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Designing Women S4 E23 - Suzanne Gets a Girlfriend

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Suzanne’s new-old friend, who happens to also be gay, causes quite the stir among the ladies. We’re all learning lessons in this one: 90s style of course.

Come back later in the week for a round of Southern trivia with stakes of course. Who will be the victor? Nikki. Who will try but mainly just be nervous? Salina.

Some reads we talked about:

And for anyone feeling brunch-y:

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!



Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Wiki didn't even have to queue me up.

Nikki: I was scrambling to hit the mute button so we could actually talk again.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: I thought maybe I was just getting better.

Salina: You are aging like a fine thing of Welches grape juice.

Nikki: Grape juice.

Salina: Yeah, grape juice is good.

Salina: So before we get in the episode today, I thought I would just share a couple of Southern related things I've been consuming lately in case that's of interest to anyone.

Salina: The first one is not necessarily the larger thing isn't Southern.

Salina: Have you ever seen Chef's Table on Netflix?

Nikki: I don't think so.

Salina: So it's good.

Salina: I just started it, and I've only watched a few episodes.

Salina: There's a whole collection of them.

Salina: Like, a lot of things on Netflix now.

Salina: So there's, like, the original one, and then there's ones that branch out and focus on specific food groups.

Salina: But the original one highlights a different renowned international chef each episode, and it looks at both their life inside and out of the kitchen.

Salina: What inspires them?

Salina: What makes them tick, like, whatever obstacles they overcame to get where they are in the first place.

Salina: And so I would say, in general, the show is good.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: It's kind of got this, like what was the ASMR?

Salina: Okay, it's kind of got that I feel like I just got the acronym wrong.

Nikki: But, you know, I think it's ASMR.

Nikki: You know, that like audio sensory.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So that thing that just, like, kind of calms you down, like, it's a very soothing kind of show.

Salina: And if you like to look at food or you just kind of I don't know if any of that kind of attracts you.

Salina: I think it might be a thing for you.

Salina: But I wanted to especially just call out that the last season, the original one hasn't aired since 2019.

Salina: I don't think it's coming back.

Salina: So this does have a little age on it at this point, but they highlighted Sean Brock, who is from the south, and he actually grew up in Appalachia, and he's been a chef for, like, 20 years now.

Salina: He's, like our age, depressing.

Salina: It is, isn't it?

Nikki: Not that he's our age.

Nikki: The fact that he's been a chef for 20 years and he's our age.

Salina: Oh, no, I knew he just started young.

Salina: Right, exactly.

Salina: What a go getter, you know what I'm saying?

Salina: Anyways, but this point of him being from Appalachia, not only has he been a chef for a really long time, but he's sort of elevated Southern cuisine for a really long time.

Nikki: What if I had been like Sean Brock?

Nikki: Yeah, I know him.

Nikki: He's great.

Salina: You guys are friends, that kind of thing.

Nikki: He cooks for me.

Salina: Well, that would have been something interesting that you had left off the table for our friendship.

Salina: And maybe you could ask him to come do an interview or something.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: That would be wonderful.

Salina: But he actually helped put Charleston on the culinary map, and he's opened several restaurants.

Salina: I won't go into all of that.

Salina: What I did want to share that I thought was really I don't know, it has some connective tissue, I think, with our last episode, and talking about Michelin stars or lack of them here in the south.

Salina: But it also has this connection to Southern culture.

Salina: So he's worked with local farmers, if I'm following this correctly.

Salina: He's like a seed saver, and he's also a really big advocate of heirloom crops.

Salina: And so he's basically going back and finding these things that are, like, lost to time, and then he takes them and he integrates them into the food that he serves in his restaurants.

Salina: So now I think he's in Nashville, and he's moved on from Charleston, and he's in Nashville, and he's opened, I think, four restaurants in the last three years, but one that is completely Appalachian focused in the menu.

Salina: And the whole restaurant is like a love letter to his grandmother Audrey.

Salina: So all that I just found, really.

Nikki: Is it called Audrey's?

Salina: It's called Audrey.

Nikki: Oh, is that really it?

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I had to piece together something from some articles, but I'll just share two quick things that I read that sound very interesting.

