Friday, March 20, 2020

Questions & Answers S7E17

Synopsis: Dorothy applies to be on her favorite show Jeopardy! Meanwhile, Rose brings her newly adopted dog Jake to the hospital to cheer up elderly patients. Wowee!

Crazy Continuity
Rose says here her family had a cat named Scruffy. For someone who’s “never had cats cause she’s allergic” she’s certainly owned a lot of them.

Let’s Get Political
Rose: “Isn’t this dog amazing. He can find anything.”
Sophia: “Anything?? A viable Democrat for president! Go!”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “Hey. I’ll show you mind if you show me yours.”

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Stanley
Dorothy [dreaming]: “I won! I won! I won!”
Sophia: “She must be having the shot-put dream again.”

Animal Alert
Mr. Hubbard: “Grace loves animals, always has.
Rose: “Well everybody does Mr. Hubbard. That’s why ancient man, when he discovered the need for pets, turned to the animal kingdom.”
Mr. Hubbard: “I see.”
Mrs. Hubbard: “What a good boy. Yes you are!”
Rose: “Oh he reminds me of my old dog Rusty.”
Mr. Hubbard: “Rose, please, Grace isn’t feeling well. Can we skip the Rusty story today?”

Zbornak Zingers
Blanche [running after Jake]: “Hey! That slipper is from the Mamie Van Doren Collection!”
Dorothy: “Will you look at that. Man’s best friend… chasing man’s best friend.”

Insult Watch
Dorothy: “It’s been two days, why haven’t those Jeopardy people called??”
Blanche: “Dorothy, I’m surprised at this reaction. God knows you’ve had your share of experience sittin’ by a phone that doesn’t ring.”

Product Placement
Blanche, whispering: “Dorothy, where are the Ural Mountains?”
Dorothy: “Well well well, Blanche. A pot of lip gloss and a tube of Maybelline can’t help you now can they, Blanche?”

Back in St. Olaf
Rose: “Oh I love you already. In fact I haven’t felt this way about a dog since… since Rusty.”
Dorothy: “Oh God not the Rusty story again!”
Rose: “Charlie brought him home as a present after our first child was born.”
Blanche: “Oh I wish we had a doggy door so I could push your head through it.”
Rose: “Oh he was the best. Trustworthy, loyal, smart as a whip. Oh I thought Rusty was going to be with our family forever.”
Sophia: “Dorothy, do we have any candles? I’d like to drip some hot wax in my ears.”
Rose: “Then one horrible horrible night our house caught on fire. And it was Rusty who awkened everybody. It was Rusty who pulled us all to safety. He even dashed back in the burning building to rescue Scruffy our cat...”
All: “Whom he never really liked.”
Rose: “Yes sir, he was a real hero. Oh, if only he hadn’t gone back in for the TV. He was a dachshund for god’s sake, I mean what made him think he could carry a TV?”
Sophia: “You know how pig-headed the Germans are.”

Best of B.E.D.
Dorothy: “What are you talking about Blanche, you’ve never cared about Jeopardy.”
Blanche: “No but I do care for Alex Trebek. You see, I’ve never had a Canadian who wasn’t on skates.”
Dorothy: “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
Blanche: “I have this recurring fantasy: Take me Alex, take me now. I tell him. And he says to me, not uh uh, Blanche, in the form of a question.”

Sweet, Single-Digit-IQ Rose
Blanche: “We wanted to pick up your spirits Rose, so close your eyes. Close your eyes.”
[Dorothy brings in a dog, who promptly licks Rose’s face]
Rose: “Oh very funny Blanche, just give me the gift.”

What, We Can't Learn From History?
Sophia: “Yes Pussycat, Jeopardy is your favorite show.”
Dorothy: “I watch it every night.”
Blanche: “We know, we missed the entire Gulf War.”

From Feud to Food
Rose: “Uh, Gum for two hundred.”
Alex Trebek: “The answer is: Latin term for a colloidal carbohydrate found in certain trees and plants?”
Rose: “What is Juicy Fruit?”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Rose: “Wow, what a tough day, I really need somebody to talk to.”
Dorothy: “Gotta go!”

