Designing Women S2 E16 - Guess Who's Going on a Double Date...to the High School Dance???
Updated: Jul 10
It’s a tale as old as time. Boy asks girl to the dance. Boy’s father says no. Girl’s mom protests. Boy’s father asks the girl's mom on a date. You got all that? Yeah, we needed to watch this one a few times, too, but don’t worry! When the plot thickens, we’re here to break it. All. The. Way. Down.
Stick around for “Extra Sugar” where we unpack “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”, including the barriers it broke down–and the ones it didn’t.
Some of the reads we discussed:
Come on, let’s get into it!
Salina: Hey, Nikki.
Nikki: Hey, Salina.
Salina: And hello and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV.
Nikki: Hey, guys.
Nikki: I'm surprised you remembered how to do that.
Salina: Almost forgot.
Nikki: It's been a long time.
Salina: We haven't met in over a month.
Nikki: It's true.
Salina: It'll be 2023 when you hear this audience.
Nikki: Not true.
Nikki: We have an editorial calendar that's just.
Salina: A couple of months away, but the holidays will be far behind us.
Salina: But right now, I'm still in my bleak period.
Salina: The world is a sad, sad place where there are no lights, but you.
Nikki: Still have one Christmas tree up and a wreath on your front door, so there's still some holly jolly in your house.
Salina: It was not okay to let it all go.
Salina: And my mother in law actually taught me to try and get more things that have exactly Christmas things in the decoration, and then you can leave them out through the winter.
Salina: The truth is, I can do whatever I want.
Nikki: I don't understand exactly Christmas things in the decoration.
Salina: Not Christmas trees.
Salina: Not like Christmas packages.
Salina: Don't they?
Salina: I see.
Salina: Okay, so try to do things like more like snowmen or like, I can't leave Santa Claus on my front door.
Salina: I mean, I can.
Salina: This is what I'm saying.
Nikki: You can do it.
Salina: There are no rules.
Salina: Make rules to put on ourselves.
Salina: It's okay for me to have snowflakes out, right.
Salina: Because it's still winter, literally.
Salina: It's cold in Georgia right now.
Nikki: It doesn't snow usually here until if it's going to snow.
Nikki: It's usually January of February or early March when it does.
Nikki: You're still in the clear.
Salina: It's all okay.
Nikki: Well, it looks cute.
Nikki: So you've got a little what do you call it?
Nikki: What's the thing that means coziness?
Salina: I think it's higa.
Nikki: You've got that?
Salina: The cozy yeah.
Salina: It's how I know I'm Danish.
Nikki: That's how you remind yourself.
Salina: How I know.
Salina: Well, that in my tests.
Salina: You're 23, and me the other one.
Salina: Oh, ancestry.
Nikki: I'm not that oh, no.
Nikki: I'm British.
Salina: I'm like, 87% British.
Nikki: British and Irish.
Nikki: A little bit of French.
Nikki: And, like, we don't need to go here now.
Nikki: I've also got African in me.
Nikki: It's not an insignificant proportion either, really.
Nikki: This is, like 90% British and Irish.
Nikki: But it's just cool.
Nikki: Getting that breakdown is really helpful because that's stuff I didn't know about myself.
Salina: Well, and it continues to change because the more people that come into the system, the more they know and blah, blah, blah.
Nikki: Another segment for another day.
Nikki: I presume you've got difficult questions for me.
Salina: You know, I do.
Salina: But we're like, drawing to a close.
Salina: Well, I have two questions in this one, as always, and then I've got one more questions left okay.
Salina: For our next episode.
Salina: And then after that, we're done.
Salina: The proof survey is no more.
Nikki: Oh, man.
Salina: Not sad.
Nikki: I'll cry about it sometime.
Salina: So many tears.
Salina: So what is your greatest regret?
Salina: They put all the sad ones at the end, so I don't know what to tell you.
Nikki: Oh, jeez.
Nikki: Greatest regret?
Nikki: I think we've talked before.
Nikki: I say this to my husband a lot.
Nikki: If I had the male confidence that he has, I could run the world.
Nikki: And I think one of my greatest regrets is when I was younger, like, coming out of college, maybe my last little bit of college, not trusting myself more and not seeing my value more.
Nikki: And so there were some opportunities that I either didn't put myself up for or that I passed over on, thinking at the time that I was making the right decision.
Nikki: But really, I think I was limiting myself.
Nikki: And I think that it took me a really long time and you know, that it's something I still struggle with, but owning my value and owning my worth and what I can bring to the world.
Nikki: And I just regret that I spun my wheels for so long on that without realizing that I have some unique value.
Salina: Gosh heavy.
Salina: But it's sorry.
Salina: No, don't be sorry.
Salina: I think that's a really important thing for people to think about, especially, like, just in terms.
Salina: This is why the isms matter and this is why raising people a different way, just because they have a different body part matters.
Salina: In some ways, it's purposeful.
Salina: There's other things that are not purposeful.
Salina: And so I totally agree with you.
Salina: I also think I would have gone farther if I had the I'm just stuck here with you.
Nikki: I think that the flip of that is, like, it's a huge regret that I limited myself.
Nikki: That part I do regret, but I don't think the outcome is negative.
Nikki: Like, I think I ended up in a good place.
Salina: Yeah, I get that.
Salina: And I think there is something to say, like, maybe the robe was windier twistier, but it doesn't mean that you're not where you're meant to be.
Nikki: And I've put in the work over time, the personal work, to challenge the way I think about myself.
Nikki: Challenge some of the questions.
Nikki: One of the things that I've learned over the last couple of years is this concept of like a false narrative that you tell yourself, you build this story that I'm not good at.
Nikki: I can't do x.
Nikki: That never occurred to me that I was limiting myself because I thought because I might have heard some of these things.
Nikki: I grew up hearing that I wasn't an athletic person.
Nikki: I was just always told, like, you're just not coordinated, you're not athletic.
Nikki: And in high school, I played varsity volleyball and tennis and learned I actually am athletic.
Nikki: Maybe I wasn't at that time, or maybe I hadn't found the right fit, but I tried these things and I pushed myself outside of my box.
Nikki: So I feel like if I had been able to do that in other ways.
Nikki: Kind of in my early 20s, maybe things would be different, and maybe to your point, the road wouldn't have been quite so windy.
Nikki: But I had the opportunity to put in the work and learn it about myself, right?
Nikki: What about you?
Salina: So I feel like I could probably sit here and think of maybe something specific, but I think that mine is broader in the terms of, like, anytime I've been too scared to do something.
Salina: So I think it's similar to yours, but mine is not necessarily it could be fear of me not achieving a given thing, but sometimes it's just like it's like your old regular fear.
Salina: The first example that comes to my mind is more like driving.
Salina: As you know, I love to drive.
Salina: And so just thinking about the things where I'm like, I've turned down going somewhere or doing something because I'm like, I don't want to drive there.
Salina: I'm scared.
Salina: So those are, like, little things, but I feel like those kind of the things can add up and you miss out on things and blah, blah, blah, blah.
Salina: And back when we were still talking about kids and stuff, I told Casey I was like, I want you to get a hold of them, not me.
Salina: Like, when it comes to driving and all, I want kids that feel like they're fully functioning human beings because I don't ever, ever want someone that I imagine you love.
Salina: That innately to go through what I go through in my head.
Salina: It's a scary jungle up here.
Salina: No one should have to be subjected to that.
Salina: So I was like, I want them to have your crazy, stupid confidence and just all of that, and not this person who questions everything that they do.
Salina: So I would say that's my greatest regret.
Salina: This is general.
Salina: Yeah, it happens daily.
Salina: It's ongoing regret.
Nikki: That one's a really tough one.
Nikki: And I think that's where you end up with books like that year of yes book.
Nikki: I think a lot of people struggle with these, in some ways, minor fears, if you think about the fear of dying, is a really big one.
Nikki: The fear of driving is maybe kind of minor compared to that.
Nikki: But these are things that compound.
Nikki: It starts with a fear of driving, and then that puts you maybe where you don't have as many experiences out with a lot of people, which makes you afraid of crowds, and then you have this fear of crowds, so then you miss out on, like, you get an invitation to the presidential inauguration or something.
Nikki: I don't know.
Nikki: And you don't go.
Nikki: And it just sort of compounds over time.
Nikki: So I think that's where you end up with these people who just, like, cold turkey, tell themselves, I'm doing everything.
Nikki: I'm doing all the things.
Nikki: There needs to be that regulation of maybe not doing all the things, but doing some of them.
Salina: Trying more, putting yourself out there.
Salina: And that's where I think ours really is relevant to each other.
Salina: It's like we have something in common.
