Monday, February 19, 2018

Feelings S6E6

Synopsis: Dorothy courts controversy when she fails a star football player in the high school English class she’s teaching; Rose is molested by her dentist.

80s Flashback
Coach Odlivak: “I'll tell you what. I'll sweeten the pot. You let Kevin play this weekend, and I'll take you out Saturday night.”
Dorothy: “You haven't read ‘The Art of the Deal,’ have you, Coach?”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Dorothy: “I'm sorry about your knee. You know, you wouldn't have been blindsided if you'd stayed in the pocket.”
Kevin: “You know football?”
Dorothy: “I know everything.”

Lewd Ladies
[Sophia enters with tea]
Blanche: “Oh, Sophia. Thank you, honey. How perfectly lovely.”
Sophia: “Well, I was boiling water anyway to shrink the cyst on my backside. I figured, What the hell? I'll throw in a tea bag and make myself a hero.”

Zbornak Zingers
Dorothy: “Look, it's not that I'm lazy, Ms. Zbornak. I'm just really busy with ball. I wanted to read The Tale of Two Cities, but I didn't have the time.”
Dorothy: “That was my fault, Kevin. For interrupting the high school experience with a book.”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “Oh, a student pays attention, works hard, gets good grades. Does that make him a geek?”
Kevin: “Uh no, that makes him a dork. A geek is more like, you know, somebody with no friends, stays home every Saturday night, nose always buried in a book.”
Dorothy [to Sophia]: “One word out of you and I cut off your supply of Metamucil.”

Sassy Sophia
Dorothy: “Oh, Blanche, you did a pretty good job focusing this for Rose. And for me. I have to admit, you would have made a very good psychologist.”
Sophia: “Great idea, Pussycat. Give Blanche an office with a couch and a license to charge by the hour.”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “What if I were wrong? The last time I had courage, I confronted Lukan Ulfnooner, St.
Olaf's moodiest plastic surgeon… Anyway, Doctor Ulfnooner did some work on my mom. And do you know who she came out looking like? Raymond Massey!”
Dorothy: “Rose, that's terrible.”
Rose: “Well that's what I thought when I accused him of malpractice and ruined his business. Unfortunately, little did I know…”
Blanche: “Know what, Rose?”
Rose: “That was the look she was going for.”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Dorothy, I don't think you realize the significance of football in the South. I've had men break dates with me to go to football games.”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Rose: “I wish men would have breasts just for one day. Then they'd know what it's like to be judged by some physical trait. I mean, just because I'm built like this, you wouldn't believe how many people think I'm dumb.”
Sophia: “Rose, you're too hard on yourself. I know people who think you're dumb over the phone.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Dorothy: “I see some people have already signed your cast.”
Kevin: “Uh, yeah. Some of the guys from the team. Uh, are you signing it?”
Dorothy: “Correcting it. There is no K in victory. Oh, yeah, and we'll just change this to: ‘Ms. Zbornak eats shii-ta-ke mushrooms.’”

Literary Intelligentsia
Sophia: “Dorothy, why don't you pass the kid so he can play? I doubt if The Canterbury Tales is gonna come up in a huddle.”
Blanche: “I agree, Dorothy. Saturday's game is a big one. And speaking as a former cheerleader and ex-bad girl in a health film, I can tell you the importance of school-sanctioned extracurricular activities.”

Golden Quotes
Dorothy: “I really don't get it. Am I the only one who thinks diagramming sentences is fun?”
Sophia: “You talk like this on dates, don't you?”

Sophia: “Doorbell! Doorbell!”
Dorothy: “Ma, what is the matter with you? Can't you answer the door??”
Sophia: “My butt's asleep, and you know, I'm kinda gettin' into it.”

Blanche: “I don't see what the big deal is about passing this boy. Why, in my neck of the woods, they practically gave grades away.
Dorothy: “Blanche, in your neck of the woods, men named Bubba get into law school.”

Blanche: “When I submit to a man's advances, it is with my consent. A woman has the option to say no. Honey, you weren't given that option. You were given nitrous oxide!”
Sophia: “By the way, Blanche, when did you ever say no?”
Blanche: “Did I say there was going to be a question and answer period after I spoke?”

