Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mother's Day S3E24

Synopsis: As the girls await phone calls from their kids before Mother's Day brunch, they reminisce about previous Mother's Days.

Crazy Continuity
If Blanche’s father is still living during Blanche’s flashback story, why wouldn’t he be with his wife in the retirement home? And where the heck is Virginia and Charmaine?
Here, in a flashback to 1957 we see Sophia's mother as an elderly woman in a wheelchair, but in a later season Dorothy says Sophia's mother died when Dorothy was six.

Let’s Get Political
Stan: “Here, Mama. This is for you. Happy Mother's Day.”
Mother Zbornak: “Oh, thank you, Stanley. 'The Artwork of Adolf Hitler.'”
Dorothy: “The minute we saw it, we knew it was for you.”

St. Olaf Vocab
When traveling by bus to St. Olaf, you have the option to take the Express or the Yokel. On the Yokel a family of first cousins plays banjo music but they don’t take requests.

Lewd Ladies
Blanche’s mother: “Wasn’t Virginia the slut?”
Blanche: “No ma’am that was me.”

Picture It
Sophia: “Picture it: Brooklyn, 1957, the second Sunday in May. Dorothy had gone to pickup my mother and I was getting the house ready which mostly meant trying to get my Salvadore into a shirt with sleeves...”

Insult Watch
Anna: “Excuse me. Are you waiting for the bus to Northern Falls?”
Rose: “No. St. Olaf.”
Anna: “I've visited there. Lovely little town.”
Rose: “Oh, yes. Yes, it is.”
Anna: “Rolling hills, charming homes.”
Rose: “Yes.”
Anna: “Full of idiots.”

Zbornak Zingers
Stan: “It’s from Dorothy too.”
Stan’s mother: “If I had to thank her, I’d choke on the words.”
Dorothy: “Please risk it.”

Tales from the Old South
In her flashback, Blanche recounts how when she was a senior in high school she ran off to marry Deck Bovinglow, a man in his 40s. She fell for the old reverse psychology and eventually decided against it once her mother gave Blanche her blessing.

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “So, when was it you visited St. Olaf?”
Anna: “Oh, Lord, it must be 50 years ago now. I went to a wedding. A distant cousin of mine married a local St. Olaf girl... Sonja Yongen-”
Rose: “Yongenfrauliksteinerbrau??”
Anna: “You know her?”
Rose: “Know her? I was flower girl at the wedding! Well, of course, there were no flowers that year because of what happened to Old Man Smith. He was our town florist. He was also our town's only blacksmith. Come to think of it, he was our town's only black man. Anyway when he first moved in, the town council decided to give him a traditional Scandinavian welcome gathering on his front lawn and singing songs and dressing up in bedsheets. 'Course, coming from Chattanooga, he wasn't familiar with the custom. He had a heart attack. He spent most of the summer in intensive care. After that, when somebody new moved in, the town council just handed out peanut brittle and free passes to the local movie house, which they hoped to build someday.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Sophia “That's Mama. She sees you looking like this, we'll never convince her to move in with us. Get moving. Move! Move!”
Sal: “Oh, boy. Boy, it's a dark day in Brooklyn today. The Dodgers are moving out, and your mother's moving in!”

Literary Intelligentsia
Blanche: “It's a really sweet story, Rose.”
Sophia: “Yeah right. So sell it to the 'Reader's Digest.' Let's get outta here!”

Reel References
Stan: “Would break Mama's heart if she knew I was a failure. To her, I have the business sense of a Rockefeller, the looks of a Gary Cooper, and the charm of a Cary Grant.”
Dorothy: “I'm not surprised. The woman drinks grain alcohol out of a measuring cup.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “I’m sure that you’ll be proud to know that the name Zbornak has become synonymous with plastic vomit.”

Rose, on the phone: “Hey, everyone, it's Charlie Jr. Oh! Guess what. He says it's cold in Minnesota.”
Blanche: “Get outta here.”
Rose: “Charlie, is it cold enough that if you put your tongue on something metal, it'll stick? Sure. I'll hold.”

Critique: This is another one of those flashback/vignette episodes that feature scenes we luckily haven’t seen before and a couple of them are pretty decent. Going for the heartstrings most of them are overly sentimental than outright funny. The first one involving a visit to Stan's mother's trailer is the best one and the twist that reveals Stan’s mother actually hates her son and not Dorothy is a fun surprise. The second involves Rose getting to know an elderly runaway who gives an Emmy-nominated performance. The actress will show up again in Season Four's “Not Another Monday” (And you may recognize her as the grandmother from Poltergeist II). I’m still not quite sure where Blanche’s father is in her flashback since he doesn’t die until the fifth season but I digress. And of course we get another flashback to Brooklyn with a young Sophia and Dorothy. These scenes are always cute if not particularly laugh out loud funny. There’s a somewhat of a dearth of really memorable lines in this one but is by no means a terrible episode but, in the end, it feels sort of weak as a season finale.  GRADE: B

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Mr. Terrific S3E23

Synopsis: Rose is dating a creepy, local children's TV personality named Mr. Terrific but things take a turn for the worse when Dorothy accidentally gets him fired; Blanche shops for a new bed.