Nikki: Just the one thing.
Salina: You want something light?
Salina: How would you like to die?
Nikki: Oh, that's an easy one.
Nikki: I'm painlessly.
Salina: First things first.
Nikki: Yeah, I'm painlessly.
Nikki: I think dying in your sleep sounds glorious.
Nikki: Dying in your sleep while you're asleep.
Nikki: I don't know.
Nikki: I don't know that we know.
Nikki: People just completely die in their sleep.
Nikki: Like, what if they wake up and have a moment of agony?
Salina: I mean, who is going to be like by a serial killer?
Salina: Yeah, obviously there's someone out there who is.
Nikki: I'd like to be maimed by a corn harvesting machine.
Salina: As long as the process is long and drawn out, then all my boxes have been checked.
Nikki: No, I think just in my sleep of just like the old age.
Nikki: But I want to have lived a good life to that point.
Nikki: I'm going to start putting tentpole requirements around my life to that point.
Salina: I want to be Rose from Titanic.
Salina: Do you remember?
Salina: So for anybody who doesn't like minus the whole she let her love of her life drown and just watched it.
Salina: Yeah, well, kind of.
Salina: She was like almost catatonic from the cold.
Nikki: But she didn't get dropped into the Atlantic Ocean.
Salina: Maybe the most hated character.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: Oh, me too.
Salina: But like how all the things that they had discussed that she wanted to do and that's when you're like openly sobbing at this point, watching the movie.
Salina: And it's like she's on a horse.
Salina: Because it was like in the women weren't on a horse unless they were side saddled or what.
Salina: Okay, I do know when Titanic happened.
Salina: Maybe it was the 30s when she finally got on the horse.
Nikki: That's what I thought you meant.
Salina: Or like all these different things that she said, these mile markers that she was like, I'll probably never her make it happen and then she makes it happen.
Salina: And like he had told her it was going to happen.
Salina: And so that's how I want to go out.
Salina: Like rose from Titanic.
Nikki: Well, you're going to have to start saying yes to more things then.
Salina: I got to get it together.
Salina: Maybe I need to get this book.
Nikki: Yes, you might need to.
Nikki: I've never read it, so I don't know, but go for it.
Nikki: Are we ready to move on to episode 16?
Salina: Let's do it.
Nikki: So this episode is called there's Some Black People Coming to Dinner.
Nikki: Episode Description when Claudia is asked to a school dance by a young black boy, it turns out to be a double date with Mary Joe and his father.
Nikki: IMDb says Mary Joe's daughter Claudia is going to the school dance with Kyle, a star football player who happens to be sorry.
Nikki: Who happens to be black Mary.
Nikki: Joe has no problem with this, but Kyle's father does.
Nikki: It's just funnily worded, no?
Salina: It also sounds like some of the writing in the episode, but we'll get there.
Nikki: Yes, agreed.
Nikki: It Aired January 25, 1988 written by LBT directed by Jack Shea Salina has some interesting notes here about Jack Shea.
Nikki: He directed 13 episodes in season one of Designing Women.
Nikki: This will be the last episode he directs for the show.
Nikki: That sounds so ominous.
Nikki: Was there a falling out?
Nikki: Do we know?
Salina: Oh, I mean, we might have to.
Nikki: Look into that and report back later.
Nikki: Yeah, he's mostly known for directing the Bob Hope Show and The Jeffersons.
Salina: Just to say he got some cred.
Nikki: Are you ready to jump in?
Salina: Let's jump on in.
Nikki: So I'm going to put out that my general observation with this whole episode is that I had to sit with it a while.
Nikki: Yes, I watched it a few times.
Nikki: Yeah, I've watched this episode probably three or four times spread out over.
Nikki: We pre watched last summer, kind of thinking about this season of the podcast.
Nikki: So watched it, like, in August, and at the time, I remember having a lot of thoughts about it.
Nikki: And then we started again before the holidays watching this.
Nikki: So I just sit with this one for a long time.
Nikki: That could be a good thing.
Nikki: I actually think maybe not.
Nikki: I think it wasn't necessarily a great thing.
Nikki: But before we dig into anything, I have some caveats for the episode.
Nikki: I'd welcome you to jump in.
Nikki: I think the first thing is that obviously we're at a different place with racial reckoning in our country in 2022, which is the year we're recording this, versus 1987, which is when this episode was written, aired way different.
Nikki: So my viewpoint just in general is different, and I think the bar is different.
Nikki: Something we always want to say, that's been our caveat.
Nikki: Our big headline for this entire podcast is we're trying not to put 2022 values and expectations on a 1980s TV.
Salina: Show, but we have to note the difference.
Nikki: We have to note the difference because I think he even said it and Matt said it in the episode.
Nikki: Like, sometimes you can simultaneously see how far you've come and how far you still need to go.
Nikki: I think this show and the timing helps do that a little bit.
Nikki: I think the other thing that I think we've maybe said this a couple of times, we're not black.
Nikki: We're two white people.
Nikki: So I think that our viewpoint is always cushioned with that we can't bring a black perspective.
Nikki: I think we should mention we've talked a lot off air, and I think we've mentioned on the podcast maybe in season one in some of, like, our early episodes, that one of our big goals for the podcast is to bring diverse voices in and to have other perspectives other than ours.
Nikki: You joked at the beginning of the episode.
Nikki: It's like we have something in common.
Nikki: We have a lot in common, which makes it really fun to record together, but it means we might not always have the most diverse perspective on these storylines or plotlines.
Nikki: So we haven't been successful in doing that, and that's bringing in any guests so far, because it's just logistically sort of a nightmare with what we're dealing with.
Nikki: And then we're still building the podcast, so at some point we want to do that, but we haven't been successful in doing that.
Nikki: This feels like a weird episode to call up a black friend and say, hey, do you want to be the one that tells me how you feel about this?
Salina: Yeah, it's also a tall order.
Salina: I think, just in general, when I've been trying to think about who we could ask to be on is like, are they TV experts?
Salina: Just for any episode.
Salina: Sometimes I feel like because we're television experts, I don't know, two seasons in, I'm sort of feel like one, but or just some sort of basis for them to be like, why are you asking me about this show?
Salina: I don't watch.
Salina: So it's it's it's hard.
Nikki: It's hard.
Nikki: So all that to say we want to cushion this episode with those, at least I do, and I think you agree with that.
Nikki: I want to cushion it with those things.
Salina: No, I disagree with everything you've said.
Salina: Get out.
Nikki: I think it's important to us to cushion this conversation with that and just make sure that we've said those things.
Nikki: We don't need to harp on them, but we just want to say them before we jump in.
Nikki: And also, I'll just add, like, we're always happy to come back and update on things.
Nikki: We're always happy to come back and share new perspectives or new things.
Nikki: So if we have someone who reaches out and says, I have a really strong perspective on this, or I think you should have talked about this, we will absolutely bring it back and discuss it.
Nikki: So this isn't like a dead thing, but what we're talking about today is limited by our perspectives.
Nikki: Long winded way of saying that.
Nikki: So all of that said, my general reaction is this was not my favorite execution for this topic.
Nikki: I think my first big question is, I would absolutely love to know.
Nikki: So LBT wrote this one.
Nikki: Did she consult with anyone who's black?
Nikki: Did she ask anyone how they felt about this portrayal of this perspective?
Nikki: Some of the things that Julia says late in the episode kind of reframing what Matt was saying, but putting it in a different way for Mary Joe, were those LBT's perspectives of what a black person might think, or even if it's informed by articles she's read, or was it an actual person or people she was excited?
Salina: Would you be if I was like, Come on in?
Salina: But we don't have that.
Nikki: I'm guessing she's not here.
Nikki: So we don't have that.
Nikki: We don't know.
Nikki: So the best we can do, I think, as I kind of thought about this, I think you were headed a similar vein.
Nikki: Maybe we can break down the characters reactions, the characters perspectives for the whole episode.
Nikki: Maybe that's a good way of going.
Salina: Let's do that.
Salina: Can I add one thing?
Nikki: Yes, please.
Salina: Okay, so just an overall general reaction.
Nikki: Oh, sure.
Salina: I would say as an addendum to what you're saying again, I think very much, though, in this idea of, like, right now, we're in 2022.
Salina: I don't know why I'm having so much.
Nikki: I'm like I keep struggling with it.
Salina: I'm like, okay.
Salina: And then also looking at 88 different times, let's think about what they were doing that was different for them.
Nikki: Yeah, that's a good point.
Salina: So, first of all, we're covering some really heavy stuff.
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Salina: And I think what she was doing then, writing an episode built around a series of conversations about race, racism and interracial relationships in the late 80s, conversations that became uncomfortable, even.
