Sunday, November 22, 2015

Mixed Blessings S3E22

Synopsis: Dorothy’s son Michael comes to visit and announces he’s getting married to a woman twice his age, much to Dorothy’s dismay. Michael’s fiancé’s family objects as well: because he’s white. Meanwhile, Blanche and Rose are getting into shape while Sophia spends the weekend at Epcot.

80s Flashback
Rose: “You know Dorothy, I just thought of something. Lorraine’s family’s gonna be black too aren’t they?”
Dorothy: “Yes Rose, you know you could probably make them feel welcome if you do your version of the dance that the Huxtables do at the beginning of The Cosby Show.”

Crazy Continuity
How come Michael's child is never mentioned again? Even in a later episode when Michael announces he's getting divorced the fact that he has a kid is never brought up again.

Let’s Get Political
Rose: “Are you nervous because you haven’t met Michael’s fiancé?”
Dorothy: “No Rose, I’m nervous because if Sonny Bono gets elected mayor of Palm Springs he’s gonna make all the postmen wear leather bell bottoms and a fur vest.”

Best of B.E.D.
Dorothy: “What can a woman in her 40s possibly have in common with a boy in his 20s?”
Blanche. “Sex! At 20 a man is in his peak and a woman in her 40s is also in her peak, so when the two come together, hot damn!”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia, to Lorraine’s mother: “There’s something important we didn’t discuss this afternoon and I’d like to get that cleared up before we talk about anything else. Is it true what they say about black men in bed?”
Blanche: “Oh yes, definitely.”

Zbornak Zingers
Lorraine’s mother: “Roger?! What do you want him to be a choreographer? It’s Lamar.”
Dorothy: “Lamar Zbornak. Why don’t we just pin a kick me sign on the kid?”

Insult Watch
Rose, upon mistaking Dorothy’s reflection for her own: “Oh my God I look horrible! Oh Dorothy it’s you.”
Dorothy: “I’m sorry Rose, I’m sorry. I forgot it was a full moon.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. This is your fiancée?”
Michael: “ Yeah, that's right.”
Sophia: “You couldn't find someone your own age?”
Lorraine’s mother: “What is that supposed to mean??”
Sophia, to Lorraine’s mother: “No offense, but it means your daughter looks like she’s been around the block more times than the Good Humor man.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “What's all the racket? Oh, Martha and the Vandellas are back.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “Blanche is right. The same thing happened to the Vikbotters back in St. Olaf. You see, Gretchen had this thing for Buddy, but Mr. Vikbotter didn't approve. He did his best to keep them apart. But one day he came home early and he found Gretchen and Buddy in how will I say it? A most indelicate situation. He yelled at them to stop, but they wouldn't, so he turned the hose on them... They were in the front yard!”
Dorothy: “Wait. Wait a minute. Wait a minute, Rose. Buddy and Gretchen weren't people, were they?”
Rose: “Of course not. They were dogs. Gretchen was a Dalmatian, and Buddy was a schnauzer. And Mr. Vikbotter wasn't too happy when he ended up with a litter of schnalmations.”
Blanche: “You know, Rose. Sometimes I wish somebody had turned the hose on your parents.”

Oh Shut Up, Rose!
Dorothy: “Wait a minute. Wait a minute! Just who are you calling a skinny white boy?”
Rose: “I think she meant Michael.”
Lorraine’s mother: “You got that right.”
Rose: “Oh, it was easy.”
Dorothy: “Oh shut up, Rose!”

Literary Intelligentsia
Sophia, upon seeing Lorraine and her family for the first time: “What is this, a revival of ‘Raisin in the Sun?!’”

The Boob Tube
Blanche: “We firmly believe that all men are created equal.”
Rose: “That's a bunch of baloney.”
Dorothy: “Rose!”
Rose: “Well it is, if you don't believe me, just turn on your television set and watch a white person dance down the line on ‘Soul Train.’”

Reel References
Dorothy: “I couldn’t sleep so I thought I’d watch a little TV to unwind and take my mind off my troubles.”
Rose: “What are you watching?”
Dorothy: “Judgement at Nuremberg.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “Can I ask a dumb question?”
Dorothy: “Better than anyone I know.”

and

Michael: “You are being very small-minded.”
Dorothy: “You know a wise philosopher once said, ‘There are no small minds, just big heads.’”
Michael: “What the hell does that mean?”
Dorothy: “I'm not sure. Come to think of it, it wasn't a philosopher. It was Rose.”

and

Lorraine’s mother: “Honey, it's just a phase. Ever since Diana Ross started marrying white men, everyone's gotta have one!”

and of course:

Rose: “Stop it, all of you. What difference does it make that Lorraine's a little long in the tooth and Michael's a skinny white boy? Can't you see they love each other? We should be celebrating, not arguing whether or not it's right. Now, what do you say we all join hands and sing a chorus of ‘Abraham, Martin, and John.’”
Lorraine’s mother: "Is she for real?”

Critique: So who else wishes we got to see little Roger or Lamar at least once? What a simply delightful episode this is. The misunderstandings are great: when Lorraine shows up they assume it’s her mother, she kisses Michael it then becomes clear except to Rose who exclaims, “He’s certainly getting along great with his new mother-in-law!” And when Lorraine’s mother and aunts show up, who don’t know Michael is white, they assume Dorothy, who answers the door with a duster in her hand, is the maid. “Mixed Blessings” is a great episode because it features standout lines of sidesplitting dialogue while also dealing with the interesting issue of interracial relationships which, even for the late 80s, was somewhat taboo strangely enough. They did it with laughs (Rose and Blanche unwittingly, and hilariously, caught in blackface: “This is mud on our faces we're not really Black!”) and interesting role reversals (like the black family objecting because of race). And even if the episode suffers a bit by having Sophia sit out for most of it, her return in the episode’s third act is certainly worth the wait. This is a great episode to show someone who you’d like to introduce to the show as well. This one is a real classic. GRADE: A

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