Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Big Daddy (S1E24)

Synopsis: Blanche's father Big Daddy visits and wants to become a country singer; Sophia curses a neighbor when he refuses to remove a tree that falls on the girls' lanai after a storm.

Musical Moments
Big Daddy, singing: “It ain't gonna worry me for long/It ain't gonna worry me for long/I'll get up in the mornin'/And I'll still be singin' my song”
Blanche: “No you won't, daddy.”

That’s What She Said
Bar patron: “Howdy, ladies. My name's Rusty. I don't recollect seeing you two fillies 'round these parts.
Mind if a lonesome cowboy puts his saddlebags 'round your campfire?”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “What's that noise?”
Blanche: “Oh, they have a mechanical bull in the back room. I read about it in the Sunday supplement.”
Rose: “What on Earth do you do with a mechanical bull??”
Dorothy: “Introduce him to a mechanical cow, Rose.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “Back home, everybody calls him Big Daddy. Why, he's the most respected and beloved man in our town. Oh, for as long as I can remember, people from all over the county would drive up to Twin Oaks—that's the name of our house—to ask Big Daddy's advice on one thing or the other. And while the men were discussing business on the veranda, the ladies would retire to the shade of an old magnolia to sip mint juleps and exchange prize-winning pecan pie recipes.”
Dorothy: “Tell me, Blanche, during any of this, would the farm hands suddenly break into a chorus of 'Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home?'”

Product Placement
Blanche: “Ladies, how do I look?”
Sophia: “Like the night hostess at Denny's.”

Sassy Sophia
Big Daddy: “You must be Sophia. It's a pleasure to meet you. Excuse me for staring, ma'am, but I've always felt that the stunning, classical beauty of an Italian woman should be admired like a fine work of art.”
Sophia: “You need boots to listen to this guy.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “You probably don't know this, but my hometown was founded by Heinrich von Anderdonnen the first man to ever can tuna in its own natural juices.”
Rose then proceeds to tell the story about how her father was chosen to pull the tuna float in the Founder's Day Parade because he was the only one small enough to fit in the mayonnaise jar costume.

Best of B.E.D.
Dorothy: “Blanche, who do we see about our table?”
Blanche: “Oh, I don't know. This is the first time I've ever been here.”
Cowboy #1: “Well, howdy, Blanche.”
Cowboy #2: “Hi there, Blanche, ladies.”
Blanche: “No, I'm wrong. I think the museum did have its Christmas party here.”

Reel References
Big Daddy: “I got a surprise for you!”
Blanche: “Oh, did you get me something? What is it? What did you buy for me, Daddy?”
Big Daddy: “Well, nothing, sugar.”
Blanche: “Oh, fiddle-dee-dee!”
Dorothy: “Fiddle-dee-dee??”
Rose: “This is so much fun. It's like being in 'Gone with the Wind!'”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “Girls, my father's coming! Big Daddy's coming! He just called! Oh, Big Daddy's gonna be in Miami tomorrow. I can't believe it!”
Dorothy: “I can't believe I know anyone who calls her father Big Daddy.”


Critique: I've never particularly liked singing Big Daddy, I always preferred Season Two cradle-robbing Big Daddy; but I digress. I've also never particularly cared about this episode all that much (and I'm not alone, this is one of the lowest rated Season One episodes on IMDb); though you have to give writers Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan credit for giving such good backstory to Blanche's character. We finally get to meet Blanche's father, err daddy, and learn a lot more about their life in the Deep South. The B-story involving the neighbors (who we never see again) and the downed tree is ok but nothing particularly memorable, save for Sophia's brilliant evil eye. Mr. Barton is pretty much an asshole and deserves that boil on his butt. Veteran character actor Murray Hamilton (who was only 11 years older than McClanahan) from “The Graduate” and “Jaws” played Big Daddy this time around and if he looks slightly peaked and frail it's because he sadly died of cancer several months after this episode originally aired.  GRADE: B-

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