Salina: I think that had to be highly unusual for them.
Salina: I think it would still be a little unusual now to sit different races down and have this ping pong back and forth.
Salina: But have you thought about it from this?
Nikki: Especially now, but not sitcom?
Nikki: Yeah, I've been watching Modern Family again, picking it back up, and they talk a little bit about Gloria's culture and where she comes from, but it's always sort of like almost a joke and not so much kind of digging into it.
Nikki: And you have shows like Blackish where the show is tackling these issues, but you don't have that, like bringing the two groups together or multiple groups together, or different people together to talk about things from different angles.
Nikki: Especially in sitcoms.
Salina: We're growing.
Salina: We're growing, we're learning.
Nikki: I'm glad you pointed that out, because I think you're right.
Nikki: I think there's to temper my reaction.
Nikki: And when we get to rating later, I think I say something similar, which is this is 2022.
Nikki: Me watching this, thinking it could have been a better execution, but for sure it was probably doing things that were ahead of the times.
Salina: All of these thoughts that we're having, too, I think will really play into the extra sugar that relates back to the name of the episode.
Salina: We'll get into that more later on.
Salina: I think all of these points are valid, and I think it's all part of trying to look at this episode and kind of figure out what it means because we are more it's not a casual thing for us.
Salina: It's not a casual watch.
Salina: The other thing that I have to mention before we go any further is one thing that I felt that was not necessarily positive is that initially this just felt really dusty to me, watching it in 2022, like the genesis of the whole episode, that we need to spend an entire episode.
Salina: It's such a big deal for two teens of different races to go to a dance together.
Salina: Just feels like so, like, really, we're taking this kind of time.
Salina: And then I remembered like, seeing in the news about a decade ago about a place here in Georgia that still had a segregated prom and had just recently desegregated their prom wild here in Georgia.
Salina: And so that I wound up watching a documentary earlier.
Salina: It was like late last year.
Salina: It's called Southern rights.
Salina: And it basically documents like, the transition from the 2002 segregated homecoming sorry, this says homecoming, not prom at Mount Vernon's Montgomery County High School to its first integrated prom in 2010 and beyond.
Salina: You remember that being all over the news?
Nikki: I do.
Salina: So I watched that documentary.
Salina: It's really interesting.
Salina: It's definitely worth watching.
Salina: Southern Rights.
Salina: I think I found it on Hulu.
Salina: So the other thing I wound up running across after I remembered that documentary was the CNN article, another place in Georgia Wilcox County, where in 2014, for the first time in decades, students attended a school sponsored prom that was open to all students rather than a private racially segregated prom.
Salina: So got a couple of articles we'll link to in case people are interested and just want to see that.
Salina: But it feels like a lot, especially being in our home state, it's just.
Nikki: So OD to me because I think I've mentioned this on the show before I went to a really diverse high school here in metro Atlanta.
Nikki: And so interracial relationships were to your point, that was the late 90s, early two thousand s.
Nikki: That was no big deal.
Nikki: But I straddled that interesting line of having spent some of my formative years in that environment, but also having roots in more rural areas and entrenched in more like traditional, which I'm putting in quotes like traditional Southern ism.
Nikki: And so it's funny to me to kind of hear that and simultaneously be surprised and not surprised from my lived experience.
Nikki: I'm like, what the heck?
Nikki: Who's living like that still in Georgia?
Nikki: Then on the other hand, I'm like, I know who it is.
Nikki: I see them, I know it's happening.
Nikki: It's just OD.
Salina: Well, if you ever needed to know, while we have such different opinions around the country, but look at where people are in vastly different places, just not even necessarily living in the same year.
Salina: And then we wonder why there's so much animosity between groups and I mean all kinds of different groups, political on down.
Salina: So I had to mention those things because I needed to check myself to be like, really?
Salina: And then I'm like, oh yeah, really.
Nikki: Thanks for mentioning that.
Nikki: Are you ready to break down the character reaction?
Nikki: Let's do it.
Nikki: So you pointed out I was going to do this individually, and you pointed out that really charlene, Suzanne, and Julia don't really add much to the conversation, and that really they're here for comic relief.
Nikki: I agree with that.
Nikki: But because my list is bulleted out, I'm going to go ahead and say Charlene.
Nikki: My notes say she couldn't care less and she loves Matt Jarvis.
Nikki: We learned they have a little bit of a history, and she's never had any issues with him and is surprised there would be any issues.
Nikki: I will bullet point no.
Nikki: Asterisks Charlene to say, though, when Mary Joe mentions that Kyle is black in the beginning of the episode, her head whips around as fast as everybody else's, which led me to believe there's something a little bit more than couldn't care less.
Nikki: It still raised her eyebrow for some reason.
Nikki: Suzanne is worried.
Nikki: She is worried about the complications.
Nikki: These things get complicated, and you're just better to stay out of it.
Nikki: And then Julia, as I think we would expect from Julia's character, isn't bothered by it, but she is bothered by Mary Joe being held hostage.
Nikki: This is my framing by a Matt for a date.
Nikki: She was a little bit bothered by that.
Salina: That's that feminist center coming out.
Nikki: So what I missed did you have any other reactions about those three characters?
Salina: I think same page.
Salina: Same page city there.
Salina: I think that they served as the comic relief that we needed.
Salina: And I think Julia does what she does when she does it well, which is she winds up being some kind of a voice of reason.
Nikki: So I'm hoping everybody watched the episode because we're going to jump right into, I think, a pretty important scene sort of maybe toward the middle of the episode between Mary Joe and Matt.
Nikki: And so I think this was the conversation where they're having coffee and they're talking about this day.
Salina: Go ahead and say it.
Salina: 08:00 at night.
Nikki: 08:00 at night.
Nikki: I am usually getting in the bed around 815, 830.
Nikki: It is decaf.
Salina: They add in a whole line about it.
Salina: I wonder if it was for you.
Nikki: I think it might have been for me.
Salina: Who is drinking coffee at 08:00 p.m.
Salina: Head and decaf.
Nikki: I don't know anywho.
Nikki: So do you want to start with Mary Joe or you want to start with Matt?
Nikki: Do you have a preference?
Salina: We talked about Mary Joe, so it.
Nikki: Seemed to me that Mary Joe seems conflicted about this date from the very beginning.
Nikki: Maybe without even realizing she's conflicted.
Nikki: She begins couching very early on.
Nikki: She begins couching even before the conversation with Matt.
Nikki: She begins couching very early on with the other ladies that he's this great student.
Nikki: He's this great person.
Nikki: Oh, and by the way, he's black.
Nikki: So something about that tells me that there was a conflict happening in her head.
Nikki: She gets very defensive about him being black when they're like, oh, he's black.
Nikki: She's like, yeah, what's wrong with that.
Nikki: She got defensive about which football position he plays.
Salina: I don't know.
Nikki: It's probably a good one, though.
Nikki: So then later you fast forward a little bit when she's having coffee with Matt.
Nikki: She seems a little less conflict, a lot less conflicted.
Nikki: I don't understand the big deal.
Nikki: He's black, she's white.
Nikki: They're just kids.
Nikki: But there is a conflict happening.
Salina: I think part of it might be that maybe she feels like she has to be on defense for some reason with the women in the office to make sure that they understand that she's doing her job as a parent.
Salina: She's hitting all the right marks.
Salina: It's so funny the things that you said, because they're almost point for point what I had down about her.
Salina: Just to take a pause and say, I mean, I would be very shocked if Linda had been at the door, that she would have said, no, that's not what I was trying to do at all.
Salina: I think that's exactly what she was trying to do, and I think that's something that we would have to put in the category of, well, you nailed it, girl.
Salina: So that feels fair to say.
Salina: I think maybe she's more I don't know, she actually is relaxed when she's with Matt.
Salina: Oh, no, definitely not.
Salina: I think that she's trying to make the whole situation sound like it's like no big deal, because she wants what I think it really is, too, that gets out of the kind of race conversation, is that she just wants Claudia to be happy.
Salina: That's her daughter.
Salina: So I think that's a big part of it as well.
Nikki: She wants Claudia to be happy, and she self admittedly hates conflict.
Nikki: So she wants all of this smoothed over as easily as possible.
Nikki: I'll just add really quickly that later, when she's talking to Matt, the thing we learn is she's never actually given race relations much thought, which I think is a really huge reason people use I don't want to use the word excuse, and I don't want to use the word defense.
Nikki: It's a reason, it's a rationale that people have trouble navigating these conversations because in her instance, she says she never dealt with it.
Nikki: So I think we've had she's conflicted about it from the beginning.
