Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo S4E2

Synopsis: Sophia goes to the market to buy a nectarine while the other three girls have a lazy day sitting on their asses.

Musical Moments
Sophia's old lady band plays a jazzy version of “When the Saints Go Marching In”

Let’s Get Political
Dorothy: “But the most amazing thing about Grandma was that in 1952 she decided to go into politics. She felt it was her personal responsibility to elect Adlai Stevenson president. Well, she didn't care for Eisenhower because, you know, he claimed to have liberated Italy, and she said Italy was liberated enough. Already too many people eating meat on Friday, and wearing condoms on Saturday.”

Crazy Continuity 
Blanche mentions that she was arrested in Chattanooga several times... but in "Ladies of the Evening" she says that she's never been in jail.

Dorothy, Blanche, and Sophia watch a TV show with theme music that sounds suspiciously like the theme from “Grab That Dough!”

That’s What She Said
Sophia: “I'm having the usual as soon as the sausage guy comes.”

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “Well, that could be fun too, if we divide into teams and grease our hands.”
Blanche: “I got arrested for that once at a party in Chattanooga.”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: “By the way, did you girls know that the size of a man's ears is directly proportionate to the size of his other bodily organs?”
Rose: “What do you mean?”
Dorothy: “He had a big, floppy pancreas Rose.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “Well, it's true. Now I learned that during my sorority years when I was dating Mr. Preston Bougainvillea. Lord, the teasing that boy put up with.”
Rose: “Because of his name.”
Blanche: “No, because of his ears. He had these long, floppy ears. Kind of like a basset hound. When he came to pick me up for our blind date I couldn't believe it. He jumped out of the car and he ran up the walk and bounded up onto the front porch, and I remember thinking, ‘He's gonna trip on those ears.’ But he didn't. So there he stood before me introducing himself and, I don't know, I was still so stunned, I just kind of half-muttered a ‘Howdy-do’ and he said, ‘I beg your pardon? I didn't hear you.’ Well, I don't know what came over me, but I just blurted out, ‘Didn't hear me? I think you could pick up Radio Free Europe with those ears!’ And you know what he did? He laughed. Well, right then and there I started growing very fond of Mr. Preston Bougainvillea, and over the next several months we saw quite a lot of each other.”

Sassy Sophia
Supermarket worker: “This nectarine is beautiful. I never saw a more perfect piece of fruit.”
Sophia: “No? Then try kissing my behind. It's a real peach!”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “I just hate the idea of wasting time, I always have, ever since what happened to my neighbor in St. Olaf… It was back in 1955 and we had just moved into our first house, right next door to Pigpen Johannsen. That wasn't his real name. That was a nickname.”
Blanche: “Pigpen?”
Rose: “No, Johannsen. Anyway, Pigpen had just turned 80 and the town bylaws made him leave his job teaching drivers training at the high school… Anyway, without a job Pigpen started feeling useless, so the town fathers thought they'd give him a new job. Putting up the "Welcome to St. Olaf" sign out on Miller's Lane. That same year on Founders' Day the governor was coming, and Pigpen forgot to put up the sign. And the governor drove straight through town without ever realizing he was in St. Olaf.”
Dorothy: “I would have thought the glazed look on everyone's face would have tipped him off.”
Blanche: “So the point is Pigpen ruined Founders' Day all because he was wasting time.”
Rose: “That's right, and the town fathers took down his picture. It had always hung in the St. Olaf auto shop, right next to Andy Granatelli. My mother used to date him. You know what he has under that trench coat?”
Dorothy: “A wrench?”
Rose: “That's what Mother called it.”

Best of B.E.D.
Rose: “Don't you just love waking up with rain tapping on your bedroom window?”
Blanche: “Oh absolutely. I always throw open the window, uncork a bottle of Cold Duck and slip into my Frederick's of Hollywood ostrich feather nightie.”
Dorothy: “Just because of rain tapping at your window?”
Blanche: “Oh, I thought she said, ‘Wayne.’”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Rose:, about Dorothy's grandmother: “Whatever happened to her?”
Dorothy: “She colonized life on Venus. Rose, she was 94 when I was six. She died, you idiot.”
Rose: “How did she die?”
Dorothy: “You know, we're not sure. One night she left in her wheelchair and she never came back. The next day the neighborhood kids had a go-kart with two really big back wheels.”

The Boob Tube
Esther: “You're not feeling good?”
Sophia: “Please! I haven't felt good since Hugh Downs left 'The Today Show.'”

Neiman Marcus Marker: 6
Sophia: “This is too big for NOPRL. This is all the way up to OREP.”
Supermarket manager: “OREP?”
Sophia: “Organization of Retired and Elderly People. Sophia Petrillo, Executive Director and leader of the '87 march on Neiman Marcus.”

Golden Quotes
What do you wanna do instead?
Blanche: “I know. Let's rent an adult video, drink mimosas, and French-kiss the pillows.”
Dorothy: “I don't think so, Blanche.”

and

Blanche: “I once got arrested for that in Chattanooga, too.”
Dorothy: “Blanche, let me ask you a question. Are you allowed to go back to Chattanooga?”
Blanche: “Are you kidding? The sheriff still writes.”

