Friday, March 31, 2017

Big Daddy's Little Lady (S2E6)

Synopsis: Blanche's father Big Daddy returns and brings along his much younger fiance, the widah Spencer; Rose and Dorothy enter a song writing contest prompting a piano to magically appear in their living room.

80s Flashback
Sophia: “Great news. Theresa Lombardi passed away.”
Dorothy: “Ma, what's so great about that?”
Sophia: “Her husband Freddy, he has nothing to do, and neither one of us has seen 'Ruthless People.'”

Crazy Continuity
Big Daddy is now played by David Wayne and no mention of the fact that he ever tried to be a country musician.

Musical Moments
Where do we begin?

Rose's high school fight song: “Onward St. Olaf/Onward we go/Onward and onward St.Olaf's go/Go, go, go/Go, go, go/Go go...”

Miami song attempt #1: “Miami is nice/So I'll say it twice/Miami is nice, Miami is nice/Miami is...”

Miami song attempt #2: “M-l-A, another M-I/M-l-A-M-I spells Miami Beach/It stirs emotion/It's by the ocean/So bring your suntan lotion...”

Miami song attempt #3: "I have to say what I feel Miami has so much appeal/A great place to get a seafood meal Miami/Miami, Miami You've got style/Blue skies, sunshine White sand by the mile/When you live in this town Each day is sublime/The coldest of winters Are warm and divine/Miami, Miami You've got style/Blue skies, sunshine White sand by the mile/There's more clubs and nightclubs All within reach/Dance the samba till morning Then lie on the beach/Each view is a postcard Each day a great time/The cream of the crop It's the top of the line/Miami, Miami You've got style/Blue skies, sunshine White sand by the mile/Miami, You've got style!"

That’s What She Said
Dorothy, to Rose: “I don't know if I could get my hand that far up your dress. But for $10,000, I'd be willing to give it a try.”

Lewd Ladies
Blanche: “People in their seventies and eighties can have great sex.”
Sophia: “Yeah, with people in their seventies and eighties. Put me in a bedroom with Tom Cruise and you'd be peeling me off the ceiling.”

Picture It
Sophia: “Hey, in Italy, for five dollars you got a woman, a manicure, a cappuccino, and a box of Milano cookies to take home to your wife. A fact. Use it as you wish.”

Zbornak Zingers
Big Daddy, to Blanche: “Let me look at you. Oh you're still as pretty as a ladybug sunning itself on a lily pad on a misty spring day south of Savannah.”
Dorothy: “Could you be more specific, Big Daddy?”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “Rose, I have to confess, I dabbled a little in poetry-writing in high school.”
Rose: “Well that's nothing to be ashamed of. A lot of tall girls who couldn't get dates wrote poetry in high school.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “Let's see. Maria Malanero, 85, died of natural causes, survived by her husband Tony Malanero.”
Dorothy: “Ma, you're getting dates out of the obituaries? That's sick.”
Sophia: “It is not sick. It's practical. Life is for the living. Maria's loss is my date for the Early Bird Special at the Howard Johnson's.”

Sassy Sophia
Big Daddy: “Do my eyes deceive me or do I see Sophia Petrillo standing before me? Or did you all get Sophia Loren as the new roommate?”
Sophia: “Get out the boots. He's back.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “And then once, in grade school, I cross bred a rutabaga and a potato, but I couldn't decide whether to call it a 'rutatato' or a 'potatobaga.'”
Dorothy: “You'll have to excuse Rose. That hose dance brings up a lot of childhood memories.”

Later, Rose tells the opposites attract story of OIlie Stettlenmeyer, the mayor and town's most respected citizen, and Molly-Jane Doe, the town manicurist, who for an extra five dollars would buff more than your nails.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche, talkng on the phone to Big Daddy: “Big Daddy, how in the world are you? I'm just fine. How can you say I look younger and more beautiful over the telephone? No, it's true. I just wondered how you knew over the telephone!”

Reel References
Rose: “So, Margaret, you're from Atlanta.”
Margaret Specer: “Well that's right.”
Rose: “Atlanta must be a lovely city. Have they rebuilt it much since it burned down in Gone With The Wind?”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “Well what about this? 'Miami is nice, So I'll say it thrice...'”
Dorothy: “Right, who the hell says 'thrice'?”
Rose: “It's a word.”
Dorothy: “So is 'intrauterine.' It does not belong in a song.”
Rose, singing: “Miami, you're cuter than, an intrauterine.”

and

Dorothy: “You find something to rhyme with Miami, hotshot.”
Rose: “Mammy, whammy, clammy, Alabamy, hootenanny, salami.”
Dorothy: “Hootenanny is marginal, and I refuse to accept salami.”