Nikki: Kind of seems like she doesn't think she is and doesn't know why she meets with Matt, and she is much less conflicted and feels very convicted that she doesn't understand the big deal.
Nikki: We learn toward the end that the undercurrent of all of this is ignorance and not having ever had to deal with this situation.
Nikki: So she's going through this range of emotion, learning as an adult and unlearning as an adult, which I think helps explain and fill out Mary Joe's portion of the episode.
Nikki: I just wanted to add that counterpoint because we were talking about what she was like in the beginning, what she.
Nikki: Was, like, in the middle, and that's where I found her at the end.
Salina: I think she was rocked.
Salina: Yeah, because I think it brought into I think she considered herself progressive.
Salina: I think she is, but I think she'd never been confronted with this specific situation before.
Salina: And we'll talk about this later in Extra Sugar, but it's one thing to walk the walk and it's another to talk the talk.
Salina: But switch those maybe.
Salina: Either way, it doesn't matter.
Salina: They're two different things.
Salina: Right, I'm sure.
Nikki: I think you got it right on.
Salina: Some level somewhere that makes sense.
Salina: So do we want to talk about Matt?
Nikki: Talk about Matt.
Salina: Just start it off.
Nikki: So his general argument with Mary Joe is that he's against this date because he tries to teach his children to love all people, but doesn't teach them that all people will love them.
Nikki: That's the crux of his argument.
Salina: And so I guess I wonder if we reacted to that in the same way.
Nikki: I think that this is where that caveat that I'm white comes in, because, yes, that's a general lesson as a parent that you try to teach your kids, like, love everybody.
Nikki: That first part.
Nikki: The second part is, I think, less it's obviously less relevant to white people.
Nikki: We don't have to worry about that as much.
Nikki: But I think that fortunately, I'm part of a generation, I think, of parents who are building resilience into their children and are building this idea in that the world is a diverse place.
Nikki: Not everybody is going to react to you the same way that you react to them and vice versa, but it doesn't make them any less worthy of your love.
Nikki: But I'm not embedding that concept into my kids as a defense mechanism necessarily.
Nikki: It's just sort of like an underpinning of their lives.
Nikki: So I understood the argument from a black parent perspective.
Nikki: I could understand building in that defense mechanism after years and years of proof that are showing you over and over and over and over again, this is going to happen.
Nikki: So when you have a chance at it with your own kids, you want to protect them.
Nikki: Every parent wants to protect them.
Nikki: This is just that defense mechanism.
Salina: This is why we need a parent in the room.
Nikki: So there is some diversity in our show.
Salina: I don't know.
Salina: I completely agree with his decision, but I understood the motivation.
Salina: So I think we're very much on the same page there based on the time period that this takes place.
Salina: His age.
Salina: I'm not great at math, but I think that would have put him as a young adult in the middle of the civil rights movement.
Salina: And so I think for good reason.
Salina: He doesn't want his kids to be naive about how ignorant and hurtful people can be.
Salina: What struck me while you were talking is I think probably there are more really conscious efforts by parents than maybe ever in the world's history.
Salina: It feels like we move from push them out and keep them alive, get them out of the house.
Salina: Those were your three jobs.
Salina: Okay, that was it.
Salina: Now it's, like, a lot more detailed.
Salina: There's, like, don't feed them peanuts.
Salina: Something about making sure that they understand that the world is a rainbow and everything is lovely, but also making sure they hit all of these different markers, that I just think parenting is, in a way, different place than I think it was at one point in time.
Salina: Part of what strikes me is that I was raised by a skeptic.
Salina: I don't know if you could tell that just based on the fact that you're sitting across from a skeptic, but it was very ingrained in me from generational skepticism.
Salina: And so I do think that there is some of that that just exists naturally.
Salina: And so as you're talking, I'm just thinking about the different parenting styles and how we all face different traumas.
Salina: I think my parents had different kinds of traumas, and my grandparents had different kinds of traumas.
Salina: That stuff's basically written into your DNA they're finding now.
Salina: And so I think that passes on down the line.
Salina: And obviously, with African Americans, we're talking about a fairly big trauma that's been passed down the line and a trauma.
Nikki: That just continues not to take it.
Salina: To, like, a metaphysical level, but we're talking about something that seems really simple.
Salina: They're trying to do a lot with the episode.
Nikki: I think that's why I say at the beginning, I'm not sure this was my favorite execution.
Nikki: And one of the things I had in my things I didn't like, but I'll put it here is that I feel like this could have been maybe even a two part episode to give it some breathing room.
Nikki: Because I think the next observation I have about Matt is actually the part of the episode that just makes it really hard for me to rewatch.
Nikki: I don't say actually, I think from my perspective, he was making arguments that make sense to me.
Nikki: I've had conversations with black parents in the last two years where they've said, I just have to teach my son differently.
Nikki: I have to tell my son probably different things than you have to tell your son.
Nikki: And I say 100% you do.
Nikki: I understand that.
Nikki: So I know there are different conversations that are happening.
Nikki: Hopefully there are different conversations happening in white families so that we are not glossing over these issues and that we are bringing them out and telling our kids, make sure you pay attention to this.
Nikki: It's not okay just to look away and pretend like Mary Joe.
Nikki: It doesn't affect you.
Nikki: So it's not a big deal.
Nikki: But the point is, I understood where Matt was coming from until the date, and this is where I get heated.
Nikki: So then he parlays this into, okay, here's the deal.
Nikki: This is so important to you.
Nikki: If you want the kids to go together on this date, you have to go on a date with me.
Nikki: And Mary Joe says, actually, I'm sort of dating someone.
Nikki: He uses that to say she's racist, to paint her as racist because he says, oh, I see.
Nikki: Now, as long as it's junior high kids, it's small potatoes, it's no big deal.
Nikki: But when it becomes adults, that's when it's hard for you to understand or hard for you to stomach.
Nikki: That's not what she said.
Salina: Yeah, that's not what she said.
Salina: I think we feel very similarly.
Salina: I think maybe just like a slightly different variation, because I think his point is absolutely true.
Salina: The writing undercut it.
Nikki: That's what I'm yeah, I agree completely.
Salina: Because maybe it should have been a different character, maybe not Mary Joe.
Nikki: I thought he should have asked somebody else on another date.
Salina: Maybe he should have asked out Charlene, something where we could have played with that a little bit, but automatically we've got two years worth of episodes.
Salina: Has introduced it, episode five, season one, long time ago.
Salina: She's like, I'm kind of dating someone.
Salina: I'm like you're with someone.
Salina: You all went on a terrible staycation.
Nikki: With your kids, and we went with you against our will.
Salina: So it's serious because when you're willing to be miserable, you're married.
Salina: I agree.
Nikki: And that's why I say it could have used some breathing room, maybe explored to your point.
Nikki: That thought occurred to me.
Nikki: You watched it this morning that they could have used another character to make that point.
Nikki: And I feel like it almost inadvertently played into another stereotype that maybe could have been avoided, which is a black man victimizing a white woman and putting her in an uncomfortable situation.
Nikki: In my opinion, maybe if you're only watching it for one time really quickly on Thursday night when it airs for the first time, maybe all of that just goes through your you just sort of see, oh, I get the argument.
Nikki: He's trying to make the point that it's different for blacks and whites.
Nikki: Get it, move on.
Nikki: Mary Joe has to confront these issues with herself, but when you rewatch that a few times, it takes a different tone, and I'm not sure that that was super productive for the point of the episode.
Salina: And it sucks because, again, it's a really good point.
Salina: The stakes are higher.
Salina: And the show is telling us as much because she's clearly feeling guilty over it.
Salina: In those days, like we talked about, we have both agreed that really rocked her world.
Salina: In addition to that, they are dropping these little lines very purposefully.
Salina: She's very attracted to him.
Salina: She indicates that in almost every different little scene of the show, but because to your point, he so flirtily, asks.
Salina: As a way to discern how she feels, and he's dating someone, too.
Salina: So it's not just her.
Salina: We don't know how serious that is, but we do know he's in a relationship.
Salina: It really took the punch out of it for me.
Nikki: It sure did.
Nikki: That just bothered me so much, because I felt like I was with Matt, like, I got it.
Nikki: I loved how, in the beginning, he said, thank you for the opportunity to talk this over.
Nikki: Thank you for giving me the chance to tell you how I feel.
Nikki: I appreciated that Mary Joe was pushing through, doing the thing that parents often have to do, which is pushing through your own stuff, your own fear of confrontation, your own fear of the unknown, to have this really uncomfortable conversation with him.
Nikki: She was very blunt with her thoughts on it.
Nikki: She called him out and she said, it's a double standard that you want to go out with me, but you won't let your kids do it.
