Thursday, February 4, 2021

Journey to the Center of Attention S7E19

Synopsis: Blanche becomes jealous of Dorothy when she gets all the attention at the Rusty Anchor; Sophia decides to throw her own wake.

80s Flashback
Blanche: “Oh, everybody, here's Myrtle! Oh, Myrtle, thank goodness you got here. You're just the person we need to liven up this party. Do some of those impressions you're so good at.”
Myrtle: “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, God!”
Blanche: “Jimmy Swaggart, right? That's just wonderful. Do another one.”
Myrtle: “The last time I saw her she was fine. I didn't even know she was sick. What happened?”
Blanche: “Wait, don't tell me. Uh, Claus von Bulow??”

Musical Moments
Guy at piano: “You sing, don't you?” 
Dorothy: “A little.” 
Guy at piano: “Great. Uh, how about some Irving Berlin? Blue Skies? Always?” 
Dorothy: “Maybe, maybe some other time.”
Guy at piano: “What'll I Do?” 
Dorothy: “D flat is good for me. What'll I do?/...away/And I am blue/What'll I do?/What'll I do/When I am wondering/Who is kissing you/What'll I do?/What'll I do/With just a photograph/To tell my troubles to?/When I'm alone/With only dreams of you/That won't come true/What'll I do?…What'll I do/With just a photograph/To tell my troubles to?/When I'm alone/With only dreams of you/That won't come true/What'll I do?

Dorothy: “They call her hard-hearted Hannah/The vamp of Savannah/Meanest gal in town/Now, leather is tough/But Hannah's heart is tougher/She's a gal who likes to see men suffer.”
Bartender: “What's the matter, Blanche? You seem upset. Is anything wrong?”
Blanche: “Oh, no. No big deal. Just one little thing. I feel like I've died and gone to hell.”
Dorothy: “She's hard-hearted Hannah/The vamp of Savannah, GA!

Blanche: “Boys, I have a little surprise for you.” 
Man at bar: “Yeah, yeah, we know. You're not wearing a bra.”
Blanche: “No. No, I'm gonna saaaang. For all my special friends here at the Rusty Anchor. This one’s for you. Hit it Ron. I wanna be loved by you/Just you/And nobody else but you/I wanna be loved by you/Alone/Boop-boop-ba-doo/I wanna be kissed by you, just you/And nobody else but you/I wanna be kissed by you/Alone/I couldn't aspire/To anything higher/Than your desire/To make you my own/Ba-bop-bee-da boop-boop-dee-doo/I wanna be loved by you/Just you/And nobody else but you/I wanna be loved by you/Alone/Boop-boop-a-doop! Hi, handsome. What's your name?” 
Guy at piano: “His name's Don, and he just had hip surgery.”
Blanche: “Well, hello, big boy. Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? I wanna be loved by you/Just you and nobody else but you/I wanna be loved by you...”

St. Olaf Vocab
Rose: “Excuse me, I couldn't help but notice you took several of my tasty, delicious, lutefisk puffs and you've hardly touched them.”
Woman at wake: “Uh, I just don't care for them.”
Rose: “Yeah, well, that's an ugly hat.”

Insult Watch
Blanche: “I cannot watch you spend one more night like this. You're coming with me to the Rusty Anchor.” 
Dorothy: “Oh, Blanche, I told you, I am so uncomfortable with strangers.”
Blanche: “Now, now, don't blame yourself. They're just as uncomfortable with you.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “I don't believe it. My Dorothy is popular. After 60 years of bargaining with God, it's finally happened. Per our agreement, I'm off to Calcutta to work with the poor.”

Best of B.E.D.
Guy at bar: “Hey, Blanche. How's life?” 
Blanche: “Well, it's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearin' no underwear!”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Blanche: “Rose, listen, I want you to think now, very carefully. When you sent out those invitations, you did remember to tell everyone Sophia's really alive, didn't you?” 
Rose: “Blanche, I'm offended. How dumb do you think I am? I put it... I made the freaking hors d'oeuvres. Leave me alone.”

Sophia: “Rose, you forgot to tell these people I was alive, didn't you?” 
Rose: “And I made the freaking punch, and I made the freaking decorations.”

From Feud to Food
“I even know a way we can save some money. I'll make the hors d'oeuvres.”
“Some wake. Scandinavian crap on a cracker. I mean, thank you.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Blanche: “I have a little exercise I do whenever my self-esteem's kind of low. I say my name and then I list three positive things about myself. ‘I'm Blanche Devereaux. I'm beautiful, men find me desirable, and people want to be my friend.’ Go on now, you try.”
Dorothy: “I'm Dorothy Zbornak. I'm beautiful, men find me desirable, and people wanna be my friend.” 
Blanche: “I'm sorry I confused you, honey. You're supposed to say three positive things that apply to you. You know, like you could say, ‘I'm Dorothy Zbornak. I'm a good speller, and I'm,uh I'm very prompt and, um...’ Well, actually, there's... there's no law that says there has to be three.”
Dorothy: “Actually, I just thought of a third one: I can snap a friend's neck like a twig.”

Reel References
Bartender: “Hey, Dorothy, what's your pleasure?” 
Dorothy: “Claude Akins on a waterbed.”