Father O’Mara: “Blanche Devereaux? I've heard quite a bit about you.”
Blanche: “All good, I hope.”
Father O’Mara: “I'm sorry, I can't reveal things learned in confession. But it's nice to match the name up with a face.”

Sophia: “I can't believe I have a daughter who threw a priest out the door.”
Dorothy: “Ma, you have relatives who threw priests out of windows.”
Sophia: “That was business.”

Blanche: “Rose, you obviously had a very traumatic childhood. I need to hear your whole life. I want you to start at the beginning and tell me your first memory.”
Dorothy: “Ma, I'm sorry. I didn't want your last days to be like this.”

Sophia: “This is the proudest I've been of you in my whole life.”
Dorothy: “Thanks, Ma.”
Sophia: “Can you believe it? My whole life and this is the proudest I've ever been. I'm depressed. I need a cookie.”

It still fascinates me how truly obsessed Sophia is with having a big screen TV. This is what her fourth or fifth time mentioning wanting a big screen TV. Imagine if Sophia were around today, she’d be like 4K all the way! But I digress. What a fascinatingly ethics-themed episode this is. Dorothy is in an awkward position of failing a football player only to be threatened by the coach, a priest, and whoever left the dead fish on her door. Meanwhile, Rose is being felt up by her dentist. And with the whole #metoo movement going on you realize how embedded into our society harassment of all kinds truly is. Like the best GG episodes that dealt with serious topics, it’s still disturbingly relevant today. But let’s not be a Debbie Downer, this episode still has it’s moments. Who else wants to see Sophia sitting in a pot of tea? Oh, I’m the only one? Moving on. This episode is also filled with recognizable faces. Rose’s dentist is Col. Sandurz from “Spaceballs.” And Kevin is played by Christopher Daniel Barnes who voiced Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid” and went on to star as Greg Brady in The Brady Bunch movies. Groovy. GRADE: B

Monday, February 12, 2018

Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mammy S6E5

Synopsis: Blanche’s childhood nanny comes to visit and drops a bomb on Blanche; Sophia hires a matchmaker for Dorothy.

Crazy Continuity
Mammy: “Blanche Marie Hollingsworth, sit down!” Here we learn Blanche’s middle name, but in a later episode her middle name is Elizabeth (forming the joke that her initials spell BED).

Let’s Get Political
Mammy: “Blanche, I loved your father.”
Blanche: “Of course you did. Everybody loved Big Daddy.”
Mammy: “No, I mean I loved your father.”
Blanche: “Get outta here.”
Mammy: “We were lovers, Blanche.”
Blanche: “That's impossible! Big Daddy was a Republican.”

Shady Pines, Ma
Dorothy: “I told you, if I want a date, I can find one for myself.”
Blanche: “Oh Dorothy. Dear, sweet, delusional Dorothy.”
Dorothy: “Blanche, if you don't mind, I'm having a heart-to-heart with my mother. Now listen up, you withered old Sicilian monkey!”
Sophia: “I don't have to take this. Keep it up, and I'll take you to Shady Pines.”
Dorothy: “That's where I take you.”
Sophia: “Ouch. Guess I backed into that one.”

Lewd Ladies
Sophia: “If you can fix Dorothy up with somebody, maybe I can get out of the house once in a while. Or at least stay in and walk around naked.”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche: “I just can't get over it.”
Rose: “Over what?”
Dorothy: “San Juan Hill, Rose.”

Oh Shut Up, Rose!
Blanche: “Let me get this right. I don't hear from you for years and years, then out of the blue I get a phone call, and you come waltzing through that door and want me to give you a music box?”
Rose: “Oh, wait. It's Mamie!”
Dorothy: “Just under the buzzer, Rose.”
Mammy: “It was of great sentimental value, Blanche, I assure you.”
Blanche: “It just so happens we haven't found any music box.”
Rose: “Well yes, we have. It's in that box--”
Blanche: “Shut up, Rose!”