Nikki: For someone who hates confrontation, I was like, Go, Mary Joe.
Nikki: And I was in it.
Nikki: And then something about his delivery, something about the way he said and that's the problem right there, coming off the heels of her saying she's in a relationship with someone, it just fell flat.
Nikki: It fell flat.
Nikki: And then it actually turned me on him, where I was like, oh, he's skeezy.
Nikki: He's skeezy.
Nikki: That's ugly.
Nikki: And I just feel like that's not the direction the episode needed to go.
Salina: So I didn't have much to say about Julia.
Salina: But I do want to say that she winds up saying something in the aftermath of this conversation where I feel like it helped me to better digest the situation, given that the setup was confusing for all of that.
Salina: So I wrote that down.
Salina: I didn't write anything.
Salina: I tapped it.
Salina: She says, I think Mr.
Salina: Jarvis is saying if we are equal, you can't just say we're equal, except when it comes to interracial dating or interracial marriage.
Salina: I'm sure he feels that to be a little bit equal works about as well as being a little bit alive.
Nikki: I wrote it down, too, and after it, I said that I understand.
Nikki: And I hate that Julia had to come in and be the savior to make the argument make more sense.
Salina: It's The Blind Side.
Salina: Or dangerous minds.
Salina: Or about ten other movies that I won't sit here and name, which is its own failing.
Nikki: Just bummed me out.
Nikki: Just bummed me out.
Salina: I think there is a line that I found still very relevant today in their conversation and Matt and Mary Joe's.
Salina: So Mary Joe is exasperated and at some point decries that she's not a racist.
Salina: And Matt says, the question is not.
Nikki: Thank you for bringing this up.
Salina: The question is not, Mrs.
Salina: Shively, whether or not you're racist.
Salina: We're all racist.
Salina: The question is, what are you going to do about it?
Salina: And I think there's a lot of profound truth in that everyone categorizes.
Salina: It's the way the brain works.
Salina: It's the only way we can actually make sense of the world.
Salina: Scientists will tell you that.
Salina: Neurologists will tell you that we put people in boxes many times to our detriment, but it's how we again put things together.
Salina: But it is what we do about it at the end of the day, that matters.
Salina: And so I think that is like, there's something about that that felt real modern to today, because I do think that we are dissecting things more than we ever have before.
Salina: We're taking out the magnifying glass and we're looking really closely at the inner workings of relationships and the actions we take and the things that come out of our mouth, and we're trying to figure out what to do with them.
Salina: And much like the course of this episode or the course of this show, we got miles to go before we sleep.
Nikki: Well said.
Nikki: Well, that's going to make my straight observations seem silly.
Nikki: No, thank you for bringing that up.
Nikki: That line has caught me a couple of times, and this morning it really threw me for a loop because I hadn't really thought so much about it.
Nikki: But I agree with your assessment.
Nikki: So I will add nothing.
Nikki: No, I will say that we look at the subtitle script.
Nikki: So there's a web website.
Nikki: I don't think we've ever said the name of the website.
Nikki: There's a website called Subs, like Scripts, and what it is, is closed captioning subtitles, put into a linear format so you can watch the scripts.
Nikki: So that's where we come up with the cut lines.
Nikki: The subtitle script website interpreted Julia saying Ole Miss as Ole Miss, which it just made me laugh because it's such a Southern like Ole Miss.
Nikki: It's just one word.
Nikki: Yeah, and I think I've seen a couple of those.
Nikki: I just wanted to add it in.
Salina: Yeah, it's almost how your Alexa doesn't not your Alexa.
Salina: My Alexa doesn't always understand my accent.
Salina: And if you think that's bad, you should see her try and interpret my mom nodes.
Salina: No, I just was asking you to add something to my grocery list.
Salina: I'm just kidding.
Salina: She doesn't know how to use an Alexa like that.
Salina: Her talk to text is like I'm like, Just stop using it.
Salina: Or do you ever read it back?
Salina: Because it's non.
Nikki: Very personal.
Nikki: Mama Salina.
Salina: She knows I love her.
Salina: I told her to stop using it.
Nikki: So Claudia was going to withdraw her name from the carnival queen because she didn't have a date.
Nikki: Did you catch that?
Salina: I sure didn't.
Nikki: She said, I'm going to have them take my name out.
Salina: You know how emo teens are.
Nikki: It just feeled patriarchal to me.
Nikki: She felt like because she didn't have a man on her arm, that she couldn't be the queen.
Nikki: That just really bugged me.
Nikki: My last stray.
Nikki: That I will and then I will shut up in the world of COVID It was, like, super icky that Mary Joe's reason for having Matt come to her house for coffee is because her son had a cold.
Salina: That's the reason we meet in a Starbucks part.
Nikki: That's the reason we have a phone call.
Salina: We'll just zoom this.
Salina: So I had one, which is just that we learned Julia marched on Selma.
Salina: There's some character development and was arrested several times when she was younger with the insinuation being for protesting.
Salina: But we already know she's the most progressive voice on the show.
Salina: But to march on Selma yeah.
Salina: To be able to say, you did that.
Salina: This is a character.
Salina: It's like not a real person.
Salina: I'm like, who to be a character.
Salina: Oh, gosh.
Salina: So we probably wound up covering a lot of this.
Nikki: We've covered so much.
Salina: But what did you like?
Nikki: I absolutely loved the interactions between Julia and Suzanne in this episode.
Nikki: They were snipping at each other like only sisters can.
Nikki: And it all came to a head in that conversation after the Matt Mary Joe conversation, where they're sitting around having coffee back at Sugar.
Nikki: And at one point, Julie is just so over it that she just says, just don't look over there.
Nikki: Pretend like she's not there.
Nikki: Just a little bit of conversation about a trap door.
Nikki: It was fantastic.
Nikki: And Suzanne was great.
Salina: I thought, Suzanne, she's always the voice of ignorance, and we really need that.
Nikki: So that was my thing I liked.
Salina: Yeah, same thing.
Salina: I just really liked the comic relief that we really needed, and I thought that was helpful, and it seemed to come at all the right points.
Salina: And then I also liked Anthony responding to Suzanne's concern, which was that if Matt wants to date Mary Joe, then Anthony's going to want to date everybody.
Salina: All the ignorant things that she was throwing out.
Salina: But his response was really gold.
Salina: She don't need to worry about all that.
Nikki: Don't worry about that.
Nikki: Don't you worry, Suzanne.
Nikki: That'll be all right.
Salina: And then I think in general, it may have not been the most perfectly executed thing, but it was brave.
Salina: And it did tackle thoughts, feelings and perspectives that get swept under the rug, because people just don't want to be uncomfortable.
Salina: And I don't want to be uncomfortable.
Nikki: Being uncomfortable sucks.
Salina: And sometimes it's really challenging for me to do these kinds of episodes because I don't want to upset anyone.
Salina: So just my personal cards on the table.
Salina: Because I think as much as I don't particularly like people, I want to put love.
Nikki: I want to be liked.
Salina: I don't need to be liked.
Salina: I want to be liked.
Salina: I must be liked.
Nikki: So I've covered so many of my things I didn't like in this episode.
Nikki: In our comments.
Nikki: Up top, I had two.
Nikki: I'll add I'll start with the light hearted one okay.
Nikki: I hate that we didn't get to hear the end of Charlene's story about the cafeteria worker at her school.
Salina: That's so funny.
Salina: That was on mine, too.
Salina: Although I do think we're about to do some fat shaming.
Salina: Oh, for sure.
Salina: But I still needed to know.
Nikki: I needed to know I just needed to know where that was going.
Salina: They do that a lot in sitcoms.
Nikki: Where they start something and then don't finish it.
Salina: Do you think they couldn't finish the joke?
Nikki: I get tired.
Nikki: I don't have a good ending.
Nikki: Let's just keep going.
Nikki: Cut her off.
Nikki: My other thing I didn't like is I really felt you just mentioned Anthony.
Nikki: I felt like he was so underutilized in this episode.
Salina: That's a great point.
Nikki: I thought it was so odd that as Mary Joe is noodling through all of these difficult, challenging thoughts about her own inner monologue and as she's thinking through, what do I really feel about race relations?
Nikki: That Anthony's just out loading the truck.
Salina: Julia, can you help me?
Nikki: I was so bothered by that.
Salina: But it could also be the same reason that you don't want to call up a friend and be like, hey, you want to comment on this?
Salina: Yeah, but I don't know.
Salina: Or that maybe, at least in terms of writing, since he was in the room for part of it, that they could have given him something more substantial to say.
Nikki: I think that's what bothered me.
Salina: Go fly a kite, Suzanne.