[phone rings]
Dorothy: “Hello? Yes this is she. Oh my God, it’s them, it’s Jeopardy! I did? Oh, this is wonderful. Yeah wonderful! What? Yes, yes she’s my, she’s my roommate. Oh that is fabulous news too. Oh sure, sure I’ll be happy to tell her. Blanche, YOU FLUNKED.”

Reel References
Alex Trebek: “Loretta Young played an innocent milkmaid in this Oscar-winning 1947 film. Charlie?”
Charlie: “What is The Farmer’s Daughter?”
Alex Trebek: “You are right.”
Charlie: “I thought it was a different kind of movie.”

Alex Trebek: “The answer: Old Yeller. The China Syndrome. Truth or Dare. Charlie?”
Charlie: “What are Miss July’s all-time favorite films?”

The Boob Tube
Dorothy: “Everybody, listen to this. Alex Trebek and the Jeopardy people are auditioning contestants in Miami. They’re coming here. Jeopardy! Oh! It’s my favorite show! Wowee!”

Golden Quotes
Rose: “It’s not easy spending that much time with people who are old and sick a frail.”
Sophia: “Oh that reminds me, I’ve got Mah Jong tomorrow.”

Rose: “I’m sorry I won’t be able to quiz you, Jake and I are due at the Hubbards. But I have a book here that should help you prepare you for your Jeopardy tryout.”
Dorothy: “The St. Olaf High School Yearbook? No. Thanks anyway, Rose. I don’t think I’ll be needing it.”
Rose: “Well ok, Miss Know-It-All, but if Alex Trebek asks you what years Ulf Horvald was on the student council back-to-back, don’t come crying to me.”
Dorothy: “1946 and 47. I intend to win this.”

Sophia: “You’re being too intense here. Don’t you remember that spelling bee in second grade? You beat all the kids so bad they wouldn’t invite you to any birthday parties.”
Dorothy: “Ma, that had nothing to do with the spelling bee. The kids were just jealous of me. Jealous. J – E – A – L-”
Sophia: “All right, all right!”
Dorothy: “Besides Ma, all that studying paid off.”
Sophia: “Oh yeah, paid off. You got knocked off in high school.”
Dorothy: “Ma, I am 60 years old, why do you have to bring this up every day of my life?”
Sophia: “So it won’t happen again.”

Dorothy: “Four-time champion? How? This woman is an idiot.”
Johnny Gilbert: “Oh really? She didn’t get knocked up in high school.”

Rose: “Alex, as you know, I was raised in a rural community. Uh, I’m proud to take Cows for three hundred.”

Alex Trebek: “So let’s move on to double Jeopardy! And the categories for this more difficult round of play are: structural engineering, photometry, Roman law, systems of nonuniform motion, electromagnetic phenomena, and finally, gum.”

Dorothy: “Uh, Alex, structural engineering for uh, oh I’m gonna go for it, a thousand. In fact, give me every category for a thousand.”
Alex Trebek: “Now that’s what I call real Jeopardy! Dorothy, proceed.”
Dorothy: “Uh what is the Varrazano Narrows, what is a foot-candle, uh, what is the Theodosian Code, uh, what is the speed of light. Uh, what is the point of any of this Alex? I am humiliating these two.”

Alex Trebek: “Today, our final Jeopardy category is this: US History.”

Dorothy: “Mr. Griffin please. You are the most beloved man in America. You are bright, you are charming, you are the anti-Trump.”
Alex Trebek: “Excuse me Dorothy, but Mr. Griffin really hates it when people kiss up to him. Isn’t that right your excellency?”

Moderator: “Our contestants: Professor Reginald Bradley of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Dr. Julie Steever Chief of Neurosurgery Victory Memorial Hospital, and Dorothy Zbornak, a substitute teacher.”

