boy, what a day.”
Dorothy: “What happened Ma, Butch and Sundance steal your seat on the bus?”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Oh Rose stop! Rose, why is it when any one of us makes an observation, the first thing we hear from you is 'Back in St. Olaf.' Did it ever occur to you we might be sick and tired of hearing 'Back in St. Olaf,' 'Back in St. Olaf,' 'Back in St. Olaf??'”
Rose: “Gee, no. I never realized. I'm sorry.”
Dorothy: “Oh, that's okay...”
Rose: “Back in that town whose name you're tired of -”
Dorothy: “ROSE!”

and

Dorothy: “It is not easy being a mother, if it were easy fathers would do it.”

Critique: This is one of those “special” episodes, and a controversial one, but it still maintains lots of humor. There are many who despise this episode because Becky's fiance is such a monstrous person. And Sophia makes lots of fat jokes. But nothing really offends me, and the writers are trying to make a point. This episode really takes a hard look at verbally abusive relationships but still maintains humor throughout. The jokes are geared towards Blanche’s large daughter, who is hardly obese to begin with (and the most offensive thing about her is that she wears an acid washed jean jacket with acid washed jeans), but I think that’s why the whole thing is just sort of silly. Like when Sophia says it’ll take Blanche several hours to get a good look at her daughter. It’s ridiculous, but some of those lines are Estelle Getty at her finest. And I would of loved to actually see Pecos Pete's Chow Wagon. Fun fact: Shawn Schepps, who plays Rebecca, would go on to write the movie “Encino Man” and be a writer and producer on Showtime’s “Weeds.” GRADE: A-

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Artist S3E13

The girls begin posing nude for a Hungarian sculptor and start competing for his affection; Sophia tries out various pranks to get even with a practical joker at the senior center.

80s Flashback
Sophia: “In the middle of bingo, Murray Hezeltine sits down. He's the big practical joker at the center. Believe me, Howie Mandel is funnier.”

That’s What She Said
Rose: “You said you’d like to help him mold his clay or buff his marble anytime.”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia, to the girls after finding out Lazslo is gay: “Who can blame him, the man look at the three of you naked for a month.”

Insult Watch (too many to count)
Rose: “Laszlo just decided he wanted someone with more innocence.”
Blanche: “With more cellulite is more like it.”

and

Blanche: “Rose just stabbing me in the back. She’s been posing for Lazslo too. I sure don’t know why, he’d go to Sea World if he wanted to see a naked whale.”
Rose: “Or to your bathtub!”

Product Placement
Blanche: “This is my opportunity to become immortalized forever in a classic work of art.”
Dorothy: “That’s exactly what she said when that shoe salesmen took Polaroids of her in the backseat of his Volare.”

Sassy Sophia
Blanche: “I just stand there in front of him in all my luscious nakedness and somehow he manages to suppress the urge to throw me on the floor and ravage me.”
Sophia: “Please, if he throws you on the floor you’ll both end up in the apartment below.”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: “Before you make your choice, let me say what a privilege it has been to work with a man I consider to be the greatest Hungarian sculptor of our time.”
Dorothy: “And let me say if Blanche can name two other Hungarian sculptors of any time, I shall eat that statue.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Which one of us is it gonna be? Dorothy here, or Rose, or a woman whose breasts you once described as 'perfect champagne glass-sized orbs of dancing loveliness?'”
Laszlo: “Blanche, I did not say that.”
Blanche: “Well you agreed when I said it.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “Dorothy was Sophia naked just now or does her dress really need ironing?”

Critique: Let's pretend for a moment that Sophia, a woman who she herself described as having a butt made of Play-Doh, is strong enough to sit on a whoopee cushion without making it go off. Now let's pretend Dorothy is dumb enough to not realize you actually need to blow up a whoopee cushion after someone before someone sits on it. But I digress. You certainly know by now that I think the show is at its best when the ladies are insulting each other, competing with each other, or trying to outdo each other. This episode is the perfect combination of all three. Laszlo is a famous Hungarian artist and he begins sketching each of them nude without each other’s knowledge and once the cat is out of the bag hilarity ensues, including a final reveal that is a genuine surprise and hoot. Sophia’s subplot is minor and seems to exist only so we can see Blanche sit on a whoopee cushion at the most inopportune time. Though it offers a few good gags including Sophia's opening bit about traveling ten blocks home wearing nothing but a tweed overcoat that, strangely enough, foreshadows the entire episode’s nude modeling storyline. Though in the end you realize how much is really missing from this episode; there are no St. Olaf stories, no “Picture it” stories, and no tales from the Old South, or Brooklyn. At least the insults are as fierce as ever. GRADE: B+