Critique: Is it me or is Sophia kind of a dick in this episode? She's doing lots of good things, but she makes her friend pay for her nectarine and her jazz friend has to pay for lunch because she has high blood pressure. But I digress. “The Days and Nights of Sophia Petrillo” is a solid episode and is finally the episode that gives Sophia more to do than make snide comments. And it's the other three who have nothing to do but sit around and eat pizza and cheesecake. The episode sort of reminds me of those vignette-like “flashback” episodes as we follow Sophia to the market to buy a nectarine, to the boardwalk where she apparently conducts an all-female old lady jazz band, and to the hospital where she volunteers as a Sunshine Lady and befriends a young buy assumed to be dying of AIDS. How Dorothy could have no clue she's doing any of this is beyond me. And funnily enough Sophia is never shown doing any of this ever again. At least there are some great lines especially Blanche's constant references to her arrests in Chattanooga. This is a solid episode, if at times a bit overly corny, but gets extra points for the pancreas line and the drink mimosas line. GRADE: B+

Monday, May 29, 2017

Yes, We Have No Havanas S4E1

Synopsis: Blanche dates an older man named Fidel and is abhorred to find out he's also seeing Sophia; Rose takes Dorothy's adult education course to get her high school diploma.

80s Flashback
Dorothy: “Where are you going tonight?”
Sophia: “Fidel is taking me to the Burt Reynolds Dinner Theater to see Ruth Buzzi in 'Evita.'”

Crazy Continuity
Here we learn Rose never graduated high school. But last season in “Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself” Rose talks about how she was chosen to be valedictorian by drawing straws.

Let’s Get Political
Rose, talking about her Nazi history teacher Mr. Shticklemeyer: “His orders came right from the top.”
Dorothy: “You mean Hitler?”
Rose: “Who's Hitler?”
Dorothy: “You are bad at history.”

That’s What She Said
Rose: “You're looking at a woman without a sheepskin.”
Jim Shu: “I've got an extra in my wallet I could give you.”
Rose: “No, thanks. I'd rather earn it.”

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “You're awfully cranky today.”
Sophia: “Well, forgive me. My arthritis is bothering me, my social security check was late, and I realized today I haven't showered with a man in 22 years.”
Dorothy: “Ma, Pop's been dead 27 years.”
Sophia: “What's your point?”

Zbornak Zingers
Fidel Santa Domingo: “My family once owned the largest tobacco plantation in all of Cuba. Do you know that at one time I was the most famous Fidel in the entire country? Until you-know-who showed up.”
Rose: “Who?”
Dorothy: “Rex the Wonder Horse, Rose.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “It means you won't get your diploma.”
Rose: “Yeah? Well, you have a big behind.”
Dorothy: “Oh, Rose, Rose please, let's try to keep this on an adult level. And if you wanna talk behinds, they could show 'How the West Was Won on yours.'”

Product Placement
Fidel Santa Domingo: “Now, if you will excuse me, it's time for me to change into my third linen suit of the day. In this heat I go through them like Kleenex.”

Sassy Sophia
Fidel Santa Domingo: “Blanche was right. She said you were incorrigible.”
Sophia: “I guess I deserve it, I always say she's a cheap slut.”

Back in St. Olaf
Dorothy: “Rose, you never graduated from high school?”
Rose: “Not officially. Three weeks before graduation, I was asked to be in the kissing booth at the Founders Day fair. Unfortunately, the first boy I kissed had a nasty case of mono. Well that afternoon, I passed it along to 50 young men. And one very confused female P.E. teacher who smelled of Old Spice. I slept day and night for the next six months and when I finally woke up I had missed my graduation and the integration of major league baseball.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Oh, why would Fidel want another woman?? After all, he's dipped his toes in the lake known as Blanche.”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Sophia: “Who'd have thought Blanche would date somebody that long in the tooth?”
Rose: “I thought his teeth were nice. What I couldn't believe was how old he was!”

Reel References
Blanche: “Girls, look, I know it seems strange, but I happen to have strong feelings for Fidel. I can't explain it. Some things in life defy explanation.”
Rose: “Yeah, like Bruce Willis' hair.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Please take your seats. Uh, Jorge Vega? Michael Fachik? Jim Shu? Jim Shu?! Oh, I get it: 'gym shoe.' Very funny.”
Jim Shu: “Excuse me. I am Jim Shu.”
Dorothy: “I'm terribly sorry. I thought you were pulling my leg.”
Jim Shu: “I don't think I could drink that much sake.”

and

Rose: “Wow! Dinner out with the girls! Oh, let's really get crazy. We'll eat Chinese and use forks. I know, I know! We'll pretend it's one of our birthdays and screw 'em out of a cake.”

and

Blanche: “Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go take a long, hot, steamy bath, with just enough water to barely cover my perky bosoms.”
Sophia: “You're only gonna sit in an inch of water??”

and

Woman at funeral: "I'm leaving. I'm not about to mourn a man who's been with every woman in this room."
Dorothy: "He was never with me."
Woman at funeral: "I guess even he had his standards."

I'm leaving.
I'm not about to mourn a man who's been with every woman in this room.
He was never with me.
I guess even he had his standards.

Read more: http://www.springfieldspringfield.co.uk/view_episode_scripts.php?tv-show=the-golden-girls-1985&episode=s04e01

Critique: This is a delightful season opener with wall-to-wall classic lines. Blanche and Sophia fighting over the same man seems like an unlikely scenario in a show filled with unlikely scenarios, but somehow it works. Even though we don't find out Sophia has been seeing Fidel Santa Domingo—err, Santiago—until about halfway through the episode the insults come fast and quick (“There's always room for Jell-O” "Beat it you fifty year old mattress!"  "How could he possibly confuse this young, nubile body with that raisin in sneakers?"). I really like the B story about Rose trying to get her high school diploma even though it completely jives with the fact that we learned Rose was inexplicably chosen valedictorian last season. Writers Barry Fanaro and Mort Nathan really love their 3 Rs jokes – “reading, writing, and rooster inseminating.” These were also the guys who gave us “reading, writing, and ring around the bed” in Season Two's “Ladies of the Evening.” For those curious, Henry Darrow who played Fidel in old-age makeup, is still kickin' as of May 2017 at age 83. Note: I'm introducing a new category called “Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose” for all of Rose's nitwit comments and observations. GRADE: A-