Critique: “Big Daddy's Little Lady” is probably best known as the one where they write the Miami song. Like the really great episodes, it's filled with really sparkling lines of dialogue but the story is nothing particularly special and that's because of two words: Big. Daddy. For some reason I've never been the biggest fan of the Big Daddy episodes. I love the over-the-top exchanges between Big Daddy and Blanche but generally I agree with Sophia, bring out the boots. (Also, is it weird Sophia keeps trying to score dates with widowers? I guess this is supposed to pass as a storyline for the character, but she makes it work) Luckily, the B story about Dorothy and Rose attempting to write a song about Miami is the saving grace (Why they'd ever want to meet Anita Bryant is beyond me). Their songs are a real highlight. I've always wanted to hear the full versions of their first two attempts. The thrice/intrauterine exchange is a classic GG moment and continues to put a smile on my face. As a side note, if Margaret Spencer looks familiar the actress Sondra Currie was most recently in the trilogy of Hangover films. GRADE: B+

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Isn't It Romantic? (S2E5)

Synopsis: Dorothy's lesbian college friend Jean comes to visit and ends up falling for Rose; Sophia randomly develops a porn fetish.

80s Flashback
Rose: “We saw 'Love Story' and 'Terms Of Endearment.' It was the Cry Me A River matinee at the Rialto.”

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “A man has so much more to offer, you know what I mean Dorothy?”
Dorothy: “Yeah I found that out when Mark Perper was running for Class President in the third grade.”
Blanche: “Why, what does that have to do with anything?”
Dorothy: “Well, his campaign slogan was 'Vote for me and I'll show you my wee-wee.' He won by a landslide!”

That’s What She Said
Sophia, in bed with Dorothy: “Not tonight Salvador, I've been cookin' all day.”
Dorothy: “Ma, it's me, it's Dorothy.”
Sophia: “Oh Dorothy, the way your elbow was poking me I thought it was your father sneaking up on me.”

Lewd Ladies
Dorothy: “Ma, did Jean sleep with you last night?”
Sophia: “Dorohty, there are a lot of things I wanna try before I die, but that's not one of them.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “How long were Jean and Pat married?”
Dorothy: “They were together eight years.”
Rose: “Poor thing. I wish there was something I could do… I know! I'll make my famous ice-cream clown sundaes. The ones with little raisin eyes and sugar-cone caps.”
Dorothy: “If that doesn't fill the void, nothing will.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “I do love the rain so. It reminds me of my first kiss.”
Dorothy: “Aww your first kiss was in the rain.”
Blanche: “No, it was in the shower.”

Sassy Sophia
Blanche, to Jean: “Was that insensitive of me? Maybe you're not ready for men yet.”
Sophia: “You don't know the half of it.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose tells the story of how her cow Molly became the most popular cow during mating season after being shocked by the milking machine.
Later, Rose talks about wanting to go to the prom with Delbert Twitchell the captain of the Precision Combine Drill Team.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Jean has the hots for Rose? I don' believe it, I do not believe it!”
Dorothy: “I was pretty surprised myself…”
Blanche: “Well, I'll bet. To think Jean would prefer Rose over me? That's ridiculous!!”

Reel References
Sophia, after going porn shopping: “I went to the video store.”
Dorothy: “Ma, I told you I'd go.”
Sophia: “Forget it. The last time you brought back 'Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.' You know how disappointed I was to find out it's a musical?”

Golden Quotes
Sophia: “Jean is a nice person, she happens to like girls instead of guys. Some people like cats instead of dogs. Frankly, I'd rather live with a lesbian than a cat. Unless a lesbian sheds that I don't know.”