Salina: So if you go in and you do the tasting menu, you actually start on a porch, and he serves you your first little amuse boosh, like, on the porch, which isn't that neat.

Salina: Like, what a nice way to integrate, like, a Southern culture touchstone.

Salina: And then the menu actually looks like a little old school, leather bound cookbook.

Nikki: Oh, that's cool.

Salina: So I've dropped in an article that'll be part of the blog post for people to read if they're interested in that.

Salina: And if that sounds like it's up your alley, go check out chef's table.

Salina: And then I've already said something to you, like, off mike, but I've been watching the reboot of Queer Eye, and I just wanted to say, if you are in the need of something happy making in your life, that's a really good show.

Salina: I know I'm really late to that bandwagon, but this latest season was in New Orleans.

Salina: That's actually what got me interested, since I had recently been I was like, oh, I wonder if I've seen any of these places I've been meaning to look.

Salina: Obviously, the first season obviously, if you don't know, the first seasons were in Atlanta and around Georgia.

Salina: So if you're from this area, it's kind of cool to see different places that you've maybe been to before and so forth and so on.

Nikki: It's a really positive show.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Super uplifting.

Salina: I've been watching it in the mornings, and it's literally put me in a better mood every day.

Nikki: It's all about positivity and making people's lives better.

Nikki: And I think the fact that it's done one of the things that resonated with Atlanta to me is that we don't have the greatest track record for being inclusive and being welcoming to members of the LGBTQ community like Atlanta proper does.

Nikki: But the south in general doesn't necessarily.

Nikki: Those two things don't go hand in hand inclusivity in the south necessarily for most people when they think about the south.

Nikki: So I thought it was really cool that they relaunched it and they relaunched in Atlanta.

Nikki: And then you just see these people's lives change for the better and it's just hard to watch that and then know that there are people out in the world that think gay people are the worst people to walk the planet or whatever.

Salina: Well, so I'm glad that you raised that point specifically because one thing that I really like about it is the cast is having tough conversations in the kindest, most generous way with the people who are appearing on the show in a given episode.

Salina: And I think doing what I literally think that these people who are on the show could help heal the world.

Salina: That kind of love and that kind of energy that they're putting on this show because that's what we need in this life is we need people who are different from one another to sit across the table and see eye to eye on some things and they're able to do that in the show.

Salina: And I just think that's so beautiful.

Nikki: It's a really well done show.

Nikki: It is really, really good.

Nikki: It's not what you I didn't watch the original Queer Eye.

Salina: No, it was like two like, that's what I was anytime that people if there's a bandwagon, I'm probably not on it until five years later.

Nikki: Yeah, I feel like maybe it just was not it didn't come at the right time in my life or something.

Nikki: I can't even remember how old I would have been or my ability to have cable has come and gone at different points in my life.

Salina: I want to say senior year of high school.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: So I don't know that that's something I hadn't turned the channel from MTV or VH One if I wasn't watching pop up video, I was watching TRL.

Nikki: Like, I had other things going on, so I didn't watch the first round.

Nikki: So I don't know anything about that.

Nikki: I just watched the reboot and it just was not what I was expecting.

Nikki: I don't know that I could have articulated what I would have been expecting from it, but this is not it, right.

Nikki: This is not what I thought it was going to be.

Salina: Also, just as an aside, I also think that some really important points have been raised for couples that they've worked with where they'll be talking to these men who are in flip flops and shorts and jorts.

Salina: Look, you do you you dress however you want, but it's this point that they made that I think is really and they've made it several times now that I think is really important.

Salina: They say, what do you typically wear?

Salina: And it's like something incredibly casual and sometimes a little sloppy, to be honest.

Salina: And then they're like, and what does your wife do?

Salina: And they're like, oh, she dresses up.

Salina: And they're like, and why is that?

Salina: And every time the guy is just sitting there like and I just think that is something that we can all think about in our relationships.

Salina: Like, are we giving what we're getting?

Salina: And then it also made me think, Salina, stop being sloppy yourself.

Nikki: That's what was going on in this world.

Nikki: I do remember watching because I haven't watched the show.

Nikki: I watched it consistently for season one.

Nikki: I haven't watched it in a couple of years, but I do.