Insult Watch
Sophia: “Oh, Pussycat. Just the person I was looking for. I have a question for you, strictly hypothetical. Let's say a man wants to take you out on a date.”
Dorothy: “Why is that hypothetical?”
Sophia: “Check your calendar, Pussycat.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “Big Daddy's only been gone for a year. Here I am, already selling off his things… I just didn't realize how seeing these things would bring back so many memories. Like Big Daddy's Bible. Never went anywhere without this. Whiskey. That explains why every Sunday after services, he'd stand up and yell, ‘I can lick any man in this church.’”

Blanche: “This changes everything I ever thought about Big Daddy. I always assumed that he and Mama had a wonderful sex life. I walked in on 'em once when I was a little girl. There was all this huffin' and puffin' and high-pitched sounds. Then suddenly Big Daddy shouted ‘GLORY!’ And they both lit up cigarettes. I vowed then and there I would never do anything so repulsive.”
Rose: “So what happened?”
Blanche: “Oh, Bobby Joe Porter explained to me that the cigarette part was optional.”

Product Placement
Sophia: “Hi Pussycat. Gee, you look nice tonight.”
Dorothy: “Why thank you.”
Sophia: “But lean over here and smile. I think you have something on your teeth.”
[Sophia snaps photo]
Dorothy: “Ma, why did you do that??”
Sophia: “Playboy is running a spread on the substitute teachers of Miami.”

Sassy Sophia
Sophia: “Hey, that sign says ‘No Soliciting.’ Come back here and I'll blow your head off, capisce?!”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “You know, I had a nanny when I was a child. She was my best friend. I could tell her anything, and I'd know she'd keep it a secret. Oh, we used to spend the days running and playing in the meadow. Or playing hide-and-seek in the barn. My nanny treated me just like I was her own kid. Excuse me.”
Dorothy: “Is there anyone here who doesn't think she was talking about a goat?”

Dorothy: “I'm still furious with Ma for hooking me up with that matchmaker.”
Rose: “That reminds me of a story about St. Olaf's most famous matchmaker.”
Dorothy: “Oh please, Rose, spare me the endless inane details of how Heidi Flugendugelgurgenplotz successfully matched a bull with a duck. And how their daughter was a bull duck who ran a small tattoo parlor in Carmel.”

Rose: “I can give advice without a damn St. Olaf story. Now what's wrong?”
Dorothy: “Well, I just don't think it was right of Ma to hire that matchmaker behind my back. Now, why does she always meddle in my life?”
Rose: “Well Dorothy, I recently read about a man in Paris, France named Frudensteufer -
Dorothy: “Rose!”
Rose: “Pierre Frudensteufer. He worked in his father's herring - no, quiche factory, and his father Lars Fr-”
Dorothy: “Do I look like I just fell off the turnip truck??”
Rose: “No. But you do look like the woman who used to drive it. Her name was Uma Van Hefflan. No relation. Although she, too, collected string. Well, one day -”
Dorothy: “Rose, stop yourself. You're doing two of them at the same time.”
Rose: “I know, and I'd like to try to handle it. I feel like Hans the Plate Spinner. Funny thing about -”
Dorothy: “Rose!”
Rose: “Oh, my God, Dorothy. I need help.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you're headed for a meltdown. Now make a point, any point.”
Rose: “The point of the story - actually, two of the stories - is that you let your pride get in the way too often. The only reason your mother did what she did was she didn't want you to be lonely. And when you think about it, the idea of a matchmaker is kinda sweet.”

What, We Can't Learn From History?
Blanche: “My mammy - the woman who took care of me when I was little.”
Dorothy: “Oh, I'm sorry. I don't think I ever heard anyone called ‘Mammy’ before.”
Rose: “What about Mrs. Eisenhower?
Dorothy: “‘Mammy’ Eisenhower. I think only the Nixon kids got to call her that.”

From Feud to Food
Blanche: “We Southerners don't forget things like that.”
Dorothy: “It's true. Possum is brain food.”

Reel References
Sophia: “I sold you to the sultan of Fatah.”
Dorothy: “Ma!”
Sophia: “What? You're a substitute teacher. It'll be just like The King and I.”