Critique: For some reason the actress who played Jean always reminded me of Charlie's mom in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” But I digress. “Isn't It Romantic?” may be THE best episode of Season Two. It's definitely one of my personal favorite episodes. There are too many great moments to mention but the standout is for certain the bedroom scene with Sophia and Dorothy, and Blanche who, not surprisingly, confuses the word “lesbian” with “Lebanese.” The moments when the girls are sharing a bed are always a highlight and arguably as good as the notorious “cheesecake scenes.” To think this was probably a “controversial” episode ("dirty movies" AND lesbianism!) at the time still amazes me though while the show always tackled “important issues” it always did it in a fun and entertaining way. To have Jean fall for Rose is a brilliant conception because of the jealous that is causes Blanche. This is truly one of Rue's best performances. As a side note, I did a content analysis of this episode for a communications class back in college and wrote a paper about it. I got an A. GRADE: A

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's a Miserable Life (S2E4)

Synopsis: The girls are distraught because the city is going to cut down a beautiful, old Oak tree which resides on the property of the one and only mean old lady Freida Claxton. Then things take a strange turn when Rose tells Freida to drop dead and she does.

80s Flashback
Commissioner: “It is the consensus of the committee that the promoters' petition for the outdoor Menudo concert be denied.”

Crazy Continuity
Is it just me or is Frieda Claxton reincarnated as Sophia's longtime Sicilian friend Philomena from Season Four?

Let’s Get Political
Rose, talking about St. Olaf's librarian: “Mr. Minky always said books belong in a library.”
Dorothy: “Really Rose? I always thought Churchill said that at Yalta.”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “I happen to be a wonderful orator. And two of the commissioners can verify that.”

Lewd Ladies
Dorothy: “Blanche, you've been gone three hours and you only got one guy to sign this petition.”
Blanche: “Give me a chance to freshen up and change clothes, I'll get you another one.”

Zbornak Zingers
Mr. Pfeiffer: “Ladies, I'd like to present to you the winner of the 1985 Crypt & Casket Design Award. Paris has been talking about this one all Spring. It's the Omega 3000.”
Dorothy: “How much?”
Mr. Pfeiffer: “You know that top is hand-embellished gold-leaf detail work. The satin interior is imported from a small textile mill outside Gstaad.”
Blanche: “How much?”
Mr. Pfeiffer: “It's also lead-lined...”
Dorothy: “We're not burying Superman. How much??”

Insult Watch
Sophia: “When a person dies, you go to a funeral to show the man upstairs you have respect for human life, no matter how wretched it was. Any idiot knows that.”
Rose: “I knew that.”
Sophia: “See?”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche tells the story about how she faked her death as a teenager. At the Miss Magnolia Blossom Pageant Blanche was awarded runner up and named “Miss Congeniality” and then vowed to get back at the town. Afterwords she was dragged to a religious school in Atlanta.

Product Placement
Mrs. Claxton: “You wanna look at pictures? I've got pictures. Of her roommate, the Human Slinky.”

Sassy Sophia
Rose: “Oh Sophia, I think you're a wonderful person. It's a lovely idea to share Mrs Claxton's funeral expenses equally.”
Sophia: “Equally?? I figure your share should be about half. After all, you're the one who killed her!”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose tells the story of the grouchy Ernest T. Minky, St. Olaf's librarian and only dentist who was so mean that people hated going to the dentist. Everyone in St. Olaf had teeth that looked like Indian corn. But once Rose saved his life he began to lighten up.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Sixteen was a very difficult age for me. My hormones were racing, my body was blossoming. I had urges and yearnings so strong. Sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night, just sweating and screaming and clawing, like a trapped panther. Unable to release the lusty, steamy passions that constantly threatened to erupt from within me.”

Reel References
Mrs. Claxton: “Look there's nothing I hate more than someone who thinks that every person who lives alone wants company and a few kind worlds. I live by myself because I like it. Ive got no use for people and never have. See ya inside.”
Dorothy: “Ma, where are you doing?”
“To throw holy water on her. If she spits up pea soup and her head spins around we're in big trouble.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Mr. Pfeiffer, we're interested in arranging a funeral.”
Mr. Pfeiffer: “Isn't that lovely? The three of you planning ahead for Mother.”
Sophia: “Hey, uh, Pfeiffer, how would you like a punch in your p-face?”

and of course:

Old Woman: “Yes, Celia Rubinstein loved all mankind. She was...”
Dorothy: “WHO?!”


