Tuesday, January 30, 2018

If at Last You Do Succeed S6E3

Synopsis: Stan becomes a success after inventing “the Zbornie:” a baked potato opener; Blanche buys Rose’s old junk including St. Olaf war bonds which turn out to be worth a lot.

80s Flashback
Dorothy [reading Stan’s letter]: “‘Dear Dorothy, in case you change your mind, here are three things to remember at the cocktail party. Number one, ask for more potatoes. Number two, be appalled that Joe Isuzu wasn't played by an Asian actor. And number three, under no circumstances walk on their backs. Even if they beg you and they will.’”

90s Flashback
Blanche: “I don't wanna have to deal with 400 people in Simpsons t-shirts trying to knock 25 cents off your ‘I lost my ass in Vegas’ cup.”

Let’s Get Political
Blanche: “How'd it go?”
Stan: “Ah, it was great. Those Japanese sure know how to have fun. What was that crazy dance called again?”
Dorothy: “They were bowing, Stanley.”
Stan: “Wild. They were just wild. They loved you, Dorothy.”
Dorothy: “No, they loved you, except, of course, for those Hirohito jokes.”
Stan: “Too soon?”

St. Olaf Vocab
Crapola in a Box – junk one tends to collect over time including but not limited to things that don’t fit right, smell bad, or make strangers look at you and giggle.
Knukendup und schvingle – knocked up and single
That’s What She Said
Sophia: “Pussycat, taste this.”

Blanche: “Oh, my. Is it gonna be a big one?”

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “What's a Zbornie?”
Dorothy: “I put up with it for 38 years, Rose. You don't wanna know.”
Stan: “It’s not that Dorothy, I just used the same name.”

Zbornak Zingers
Stan: “Turn on your TV. It is almost 6:28.”
Rose: “What's happening at 6:28?”
Stan: “You're gonna find out why Stan Zbornak is now a very rich man.”
Dorothy: “What is it this time, Stanley? Whoopee cushions for the hearing impaired?”

Dorothy: “I'll need someone to fasten my pearls.”
Stan: “Aw, babe. The ones I gave you?”
Dorothy: “No, sweetheart. The real ones.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “Well, Blanche, looks like the splits have it.”
Blanche: “Big Daddy was right. Women should not be allowed to vote.”
Sophia: “Blanche, If it's any consolation, when I wrote down ‘Give it to the old lady,’ I did mean you.”

Blanche: “Oh, Sophia, no bingo tonight?”
Sophia: “I'm staying home, I’m trying to recapture my lost youth. I see you haven't got it.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “Oh, Stanley, how nice of you to stop by. Bring me anything?”
Stan: “Of course. Now, who's my gorgeous gray-haired gal?”
Sophia: “It's me, isn't it, Stan?”
Stan: “You're right.”
Sophia: “Wow, a Game Boy! Very nice.”

Sassy Sophia
Dorothy: “Ma, where did you get that money? Stan gave it to me.”
Dorothy: “Ma, he's trying to buy your love.”
Sophia: “I'm sellin' it!”

Back in St. Olaf
Blanche: “Now wait a minute. Are you telling me that St. Olaf printed its own war bonds?”
Rose: “Yes. Oh, we were very patriotic. In late '42, we wanted to fund the development of a top-secret weapon that we were sure would end the war: attack cows.”
Blanche: “Take me now, Lord.”
Rose: “No one expects trouble from a cow. The plan was, we would drop these highly trained killer cows behind the enemy lines. It wasn't till they were airborne that we realized a cow can't pull a rip cord. Well, the project wasn't a total failure. If there's one thing the Germans hate, it's a mess.”