Moderator: “I afraid this is the point where Alex would politely tell you to shut up.”
Dorothy: “He would and he should. I mean after all he is the moderator and the function-”
Moderator: “Shut up.”
Reginald: “What is Pentecost”
Moderator: “I’m sorry.”
Dorothy: “What is Pentateuch?!
Moderator: “Correct.”
Dorothy: “Pentecost please! Somebody stop the bleeding.”
Sophia: “Pussycat, leave a few scraps for the other two nudnicks. You never know when I might need a good neurosurgeon.”
Dorothy: “These people are not nudnicks. They are brilliant, accomplished scientists. And I’m wiping the floor with them.”

Dorothy: “He said America wouldn’t root for me.”
Sophia: “Sweetheart, he’s wrong. How could America not root for you? You’re what this country’s all about. The daughter of immigrants who became the first member of her family to go to college, you made something of yourself.”
Dorothy: “Thanks Ma.”
Sophia: “Until you got knocked up in a backseat by a nobody. People didn’t want you at their birthday parties and they don’t want you in their living rooms.”
Dorothy: “I thought you said this was supposed to make me feel better?”
Sophia: “We did that, now we’re up to the part where I feel better. Come on, let’s go home. Lifesaver?”
Dorothy: “Ah go to hell, Ma.”

Critique: It’s funny how they made Dorothy so much more “book-smart” and nerdy in the last couple seasons. Way back in Season 3 she loved that ridiculous show “Grab That Dough” but now her favorite show is apparently “Jeopardy!” and even though she says she watches it every night, we’ve never actually seen her watch it or even mention it. Eh that doesn’t really matter because it leads us to one of Season 7’s all time greatest scenes: Dorothy’s Jeopardy! dream that features cameos from Alex Trebek and Mr. Anti-Trump himself Merv Griffin. I truly love how us Anti-Trump people have this moment of solidarity from the almighty Dorothy Zbornak. Rose’s storyline about Jake is a cute if uneventful sequence of events (save for that, you know, death) and is yet another attempt by the animal-loving cast to get another perfectly trained, genius dog onto the show. It wouldn't be a 90s sitcom without one. How Rose could get a newly acquired shelter dog a job at a hospital without any training is beyond me. But he made Grace happy so I guess that counts for something. And how does Rose just give away her pets to people all the time? Oh your wife just died, here have my dog! But I digress. Back to the more important task at hand: Trying to figure out what Jeopardy! moment is best. While the dream sequence is a stand-out I am a big fan of the egocentric, substitute teacher Dorothy having fun wiping the floor with her professor and doctor competitors. Sure the Jeopardy guy says that he doesn’t think America would root for Dorothy, but as fans of this brilliant show, we root for her every single time Bea Arthur shows up onscreen. GRADE: A-

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Commitments S7E16

Synopsis: Dorothy finds herself dating a Beatlemania musician; meanwhile, Blanche freaks out about a guy she’s dating who won’t make a move.

Musical Moments
Dorothy: She loves you/Yeah, yeah, yeah/She loves you/Yeah, yeah, yeah”
Sophia: “’Yeah, yeah, yeah,’ you call that music? ‘Hidy hidy ho,’ now that's music.”

Don: “She loves you”
Dorothy: “Yeah, yeah, yeah”
Don:“She loves you”
Dorothy: “Yeah, yeah, yeah”
Don:“She loves you”
Don & Dorothy: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeaaaah”
Blanche, to Jerry: “That's Dorothy. Really dodged a bullet, didn't you?”

Dorothy: “What can you say about a show by an ex-fake-Beatle that began with I've Got to Be Me and ended with Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting? What the hell was that man doing up there?”
Rose: “Was it as bad as that?”
Dorothy: “Had it been a fight, they would've stopped it.”
Rose: “Did he do any of his own material?”
Dorothy: “Oh, he did his own material, all right. A Tribute to Dorothy. ‘Dot, Dot, What a Girl I Got.’ The last words I heard as I sprinted to my car were, ‘When we shower together, we don't have to turn on hot.’ I guess I just feel a little silly right now. Could I have transferred my love for The Beatles to this one man who plays a Beatle? Could I have been so shallow as to have fallen in love with a persona, and-and not the person? Oh Ma, I need support now. Please, honey, no jokes, no I-told-you-so's.”
Sophia: “Of course not, Dot. ‘Dot, I've gotta trot.’ Hey, listen to me. I'm a Beatle.”