Nikki: It sort of felt like they bring him in, give him a joke, and then tell him to leave.
Nikki: And then these four white women have a very in depth conversation about race relations.
Nikki: I don't know.
Salina: I don't describe the show, bring him.
Nikki: In for the purposes of just making him the spokesperson for all black people.
Nikki: But in the play that we just watched, the Designing Women play, they have anthony's cousin is a character and she says some very powerful things about black America and about the state of race relations.
Nikki: And I think that there is something so powerful about having it come from that voice, giving credibility to the arguments, giving credibility to the person and saying, like, we see you and we want to hear your perspective.
Nikki: So I just felt like he was really underutilized.
Nikki: All that to say.
Salina: Yeah, well and I do also wonder for the times if maybe they didn't if maybe the thought wasn't that it would be the most palatable coming from Julia.
Nikki: Oh, I see.
Salina: I don't think that makes it right by any stretch.
Salina: But again, I think it shows, like, a lot of this kind of same thinking, I think will come up in extra sugar.
Salina: So, I don't know.
Salina: We'll get there.
Salina: Our seven.
Salina: The only thing I want to say about what I didn't like is that I think it would be and we've already talked about this to some extent, but I just can't imagine that people catch the nuance in one watching this.
Nikki: Show, which I think might have worked to their benefit, honestly.
Salina: So the point is either watch it one time or 22 and nothing in between.
Salina: That's this week's episode of.
Nikki: Oh, my.
Salina: Let's rate the sucker.
Nikki: Let's do it.
Salina: All right, starting off, I'm going to.
Nikki: Go with after midnight old people dances as my rating scale.
Salina: Oh, okay.
Nikki: She was like, it's 1215 and they're still dancing.
Nikki: That sounds terrible.
Salina: This is Matt and Mary Joe who do wind up going on a date.
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Nikki: I hope you've watched the episode.
Salina: We really want you to.
Salina: But let's just say that you're in Ireland and you don't have access to Hulu and your name is Ashley and or Peter.
Nikki: Keep going, hyper Nicky.
Nikki: I'm giving it three.
Nikki: So you mentioned earlier in the episode total props for tackling this issue.
Nikki: I am sure it is one of very few TV shows that sitcoms, I'll say, but TV shows in general that tackled the issue and that did it by offering the two perspectives and not just offering the white perspective and the whitewashed perspective.
Nikki: Although it may have still been some of the latter, but at least the appearance was that it was both.
Nikki: So I appreciate that.
Nikki: I just thought it was a little clumsy and maybe was lacking some of that diverse perspective.
Salina: That's fair.
Salina: I gave it a 3.8 out of five trapdoors for Suzanne.
Salina: So thanks for mentioning the trap doors earlier.
Nikki: I was like, yes, perfect.
Salina: So I think this is another example of using a platform to discuss important things.
Salina: The point shaved off was just it being really complicated for 22 minutes.
Salina: Let's talk about some 80s southern, all that good stuff.
Salina: Oh, I see a head shaken.
Nikki: I got nothing until references I had to look up.
Salina: Okay, I'll pull you in there and share mine.
Salina: All right.
Salina: So I have one combination, which was southern and that's Jesse Jackson, the political activist, minister and politician from Greenville, South Carolina.
Salina: So that's the southern part.
Salina: And then he ran for president in 84 and 88.
Salina: That's the 80s part.
Salina: 80s thing.
Salina: It's just a thing.
Salina: So Falcons crest the 80s TV show, we've talked about that in a previous episode.
Salina: Second reference this season.
Salina: I think LBT.
Salina: May have been a fan or not a fan.
Nikki: I don't know.
Salina: Southern things.
Salina: Little rock where Charlene knows Matt from.
Salina: There's another Braves mention.
Salina: Mary Joe telling Matt what JD.
Salina: And then Ole Miss where Suzanne went to school and Ole Miss.
Salina: Ole Miss and then Selma, we got to mention of that.
Salina: So tell me about the references that you had.
Nikki: I had to look up Lauren Hutton.
Salina: Number one for me, too.
Nikki: I mean, I know who she is, but I had to look her up a little bit.
Nikki: She's born in Charleston.
Salina: Oh, was she?
Salina: Oh, good job.
Nikki: She was originally dismissed for the gap that Charlene mentions in her teeth.
Nikki: Originally, people weren't interested in her.
Nikki: Ultimately, though, she signed the biggest modeling contract ever at the time with Revlon.
Nikki: And apparently was on Falcon's crest.
Nikki: Falcon Crest.
Salina: She was.
Salina: And then she was also in her filmography, she's best known for being an American Jiggle with Richard Gear.
Nikki: I also had The National Informer, which is the tabloid that Charlene was reading at the very beginning of the episode.
Nikki: That's what got her wondering about Lauren Hutton's teeth.
Nikki: I don't think that paper was real, but it is the title of a tabloid in Springfield, which is the city in The Simpsons.
Salina: Oh, yeah.
Salina: Don't they use that title because Springfield is like, living on Oak Drive?
Salina: It could be probably.
Nikki: Yeah, probably.
Nikki: I will say it also seems like maybe it could be a p*** style magazine at some point, but I didn't click further.
Nikki: It's probably best either way.
Nikki: I don't think it was an actual tabloid magazine.
Nikki: I see.
Salina: That's a really good catch for me.
Salina: Good at catching those.
Salina: This, I think, will help start to introduce what extra sugar is going to be about.
Salina: But Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a reference that was made here.
Salina: We'll talk more about that there, but it kind of mixes in with the name of the episode.
Salina: It's a movie.
Salina: Stay tuned and you'll get more really helpful.
Salina: And then I wanted to talk about mammys.
Nikki: Oh, yeah.
Salina: We don't have to go on and on and on about it.
Salina: But it was this weird off the cuff reference at almost the very tail end of the episode.
Nikki: I actually thought she said nanny every time I watched it.
Nikki: And then I think at some point in one of our documents, maybe you mentioned mammys.
Nikki: And I was like, oh, that's a weird.
Nikki: Where's she coming up with that from?
Nikki: And then today, actually, I was listening to it with headphones on and it was like, oh, God, she said it.
Nikki: She said the thing?
Salina: Yeah, and she says basically she's, like, checking in to make sure he's okay.
Salina: And she says, Black mammy.
Salina: And he was like, oh, I had one, too.
Salina: And then they walk off into the sunlight or something.
Salina: And then I was like, well, that was what anyways, I'm not racist.
Nikki: Race relations were never a thing in my town.
Nikki: But I had a black Mammy.
Salina: So people have dedicated their careers to dissecting the complicated background of this particular Southern character.
Salina: So I can't do it justice in 30 seconds.
Salina: We'll link to an article, but essentially that article argues that the idea of a Mammy was created to counter antislavery slavery sentiment in the south.
Salina: And I just wanted to tack on that.
Salina: This stereotype may have been born in the south, but it endured and still, to some extent, though not nearly as much endures today because it was portrayed and perpetuated in everything from dolls and chotsky to advertising and movies.
Salina: I mean, it was very pervasive.
Salina: So you can dig in if you want to, it's up to you.
Salina: But it's a whole different conversation.
Salina: It's an important conversation.
Salina: Weird reference.
Nikki: Mrs Butterworth.
Nikki: She's based on that caricature, right?
Nikki: Is it Mrs Butterworth?
Nikki: Am I thinking Angela Angeema?
Nikki: She's based on.
Salina: Maybe Mrs.
Salina: Butterworth, too.
Nikki: And they've changed the branding to kind.
Salina: Of modernize or one of them, but maybe not both.
Nikki: I'll say that mammy is one of those things that that's why I heard Nanny the first few times, because it is one of those words that just is ingrained in my head as, like, bad thing.
Nikki: It's not like the best representation of the South Southern culture or black people in general.
Nikki: So it's just like lawn jockeys in my mind.
Nikki: So that's why I was so like, she didn't just what a weird thing.
Salina: To say and just walk off.
Salina: So I think it was meant to be played as a joke, but I was just like I just remember being like, what?
Nikki: Same thing.
Salina: So cut lines.
Salina: Is there anything that stood out for you?
Nikki: There were a few, but I didn't find anything worth writing home about.
Salina: I think we can totally go with that.
Salina: The only thing I'll say is that there was a weird story that was completely cut out, but in cutting that story, weird stories from Charlene.
Salina: Go figure.
Salina: But what we missed was a snippet about Matt, which is that he's a chairman for the Southern Black Leadership Conference.
Salina: So we did.
Salina: There was, like, missing this little background kind of stuff, and I think that was the only thing that really stood out for me.
Nikki: All right, see you.
Nikki: Ready to go to episode 1717?