Critique: So when Mrs. Claxton drops dead in the courtroom and everyone just stands around looking and doing nothing, is it because they all hate her or am I just reading too much into it? But I digress. Well, Season Two is really on a roll isn't it? The writers are firing on all cylinders in these episodes. “It's a Miserable Life” is great because it's one of the few darkly humorous episodes throughout the series. The show was never shy about tackling taboo subjects especially when it came to death. They were always getting away with crazy stuff. Not only does Blanche tell a story about how she faked her death as a teenage but later AN OLD WOMAN LITERALLY KICKS A WOMAN'S COFFIN DURING HER FUNERAL FOR GOD'S SAKE. And it's utterly brilliant. This episode works so well because of the fun twist of not only Fried Claxton dying but because of the running joke that Rose is the one who caused it. The funeral parlor scene with Mr. Pfeiffer (I could listen to Dorothy pronounce puh-Feiffer all day long) is a standout of the entire series and is filled with fan favorite memorable lines (the Superman line being my favorite bit). This is a classic episode overall. As a final note, who else would totally binge the crap out of “Blanche: The Miniseries?” GRADE: A

Monday, March 27, 2017

Take Him, He's Mine (S2E3)

Synopsis: Dorothy asks Blanche to go out with Stan as a favor and then gets pissed when she doesn't have a terrible time with him; Sophia and Rose go into the bacon, lettuce, and potato sandwich business (potata??).

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “You're going out with Stan tonight?”
Blanche: “He has tickets to the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theatre.”
Dorothy: “And you're going??”
Blanche: “Well of course I am. I'd be out of my mind to pass up the chance to see Mr. Jamie Farr in the Caine Mutiny Court Martial!”

Crazy Continuity
Dorothy says here that she uses Chanel No. 5, but in Season Three she doesn't recognize the “love potion” Marguerite gives her as Chanel No. 5.

Let’s Get Political
Dorothy: “I thought you were Blanche.”
Sophia: “Once I thought I was Bess Truman, but then they switched me to twenty milligrams a day.”

Picture It
Sophia tells a cockamamie story about how she sailed to America, where the fog was so dense she couldn't see her mother for months. Then the captain sailed right by the Statue of Liberty leading to an unusually large Italian population in Spilsbury, Massachusetts.

Zbornak Zingers
Stan: “I lost it Dorothy!”
Dorothy: “You never had it Stanley.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “Stan you truly are one chromosome away from being a potato.”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “I thought you were my friend.”
Blanche: “I am your friend.”
Dorothy: “THEN WHY ARE YOU SLEEPIN WITH MY HUSBAND!?”
Blanche, to the supermarket customers: “What are y'all looking at? Get on back to your Le Sueur Peas.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose says when she was little she used to sell Belgian waffles on the side of the road, but they were actually English muffins that she carved little ridges in.

Reel References
Rose: “I had a cousin who thought he was Jiminy Cricket, course that was at the height of the Pinocchio craze and everyone at the bank went along with it.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “I'm really no good at listening to people's problems.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you're a grief counselor, it's what you do for a living.”
Rose: “I know but I have he highest suicide rate in the office!”

and

Rose: “Where are you going?”
Dorothy: “To either get ice cream or commit a felony. I'll decide in the car.”


Critique: Am I the only one who's disappointed that we never get to meet Johnny No-Thumbs? But I digress. “Take Him, He's Mine” is a completely fine episode but isn't nearly as fantastic as the previous two. The episode has some great moments including the fan favorite baconlettuceandpotato sandwiches made by Sophia and Rose and Blanche's magenta monologue. My favorite scene is definitely the one set at the disturbingly tiny supermarket (it appears to be the same one with the obnoxious pepperoni). The reaction after Dorothy's dramatic WHY ARE YOU SLEEPING WITH MY HUSBAND line is hilarious. Though, let's all be honest, would Dorothy really be all that jealous of Blanche going out with Stan? This time Rose sort of gets suckered into Sophia's less than thrilling B-plot but they have their moments as well. For those paying attention, this is really the first official “picture it” story from Sophia, though she uses the phrase “picture this.” One final note, did anyone else notice the foreshadowing when Dorothy tells Stan he's one chromosome away from being a potato? GRADE: B

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ladies of the Evening (S2E2)

Synopsis: Blanche wins tickets to the premiere of Mr. Burt Reynolds's new film and a post-party but a wrinkle comes in the form of the girls being arrested for mistakenly being prostitutes.

80s Flashback
Rose: “There's a story in the paper about the party tonight. You won't believe who's gonna be there: Dom DeLuise!”

Blanche & Dorothy: “WOW!”
Rose: “Loni Anderson!”
Blanche & Dorothy: “WOW!”
Rose: “Charles Nelson Reilly….. Charles Nelson Reilly!”

Crazy Continuity
Rose says Butter Queen was her town's highest honor, but later we learn that Woman of the Year is St. Olaf's highest honor.

