Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Return of Dorothy's Ex (S1E11)

Synopsis: Dorothy's ex-husband Stan returns to have Dorothy sign some papers and their romance is rekindled; meanwhile, the Rose and Blanche plan a vacation (without Sophia).

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “Is that is, Rose? I mean, are you finished, or is there something else that you don't understand?”
Rose: “Well, actually, there is. I don't understand how a thermos keeps things both hot and cold.
Dorothy: “Neither do I. But I'll tell you, if ever I sleep with Mr. Wizard, I'll find out what I can.”

Let’s Get Political
Stan: “I can't believe how expensive roses got since the last time I sent them to you.”
Dorothy: “Yeah, well, everything's gotten more expensive since Truman left office.”

That’s What She Said
Stan: “Dorothy, hello. You look fantastic.”
Dorothy: “Please, please, Stan. No hugging, no kissing. Let's just do it and get it over with.”

Shady Pines, Ma
Stan: “Just sign on the last page.”
Sophia: “Read it first. The last time he had you sign something, I ended up in a home.”

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “I don't know any French.”
Blanche: “Don't worry. All you need to know are two phrases: yes, and no, your roommate can't watch.”

Product Placement
Stan: “Chrissy left me for a younger man.”
Dorothy: “Younger than Chrissy? Where did she meet him, Camp Snoopy?”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose tells a story about how she befriended an “Aqua Midget” named Eddie Parker while her husband Charlie was off fighting in the war. He had a diving act where he jumped off of a step ladder into a punch bowl. He had feelings for her but Rose didn't feel the same and ended it because she could never be with anyone in show business.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “I want to go to an island… some place where swarthy men who don't speak English rub oil all over your body.”
Dorothy: “Great, then we can go for a ride on the subway.”

Reel References
Sophia: “Why don't you take the house? I'll stay here and watch the hole in the ground!”
Dorothy: “Hi, Ma.”
Sophia: “Brooke Shields takes her mother everywhere!”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Here's to terrific sex. And the dumb blonde who's not gonna get any.”


Critique: These early episode titles are pretty dull, huh? But I digress. This is probably one of my least favorite early episodes. I always found that the early episodes with Stan were kind of boring, though he became funnier as the series went on. Oh, and poor Sophia. Not only did she always seem to get the shaft in terms of storylines, sometimes she wasn't even included in either plot-line. At least she was just coming off the Sophia centered “Heart Attack” episode. We do finally get a reference to her being put in the “home” but still no other specifics about her time at Shady Pines. Stan returns so that he can sell off some swampland that he and Dorothy bought on their honeymoon in Miami. Seems appropriate. They sleep together and then Stan becomes too attached. It's a merely fine episode with some decent lines of dialogue (and Rose does finally tell a full on St. Olaf-like story without ever actually mentioning St. Olaf) but otherwise it just feels unmemorable (save for the Stick Man line obviously). GRADE: B-

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Heart Attack S1E10



Synopsis: After hosting a dinner party, Sophia shows signs of having a heart attack.

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “Ma, you know you don't look good.”
Sophia: “I'm short and I'm old, what did you expect Princess Di?”

Crazy Continuity
Rose says she named her cat Lindsrom (which is also her maiden name) and we later see her with a cat named Mr. Peepers, but in the High Anxiety episode Dorothy tells Rose she's never had cats since she's allergic to them. Hmm….
Blanche mentions that living in Minnesota is like being cryogenically frozen… perhaps this is when Rose researched having her head frozen?

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “Boy, what a night.”
Dorothy: “You said it. It sure makes you think.”
Rose: “About what?”
Dorothy: “About our policy in Guatemala.”

St. Olaf Vocab
Lindström Pie – herring pie

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: The only doctor I ever liked was Dr. Clyde, our vet. He was wonderful. My mother wanted him to do her hysterectomy, but he wouldn't.”
Dorothy: “But he was willing to do her lobotomy.”

Insult Watch
Rose: “I know what a bubble is. I've had a bubble.”
Sophia: “In your head!”

Product Placement
Sophia: “I went to heaven. I saw the golden light. And some angels in white robes with harps; I thought I was at Saks at Christmas.”

Sassy Sophia
Rose: “Is there anything else we can get you Sophia,  a little tea perhaps?”
Sophia: “I'm not in England, I'm having a heart attack.

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “So there I was with no vet, and Petunia was about to give birth to her piglets. Well, I just didn't know what to do. I mean, I had helped deliver Bessie the cow, but Petunia was so much more difficult...”
Sophia: “If I died, would you stop telling the story?”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Italian men are just the sexiest, most romantic, most gorgeous men in the world. Of course they worshiped me because I'm blonde and feminine and young, with a great body.”
Dorothy: “What mirror do you use?”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “You know, all it takes is one little dessert and my panties cut off my circulation.”

