Designing Women S4 E1 - Extra Sugar - 1989
Updated: Jan 20
Like we mentioned Monday, we’re doing things a little differently this year and pulling “Extra Sugar” out into its special episode drop on Thursdays. FIrst up - a deep-dive into 1989.
If you want to blast into the past on your own, here are our references:
The Summer of 1989: See 31 Things That Defined 25 Years Ago (34 years ago now if we’re going to get technical)
Hershey's Kisses' classic Christmas bells ad got a makeover — and people are outraged (in case you need to see the updated commercial for yourself)
Come on, let’s get into it!
Or listen on Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Amazon Music.
[0:00:19] Salina: Hey, y'all, and welcome to this season's very first extra sugar.
[0:00:23] Nikki: Should I do the sound?
[0:00:25] Salina: Applause? It's even more organic. So it's Thursday. Happy Thursday.
[0:00:35] Nikki: I just got really confused right Thursday with you.
[0:00:39] Salina: I don't know. We're not used to doing the extra sugars separately, so I'm trying to gain my footing. Am I doing good?
[0:00:45] Nikki: Great. Fantastic.
[0:00:47] Salina: You're just a natural. That's what they're always telling me. So show history dictates that for our very first extra sugar, we set the scene for the year of which is the corresponding year.
[0:01:01] Nikki: I had so much trouble saying that at the end of the main episode, I couldn't figure out how to word that.
[0:01:06] Salina: Whatever year, 1989 show, we're talking about that year. Does that make sense?
[0:01:11] Nikki: Makes sense.
[0:01:12] Salina: Okay, so season four took place, technically, in 89 and 90, but today we're talking 1989, baby. First of all, even though I myself am not a Swiftie, it feels worth mentioning for our biggest fan right here in the room, this is the year that Taylor Swift arrives to planet Earth. Hold on, Nikki.
[0:01:34] Nikki: Such a creepy way to say that.
[0:01:36] Salina: Let me tell you how I know that, though, okay? Yes, I'm aware of the album title name, but also, when I Googled 1989, just along, everything was coming up TSwift.
[0:01:49] Nikki: Of course it was. As it should be.
[0:01:51] Salina: Well, I wasn't prepared.
[0:01:53] Nikki: As it should be. Regrettably, it's not 1989 Taylor's version yet, but it will be soon, okay? Real fans will know. They get it.
[0:02:02] Salina: Oh, no, I get it.
[0:02:04] Nikki: They get it.
[0:02:04] Salina: She took all her music back. Okay, stand feminism. Yeah, I'm feminism. Am I right, Feminazes? Anyways, okay, bra burning. I like to keep this first extra sugar a little loose, little light frothy, if you will.
[0:02:25] Nikki: Okay.
[0:02:26] Salina: You can tell because I wrote all those words down. Light and frothy, off the cuff as.
[0:02:30] Nikki: She reads her notes.
[0:02:32] Salina: You'll never know. This is the first one. I like to keep it to pop culture. Okay, we know other things happen, but for today, I want to talk about the fun stuff.
[0:02:43] Nikki: Taylor Swift.
[0:02:44] Salina: Let's start with we're done with Taylor Swift story, and I want to start with movies.
[0:02:50] Nikki: Okay?
[0:02:51] Salina: So. Question for you, Nikki. If you had to guess, what do you think the highest grossing movie of 1989 was?
[0:02:59] Nikki: This is gonna suck. This is gonna suck so bad. The first thing that came to mind was Top Gun. I thought of Top Gun.
[0:03:06] Salina: Okay, that's fair enough. It was the wrong year. So the answer is Batman.
[0:03:11] Nikki: Oh, good. That was my second guess.
[0:03:16] Salina: As in Tim Burton's Batman, with Michael Keaton starring as the titular character, as well as Jack Nicholson as the Joker and Kim Basinger - Bassenger. Sorry, I've heard it pronounced both ways. Anyways, she plays the love interest. The article notes, this is one that ushered in our current era of comic book blockbusters, so thank you. Depending on how you feel.
[0:03:43] Nikki: Help me.Which one was the one with the penguin?
[0:03:44] Salina: Penguin that's Batman returns.
[0:03:47] Nikki: Okay.
[0:03:47] Salina: The second one.
[0:03:48] Nikki: Okay. Thank you.
[0:03:48] Salina: We'll get there. We'll get there.
[0:03:49] Nikki: Okay.
[0:03:50] Salina: So if you want to know how long ago this was, you don't have to count the years. By golly. We can count the batmans. In the interceding years, there have been five more Batmans. I want to quiz you. I will not.
[0:04:08] Nikki: Okay.
[0:04:08] Salina: Those are Val Kilmer, George Clooney.
[0:04:10] Nikki: We I could have done this one. Okay, well, take it, but not now. You've already started.
[0:04:15] Salina: Val Kilmer.