Let’s Get Political
The exterminator: “Your infestation profile is threefold. You have silverfish and water bugs in your drainage areas. And under the baseboard structure you have Blattaria andropolis.”
Dorothy: “Hear that, Rose? The Greek president of Greece lives under our baseboard.”
The Exterminator: “Blattaria andropolis is a cockroach.”
Rose: “Maybe he'll be voted out next election.”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “Dorothy's a very experienced teacher, everyone who's had her said she's great.”

Animal Alert
Rose: And I've known some real disappointment, believe me.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you're not gonna tell us that story about the exploding pig again, are you?
Rose: “I never told you a story about an exploding pig, Dorothy. It was a peg-legged pig. Our possum was the one that exploded.”
Dorothy: “Forgive me, Rose. There have been so many possum explosions lately, it's hard to keep track.”

Lewd Ladies
Blanche: Oh, girls, I'm just in ecstasy. My body is tingling all over. You will never guess what just happened.”
Sophia: “We know what happened. Let us guess what part of the Middle East he's from?”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: “Oh honey nobody back home is ever gonna find out about this.”
Rose: “Oh yes they will, the St Olaf Courier Dispatch is known for its investigative reporting.”
Dorothy: “You're right. That series they did on oat fungus was an uncompromising piece of journalism.”

Insult Watch
Sophia: “Jealousy is a very ugly thing, Dorothy. And so are you in anything backless.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche tells the story of how she dated Mr. William “Buster” Colliers, the President of the Chamber of Commerce, but he died a couple of days later.
Blanche: “He was performing his first official function: Breaking a champagne bottle over the new tollbooth. But before he could step out of the way, he was run over by ten Shriners on minibikes who just happened to have the exact change.”

Product Placement
Police Officer: “All right, everybody stay right where they are. The wagons will be here momentarily to transport all of you downtown.”
Rose: “Downtown? He means jail!”
Dorothy: “Oh, really, Rose. I thought he meant Neiman Marcus.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “Arrested for prostitution. I can't believe it!”
Blanche: “Oh Sophia! Sophia, we're innocent.”
Sophia: “I know that, I can't believe these dumb cops would think anyone would pay money to sleep with you!”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “Butter Queen was our town's highest honor. From the time I was born my folks groomed me for it. Singing lessons, dancing lessons, junior butter pageants. For 16 years my entire life revolved around butter. When the time came for the pageant, I was incredible. I showed poise in the evening-gown competition. I was brilliant in the oral butter quiz. They couldn't even trip me up with a trick margarine question. That evening butter was spelled R-O-S-E.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you're embarrassing yourself. Please don't go on.
Rose: “I have to. I've kept these bitter butter memories too long.”
Rose eventually reveals she lost because her churn jammed and found out later churn tampering was involved.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche, to the hookers: “Quiet you trash!”

Reel References
Blanche: “Sophia, Mr. Burt Reynolds is one of our finest living actors. Why, he should have won the Oscar for Deliverance. Not to mention Starting Over. That Academy's just jealous. I mean you put Sir Laurence Olivier in Cannonball Run, see what he can do.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Listen, you PUNK! You wanna fight with someone, you're have to fight me. But I warn you, I did time in Attica.”
Hooker: “Attica's a men's prison.”
Dorothy: “I know. I was there a year before they found out.”

and

Mr. Burt Reynolds: “These the roommates you told me about?”
Sophia: “Yeah.”
Mr. Burt Reynolds: “Which one's the slut?”
Dorothy, Blanche, & Rose: “I AM!”

Critique: I wonder if anyone has ever taken a tally of how many times Neiman Marcus is mentioned on the show? Because I'm pretty sure, so far, the count is at about three thousand, but I digress. Ladies of the Evening” is probably one of the most famous and popular episodes. It's easily a favorite of both hardcore fans and more casual viewers (probably because it's so well known for the cameo appearance of Mr. Burt Reynolds himself). It's a perfect example of what made the show so popular. The edginess the show mixed with an older cast of women was such a fabulous combination. And the network practically let them get away with almost anything. This episode is a barrel of laughs from beginning to end. Everything from Sophia trying to fool Rose into giving up her Burt Reynolds ticket, Blanche mistakenly flirting with a female guard, Dorothy comparing prison to the public school system, and Rose's classic Butter Queen story all conspire to make an episode worth watching over and over again. The writing here is particularly strong, with plenty of great lines and a clever plotline that remains one of the best and most flawless episodes of the entire series. GRADE: A

Friday, March 24, 2017

End of the Curse (S2E1)

Synopsis: Initially distraught over the fact that she may be pregnant, Blanche finds out she's actually going through menopause which sends her into a depression spiral; the girls questionably go into the mink breeding business.