The Boob Tube
Blanche: “Dorothy, what are you doing?”
Dorothy: “I'm watching Amazing Discoveries. Look at that. The thing just shucks the corn off the cob. It just shucks it off.”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “Oh, girls, we just went to Doug Kirkpatrick's wake. It was the greatest!”
Sophia: “I can't remember when I had so much fun. Those Irishmen. They even laid out Doug's body in the living room.”
Blanche: “Oh, that sounds morbid.”
Rose: “I didn't have a problem with it till one of the relatives got drunk and started slow dancing with the corpse. But even then it was surprisingly touching.”
Blanche: “And speaking of being touched, it's nickel beer night at the Rusty Anchor. I'm gonna get my purse, you get changed, 'cause we're goin'.
Dorothy: “Oh, Blanche, what if no one there wants to talk to me? What if nobody asks me to dance?”
Blanche: “Now, Dorothy, think, if there's somebody out there who is willin' to dance with a corpse, there's somebody willin' to dance with you!”

Bar patron: “Your friend's pretty good.”
Blanche: “Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm not wearing a bra.”

Sophia: “Dorothy, how would you like to go to a wake next Friday?” 
Dorothy: “Ma, you know how I feel about those things. They're so sad and depressing. Whose wake is it anyway?” 
Sophia: “Mine.” 
Dorothy: “What time?”

Rose: “No, she's serious. Next Friday Sophia's gonna throw her own wake. Food, drinks, music. The only difference will be she'll be alive. God willing.”

Dorothy: “Oh, come on, come on. Boys, boys, boys! I am woman enough for all of you.”
Blanche: “This is the point in my dream where I usually wake up screamin'.”

Blanche: “And the good news is that Sophia's still with us. So, now you have the chance to tell her how you really feel about her.”
Myrtle: “I'll go first. Sophia, I drove 30 miles and missed a day of work just to be here. I think it's very selfish of you not to be dead.”
Eva: “And I missed... Well, actually, I didn't have anything planned for today, but I'm still p.o.'d.”

Sophia: “But I still wish my wake hadn't been such a disaster.” 
Rose: “Well, look on the bright side. You'll have another one.”

Blanche: “I just have to keep reminding myself, I am Blanche Devereaux. I am beautiful, men find me desirable, and my life is over.”
Rose: “Boy, when the mask falls off, it really makes a thud.”

Rose, picking up microphone: “Two Jews, an Arab, and a priest walk into a bar...”

Dorothy: “Why don't we share? Let's just be sure that we both don't show up on the same night.” 
Blanche: “You mean, like I would come three nights a week, and you come three?” 
Dorothy: “Right. Oh, wait a minute. What about Sunday?” 
Blanche: “Oh, you don't wanna come on a Sunday, Dorothy. The men have been watching football all day long. They're drunk and rowdy...”
Dorothy: “Yeah, you want Sundays, don't you?” 
Blanche: “Pllllease!”

Blanche: “Dorothy, are you ever jealous of me?” 
Dorothy: “Every day of my life. Blanche, why don't we go out there and do a duet?” 
Blanche: “Do you know Cry Me A River?” 
Dorothy: “Uh, no, I don't.” 
Blanche: “Good. We'll do that one.”

Watching this episode in the time of Covid makes me realize how creepy and gross bars truly are. We have pretty much been Dorothy on the couch in the opening of this episode for almost a year now right? But there is something just comforting about getting under the blanket and watching dumb shows (my current obsession is Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America, but I digress). “Journey to the Center of Attention” is great because we finally get a glimpse into the infamous Rusty Anchor bar.  And all I can say is, why would anyone go anywhere with “rusty” in its name without underwear? I guess that’s one for the theologians. I love an episode when the girls get to sing and we get Dorothy’s rendition of “What’ll I Do” and “Hard-Hearted Hannah” and Blanche’s notorious misfire of “I Wanna Be Loved By You.” Rue’s physical comedy timing is brilliant here. And can I just say as a huge fan of spoof movies, I absolutely love the Airplane!-like gag that involves a gun in a guy’s pocket. Meanwhile the B story about Sophia throwing her own wake is full of dark humor as every guest at the wake thinks Sophia is actually dead. And of course they do. IT’S A FREAKING WAKE. Why the girls continue to ask Rose to take on so much responsibility is beyond me. This storyline is pretty silly but rather grounded considering what other season seven plots have included. It is funny watching everyone faint when Sophia comes strolling out. But who sends out invitations to a wake? And who doesn’t look for an obituary? Anyways. Speaking of Airplane!, the lady at Sophia’s wake who had nothing else to do but is still p.o.’d is Ann Nelson who played the hanging lady in that classic comedy and is one of several cast members of that film who have appeared on the show.  GRADE: A-



  1. You don’t wanna come on a Sunday Dorotheh. The men have been watching’ football all day and they’re drunk and rowwwwdeh

    1. But on a serious note, I love this episode and I love how Dorothy re-wore that old military-esque black outfit (same one she wore when she went to sneak out tonight...with Stan.

  2. Welcome back! I keep waiting for some waiter/bartender to throw the "what's your pleasure?" line at me. And if Dorothy and Blanche are singing and Rose is trying standup, what does that leave for Sophia? The return of her famed ventriloquism or imitations routines? (Side note: a throwaway line in The Golden Palace reveals Sophia did record a raunchy comedy album in the '50s.)