Critique: This is a really great episode. There is so much good character development here, and we get to learn so much more about the girls, especially Rose. Sophia makes reference to Rose being Scandinavian and we keep getting closer to Rose talking specifically about St. Olaf: she mentions her “Lindström Pie” that tricks people into thinking it's a regular apple pie: “But when you bite into it, it's herring!” This episode is also notable as it's the first time Rose mentions to Dorothy about how Charlie died (she had previously mentioned it to Arnie in “Rose the Prude”). For an episode that takes place over the course of a couple hours, it moves swiftly along and is extremely dialogue driven with lots of memorable lines. GRADE: B+

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blanche and the Younger Man S1E9

Synopsis: Blanche begins dating her much younger aerobics instructor Dirk; when Rose's mother comes to visit she becomes overly protective of her. 

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “This is the only peace and quiet I've had in two days. Blanche thinks she's Peter Pan and Rose is turning into Mommie Dearest.”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “I have decided to overlook that minor detail and succumb to the Vesuvius of passion that is about to erupt from me.”
Sophia: “Stand back, we're gonna get something on us.”

Lewd Ladies
Alma: “Sophia, what time does that mall close? I feel like getting wild! I'll buy you some of that bikini underwear.”
Sophia: “Nah, it rides up on me.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose, to Dorothy: “You?? You dated a younger man??”
Dorothy: “Yes, of course it was before I had the hump on my back.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “I've only felt this once before. It was during my 17th summer and I was working behind the cosmetics counter at the Rexall drugstore. I was stocking the Maybelline display when I heard this booming voice say, 'Excuse me, ma'am. Where are the cuticle scissors?' I turned around and there he was. Our eyes locked, and for one brief moment, there was nobody else on earth but the two of us. I know in my heart, if I'd just followed my feelings that day at the Rexall drugstore, today I would be Mrs.
Andy Griffith!”

Product Placement
Blanche: “Waiter, eighty-six the watercress, I'll have the orange duck and a double Jack Daniels on the rocks.”

Reel References
Blanche: “Read any good books lately?”
Dirk: “Pumping Iron. I saw the movie too but I don’t think it did the book justice.”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “This is strictly off the record, but Dirk's nearly five years younger than I am.”
Dorothy: “In what Blanche, dog years?”

Critique: This is a decent half hour, but the storyline involving Rose's mother is sort of a snooze. The episode is really only worth it once you find out why Dirk is so interested in Blanche. There's not really any outright horrible episodes of The Golden Girls (though some fans may disagree) but this one just doesn't feel all that memorable. Blanche's attempts to feel and look younger are great of course and some fun lines abound (“The only time I get in that position is when I give birth”) but otherwise this is a rather dull episode. Fun fact: In the tradition of characters on the show playing older than then are, Jeanette Nolan who played Rose's mother, was only 11 years older than Betty White.  GRADE: B-

Friday, February 24, 2017

Break In S1E8



Synopsis: Rose deals with post traumatic stress after the girls' house is robbed.

80s Flashback
Rose: “The name Madonna doesn't really fit her.”
Sophia: “Slut would be better.”
Dorothy: “She did things on that stage I never did with my husband!”

Crazy Continuity
Where to begin? Blanche's precious Chinese vase, which Rose shots to pieces magically reappears intact in the next episode. Rose tells a story about a jeweler from “Little Falls.” We all know they hadn't come up with St. Olaf at this point.

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “Shh! Be quite, they could still be here!”
Rose: “Who??”
Dorothy: “The Supreme Court.”

Animal Alert
Sophia: “Some attack dog, he hid under the table, peed on the floor, and ran out the back!”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche, covered in flour: “They got my jewels.”
Dorothy: “But I see they didn't get your cocaine.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “Goodnight Rose. Go to sleep sweetheart, pray for brains.”

Product Placement
Rose: “They were probably looking for drugs.”
Dorothy: “We have Maalox and estrogen. Now, how many junkies have gas and hot flashes?”

Sassy Sophia
Rose: “I was never once robbed or murdered when I was with Charles.”
Dorothy: “You could have just as easily have been murdered living with Charles.”
Sophia: “I'm surprised she wasn't murdered by Charles.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “I wonder if jewelry comes from Jewish people. In Little Falls, the jeweler was Jewish. Jeweler, Jewish, I wonder if there's a connection?”
Sophia: “I think there's a connection between your brain and wallpaper paste!”

Best of B.E.D.
“Justice will be done here. I hate criminals. I just hate 'em. Someone's gonna pay for this heinous crime! We're gonna have a good old-fashioned hangin'. That's right, a hangin'. Only first we'll have a whippin', and then we'll have a hangin'. Nobody takes my mama's jewels without swingin' for it! Nighty-night.”