Rose: “You're not gonna believe this, but I have a St. Olaf story about this.”
Dorothy: “I believe you. I just hate you.”
Rose: “Well, Gunilla Bjorndunker, St. Olaf's tallest woman, of course, nobody ever made fun of her for that. Anyway, when Old Space Needle was in high school she drank some cherry herring and made love in the backseat of a Fjord Fjairlane. Local car. And she got in trouble, if you know what I mean, Dorothy.
Knukendup und schvingle.”
Sophia: “She knows what you mean.”
Rose: “Anyway, her boyfriend, Yutz Hernsberg, St. Olaf's only bald high school student, had to marry her.”
Blanche: “Well why would she marry a guy like that?”
Dorothy: “Because I was young! I-I'm sorry - I'm sorry, Rose. This is your story. Go, go on. Go on. “
Rose: “Well, anyway, after 38 years of marriage and a painful divorce, he finally came back, having invented Hernsberg's Press-on Warts.”
Dorothy: “Who bought those??”
Rose: “Hags, mostly. Don't you see? He was successful and he wanted Gunilla back.”
Dorothy: “Well, what happened to her, Rose?”
Rose: “Skylab fell on her.”
Dorothy: “What is the point of this story?!”
Rose: “Be thankful for your health!”

Blanche: “Rose, do you think we can go call St. Olaf now, and you can explain it to them the way I explained it to you?”
Rose: “Well, we could try. We might not be able to get a hold of anybody. It's 'Everybody Hide the Corn Day.'”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Stan (in commercial): “Over half a million Zbornies have already been sold. Call this toll-free number now. Remember, with the Zbornie, a day without potatoes is unnecessary.”
Stan: “That's my line.”
Rose (using phone): “Hi, I'd like to order the Zbornie.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Dorothy [reading a letter from Stan]: “’Have a potato day. See you later, tater. Your spuddy, Stan.’ I can't believe it. I just I - one beer. One beer in high school, and my life is ruined.”

What, We Can’t Learn From History?
Dorothy: “I have to admit, Stan was pretty amazing today. Did you see the way he stood up for himself? I mean this is not the same guy who screamed, ‘Paint my toenails! We've just invaded Korea!’"

The Boob Tube
Stan: “Dorothy, I need someone who's classy who can handle the rich and powerful. Someone not too obviously sexy.”
Dorothy: “Why don't you ask Merv Griffin?”

Golden Quotes
Stan (in commercial): “I've invented the Zbornie, America's first baked-potato opener. Now you can open potatoes without burning your fingers.”
Rose: “No! It can't be done!”
Stan (in commercial): “It CAN be done!”

Blanche: “Rose, you know all that stuff you sold me? That St. Olaf memorabilia and the things from your childhood?”
Rose: “A lifetime of memories.”
Blanche: “Yeah, that's it. Well, I came across these as I was tossing that junk in the dumpster.”

Blanche: “I paid for these fair and square. You said yourself, all deals are final.”
Rose: “Charlie would want me to have them.”
Blanche: “George would want me to keep 'em. Don't try that with me, Rose Nylund. I'll match you dead husband for dead husband.”

Blanche: “Oh, a new convertible! Oh, it's gorgeous.”
Dorothy: “Stan, I am not driving around with license plates that say ‘POTHEAD.’”
Stan: "It's an abbreviation. I didn't have room for the whole ‘potato head.’” [later]:

Rose: “If we take that money, there won't be any left for the police cars and the fire trucks and the children's Cheese Museum.”
Blanche: “You have a museum where children go to look at cheese?”
Rose: “Hey, it beats learning about it in the streets.”

Rose: “This whole St. Olaf problem is my fault. I can't believe I forgot I had those bonds. How could I be so stupid?”
Dorothy: “Maybe it was something you ate… Like food.”

Dorothy: “Now, look. This is important to Rose, and I think we need to stand behind her. I mean, you're taking away a part of her; her... her home. Granted, it's the cradle of idiocy.”
Rose: “I have a frog buried there.”

Rose: “Blanche, thank you. On behalf of the people of St. Olaf, I'd like to do a thank-you dance. I'll need a pot and a sheet, a rubber band, and a spoon.”
Dorothy: “Making a drum?”
Rose: “I guess you could.”

