Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Long Day's Journey into Marinara (S2E19)

Synopsis: Sophia's sister Angela returns and causes chaos when she moves in with the girls while apartment hunting; Rose looks after a friend's showbiz chicken Count Bessie.

80s Flashback
Blanche: “Sisters have a natural adversarial relationship.”
Rose: “That's cause it's genetic. It has to do with the double helix of the DNA molecule... It's true, I saw it on television. Peter Marshall played this microbiologist on 'The Love Boat' and he was conducting sinister experiments on the Landers sisters”
Dorothy: “My apologies, Rose. For a moment there, I didn't think it had been documented.”

Crazy Continuity
Sophia says that she and Angela are the last ones left of the original family. Though in future episodes Sophia has a brother named Angelo and no longer has a sister named Angela. Maybe Angela was a pioneer in the transgender movement??

Musical Moments
Count Bessie proceeds to play “Old McDonald Had a Farm” on the piano.

St. Olaf Vocab
Genügenflürgen cake – an ancient Scandinavian cake that Rose has “brought into the 80s”
Vertugenflürgen – from that old Scandinavian saying “I'm not one to blow my own Vertugenflürgen”

That’s What She Said
Dorothy: “Ma got something caught in her throat.”

Animal Alert
It's the appearance of showbiz chicken herself, Count Bessie!
Dorothy: “Rose, the woman keeps a chicken in her house, how normal can she be?”
Rose: “I kept a chicken in my home.”
Dorothy: “You see my point?”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “Open up, you tramp. I know you're in there... You can run but you can't hide!”
Angela: “Run? I can barely walk.”
Sophia: “Fine. Rub it in.”

Zbornak Zingers
Dorothy, after catching Rose playing Count Bessie's piano with her face: “Um Rose, do you know offhand if 911 is the right number to call for a straight jacket?”

Insult Watch
Sophia: “May the bags under your eyes grow so large your head falls in 'em!”
Angela: “May your shampoo get mixed up with Preparation H and shrink your head to the size of a mushroom!”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “You know, what is happening between Sophia and Angela is not unlike an incident which occurred between my sister Virginia and me when we were in high school. Now, can you believe that one's very own sister could seduce her sibling's boyfriend on the eve of that sibling's senior prom?”
Dorothy: “Virginia did that to you?”
Blanche: “No, I did that to Virginia. She deserved it. She borrowed my saddle shoes without asking. Well what are you lookin' at?? She scuffed those shoes. I hardly left a mark on that boy!”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “Aunt Angela!!”
Angela: “No Sophia Loren. I stopped using Oil of Olay.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “Living with Angela the last three weeks has been a nightmare. I don't think she's ever gonna leave… She used up my entire bottle of Porcelana. Look at all these liver spots. I've got more brown skin than the Temptations!”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “Oh I always get tired after a long trip. I remember one time Daddy took the whole family cross state on our tractor to visit Great-grandfather Zigbauten. Great-grandpa Ziggy was a famous inventor. He developed the first, and to my knowledge, the only, low-voltage meter that could detect what kind of a center a piece of candy had.”

Best of B.E.D.
Dorothy: “Wasn't that story about the heart transplant amazing?”
Blanche: “Oh I wasn't paying attention, I was fantasizing what Tom Brokaw looks like naked.”

Reel References
Blanche: “You really like Tony a lot don't you Sophia.”
Sophia: “Why shouldn't I? He's the best catch in town. He's got his own hair, his own teeth, and a totally unrestricted driver's license. Hey, at my age, that's like dating Tom Cruise.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Rose, honey, think of the positive things. Now Count Bessie accomplished more in a few years on this earth than, than most chickens do in a lifetime. Give me a break, I'm making this up as I go along. Above all else, that chicken was a great entertainer. And a great entertainer deserves to be remembered in a special way.”
Blanche: “Yeah. Like with a roast at the Friars Club.”

and

Rose: “It's just such a tragedy. Who cooks a musician at the height of her career??”
Blanche: “Rose, you've got to put this in perspective, Count Bessie was a chicken. It's not as if Angela fried up Doc Severinsen!”

and

Rose: “Dorothy do you believe it. I mean four chickens and not one of them as any musical ability.”
Dorothy: “It's a sad commentary Rose all the young chickens are wasting their time playing video games.”

Critique: The typical sitcom often offers two story-lines. The main one is usually the “A story” and the second one, usually less significant, is called the “B story.” Usually they're unrelated. But the best written sitcoms know how to bring the two plot-lines together. “Long Day's Journey into Marinara” is a prime example of great plotting in a sitcom. Angel and Count Bessie are seemingly unrelated storylines but when the girls think Angela cooked Count Bessie for dinner it really sets off a string of comedy gold worth its weight in fried chicken. Aunt Angela is one of my favorite relative guest stars and I'm pretty certain I prefer her second (and last) appearance on the show. The previous episode (“The Sisters”) was great and established their love-hate sisterly relationship, but they spend so little time onscreen together that we finally get to seem them really sink their teeth into each other here. There are so many nice moments here, there's a good bit when Dorothy mistakenly eats “chicken chow,” Sophia and Angela's constant insults (Angela says the way Sophia would kill her is to force her to eat her baked ziti), and the look on Dorothy's face when Rose tries to train other chickens to play Count Bessie's piano. This episode is hilarious with line after line of quotable dialogue: “It was Angela. They're sleeping together, like I suspected. I'm going over to kill her. I'll be back in time for Wheel Of Fortune.” GRADE: A

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