[0:04:15] Nikki: Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale.
[0:04:20] Salina: Okay. This is a podcast.
[0:04:25] Nikki: Go ahead. Keep going. Ben Affleck. Oh, I forget about Ben Affleck.
[0:04:30] Salina: And our newest Batman. Oh, tell me more. You were going to take us on through.
[0:04:41] Nikki: Okay.
[0:04:42] Salina: Robert Pattinson.
[0:04:45] Nikki: That's right.
[0:04:45] Salina: The Batman.
[0:04:47] Nikki: Sure.
[0:04:47] Salina: That was the name of the movie. Batman. Okay. All right. My first question is, have you seen the 1989 Batman?
[0:04:59] Nikki: Yes. Okay. Please don't think that me confusing The Penguin means that I haven't seen it. I, for whatever reason, thought that was one and the same. And you said Jack Nicholson, and I was like, oh, that's confusing. Yes, I've seen them all. I've seen them all except Robert Pattinson.
[0:05:12] Salina: Okay.
[0:05:12] Nikki: I like Batman.
[0:05:14] Salina: Yeah. So I was going to ask you, did you like well, do you remember this version, then?
[0:05:19] Nikki: The Michael Keaton version. The one with Jack Nicholson. I will as you're talking about it. Michael Keaton, I thought was a great Batman.
[0:05:27] Salina: Personally, do you have a favorite Batman or Batman movie?
[0:05:35] Nikki: I will say no, but I will say each one resonates with me in a different way. So, like, the George Clooney one, just like you. I have, like, a real soft spot for that one because of the time period in my life, and it was a really big deal to have freedom.
[0:05:54] Salina: Maybe by yourself.
[0:05:55] Nikki: I really liked Robin.
[0:05:57] Salina: Okay. You were Chris O'Donnell gal.
[0:05:59] Nikki: Yeah.
[0:06:00] Salina: I mean, I think there were a lot of girls that were Chris O'Donnell girls and a lot of boys that were Chris O'Donnell boys. Just Chris O'Donnell people.
[0:06:08] Nikki: That's what we were there for. Yeah. I have a soft spot for different ones. I thought Christian Bale was a really good Batman.
[0:06:15] Salina: Yeah. I just feel like you just starting with the George Clooney has to give you, like, hottest take.
[0:06:23] Nikki: I'm not afraid to be controversial.
[0:06:26] Salina: It is pretty controversial. It might be the most controversial.
[0:06:29] Nikki: I didn't say it was, like, my favorite. My point was I have soft spots for all of them. Exactly. I can see benefit to all of them. There's not one that I'm like. This is the worst thing I've ever seen. Although I certainly would not be watching those movies today.
[0:06:44] Salina: Oh, okay. So Batman is probably my favorite superhero out of all of them. Always has been, I think. Probably always will be. I have two favorites, and mine are both sequels. So you already mentioned Batman Returns. This is Michael Keaton as Batman. Also Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. Her name is Selena Kyle. That was a really big selling point for me back in that time. I was like, Selena. What? Me? There wasn't a lot of Selena's that you would hear on TV and in movies, and that remains to be the case. And then Danny DeVito is the penguin.
[0:07:22] Salina: My other favorite is The Dark Knight with Christian Bell. Heath Ledger is the joker. This was a superhero prestige movie at its absolute heights. And I've watched that movie this year, and it's probably just one of my favorite movies. It is.
[0:07:37] Nikki: Does it make you sad looking at Heath Fletcher?
[0:07:40] Salina: Well, it makes me sad that we didn't get to see more of him because I think that was the hints of him being probably the actor of this generation had he lived. But it doesn't make me not want to watch it.
[0:07:52] Nikki: No.
[0:07:55] Salina: So other contenders for that year in terms of movies, and I want you to say seen it, not seen it. No reason.
[0:08:03] Nikki: Okay.
[0:08:04] Salina: This will probably be tough to find one that you haven't seen, but we'll see. Honey, I shrunk the kids saying that parenthood saying that the movie okay. Do the right thing.
[0:08:17] Nikki: I don't think I've seen that one.
[0:08:19] Salina: Flagging when Harry Met Sally Cenot. Dead Poet Society.
[0:08:26] Nikki: CNN.
[0:08:26] Salina: Indiana jones in the Last Crusade.
[0:08:28] Nikki: CNA.
[0:08:29] Salina: Prove it.
[0:08:29] Nikki: I can't. Don't make me. The Indiana Jones movies run together for me. My parents used to watch them all the time, but I think I rewatched them when the one with Shiala Buff came out, so I rewatched them. But that's still been a decade.
[0:08:46] Salina: Yeah, it's a long time. Ghostbusters Two.
[0:08:50] Nikki: Yes.