Dorothy [tying Stan's bow-tie]: “This reminds me of the first time I ever did this. Night of our senior prom.”
Stan: “Yeah, remember? It took so long to get the tie fixed, by the time we got to the drugstore, it was closed.”
Dorothy: “I remember. I remember.” [strangles Stan]

First of all, I don’t understand why Blanche is so against having a yard sale. Maybe she has PTSD from the time that lady tried to buy her Elvis salt & pepper shakers? But I digress. This is a seriously standout episode and sets a trend that will be followed throughout this season. Dorothy begins to fall for Stan all over again. And you know what, as much as she complains about the guy, they actually have tremendous chemistry together. Their jabs are hilarious. This episode is notable for other reasons as well. It introduced so many classic GG phrases and vocabulary, much of which has to do with St. Olaf. There's crapola in a box, the cradle of idiocy, the children's cheese museum, and “everybody hide the corn day” just to name a few. And then of course there's ZBORNIE. A device that needs no explanation. Sure maybe some of the jokes involving Stan's deal with Japanese investors are a tad off-color but this show could pretty much get away with anything. The writing in this episode is fresh and crisp and everyone gets some great, classic lines. Even five seasons this show was white hot. GRADE: A-

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Once in St. Olaf S6E2

Synopsis: While volunteering at the hospital Rose finds her biological father; Sophia has a hernia operation.

Musical Moments
Rose: “Sophia, where have you been?”
Blanche: “What are you doin' on this elevator?”
Sophia: “I'm into easy listening, how the hell should I know?”

St. Olaf Vocab
St. Olaf Fun Pack – a box filled with gum, a bar of soap, and sock puppets

Shady Pines, Ma
Dorothy: “Honey, a trip to the hospital is the best thing for you.”
Sophia: “Do you think I'm stupid? This scam has 'Shady Pines' written all over it.”
Dorothy: “Ma, be serious.”
Sophia: “Come on, we're all adults here. I see the way you've been eying my bedroom. Wouldn't a wet bar go great where the old lady is?

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “Oh, what a day this has been. I found my father. You found your mother.”
Blanche: “And I found you can't give a sponge bath without the patient's consent.”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: “Sophia's practically my mother too. If we don't find her, I don't know how I'm gonna respond. But I'd like to think I'm not gonna be any less sexy.”
Dorothy: “You're just a great big pile of estrogen, aren't you?”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “You know Rose, I'm luckier than you 'cause I had a father, a wonderful father whom I loved dearly. But right now you have an opportunity I would give anything for, just to have ten minutes more with Big Daddy. Oh, to hear that sweet old husky voice once more; 'They're admittin' who to my country club?'”
Rose: “Aw, there's a difference, Blanche. That bigot was there for you.”

Product Placement
Blanche: “Oh, Dorothy, good God. You were cleaning out the garage and you asked Sophia to move a sofa?”
Dorothy: “Don't start with me.”
Blanche: “I mean she is 84 years old, and you're asking her to do the work of two men?”
Dorothy: “It was wicker, all right?”
Blanche: “And the La-Z-Boy?”

Sassy Sophia
Rose [filling out Sophia's forms]: “I'm OK. I can do this job without thinking. OK, name?”
Sophia: “Zulu, Queen of the Dwarf People.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Will you wait a minute? You just walk so fast.”
Dorothy: “I am in a hurry.”
Blanche: “It's not sexy. Well, it's not. A woman should take little delicate steps as if to say, 'Yes, I may be slower than you, but maybe I'm worth waitin' for.'”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Rose: “My mother, did you love her?”
Brother Martin: “Yes, very, very much. But then the abbot found out.”
Rose: “Bud Abbott?
Brother Martin: “Sure'd be nice if you got one of these right. No, Rose, the abbot.”

Dorothy: “Rose, maybe you can help. We're searching the whole hospital. We can't find my mother.”
Rose: “Maybe she's lost.”
Brother Martin: “Attagirl, Rose. You finally got one!”

From Feud to Food
Brother Martin: “I'd like your forgiveness.”
Rose: “I don't know. Lime Jell-O with pears or fresh lemon meringue pie?”
Brother Martin: “Pie.”
Rose: “We don't have any. We never did. Now we're even.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Dorothy: “It is the middle of the night. My mother is missing. I am scared to death and I'm trying to find a doctor. You'll have to excuse me if I don't have the rolling gait of a nymphomaniac.”

Reel References
Rose: “OK, let's just fill out these forms. Your name?”
Brother Martin: “Brother Martin.”
Rose: “Occupation?”
Brother Martin: “I'm a monk.”
Rose: “Oh good. I almost wrote down 'Trekkie.'”