80s Flashback
Rose: “Dorothy, how’s the show going?”
Dorothy: “Terrible. But better than ‘thirtysomething’”

Let’s Get Political
Rose: “I really met Mr. Terrific, at the mall. He was signing autographs in an empty storefront that used to be Jack Kemp’s campaign headquarters.”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “Just slap the handcuffs on me. The bed's this way!”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “Didn’t you see that enormous thing in her bedroom?”
Rose: “I thought she’d stopped seeing Roger?”

Picture It
Sophia: “Hey we had comic books in Sicily. My favorite was Benito the Hood. He lived in the forest with his band of merry thugs. Benito was very popular.”
Rose: “You mean because he stole from the rich and gave to the poor?”
Sophia: “I said Benito the Hood, not Benito the Idiot. He stole from everyone and kept it for himself. Didn't even share it with his band of merry thugs. He was the idol of many a Sicilian youngster.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “How’s he doing?”
Dorothy: “I’ll be honest, Squeaky Fromme has a better grasp on reality.”

Insult Watch
Mr. Hastings, the producer: “Dorothy, I read your memo. I like the way you think. You’ve got a lot of modern ideas for a woman your age.”
Dorothy: “Oh you’re just saying that.”
Mr. Hastings: “No, no I mean it, I really think you’re old.”

Sassy Sophia
Blanche: “I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. Every time I climb into bed I feel guilty.”
Sophia: “Take down the video equipment.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “Don't worry Dorothy. I was trained in psychology back in St. Olaf.”
Dorothy: “That doesn’t count Rose. In St. Olaf, they think Freud is a way to cook chicken!”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Rose: “Sophia, she can't keep that bed. That'd be like stealing.”
Blanche: “It's only stealing if they find out. Well the bed's in my bedroom, who's gonna know??”
Sophia: “Everyone who knows the bunt sign on the New York Yankees.”

Literary Intelligentsia
Blanche: “The bed I wanted cost more than the original down payment on my first house.”
Sophia: “In Sicily, beds were dirt-cheap. Of course it was because you slept on dirt. Just an observation. If my name were Mark Twain, you'd be writing this stuff down.”

Dorothy: “Mister Terrific, I think that Lex Luthor and The Joker are harassing an old lady in the stairwell. Could you come in and melt them with your X-ray vision?”
Rose: “Mister Terrific doesn't have X-ray vision.”
Dorothy: “Please, Rose! This is no time to point out his shortcomings!”

The Boob Tube
Rose: “Don't tell me you've never heard of Mister Terrific. 'Mister Terrific's Clubhouse??' Every weekday afternoon, one full hour on Saturdays?”
Sophia: “You don't mean that clown with the kiddie show?”
Rose: “No. He's not a clown, he's a superhero. You're thinking of Bozo.”
Sophia: “I'm talking to Bozo.”

Neiman Marcus Marker: 5
Blanche: “That bed back there must cost exactly what I paid for the one I ordered. They made a mistake. They charged me for the inexpensive bed!”
Sophia: “Merry Christmas from Neiman Marcus.”

Golden Quotes
Rose “You have no idea what it’s like dating a super hero.”
Dorothy: “Sure I can, why my Stan and Superman had a lot in common. They were both faster than a speeding bullet.”


Blanche: “Dorothy, what do you think I oughta do with my bed?”
Dorothy: “Put it in the Smithsonian, Blanche. It has more miles on it than the Spirit of St. Louis.”

Critique: This is one of the more unmemorable episode. There’s nothing really bad about it but it’s ridiculously corny, even by Golden Girls standards. Most fans find little to love about it. Everything about Mr. Terrific is just sort of, weird. He's just plain unpleasant and unlikable. Blanche’s subplot about having the wrong bed delivered doesn’t seem to fit in whatsoever until the episode’s last gag where Mr. Policeman shows up. Sophia also, yet again, feels way too underutilized here which is unfortunate. I do love Dorothy here with another one of her trademark “WOAHS!” after allegedly being flashed by the hand puppet Kolak. And strangely enough this episode contains the second reference this season to Baryshnikov. This is an episode for die-hard fans only; it can easily be skipped by others; still not as bad the dreaded clip show, however. GRADE: B-