The Boob Tube
Mammy: “This isn't the right music box.”
Blanche: “That's the only music box there is.”
Mammy: The music box I gave your father was black enamel and played ‘Stardust.’”
[“Bonanza” theme plays]
Blanche: “The theme from ‘Bonanza.’”
Mammy: “Well then, I guess we went through all this for nothin'.”
Blanche: “I wouldn't say for nothin'.”
Mammy: “Then, who the hell gave him this music box??”

Golden Quotes
Mammy: “I'm looking for Blanche Devereaux.”
Blanche: “Mammy? Mammy Watkins?”
Mammy: “Blanche? I sure could use a hug.”
Rose: “Okey-dokey!”
[Rose hugs Mammy]

Mammy: “My friends in Atlanta read in the papers where you'd be sellin' off his things here in Miami, and before you did, there's something I'd like to ask you for.”
Blanche: “The Bible?”
Mammy: “No, thanks. I don't drink.”

Dorothy: “I'm afraid there's been a terrible mistake. Uh I think you'd better go.”
Jack: “Wait. Can I see you again?”
Dorothy: “Probably not. I will be at the Florida State Women's Prison.”
Jack: “The one in Jacksonville? They used to come to our dances. Why are you going there?”
Dorothy: “Murder!”
Jack: “You’re gonna meet some great gals.”
Sophia: “Hi Pussycat.”
Dorothy: “Say goodbye, old woman!”

Rose: “I would have died if I'd ever caught my parents having sex.”
Dorothy: “What, you never walked in on them?”
Rose: “Once, but they were only playing leapfrog.”

Rose: “I once wrote some letters to my nanny.”
Dorothy: “We know, Rose. She ate them.”

What the hell kind of matchmaking service asks questions about schizophrenia, extra toes, and body odor? Was this really a bottom of the barrel dating service? But I guess it makes sense, after all what kind of matchmaker could Sophia afford on a fixed income? But I digress. The writers are really having fun with this episode and it shows. The rule of three is in full force with a trio of great jokes about Big Daddy having hidden a liquor bottle in his Bible. Anywho, there’s a lot to digest in this episode. The late Ruby Dee is great and makes for a welcome appearance as Blanche’s “Mammy.” I still don’t know why Mammy didn’t show up sooner seeing as though Big Daddy had been dead for a year. I wonder what skinny white boy she’s been seeing in the meantime. Any storyline that gives us funny stories about Blanche’s southern upbringing is fine by me. Dorothy’s B story about being set up with a matchmaker is sort of standard “Sophia meddling in Dorothy’s life” territory which has grown slightly stale six seasons in, but anytime they’re bickering makes for some really great comedy bits including Dorothy’s infamous “Sicilian monkey” insult. There’s not much to complain about in this one. Oh, wait. It’s Mamie! GRADE: B+

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Snap Out of It S6E4

Synopsis: Dorothy assists Sophia with Meals on Wheels and then helps an agoraphobic hippie named Jimmy; Rose tries to find out Blanche’s real age and plan her a surprise birthday party.

Crazy Continuity
How do they not know when Blanche’s birthday is? They already threw Blanche a surprise party in the Season 2 episode “A Piece of Cake.”

Musical Moments
Jimmy: “Hey, let's celebrate. Party time. [singing] The answer, my friend/Is blowin' in the wind.”
Dorothy: “Jimmy. Look, why don't we just save this as sort of a treat for later on, hmm?”

Sophia: “Pussycat, you're out of your league. There are some people you just can't help. It's like the Good Lord said - ‘You gotta know when to hold 'em. Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away.’”
Dorothy: “Ma, that's not the Good Lord, that's Kenny Rogers.”
Sophia: “God, Kenny Rogers. Tomato, tomah-to.”

That’s What She Said
Sophia: “There are only two things I look forward to each day, and both of them involve yankin' a chain.”