The Boob Tube
Brother Martin: “Excuse me, but do I know you? You look awfully familiar.”
Rose: “I get that a lot. People say I look like Wilma Flintstone. Not when she was on the air. More the way she looks today.”

Golden Quotes
Blanche: “Hi, Rose. How's it going?”
Rose [as sock puppet]: “Hi, Blanche!”
Blanche: “God, I hate morning people.”

Dorothy: “Oh honey, do we have any orange juice?”
Rose: “Sure. Would you like me to pour you a glass or have Sophia come in and bring you the refrigerator?”
Dorothy: “Enough.”
Sophia:“Pussycat, I moved that safe to the attic like you asked me to. Can I have food now?”

Bother Martin: “What do you know about your father?”
Rose: “There was a rumor that he was a clown with Ringling Brothers, but I never believed it. Just seemed too much to hope for.”

Blanche: “There's a very handsome doctor coming this way. Dorothy, listen, if he walks by, just pretend we're having a conversation and casually mention my unparalleled ability to satisfy a man.”
Dorothy: “You don't think he's read the men's room wall?”
Blanche: “Apparently not.”

Rose: “You're not going to believe it. I just met my father, my natural father.”
Blanche: “He's alive?”
Dorothy: “He's in Miami?”
Sophia: “He's an earthling?”

Rose: “Oh, here, Sophia, just sign this. I'll fill it in later. It's a standard consent form, releasing the hospital of responsibility. Like if you're missing any jewelry or they kill you.”
Sophia: “I'm not gettin' out of here alive.”

Sophia: “What brings a guy like you up here?”
Man on gurney: “A lunatic. I'm a police officer. See, I was working a political rally at the Civic Center when this madman pulls out a revolver and starts blasting away from the roof. I took a bullet pulling a baby carriage out of the line of fire. How 'bout you?”
Sophia: “Same.”

Blanche: “Have you found her?”
Dorothy: “Oh, yes Blanche. About a half-hour ago. But now I've hidden her again, so you can find her.”

Brother Martin: “Rose has told me all about you two. I know it's a little late for me to start acting like a father, but do you think you two could stop hitting my little girl with the newspaper?”
Dorothy & Blanche: “We'll try.”

Dorothy: “I never thought I'd be looking for my mother in the morgue. Oh, I can't believe, you know, the last words I said to her were, 'Shut up, Zulu!'”

I love how Rose finally accepts that her natural father is going to be in her life and yet we never see or hear from him again. Maybe he didn't want grandchildren or great-grandchildren after all. Or maybe he got food poising from the halibut like in “Airplane!” and died. But I digress. So how dark is Dorothy's fantasy parents story? She wanted Amelia Earhart to be her mother so THAT SHE COULD GO MISSING AND SHE COULD BE ALL ALONE WITH HER DAD ERROL FLYNN. I digress again. Anyways, this is a decent episode. I do enjoy it because it's filled with many classic lines. It introduced the world to Zulu, Queen of the Dwarf People, a gag that they milk for all its worth. The storylines, however, leave a little to be desired. I get why the writers would want to focus on Rose's parents since it's revealed in “You Gotta Have Hope” that Rose was adopted: it's season six and there are only so many plots to cover with these four ladies. Enter veteran actor Dom Ameche (Who had quite a career resurgence after winning an Oscar for “Cocoon” a few years prior) as Brother Martin, Rose's biological father. Sure, it's a helluva coincidence that Rose's father would show up in Miami, AND be an earthling. I've always found Sophia's hernia B plot to be more entertaining even if it feels insignificant. Dorothy and Blanche running around the hospital looking for Ma is pretty silly stuff but it leads to plenty of good jokes and gags such as Sophia thinking the elevator is heaven. And for the record she's on Medicare, not Lloyd's of London. GRADE: B

Monday, January 8, 2018

Blanche Delivers S6E1

Synopsis: Blanche's knocked up and single daughter Becky visits and causes yet another rift with Blanche when she decides to have the baby in Miami; Rose trains for the US Senior Sports Classic in ice skating.

90s Flashback

Sophia: “A little more to the left. A little more to the left. A little more to the left.”

Dorothy: “Ma. Ma, wake up, wake up. You're having a nightmare.”