[0:08:50] Salina: It's important to say that this also starred Annie Potts in one of her most iconic roles as Janine Melnutz, also with the northern accent, which I mean, I know I'm southern, but I think she did a pretty good job. And then my personal favorite from that year at that time, the Little Mermaid.
[0:09:07] Nikki: Oh, for sure. Okay.
[0:09:08] Salina: See, I told you it was going to be hard for you to have not seen these.
[0:09:11] Nikki: I don't know. That when you said do the right thing.
[0:09:14] Salina: Oh, you don't know it at all. Well, we'll get into that, but not today.
[0:09:18] Nikki: Yeah. So I saw Parenthood as a kid, like, I don't know, maybe like ten, young enough that in rewatching it as an adult, I was like, oh, that's what that meant. Or, oh, that's what they were talking about. But I rewatched the movie when the TV show came out because I was like, I know this is a movie I've seen, but, like, I feel like it would resonate differently as an adult. So I have rewatched it in recent years as well. Okay. It's a good one.
[0:09:48] Salina: The show was better. The show was really good. Okay, well, my sources didn't feel the need to mention it. I will. 19 989 is also the year of still magnolias, so perhaps one, if not the greatest southern movie of all time. So good. Got a slight debate in there, but we're going to plan something special later in the year. For now, we'll just say, my colas a blush and bashful.
[0:10:15] Nikki: Her colors are pink and pink.
[0:10:17] Salina: That's right. So let's talk music. Here's a little flavor of what you might have heard on the radio at that time. It would be on the radio, new kids on the block with hanging tough Richard hanging, hanging tough Richard Marks waiting for you. Paula Abdul, forever your girl, bette Midler's, wind beneath my wings, motley crude doctor, feel good. This is a year that sees hip hop's popularity on the rise. It's also the same year that Will Smith won the first ever Grammy for best rap performance for parents just don't understand. Madonna's like a prayer music video dropped that year, causing quite the stir because of the religious imagery. She was subsequently dropped as Pepsi spokesperson because there were concerns about boycotting the soft drink. I have forgotten about all of that. And then here's one I didn't know but I thought was really interesting, so I thought I'd share. Flea from the red hot chili Peppers wrote and played the bass line for young MC's bus to move. He never received a songwriting credit or any royalties from him. He was paid $200 for his studio time and the song went on to become a number one hit and sell millions of records. I thought that was really interesting.
[0:11:32] Salina: Some big TV shows also said goodbye in 1989, including one that gets several designing women mentions. Dynasty, then we also have family ties, moonlighting, Miami Vice. Do you watch any of those shows ever?
[0:11:52] Nikki: I've seen an episode of family ties. I've never watched dynasty.
[0:11:57] Salina: I've watched lots of family ties. I know what the other shows are and quite a bit about them, but.
[0:12:03] Nikki: I've honestly never seen I've never seen Miami's ice.
[0:12:05] Salina: I don't think moonlighting was really well syndicated by the time I would have been old enough to comprehend.
[0:12:13] Nikki: Is that like a soap opera?
[0:12:14] Salina: That is Bruce Willis and Civil Shepherd.
[0:12:17] Nikki: Is this a comedy?
[0:12:20] Salina: It's kind of like, I guess I think it was sitcomy romance, like will they, won't they kind of show. That's about the most I know about it. And then like their on screen chemistry fueled by real hate, I feel like was a storyline in the did we.
[0:12:37] Nikki: Talk about this in an episode? OK, we did. It's very familiar. Private detectives. Okie dokie. This sounds very familiar.
[0:12:45] Salina: See? And I don't even think I knew they were private detectives. All right. Other TV shows, much more indicative than of the 90s, were taking off at the time. Seinfeld. It's just kind of weird to think that that's when it premieres the Simpsons, I don't even need to say this, but y'all, it's still on the day. That's just nuts. It blows my mind. Save by the Bell also premiered in 89. Do you remember what it was initially called? Good morning, Miss Bliss.
[0:13:13] Nikki: Good morning. Because Miss Bliss showed up in one season and then she was gone.
[0:13:17] Salina: Well, they absolutely exited her right off and then brought in AC, Slater, Kelly, Jesse and I mean, honestly, that's when the show got good. This was the iconic TV show for people our age. At least it was for me and my friends.
[0:13:32] Nikki: One thing that was resonating for me this morning, as I was thinking about us recording today and just thinking about Designing Women, is that this is the first season for me that this Designing Women show hasn't felt dated. In a way. I almost sort of like we're dissecting it and we're like, oh, what are 80s things? For instance, this is the first season where I'm sort of like, I'm starting to get some of these things. It's starting to feel like life as I remember it as still old because we're old, but not like another generation. And so you speaking about some of these contemporaries. Like you said, Seinfeld, my eyes got huge because I'm like, really? 89?
[0:14:13] Salina: It's hard to think about them living.