Nikki: It leaves me with a sense of like, man, I am a real schlub.

Nikki: Like I can't get up and do my hair.

Nikki: I'm not trying to put on clothes every day like that.

Nikki: It makes me feel a little schlubby.

Salina: I know.

Salina: I was like, I really don't want to be.

Salina: Do a little something like wash your hair for Casey every now and then.

Salina: Poor guy.

Salina: So I didn't mean to necessarily it's interesting.

Salina: I brought up Queer Eye.

Nikki: I thought you were doing it for the transition.

Salina: No, but go ahead.

Nikki: And speaking of nice people and friends, we are on season four, episode 23, Suzanne goes looking for a friend.

Nikki: IMDb describes it as Suzanne rekindles a friendship with an old pal from her beauty pageant days but is shocked when she finds out the woman is now gay.

Nikki: I thought you were going to gasp.

Nikki: Air date April 9, 1990 we're calling this one Suzanne gets a Girlfriend.

Nikki: It was written by D LeDuke and Mark Alton Brown.

Nikki: The trivia notes that Salina has left with me is that they write and produce or they will write and produce 17 and 22 episodes through the rest of the show's run, respectively.

Nikki: And it looks like season seven pretty much belongs to them.

Nikki: Salina connected some dots and says they're a writing producing team and they go on to produce girlfriends.

Nikki: And they both have pretty extensive Nickelodeon credits, especially LaDuke.

Nikki: They worked on hey, dude.

Nikki: And a million iterations of Double Dare.

Salina: I thought you might like that.

Nikki: I do love those two shows.

Nikki: Directed by David Trainer.

Nikki: Again.

Nikki: All right.

Nikki: General reactions and stray observations.

Salina: The very first thing I thought with this one is it struck me as another very of its time episode similar to Tough Enough a few episodes back.

Salina: Like the whole men versus women and the bowling alley episode, just logically.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: It's possible for someone Suzanne's age in a show, in life to get away with this level of naivety and actually live in the world.

Salina: It's one thing to not know every lesbian bar in town, but to not understand what coming out is would almost be absurd.

Salina: Today.

Salina: You know what I'm saying?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So some of that lingo that falls that just goes right over her head today, that's not a thing.

Nikki: I think, generally speaking, this episode just didn't do it for me.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Nikki: I feel like there really wasn't any self exploration.

Nikki: I felt like there was kind of some blatant homophobia going on among some of the cast members, including Mary Joe, and you just mentioned Suzanne.

Nikki: So, like, Mary Joe, when they were in the restaurant, she has this whole moment of, oh, my God, what if a PTA mom thinks I'm gay?

Nikki: And to the point of just like, it just was uncomfortable.

Nikki: It felt uncomfortable to me how off put she was by that.

Salina: It was very 1990.

Salina: I think that's where the country was.

Nikki: I think that's a fair point, but I also feel like I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of it.

Nikki: Like, we saw the AIDS episode was really, really progressive.

Nikki: There was no progression that happened even by the end of the episode.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Or flip flop.

Salina: There was, like a little bit, but then there was like, it's a funny comment, and it's in my likes because I thought it was a funny line, but it's like, oh, I see you.

Salina: But it's like, also, we can get a man.

Salina: We can get you and a man together.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: I totally get that.

Nikki: So I felt like there wasn't enough and to that point, my comment was that interaction at the end, that would have been a nice point to have had a little bit of a heel turn or to have changed the narrative a little bit, and they didn't do that.

Nikki: So this wasn't my favorite episode.

Salina: So I actually thought that this was a perfect example of something I think I mentioned a couple of seasons ago, which is that one could argue suzanne is a beautiful Southern Archie Bunker.

Salina: I love her, but she is often like she's a little small minded and is used as a vehicle to show the audience maybe a certain way of thinking is a little flawed.

Salina: And I think that's what they were trying to do here.

Salina: We can vary on the mileage and degrees of success, but I think that's what the aim was.

Salina: I also think it's important to say Suzanne was really where I was saying before, where I think most Americans, more Americans were on same sex relationships in 1990.

Salina: So that line of thinking being like, they didn't want to think about someone being gay, they didn't want to talk about it, and they certainly didn't want to be associated with it.