Nikki: It is the return of Ray Dawn.
Salina: They love him.
Nikki: He's back again.
Salina: We love him.
Nikki: Do we?
Salina: I don't know.
Nikki: So we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage.
Nikki: We're on Instagram and Facebook at Sweettv.
Nikki: Our email address is email@example.com.
Nikki: You can find all those things that Salina mentioned.
Nikki: We drop into the show notes on WW dot sweettv.com.
Nikki: And I want to put a plug in here real quick.
Nikki: Oh, if you're having fun with us, please leave us a rating or a review.
Nikki: Wherever you listen to our podcast, they're helpful for other people to find things related to Designing Women podcasts related to Designing Women, or just to find our podcast in general.
Nikki: I'll also say there's, like, a real selfish benefit and I'm just going to own it.
Nikki: So we got the greatest comment on Apple podcasts recently, a review.
Nikki: And we both agreed I screenshotted it and sent it.
Nikki: Cecilina, we both agreed it was a really needed pick me up in that post holiday bleakness that you just mentioned.
Nikki: It was just super duper kind.
Nikki: It really means a lot to us to hear that the show is bringing joy to people.
Nikki: That people understand our mission of breaking down something to be entertaining, but also to be informative along the way, and that means a lot to us.
Nikki: So, greenhouse four, we see you, and we thank you for being with us.
Salina: Yeah, it's a way to pay us back for talking and talking and talking and talking.
Salina: You know what I'm saying?
Nikki: You owe us.
Nikki: I'm just kidding.
Nikki: Thank you so much.
Nikki: That really means so much.
Nikki: So hang tight for Extra Sugar this week.
Nikki: You've already mentioned you're going to look into the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Nikki: Definitely not.
Nikki: There's some black people coming to dinner.
Nikki: Because that just sounds stupid.
Salina: Oh, Suzanne, you just struggle.
Salina: So you know what that means.
Nikki: What does it mean?
Salina: Well, if Suzanne struggling, we'll see you around the bend by.
Salina: And welcome to this week's edition of Extra Sugar.
Salina: So during this episode, to Julia's annoyance and we just sort of tipped our hat to this, suzanne keeps referring to what is also the episode's title, there's some Black people coming to dinner.
Salina: In reality, she's referring to the 1967 movie guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Nikki: Huge difference.
Salina: So that is the reference that we'll be digging into for this week's edition.
Salina: Okay, and one thing I want to say, I want to say a couple.
Nikki: Of things off top.
Salina: If you have any questions for me along the way, audience, go ahead and ask them.
Salina: Nikki, be a stand in for the audience.
Salina: If I'm not being clear, let's clarify for the people, okay?
Salina: The most important thing to recognize right now is that somehow in between the time when we started putting this episode together and today, it was yesterday, wasn't it?
Nikki: It was yesterday.
Salina: Sydney poitier am I just banging up that French?
Salina: Poitier poitier.
Salina: Oh, that's so much prettier.
Salina: I'm Southern.
Nikki: You didn't call him sydney Porter.
Nikki: You didn't call him Sydney poiter poitier.
Salina: Sydney poitier.
Salina: There you go.
Salina: All right, we're all getting a lesson.
Nikki: You can call him SP if you want.
Salina: And I don't mean to be laughing.
Salina: He passed away.
Salina: So that's just a matter of fact.
Salina: It's very sad.
Salina: In fact, a couple of episodes ago that I don't even know that one's published yet, but we talk about him because he's referenced in another episode this season, and we were talking about how he is the last star from the golden age of movies, Hollywood.
Salina: So here we are.
Salina: And I just can't believe that along with having that you know what?
Salina: Not that I can't believe, let's dedicate this to him.
Nikki: Oh, that's nice.
Nikki: Yeah, I like that.
Nikki: He was hugely influential in Hollywood.
Nikki: He played a hugely influential role in black representation in Hollywood.
Nikki: So absolutely, I think that's a great idea.
Salina: So this one's for you, Sydney.
Salina: Thank you for your contribution.
Salina: And people downplay entertainment, but it is probably the biggest way that we teach anyone anything.
Salina: So it is very important.
Salina: And he was a star of the movie Guess Who's Coming to Dinner along with Spencer Tracy?
Salina: Catherine Hepburn.
Salina: Catherine Houghton.
Salina: So why?
Salina: I looked at you for, like, pronunciation help.
Salina: It's my extra sugar, guys.
Salina: So she doesn't know.
Salina: What I will say is Catherine Houghton.
Salina: H-O-U-G-H-T-O-N-I was guessing that's how it was spelled.
Nikki: And I was thinking houghton that sounds like Houghton.
Nikki: I don't know.
Salina: Well, she's Catherine Hepburn's niece, so she's.
Nikki: Just gone by Hepburn.
Nikki: This would be a lot easier on us.
Salina: I know just the exact Katherine Hepburn squared.
Salina: And it was also directed by Stanley Kramer.
Salina: It was nominated for ten Oscars.
Salina: One two best actress for Katherine Hepburn and best writing, story and screenplay.
Salina: And it is among the greatest 100 movies selected by the American Film Institute.
Salina: Saying that to say had a lot of accolades.
Salina: It did very well at the box office.
Salina: It was an important movie.
Salina: It is an important movie.
Salina: The synopsis is for those who may or may have not seen it.
Salina: When Joanna Drayton, a free thinking white woman, and black doctor John Prentice become engaged, they travel to San Francisco to meet her parents, Matt Drayton and his wife Christina, who are wealthy liberals who must confront the latent racism, the coming marriage arouses.
Salina: Also attending the Drayton's dinner are apprentice's parents who vehemently disapprove of the relationship.
Salina: I hate that synopsis, but there you go.
Salina: So at least no one's going into this blind like they don't know what it's about.
Nikki: Basically, it's an early representation on TV in movies of an interracial relationship and the complications that arise because of it.
Salina: Yeah, and please don't ever use the word arouses.
Nikki: She said it and I laughed because I'm twelve.
Salina: Well, it's not your fault.
Salina: It's their fault.
Salina: So despite Suzanne doing things in her very Suzanne way throughout the episode, she's not wrong about one thing.
Salina: There are some similarities between Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and the episode that we just watched, Designing Women.
Salina: As we've discussed, the episode has Mary Joe.
Salina: She's a card carrying liberal confronting issues about race.
Salina: And like Prentice's parents, matt was initially against his son Kyle going to the dance with Claudia.
Salina: So there's some similar Apples and Fujis gave us.
Nikki: Okay, you kind of get where the title comes from.
Salina: Yes, that's what I'm trying to say.
Salina: Got it.
Salina: But also, I wonder if that was LBT leaving, like, some breadcrumbs, because I'm assuming in the movie felt less far away than it does now.
Salina: Okay, I got to ask.
Salina: Have you seen it?
Nikki: And actually, I had it on my list of things to do before we recorded this episode.
Salina: Man, the to do list with this is just getting long.
Nikki: I watched Modern Family instead.
Salina: I couldn't find it.
Salina: Oh, yeah, that was the problem.
Salina: Without paying for it.
Salina: Which sounds terrible now.
Salina: It does.
Nikki: But if we didn't pay for so many memberships for so many other things.
Nikki: It would feel less.
Nikki: I've seen half of it.
Nikki: I was willing to pay for it.
Nikki: For what it's worth.
Nikki: I think it was on the do list and fell off, but I'll have to say no.
Salina: Yeah, so I saw half of it, but cards on the table.
Nikki: I thought it was a little boring.
Salina: So I just want to be really honest.
Nikki: I feel that way.
Nikki: So this was a 19, was it?
Nikki: That would fall into that category of time period that I think things are boring.
Salina: Well, so I like older movies, and I was actually really excited to see it.
Salina: I chalked it up to the fact that 50 plus years have passed.
Salina: But it's also something about that era of movies, the golden age of Hollywood.
Salina: It just feels different.
Salina: So it feels very theatrical and not so natural.
Salina: So be like, hello, come on, darling, let's go and make some coffee while we sit here and talk about politics.
Salina: And I'm just like, I can't do that.
Nikki: Meanwhile, I showed up today and we were sharing buffalo dip across from the over the crock pot.
Nikki: So it's a little less formal.
Nikki: We just jumped.
Salina: Dare you.
Salina: It's exactly what I said when you came in the door.
Nikki: Hello, don.
Salina: I like to give it very don.
Salina: So there's just something about that.
Salina: Sometimes it's a little hard for me to get through.
Nikki: I get that.
Salina: But one thing I want to do is to talk about this movie.
Salina: I think we have to first talk about the world around it.
Salina: So ran across an Essence article, and they were talking about guess who's coming to Dinner that time period.