That’s What She Said
Blanche: “Oh, Sophia, do you know where any batteries are?”
Sophia: “Oh you make me sick.”

Lewd Ladies
Rose: “Morning, Blanche. How was your date last night?”
Blanche”“Ha! How was my date last night? I woke up alone. That's how my date was last night. He didn't open my car door. He did not escort me into the restaurant, didn't pull out my chair, and then, when the check came, he made me pay half the bill! What did I ever do to deserve that?”
Rose: “Sounds to me like you put out before dinner again.”

Sassy Sophia
Jerry: “Hi, I'm Jerry. Is Dorothy Zbornak here?”
Blanche: “Uh... Uh...”
Sophia: “I'm Dorothy Zbornak.”
Rose: “Sophia, you stop that. You are not Dorothy Zbornak. I'm Dorothy Zbornak.”
Sophia: “All right, all right, but I am a Petrillo, and I've been known to make princes and kings leave their wives and palaces and dance the bossa nova.”
Jerry: “Excuse me, what does that mean?”
Sophia: “I think it means today is placebo-pill day. I'm going to bed.”

Back in St. Olaf
Blanche: “Listen, girls, don't one of you have a story about some man who wouldn't sleep with you?”
Dorothy: “Golly, I sure don't.”
Blanche: “Stop it.”
Rose: “I have a story, a story that'll end all stories.”
Dorothy: “Oh, Rose, please.
Blanche: “All right, but, honey, make it fast. Ten words or less.”
Rose: “All right, but your curiosity is gonna be so piqued, you'll beg for more.”
Blanche: “Just spit it out, Rose. When was it a man refused to sleep with you?”
Rose: “The time I was radioactive.”
Blanche: “How 'bout you, Sophia?”
Sophia: “Well, there was that time Warren Beatty passed up the chance to sleep with me.”
Blanche: “So, Rose, you say you were radioactive?”

Best of B.E.D.
Blanche: “Oh, Jerry. Jerry, Jerry, Jerry. Come over here. Now, let me clear up any confusion you might have. I don't want to be treated as your equal.”
Jerry: “You don't?”
Blanche: “I want to be treated a lot better than you. I mean, really. Like a goddess who likes to go bar hopping.”

Dorothy Zbornak is My Spirit Animal
Dorothy: “Look, Blanche, are you gonna do this or not? Because my date is on his way over, and I just won a ticket on the radio to a dinner theater Beatlemania. Shut up, Ma.”
Rose: “Beatlemania? You're giving up a date for Beatlemania??”
Dorothy: “Oh, Rose, the Beatles were the first and only rock-and-roll group that I ever really loved. When they came to Shea Stadium, I managed to get a ticket, but one of my kids came down with the flu. It was one of those times when you have to pretend that you love your kids more than something you really wanna do.”

The Boob Tube
Blanche, playing with the remote: “Huh. I wonder how this thing works. Oh, just like The Jetsons. Now, let's just sit ourselves down here and have a little bubbly. You know what goes great with champagne? Me.”

Golden Quotes
Jerry: “I'm supposed to meet a Dorothy Zbornak at this address at 7:30 for a dinner date. So which one of you really is Dorothy Zbornak?”
Blanche: “I am Dorothy's best friend, Blanche. I'm filling in for her because she's dead.”

Dorothy: “Ma, Don plays George in Beatlemania.”
Don: “And Paul when Ernie's sick.”
Sophia: “Well, good for you. Dorothy? What the hell are you doing with this loser?”
Dorothy: “Ma, he is not a loser. He's a wonderful and gifted musician. I know this sounds odd, but when he was on stage, our eyes met and it was.. well, it was, it was kismet. Suddenly, we were spiritually-connected soul mates.”
Don: “And then you threw your underwear at me, didn't you, love?”