Animal Alert
Sophia: “This is Mrs. Taylor. You'll get along with her just fine. Two things: one, compliment her cat, and two, Jews control the planet.”
Dorothy: “Got it.”
Sophia: “Oh, hi, Fluffy. Lookin' good!”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “I have to figure out which of the traditional St. Olaf party games to play at Blanche's party-”
Blanche: “Party?? Is that why you've been sneaking around trying to find out my age? A party? I forbid it!”
Rose: “Blanche, a party is a celebration of life, and it's not just for you, but for your friends who love you.”
Blanche: “No!”
Rose: “Stop being so vain. You can't stay 42 forever.”
Blanche: “Yes, you can. If you eat right, exercise regularly, and live with women who look a lot older than you.”
Dorothy: “Tell me, Rose, is, uh, ‘Kill the Bitch’ a traditional St. Olaf party game?”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “I have a date.”
Sophia: “You call that a date? Thyroid Freddie? His eyes bug right out of his head. He looks like he's being choked.”
Dorothy: “Now stop it. Freddie is a fine man. You know when he was younger, he could've been an astronaut, except for, well, you know, that eye thing.”
Sophia: “I've been working for this Meals on Wheels program, and I need a driver. Please?”
Dorothy: “Oh, all right, Ma. I'll cancel Banjo Eyes.”

Tales from the Old South
Blanche: “The '60s were an emotional time for all of us. I can still see Big Daddy sitting on the porch swing, swilling down home brew, picking off peaceniks with his BB gun. Oh, God, I miss that man.”
Dorothy: “Come on, honey. I'm sure Grand Dragon - I mean, uh, Big Daddy is always with you.”

Product Placement
Blanche: “It was one of the best birthdays I have ever had. I did some soul-searching, and it occurred to me that I'm a vibrant energetic woman. I mean I must still have some life left in me if I can make Mel Bushman's head snap back like that.”
Rose: “You mean Old Pez Head?”

Sassy Sophia
Rose: “Has anybody seen Blanche? She had a date last night, and this morning her bed's all made and she's not even there.”
Sophia: “Wait a minute. Here's our walking playground now. Boy, it must be true love. This guy is slowing down to 5 miles an hour.”

Back in St. Olaf
Dorothy: “Oh, I wish I could believe you, but, Rose, I have been there. I mean after a while you feel you're just in this gigantic black hole.”
Rose: “We had a gigantic black hole back in St. Olaf.”
Sophia: “Oh, God.”
Rose: “On Main Street, right in front of the courthouse where Charlie and I got our marriage license and our permit to have kids. Oh, it was a lovely hole. Everybody in town would stand around and look in it.”
Dorothy: “And they say Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world.”
Rose: “Well, we didn't just look in it. Sometimes we'd point, too. Or spit and time it. Then there was always that wise guy who'd have a couple of drinks and unzip himself and...”
Dorothy: “It's official. I hate her.”

Best of B.E.D.
Rose: “You haven't drowned yourself in young men since this time last year, when you brought those twins home from the Jimmy Smits look-alike contest.”
Blanche: “Oh yeah, Jorge and Esteban. Romantic, passionate, and virtually interchangeable.”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Rose: “I can't believe it. After all these years, we're finally gonna know. We're gonna know the true age of Blanche Devereaux. ‘Deleted by authority of the governor.’ Oh, they - These are all like that.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you know what this means?”
Rose: “Yeah. She must have really jumped on this guy's bandwagon.”
Dorothy: “You almost got it, Rose.”

What, We Can't Learn From History?
Dorothy: “Jimmy, I just wanna make sure that you're OK. Do I have to play hardball? David Dellinger.”
Jimmy: “Don't do this to me.”
Dorothy: “Bobby Seale.”
Jimmy: “It's getting warm in here.”
Dorothy: “Tom Hayden.”
Jimmy: “Oh, God, you're good.”
Dorothy: “Abbbbie...”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Dorothy: “Just a minute. You're not old, you're not ill. You're... no slave to fashion. Why are you taking this food?”
Jimmy: “Well, I'm hungry and I'm on the list. Who do you think you are?”
Dorothy: “Sergeant Zbornak, Food Police!”