Reel References
Dorothy: “This is a .375 Magnum one of the most powerful handguns in the world. It could blow your head off. The only problem is, I don't remember if I shot four rounds or five. So you have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?!”
Sophia: “Go ahead, make her day.”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “You shot my vase!”
Rose: “I didn't shoot Lester!”
Blanche: “I'd rather you shot Lester!”

and of course:

Sophia: “I manage to live 80, 81 years. I survive pneumonia, two operations, a stroke. One night, I'll belch and Stable Mable here will blow my head off!”

Critique: Besides some odd, questionable technical issues that plague this episode in the “on location” parking garage sequence, (and the most fake dog barking sound effect in television history) this is a pretty great half hour. It's apparent that this one was shot earlier in the season. Sophia looks different than she did in the previous episode and Rose even refers to her late husband as Charles instead of Charlie. Beyond that the episode does tend to be a bit overly dramatic since Rose is going through such a tough time. There are however, plenty of great lines and the infamous, and ridiculous, moment in which Rose shoots Blanche's beloved vase instead of shooting Lester. Blanche's recounting about how she mistakenly maced herself in the police station is a highlight. You can definitely tell this is a Susan Harris script as it deals a lot with situations older women have dealt with, including what it's like to live, God forbid, “without a man.” It's a dramatically awkward but sometimes pretty funny, if a bit rough around the edges, episode. GRADE: B

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Competition S1E7




Synopsis: The girls' claws come out when they take part in local bowling competition; meanwhile, Sophia's old friend Augustine from Sicily comes to visit.


80s Flashback

Sophia: “I can't believe you're denying your own mother.”

Rose: “Denying her what?”

Dorothy: “Springsteen tickets, Rose.”



Crazy Continuity

We learn that Dorothy's age is 55 and Rose has six brothers. None of whom we ever meet or hear much about.



That’s What She Said

Blanche: “Don't you throw your bosom in my face!”



Lewd Ladies

Sophia: “Mmm. If this sauce was a person, I'd get naked and make love to it.”



Picture It

Sophia tells the girls that she was once engaged to a man named Augustine Bagatelli but he left to fight in the war and she never heard from him again. He was crazy about her because she was the only girl in the village who didn't want to be a nun.



Zbornak Zingers

Rose: “I need to win, Dorothy. And let's face it, you are no Sonja Nielsen!”

Dorothy [in arguably her deepest voice ever]: “Rose, get professional help.”



Insult Watch

Rose: “Blanche, do you want to have a side bet with me?”

Blanche: “Well I would Rose but everything you own is so damned ugly.”



Tales from the Old South

Blanche: “I haven't been dumped since Wade Honeycutt threw me over for Rebecca Wilkinson, a girl who did not value her reputation.”

Dorothy: “What did you do?”

Blanche: “Slept with his brother.”



Product Placement

Rose: “Sophia that smells heavenly! Is it Chef Boyardee?”

Sophia, clutching a knife: “Why don't you stick it in my heart Rose, it'll hurt less!”



Sassy Sophia

Blanche: “What do you know Sophia has a past.”

Sophia: “That's right, but unlike yours I didn’t need penicillin to get through it.”



Back in St. Olaf

We learn that the overly competitive Rose had to transfer high schools because of a field hockey incident.



Best of B.E.D.

Dorothy: “Here we are alley number seven.”

Blanche: “Oh, number seven! That's my favorite! I'm so glad we got number seven.”

Dorothy: “You're not superstitious?”

Blanche: “No, it's adjacent to the men's locker room. When that door opens, you can see right in there!”



Golden Quotes

Blanche: “Well I am stunned. Just stunned. Stunned is the only way to describe how… stunned I am.”

Dorothy: “Just a minute, just a minute Blanche. Are you trying to tell us that you are stunned?”



Critique: This episode is a classic season one laugh-fest. The highlight being the first appearance of Rose's notoriously compulsive competitiveness. Betty White is a real standout here. Her facial expressions are priceless. The entire episode consists of the ladies teaming up and then dumping each other for whoever seems to be the better bowler. And then Rose and Sophia finding silly ways to psyche-out Blanche and Dorothy is a highlight. Funny that none of the characters ever bowl again (Then again Blanche says she only ever wanted to just look cute in her new bowling outfit). It's nice that Sophia gets her own subplot, the series' first for the character. The highlight of this highly memorable episode remains the ugly competitiveness that ensues between the ladies and how they're still able to remain such good friends in the end. One item of note is that Rose says that rival bowlers the Nielsen twins attended their lover Lars' authentic Viking funeral and every time they lit his ship on fire the coast guard kept putting it out. This is the first time we ever have any reference to the funny stuff of Scandinavian lore, which will eventually become a trademark of Rose's character. And for those paying close attention at this particular bowling alley a Turkey Delight sandwich costs $1.39. This is easily the best episode of the season so far. GRADE: A-