[0:14:15] Nikki: In the same in the same universe. Yeah, it's strange.
[0:14:20] Salina: Did you know also in 89, McDonald's tried and failed to sell this popular food item, the Maclib? That that is no fail. I don't know. I've never even had one.
[0:14:32] Nikki: But I'll always think about Kelly Osborne calling it the microbe. She lost her mind over the Michael.
[0:14:39] Salina: People love it or hate it.
[0:14:40] Nikki: Yeah, very. She loved it.
[0:14:42] Salina: Do you want to take a guess at what food item it was?
[0:14:44] Nikki: Did the mic rib. You said no.
[0:14:46] Salina: Well, no, because that is not a.
[0:14:48] Nikki: Failure and it's not the Happy Meal. No. I don't know.
[0:14:52] Salina: Pizza. Try to sell pizza. I guess it was called Vic Pizza. Just take it a guess anyways.
[0:14:59] Nikki: Vic pepperoni, please.
[0:15:00] Salina: It didn't do well.
[0:15:01] Nikki: You don't say.
[0:15:03] Salina: Sega and Nintendo released two gaming systems that defined our childhood the Sega Genesis and the Nintendo Game Boy. I'm going to guess that your family had the first one.
[0:15:13] Nikki: We had both of them.
[0:15:14] Salina: You had both of them? Okay.
[0:15:15] Nikki: My sister, I think, had the Game Boy, but, yeah, we definitely had a Sega Genesis. Okay.
[0:15:21] Salina: I had a Game boy. The freshman 15 term was invented this year thanks to 17 magazine.
[0:15:28] Nikki: Gee, thanks.
[0:15:29] Salina: Research only showed weight gains to be around £5. I'd be curious to know if this myth is still a thing.
[0:15:35] Nikki: I don't really know the freshman 15. I don't know. I think it is.
[0:15:39] Salina: Well, it definitely was in the early odds.
[0:15:41] Nikki: Yeah.
[0:15:42] Salina: Because I remember, like, people being like, oh, I want to put on £15, as if it was like, you got, like, your student card and your £15, like, walking through the door or something.
[0:15:53] Nikki: Well, that kind of how it worked out for some of us. If you went to UGA and you got your dining card, we ate a lot of cereal.
[0:15:59] Salina: I wasn't even a traditional freshman. I still got my 15.
[0:16:03] Nikki: I almost positive we had stir fry in one of the dining halls. Eat that for breakfast. Yeah, we were well fed at Georgia.
[0:16:12] Salina: Just another plug.
[0:16:15] Nikki: A lot of good dining halls.
[0:16:18] Salina: Another kind of, like, pop culturey reference. You know, the hershey's Christmas bell commercial? This is the one. Hershey's Kisses.
[0:16:24] Nikki: Okay.
[0:16:25] Salina: So it premiered in 1989. It ran every holiday season for 31 years until it got a refresh in 2020.
[0:16:33] Nikki: Gosh.
[0:16:34] Salina: Apparently during a pandemic year, apparently people were outraged. I think they're both super cute. We'll link to it.
[0:16:40] Nikki: I don't know if I've seen the new one.
[0:16:42] Salina: So it starts out with the little bells ringing.
[0:16:44] Nikki: If you could just continue doing your fingers.
[0:16:47] Salina: All right. And then it zooms in. And then there's mom, a dad and daughter making the peanut butter blossoms and putting the Hershey's Kisses and tops on top. So it just and it kind of transitions into, like a more modern sounding beat. That's it.
[0:17:05] Nikki: Oh, thank you.
[0:17:06] Salina: Super cute.
[0:17:07] Nikki: I'd like to exclude myself from this narrative and go back to the 1989 original.
[0:17:11] Salina: I think you should watch it anyways. So as whatever culture. What is outrage culture? So must be like people freaked out, but the truth is they were airing them both. So calm down, everyone. We can have it all. We can have peanut butter blossoms. We can have Hershey kisses.
[0:17:30] Nikki: Do you love peanut butter too?
[0:17:31] Salina: We can have everything with the understanding that we're only talking about pop culture from 1989. We do understand the Cold War ended. The Berlin Wall came down. All these things happened. It was a big year. But if we're talking about pop culture, just going to ask, did we miss anything critical that year that you wanted us to talk about? Nikki, you can also get in on this.
[0:17:55] Nikki: I think we need to talk a little bit more about Taylor Swift's birth.
[0:18:00] Salina: Let us know. It could get a plug in a future episode. We're going to skip right over that. I gave her a plug. I started with her.
[0:18:08] Nikki: It's fine for you. Thank you.
[0:18:11] Salina: But you know the deal. There are ways to support us, which you can find from our website, sweettv.com. Follow us on Instagram on Facebook. TikTok you can also reach us there with your thoughts or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you. Thank you. 1989. Thank you for joining us. And that's this week's Extra sugar.