Salina: So 67, that's only three years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act.
Salina: Then it's one year before Martin Luther King Jr.
Salina: Was assassinated.
Salina: And as we discussed in a previous extra sugar, several states still had laws on the books that forbid relationships between people of different races, laws that weren't struck down until right in the middle of when guess who's coming to Dinner was being filmed.
Salina: So I think that's just something that we have to consider as we're talking about what this movie achieved and maybe where it could have gone a little further.
Salina: So I also think it was a big deal for the times.
Salina: I feel very comfortable saying that it examined complicated and sensitive issues that persist to this day interracial relationships, racism, and prejudice.
Salina: And then it also portrayed the first Hollywood kiss between a black man and a white woman on screen.
Salina: That's late.
Salina: And as an initial 1967 review put it, which was weird to read a review from 67.
Salina: It it used entertainment as a way to make people think and think, especially about how they would act if they were put in a similar situation.
Salina: I think about that a lot.
Salina: And it's one thing to think progressively, and it's another to be confronted with it in your own life.
Salina: Like I said earlier in the episode when we were talking about Mary Joe, you can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?
Salina: And I do think there's something to that.
Salina: And that's something that runs through the episode.
Salina: And that's clearly something that they wanted people to think about when they were watching this movie.
Salina: And something that was happening to the parents as well, who were, like the synopsis said, very liberal.
Salina: It also discussed and illuminated familiar racial prejudices.
Salina: That's tough word.
Salina: And it made people talk about them.
Salina: So I think just the way that we were able to sit here, it was kind of painful to dissect that episode of Designing Women.
Salina: But at the same time, I always felt like I walk away feeling like I've learned something, making my mind work in a different way.
Salina: We can also see that it was a big deal by the way that people reacted, like, in the general population.
Salina: So both the director and dog on it.
Nikki: Say it again.
Salina: Yeah, but the actor who played Joanna, they both received death threats.
Salina: And then some movie theaters in the south refused to show it.
Salina: In fact, the actor who played Potier's mom was not allowed to see it in her own hometown.
Salina: So how about the fact that it almost wasn't due or made due to insurance concerns?
Salina: So the studio said it was about Tracy's health.
Salina: Spencer Tracy.
Salina: He was very sick.
Salina: Do you read into it?
Salina: So he passed shortly after the film was released, like, maybe two weeks or something.
Salina: But some actually speculate that it wasn't really insurance concerns so much as they were concerned about the content and fear of losing money.
Salina: And Hepburn and the director ultimately put their salaries up for the movie to be made.
Nikki: Oh, gosh.
Salina: And I think that's really something.
Salina: The movie turned 50 in 2017, and there were a lot of think pieces that explored what it didn't do.
Salina: Thank you, Nikki, for sending this my way.
Salina: So critics argue that it didn't go far enough.
Salina: It was, like, too cautious.
Salina: Sure, yeah, there was a kiss, but there's only once, and it's caught in a rear view mirror.
Salina: And there's also been criticisms of Dr.
Salina: Princess's character.
Salina: So this idea that similar to what we were talking about with Kyle in the episode, like, he was written too perfectly.
Salina: Mary Joe is going through this whole resume.
Salina: It's similar to this.
Salina: He had to be this perfect man, like a doctor.
Salina: Be involved with Doctor Without Borders, like, go to the homeless shelter every night.
Salina: It had to be all of those things for it to be okay.
Salina: And also, there is an author who wrote a book called Shaping the Future of African American Film.
Salina: And her point was that the movie could have done a better job of forcing liberal audiences to confront their prejudices and also a better job of reaching out to black audiences.
Salina: The film actually wasn't without critics at the time, and some consider it to be unrealistic and even behind the times for them.
Salina: I was kind of a little shocked by that, too.
Salina: I also ran across an interesting article that talked about the problem with the character of Joanna, who is basically made into a symbol with nothing to say.
Salina: So the only substantial scene where she confronts her father and speaks politically about things was cut by the director.
Nikki: Oh, Dang.
Salina: And she's like, come out and talked about she passed now, but there is an interview with Barry King where she recounts the situation.
Salina: And here's what she told him that the director said because it's just your character becomes too intelligent and it's important that you're a symbol of youth and loveliness and hope and so on.
Salina: And for you to be too articulate, that's just going to be so Larry King cuts her off then, which I was like, Let her finish.
Salina: But she's like, I mean, I think.
Nikki: We know the end of that story.
Salina: We know where he's going.
Salina: We've been a woman.
Salina: We've been around the block.
Salina: So I'd say that that's like a kind of a curveball to the different criticisms.
Salina: But it does feel important to me to mention that not only maybe were we not portraying Dr.
Salina: Prentice in the best possible way, but we were undercutting some of what he could have brought.
Salina: But we also did it to her, too.
Salina: And that feels relevant that the Isms.
Salina: The Isms are not just one, they're many.
Salina: Even when we're trying to do a good thing, we still have some problems.
Salina: The world has really I don't know if you know this or not, but the world's changed a lot since 1967.
Nikki: A lot.
Nikki: And none all at the same time.
Salina: So the culture has, like, shifted in these really tremendous ways.
Salina: And one of the clearest examples is Jordan Pill's get out.
Salina: And that was released on the 50th year anniversary of Guests Who's Coming to Dinner.
Salina: And thanks to Nikki telling me that I don't know how I didn't put that together, but I didn't, that it's actually based on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Salina: And it's just an updated comedic horror version.
Salina: So have you seen that?
Nikki: No, I don't watch horror movies.
Salina: They called it horror.
Salina: I mean, I guess it is.
Salina: It was more suspenseful to me than anything.
Salina: It definitely didn't feel very funny to me.
Salina: Like, there were some fun, like some funny parts.
Salina: That, to me, does not a comedy make.
Salina: So I think the movie stars daniel Kaluya, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford and Alison Williams.
Salina: And it was also nominated for Academy Awards four.
Salina: And it took home the best original screenplay.
Salina: So for those who don't know, it's about a young African American man who visits his white girlfriend's parents for the first weekend sounding familiar.
Salina: But here where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.
Salina: And there is a lot there.
Salina: So if anybody hasn't seen it, I.
Nikki: Don'T want to spoil it.
Salina: What is so vastly different between the two movies that feels very worth saying is the fact that and this is something I read in a Chicago Tribune article, so I don't want to take their point, but I thought it was a really good one in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, that tension and fear lies with someone completely different.
Salina: It's with the parents.
Salina: It's with the older generation.
Salina: Specifically the viewpoint of the older white parents.
Salina: Because even though Dr.
Salina: Prenice's parents come in, they are not like, we don't feel the emotion the way we feel the emotion of Catherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, the two stars of the movie and Get Out.
Salina: It's actually Chris's Fear intention and his perspective that drive the story.
Salina: And that is something vastly different between the two.
Salina: And so as someone who's watched half of guests and all of Get Out, I promise you, you really can feel that difference.
Salina: Like, as soon as I read that, I was like, oh, my gosh, that is absolute.
Salina: Maybe that is why I didn't recognize and pick up that these are like the same movies.
Salina: So I wanted to share kind of a little bit about what my take on some things were.
Salina: Without giving it much thought, I just assumed it broke a bunch of barriers.
Salina: So, again, like, you're the one that was like, hey, Salina legacy is kind of mixed.
Salina: So don't just be out there being like, oh, it's wonderful, and everything is sunny.
Salina: So I really appreciate you doing that for me because I think it is important to look at both of those things.
Salina: I'm guessing from what you just shared that you were already aware of the criticisms then of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Salina: So I was mostly surprised, though, about contemporaries in 67.
Salina: Like, talking about it being behind the time.
Nikki: That's wild to me.
Nikki: That actually is hard for me to.
Salina: Understand, especially because of the things that we talked about with what was going on with the state of the world at that time and the fact that the Supreme Court was just striking down those really ridiculous laws about banning interracial marriage during the filming.
Salina: But I sat with it.
Salina: And the more I sat with it, the more it reminded me that this is why we need multiple perspectives and this is why diversity of thought is so incredibly critical because we do need progressive thinkers.
Salina: We need the people who, like in 67 said, this is outdated.
Salina: We need them pulling us along and making us better.
Salina: Because I'm not sure I agree that it was behind the times for the world it was in, but I darn sure know that it should have been and for better or worse, we need the directors.
Salina: Like this one, like Stanley Kramers, these, I don't know, like idealistic Pragmatists.
Salina: Who know?
Salina: Sure, we need to change the culture but a lot of American needs a little bit of sugar to make the medicine go down, right?
Salina: And that was Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?
Salina: And that is this week's extra sugar.