Sophia: “Oh, I dreamt I was in bed with Mel Gibson and Kim Basinger was to my right.”

Crazy Continuity

Not so much a continuity thing but something I've always been curious about. Ladies, tell me if I'm wrong, but if you're pregnant and about to burst, do you travel to another state for visit and then just decide to stay there to have the baby at a hospital with doctors you don't know?

Let’s Get Political

Blanche: “At least Dorothy's pregnancy was an accident. My daughter did it on purpose. And went to a sperm bank. A sperm bank. Just the very idea of a bank havin' sperm.”

Sophia: “At least the government didn't have to bail them out.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley

Rose: “I'm gonna enter the US Senior Sports Classic. And I'm gonna win.”

Dorothy: “I had no idea that you could skate that well.”

Rose: “Oh when I was young, my folks had me train for the US team. The day the Olympic Committee came to St. Olaf, I was so nervous I put my skates on the wrong feet.”

Dorothy: “Oh!”

Rose: “Sonya Henderfinken's.”

Shady Pines, Ma

Becky: “I can't believe you. Are you ever gonna get over my bein' a single mother?”

Blanche: “Well it's just that I have a reputation in this town.”

Dorothy [immediately feeding Sophia cheesecake]: “Cheesecake, Ma?”

Becky: “I had artificial insemination. It's not like I slept with every man in town!”

Dorothy: “Chew it carefully, Ma. Like they taught you at Shady Pines.”

Lewd Ladies

Blanche: “Oh. This is a birthing center? Well, where's the obstetrician? Where's the equipment??”

Sophia:“Yeah, she'd be better off having the baby in your bedroom. At least you've got stirrups.”

Becky: “I think one's coming on. Oh oh OH. YIKES!!”

Sophia: [knocking on wall]: “Blanche, cut it out. I'm trying to get some sleep.”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: "I think it's great that you're taking part in the Senior Sports Classic. You know, I might try entering it myself in 15 years when I'm eligible. If I can come up with an event."
Dorothy: "The luge is the only one where you get to lie on your back."

Oh Shut Up, Rose!

Rose: “Boy, in St. Olaf, the mother was always with the daughter when she gave birth. And if the mother was out of town, then the mother of the father was there. And if she was out of town, then we'd call Lucky Gunther.”

Dorothy: “Oh, what the hell. She has a birthday coming up. Why, Rose?”

Rose: “After the thresher accident, they replaced Lucky's arm with the forceps. Yep. Lucky Gunther. He was in charge of delivering babies and handing out corn at the Rotary picnics.”

Dorothy: “Shut up, Rose!”

Insult Watch

Rose: “I'm wearing weights to strengthen my ankles.”

Sophia: “Do they come in headbands?”

Product Placement

Becky: “So uh, Mama, what do you think?”

Blanche: “I think it would cost less to squat in a Laura Ashley showroom.”

Sassy Sophia

Blanche: “I'm really looking forward to Becky's visit, even though she is in a delicate condition.”

Sophia: “Yeah, knocked up and single. How dainty.”

Back in St. Olaf

Rose: “I was fortunate. I was at a picnic when I delivered Kirsten.”

Dorothy: “Well, how was that fortunate?”

Rose: “Lucky Gunther already had boiling water in his corn pot. Before you knew it, I was kissing her little buttery salted head.”

Best of B.E.D.

Blanche: “Oh! Oh my G- Oh, will you just look at HIM!?”

Doctor: “Mrs. Devereaux, that's the umbilical cord!”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose

Rose: “Coach Ninervini is really disappointed in my compulsory figures. The only way I can make an "8" is to start with a snowman and then erase his head and arms. By the time I do all that, the judges have lost interest.”

Dorothy: “So have I, Rose.”

What, We Can't Learn From History?

Dorothy: “So, I hear we only get you for three days.”

Becky: “Well, that depends.”

Dorothy: “On what?”

Becky: “On how my mother feels about my having the baby in Miami.”

Blanche: “Here?? So close to Cuba?”

From Feud to Food

Dorothy: “Cheesecake, Rose?”