80s Flashback
Rose: “She's in there!”
Dorothy: “Really, Columbo?”

Crazy Continuity
We never see or hear from Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, and Joanne again. JOANNE??

Let’s Get Political
Dorothy: “Look at it this way. You don't get cramps once a month. You don't go on eating binges once a month. You don't get crazy once a month.”
Sophia: “You just grow a beard... You grow a beard Dorothy, believe me. I woke up one morning, I looked like Arafat.”

Animal Alert
Dorothy: “I know how you feel about animals. And since we're breeding mink for fur, eventually they're gonna have to be killed. I didn't think you'd go for it.”
Rose: “Do they have to be killed?”
Sophia: “No, Rose. Many women like wearing coats that urinate.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “We had a pig once. All the male pigs loved her. Oh she was very beautiful. And she got pregnant and we never knew who the father was.”
Dorothy: “Oh my God, Rose. What did you do on Father's Day?!”

Insult Watch
Rose: “I never grew a beard.”
Sophia: “You never grew brains either!”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “My whole childhood, I kept hearing about the curse. How when I was 13, I was gonna get the curse. I was absolutely terrified. The year of my 13th birthday, I slept with the lights on all year. I was sure there was a witch behind every wisteria. Didn't go out on Halloween, I was a wreck. But the year went by and no curse. Then the next year went by, no curse. Then finally, when I was 15, Mama took me to the doctor, cause I still didn't have the curse. And he said, 'Blanche, do you mean to tell me you still don't have your period? I said, 'Well of course I have my period, you fool, I'm not a child. I've have my period almost two years. It's the curse I don't have!'”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “Well I tell you, menopause was wonderful for me. It meant no more PMS.”
Blanche: “I never had PMS.”
Rose: “Neither did I. But I had a BMW.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia, referring to her period: “I got it nobody told me, I didn't get it nobody told me. I figured this is life and went back to my meatballs.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Nobody in my family has ever seen a psychiatrist. Except, of course, when they were institutionalized.”

Reel References
Blanche: “You're a man. You wouldn't understand.”
Dr. Barensfeld: “Why wouldn't I understand?”
Blanche: “Well, you don't get old and lose your appeal the way women do. Look at Mr. Cary Grant, now he can have any woman he wants and he's in his 80s. You just show me a woman in her 50s who can do that and don't tell me Joan Collins, that woman belongs in a wax museum.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “A baby. She's gonna have a baby!”
Sophia: “And if it's a boy she can name it after its father, Rick Joe Bob Don Dave.”


Critique: “End of the Curse” is arguably the best season opener of the entire series. This half hour is overstuffed with comedic goodness. There are too many good scenes to even count but let's try anyways. There's Blanche's revelation that she's pregnant in which Rose quickly faints, and then the discussion of the color of the pregnancy test; then there's Dorothy's hilarious conversation with Rose about Spanish Fly (“Because it wears a little sombrero, Rose!”), and of course one of the series' best “cheesecake scenes” in which the girls discuss beginning their periods and ending their periods. Rue's Emmy Award-winning performance here is simply wonderful. Even if the idea that the girls would breed minks for fur feels a little awkward (mostly because the actresses were staunch animal loves off camera) it makes for some good moments including a fun counterpoint to the end of Blanche's ability to "breed." I'd argue that this is one of creator Susan Harris' strongest scripts, hers always tend to be more dramatic but there is so much great character stuff and classic lines that it remains a top tier episode.  GRADE: A

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Way We Met (S1E25)

Synopsis: Scared and wide awake after watching “Psycho,” the girls reminisce about how they first met and moved in together.

80s Flashback
Blanche: “Oh, I know exactly what you're going through. I can read it in your face. Your husband or your boyfriend dumped you. Oh, honey, don't let it get you down. It's just the nature of the beast. They'd do it in the mud if they had to. You just go sleep with his best friend. That'll even up the score.”
Rose: “Am I on 'Candid Camera??'”