Sophia: “I can't believe you. Are you actually standing here, telling your own mother you had sex with a complete stranger?”
Dorothy: “No, but it was an incredible simulation.”

Dorothy: “Girls, I have great news. I finally convinced Don to quit Beatlemania. Isn't that wonderful?”
Sophia: “Dorothy, you're 60 years old and breaking up fake rock-and-roll bands. I want you to think about that.”
Dorothy: “Ma, will you stop it? Thanks to me, Don can now perform his own songs. Do you know what that makes me?”
Sophia: “Yoko Zbornak?”
Dorothy: “His muse. His muse. Well, actually, his old lady.”
Sophia: “Don't you think I know what this is all about? It's about that British Invasion that's been going on in your bedroom.”

Blanche: “Girls, I have a question, a vital question. I want you to think long and hard before answering. Am I ugly?”
Sophia: “Yes.”
Blanche: “I mean, I've always thought of myself as ravishing, but is something changing? Is there, is there, all of a sudden, something disgusting and unattractive about me??”
Sophia: “Yes.”
Blanche: “Now, you cut it out, you old worm woman.”

Rose: “What are you looking for, Blanche?”
Blanche: “Batteries. You know, I bought one of those subliminal self-esteem tapes, but my batteries are dead.”
Rose: “Oh, you don't need those trendy tapes, Blanche. You know what I do when I need a shot of self-esteem?”
Blanche: “Yeah, you put on that dopey ‘It's okay to be me’ sweatshirt, go lock yourself in the bathroom, and then, like a moron, kiss yourself silly in the mirror.”
Rose: “And I guess I'll be back in there again tonight.”

Dorothy: “I am home, dear, dear friends. What a glorious night!”
Blanche: “Dorothy Zbornak, I just hate you. There you go again, rubbing it in, how I'm having a sex drought and you're having a bumper crop.”
Dorothy: “And I'm expecting more rain.”

Rose: “Blanche, think about it. Would it really be so bad if you and Jerry just had a platonic relationship?”
Blanche: “Rose, I already have friends I don't have sex with: You guys.”

Jerry: “My God, Blanche, this bed is vibrating.”
Blanche:“It better be at these prices.”

Blanche: “Wait, Jerry. Wait. There's been a mistake. I had no idea what kind of place this was, I swear.”
Motel worker: “Ms. Devereaux, nice to see you again.”

Blanche: “I am nothing but a cheap tawdry slut.”
Rose: “Don’t tell me, is it Blanche??”

Don: “Hello love.”
Rose: “Dorothy isn't here, Don.”
Don: “Well, actually, I was looking for you. I was wondering if you might want to have a spot of dinner with me.”
Rose: “Oh, I don't think so. I have a boyfriend.”
Don: “Oh. Did I mention Ernie's sick, and I'll be playing Paul this week?”
Rose: “Well, maybe just some coffee.”

So, if Don plays Paul when Ernie’s sick, then who the hell plays George? But I digress. More importantly, read this line of dialogue out-loud: “The time I was radioactive.” I have so many questions. This is the one St. Olaf story that actually sounds remotely interesting and yet we never get to hear it. Tragedy, such a tragedy. Instead we get Dorothy singing “She Loves You Yeah Yeah Yeah” twice, (thank God not thrice) because it was probably all the producers could afford at the time. I really think this Beatlemania plotline existed only so the writers could make that Yoko Zbornak joke, one of the episode’s funniest moments. So yeah, for the wacky 7th season does this actually feels like a more grounded episode? Who else is impressed that Dorothy was able to get her underwear off in the middle of a dinner theater without anyone noticing? I don’t think anyone really lists this episode as being one of their go-to watches but it has some decently funny moments. Blanche’s storyline about dating a man who makes her question her entire sexual existence is fine if underwhelming. The scene at that goofy sex motel is certainly a highlight including the sight of Blanche lunging herself at Jerry to that tribal music. But of course the most memorable moment of Dorothy’s Beatlemania story is of course “Dot Dot what a girl I got.” And of course Sophia has gotta trot. The less said about the episode’s dialed up to 11 corny ending the better. GRADE: B+