Literary Intelligentsia
Sophia: “You're not a shrink. Be careful. Don't let your ego get involved.”
Dorothy: “My ego is not involved. Look, I'm nobody special, Ma. I'm just an average citizen. I saw another citizen, and I reached out. A man changed his life, and I'm just somebody who helped him do it. Me, Dorothy Zbornak - Miracle Worker.”

Reel References
Blanche: “You know, Sophia, this birthday thing kinda has me depressed as well. You think you could help me, too?”
Sophia: “Sure. No matter how bad things get, remember these sage words: you're old, you sag, get over it.”
Blanche: “Sophia!”
Sophia: “So what if you knew Jesus personally? Wake up and smell the coffee, you fossil.”
Blanche: “My mistake. I thought since you looked like Yoda, you were also wise.”

The Boob Tube
Sophia: “No Mrs Taylor, it’s Flintstone not Flintstein.”

Golden Quotes
Sophia: “My heart! My heart! Everything has gone black. I'm coming to you, Sallie!”
Dorothy: “Ma! Oh, God! Oh, God. Oh, God! Hang on, Ma! Oh, please, please, hang on!”
Sophia: “All right, but you have to do me a favor.”
Dorothy: “To the moon, Ma!”

Dorothy: “Blanche, what is going on? I mean, that guy's a little young, even for you.”
Blanche: “What are you talkin' about? He's a mature young man with his own business. Now, who wants to help me pick out five magazines?”

Dorothy: “You know, I actually feel sorry for Blanche. Don't you, Ma?”
Sophia: “Who's Ma? Who are you?”
Dorothy: “Just ask the damn favor.”

Jimmy: “Get away! Go over there. Move!”
Sophia: “OK, OK. Take it easy. [to Dorothy] Who's the macadamia?”

Dorothy: “How pathetic a person could live their life totally alone, devoid of companionship or love. I wish I could do something.”
Sophia: “Start a club.”

Dorothy: “I'm sorry, Mrs. Ferguson. No, I didn't happen to see Ed Sullivan last night, but I'm sure it was a good one. [slams door] She's ready, God.”

Jimmy: “Boy, I'll bet you've broken hundreds of hearts in your day, huh? Thousands?”
Dorothy: “Well, yes I have.”
Jimmy: “I mean, wherever you go, I bet you torment and tease and tantalize every man you meet.”
Dorothy: “You're right again.”

Blanche: “All that birthday nonsense was just an exercise in vanity. And so today, for the very first time, Blanche Devereaux is gonna reveal her true and accurate age. Right after you tell me your weight.”
Rose: “119.”
Blanche: “42.”
Rose: “Coffee?”
Blanche: “Please.”

Dorothy: “What's wrong?? I'll tell you what's wrong. I single-handedly ruined a man's life today.”
Rose: “Which hand?”
Dorothy: “THIS HAND.”

Sgt. Zbornak. Food. Police. It doesn't get much better than that, but I digress. Sometimes you just forget how jam-packed full of outstanding lines an episode can be. I’ve always enjoyed this episode even if the story is a tad orthodox. Bea is particularly strong here as Dorothy gets so many great moments. Martin Mull (you recognize him as Col. Mustard from “Clue”) plays off Bea Arthur extremely well. When she’s huskily listing off the Chicago Seven at his door, it’s simply delightful. Sure it’s sort of weird that Jimmy’s storyline takes such center stage to the point where Blanche and Rose feel sidelined throughout the episode. Rose trying to throw Blanche a party feels shoehorned in until the final moment when Jimmy unknowingly walks into a surprise party. It’s a really fun and inventive way to bring the two stories together. But let’s have a little fun and think about some of the more ridiculously elements of this episode. Like, what the hell kind of small supermarket has a “one millionth costumer” promotion with a trip to mardi gras? I’ve never even seen a grocery story with a turnstile. Was that guy with the microphone just sitting there for days waiting for the millionth customer to walk through the door? And how exactly did Jimmy know where to find Dorothy? I assume his phone book was from the 60s. But I digress. This is a great Dorothy-centered episode though everyone gets a moment to really shine. And finally, despite what you think the title of this episode references, Cher is nowhere to be found. GRADE: A-