Rose: “Let's taste it and find out.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal

Dorothy: “It doesn't matter what your parents want. Rose, you're never gonna make them happy. They're just gonna nag you and nag you until you want to grab their throats and choke 'em, but you don't, because you're in a hospital with resuscitating equipment!!!”

The Boob Tube

Dorothy: “Remember how Stan was working late when I went into labor with Kate, so I called you, Ma?”

Sophia: “Yeah, right in the middle of Uncle Miltie.”

Dorothy: “No, no. Kate was born on a Friday. Milton Berle was on Tuesday nights.”

Sophia: “Yeah, I know. Uncle Miltie was your father's pet name for – nevermind.”

Golden Quotes

Becky: “Well, I love being pregnant. Except for the hormones. Yesterday I cried when the mail was late.”

Rose [crying]: “Oh no, her mail was late!”

Dorothy: “Can you imagine what she was like when she had hormones?”

Becky: “I'm not having my baby in a hospital. I'm going to a birthin' center. They emphasize natural childbirth in a relaxed atmosphere with no painkillers.”

Blanche: “Becky, I know I told you where babies come from. Did I ever mention where they come out?”

Blanche: “First Becky conceives in a clinic, now she wants to deliver in a bedroom. She's got the whole thing backwards. Oh, this is all wrong. What kind of dope would want to have a baby here?!”

Rose: “This place makes me wanna run out and get pregnant!”

Blanche: “Well, darling, that is woman's lot in life, to bear the pain of childbirth.”

Becky: “What's man's lot in life?”

Dorothy: “Their eyebrows grow together.”

Rose: “Am I crazy or did I hear screaming?”

Dorothy: “Yes and yes!”

Blanche: “How you doin', baby?”

Becky: “I'm scared.”

Blanche: “Oh honey, there's nothin' to be afraid of. Just remember, pull! Pull! Oh, no. That's skeet shootin'.”

Sophia: “It took me three and a half days to have Dorothy. I finally coaxed her out with a pork chop.”

Dorothy: “You know Ma, you're really making me feel very bad. You keep telling me how hard it was and how long it took to have me.”

Sophia: “Did I mention the colic?”

Dorothy: “Ma, you're hurting my feelings.”

Sophia: “Not as much as you hurt my oonie.”

Dorothy: “Ma!”

Rose: “Oh, Sophia. Big Foot, thank you. I mean, you're terrific. You made me realize you don't have to please your parents. I don't know how I can thank you. No more ice-skating. And I'm not gonna go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.”

Dorothy: “No, Rose, that you should do.”


A new year, a new season. And even better it's the second part of what I refer to as 'The Aurora Trilogy.' And it contains my all-time favorite off-screen scream in television history (the mommy on fire obviously – and, for the record, second place goes to Jaleel White in the first Myrtle Urkel episode of “Family Matters”). Even though this is a very Blanche-centric episode Rose gets lots of fun physical humor here. It's a sheer delight when Rose walks through the kitchen door looking like she's going to “a sanitarium up north.” Then she shuffles along with ankle weights and Sophia thinks she's making fun of old people. I wonder how long it did take Rose to get through the grocery store with those things on? Anyways, so when Becky mentions Birthin' Centers and Sophia makes a remark about those theme park people, does anyone else picture an Epcot-like “Miracle of Birth” ride? I'd go on it. On that note, what in the actual hell is a Birthin' Center? But I digress. Rose's storyline, let's be real, is just plain silly and is just an excuse for her to get Becky's birthin' coach mixed up with her ice skating coach, but it's a funny gag and I can get behind it. The fact that Becky, let alone the doctor, would even want the coach in the room is beyond preposterous. Moving on, I'm on the record as saying that aside from Season 2's “End of the Curse” opener this episode is arguably the series' strongest season premiere. The writing is as funny and crisp as ever and by season 6 the ladies have certainly found their grove, probably so much so that at this point it feels like they ARE these characters. Finally, the show's writers have always come up with clever euphemisms for genitalia over the course of the series from oohoo to wee-wee but Sophia's line reading of “oonie” takes the cake. A cake that's probably from the Get It While It's Hot Erotic Bake Shop. Note: I'm adding a new category called “Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal” for any downright classic Dorothy Z. outbursts. Looking forward to this season. GRADE: A