Crazy Continuity
Rose: “The new owners of the building don't allow cats, and I'm not about to part with Mr. Peepers.”
One of the series' biggest continuity flaws begins here. Rose, clearly owns a cat and had to look for a new place to live because of her cat. Yet in the Season Four episode “High Anxiety” Dorothy says Rose has never had cats because she's allergic.

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “You didn't get dumped?”
Rose: “Well, actually, I did, by my landlord. He threw me out of my apartment, but I couldn't sleep with his best friend. He's over 80 years old and thinks he's the Archduke Ferdinand.”

That’s What She Said
Dorothy: “This one's ripe.”
Blanche: “And how do you tell, Dorothy?”
Dorothy: “Well, you smell the tip of it.”

Shady Pines, Ma
Blanche: “I know the Shady Pines: it's a lovely place.”
Sophia: “It's a prison. They lock us in our rooms and force us to look like we're having fun. Then they take pictures for their brochure.”

Lewd Ladies
Dorothy: “Oh, girls, girls, do you realize what just happened?”
Blanche: “Well, I know I've been having a very good time, and there wasn't even a man in the room.”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “Walking by that sausage case back there really brought back a lot of memories.”
Dorothy: “Sausage opens a floodgate for many of us, Rose.”

Insult Watch
Rose: “I can't help it if I'm an honest person. Obviously, something you don't know anything about.”
Blanche: “What are you talking about?”
Rose: “Well, you bought pantyhose in petite. Anybody can see you couldn't get those past your knees.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “I was never a night person, either. Until I blossomed into young womanhood and realized I was even more devastating by moonlight. I will never forget the night I made that discovery. It was during the spring cotillion. I was wearing a long white dress and my first push-up bra. And Bobby Buck McAIlister and I were enjoying a glass of punch out on the veranda, when a beam of moonlight hit my cleavage.
Suddenly, the band began to play. It was at that moment I realized my bosoms had the power to make music.”
Dorothy: “Didn't Bette Midler win a special Grammy for that?”

Product Placement
Rose, referring to Raisin Bran cereal: “Actually, you're both wrong. It does not belong in a refrigerator. It does not belong in a cabinet. It belongs in a glass canister. That way, it's not only visually appealing, but you can see if they cheated you out of raisins. I thought everybody knew that.”
Dorothy: “You know, until I met you, Rose, I didn't know that people actually talk back to their Rice Krispies.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “The woman has 'slut' embroidered on her underwear.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose tells the story of the Great Herring War, between the Lindstroms and the Johanssons who fought over whether to pickle herring or train them for the circus.

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche, referring to Psycho: “Oh, I never should have watched it, either. It always upsets me - especially that shower scene. Why, it's the reason I prefer not to shower alone!”
Dorothy: “Sure, Blanche. And 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' is why you prefer not to sleep alone.”

Reel References
Dorothy: “We never should have watched Psycho. For 25 years, I have avoided that picture, even when Stan invited me to the Roxy instead of over to his mother's house for dinner. And it turned out that my instincts were right: Norman Bates is scarier than my mother-in-law. And a much better dresser.”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “I like you and I like cats. I also happen to have a room for rent, and the name is Blanche Devereaux.”
Rose: “Why would you name a room Blanche Devereaux??”

and

Rose: “Back in Minnesota, we'd settle this kind of a dispute with some good-natured logrolling.”
Dorothy: “Sorry, Rose. My log is in the shop.”

and

Dorothy: “This is just too extravagant. I'm not going in on this. I don't even like loin of pork.”
Blanche: “All right, then I'm not going in on this nightstick.”
Dorothy: “This is a pepperoni.”
Blanche: “It's obnoxious!”

Critique: First of all, it must be said that Blanche describes her previous roommates as “two very eccentric old ladies who used to bathe together and floss each other's teeth;” why they never showed a flashback to this is beyond me, but I digress. This is arguably one of the first season's strongest episodes. It employs a “flashback” structure as the girls reminisce about how they all moved into Blanche's house. The little vignettes are simply hilarious and show how each character's personality traits are constantly clashing with each other yet they're able to form a solid friendship. And that's what makes the show so great in the first place. The girls are initially at each other's throats until they bond over Rose's ridiculous (and classic) Great Herring War St. Olaf story. Some ice cream and cheesecake later and they're practically family. This is an almost flawless episode,with nothing sappy, and it's filled to the brim with classic lines and moments; there is one slight negative being the lack of Sophia throughout most of it. She does make up for her absence with her classic knife appearance at the end at least. "The Way We Met" ends the season on the highest of notes. GRADE: A