Salina: I think there was this fear that someone may think they're gay or the specific fear raised in this episode, which was kind of as a joke, but I don't think it was a joke for some people that every gay person is inexplicably trying to convert everyone.

Salina: So I think some of that was all in the sauce here.

Salina: And I do agree it is hard in a 2023 lens, I think, to see this episode and for it to fully resonate, for sure.

Nikki: Well, it's also just a little bit whiplashy because the whole storyline with the bowling episode was, oh my God, everybody's going to think these guys are gay, so they've gone so extra to be over the top.

Nikki: How stupid is that?

Nikki: And then we have this episode where the entire cast is like, oh, I don't want people to think I'm gay.

Nikki: It's just very mealy mouthed and hypocritical, in a sense.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I think I'm trying to put it there's been times where you and I have talked and then I've gone and had a conversation with someone who was a little older than us at this time period, and they've explained to me their view on it.

Salina: And I can almost hear some of those people in my head right now that I've had that conversation with, being like, yeah, but I think that's the point to show some of that mealy mouth again, I think we could sit here and argue, is that successful?

Salina: I'm not sure it was, but I think maybe they wanted to show some of that hypocrisy.

Salina: I just don't know.

Salina: It was to the level of success that we would have liked to have seen from the show and that we have seen from this show.

Salina: I did think it was smart at the end to truck out someone who was more homophobic than Suzanne when they're in the Sauna, because it did at least lead to this moment.

Salina: I think whether or not it sticks around for Suzanne, she does have an AHA moment about what Eugenia might be going through or have been through.

Salina: And I think it softens Suzanne a little bit to the situation, and I think that was definitely needed.

Salina: It also, incidentally, leads to one of the best episodes or lines in the episode where Suzanne says, yeah, you got more problems in lesbians than your sauna, which was good.

Salina: Also, I think there were some cut lines, actually, that I think aged worse than some of the things that actually stayed in the episode.

Salina: And again, I think just kind of strengthens the argument I think you're making, which is that maybe we were trying, but we didn't quite get there, and if they had left those lines in, it really wouldn't have aged as well.

Salina: I don't think we need to go through them, but they weren't great.

Salina: Any other general reactions or anything?

Nikki: I mean, I think the other thing sort of is related to what you were talking about at the beginning.

Nikki: I feel like the other women almost sort of gaslit Suzanne into I don't know if gaslit is the right word, but got her in her own head about Eugenia.

Nikki: So I know you're arguing that really, there's no way she could have lived with that level of not knowledge or lack of awareness, but she was fine living in that world where she didn't know about Eugenia's sexuality and the other women sort of laughed about it and brought it up, which I think put Suzanne in an uncomfortable spot then, where she was like, oh, well, now I have to address this thing that she was living naively without knowing.

Nikki: Like, it wasn't relevant.

Nikki: We could have had the whole episode, and Suzanne never knew, and maybe she would have had a good friend out of it without being in her own head about it, and the other women just contributed to that.

Salina: That's interesting.

Salina: Or, like, how would that have played out if they hadn't told her and we had just let her go through and then experience some of those things, like, in the sauna in a different way without some level of prejudice already in her head.

Nikki: That's interesting.

Nikki: Okay, that was my last general reaction.

Salina: Okay, so strays.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: I think that the conversation about gendered toys was an interesting conversation to hear.

Nikki: And I have a boy and a girl, so I have knowledge of how toys are marketed and how they're received by kids.

Nikki: And I don't think Anthony is entirely wrong that little boys will make toys, little boy toys, and little girls will make toys, little girl toys.

Nikki: You could argue that some of that is because of environment versus nature versus nurture sort of thing, but yeah, I mean, I think back to my little brother.

Nikki: His version of playing with my Barbies was pulling their heads off and hanging them out the windows of the Barbie house.

Salina: It's just what he did.

Nikki: My son does the same thing with my daughter's toys.

Nikki: So that conversation resonated with me.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, I was really interested in that part, and there was part of me that almost wanted to pull that out and talk a little bit about it in the episode.

Salina: I mean, I think I thought it was really progressive, what Mary Joe said she did, especially for 1990, just, like, almost cross pollinating the toys just to make sure that they got, like, that her son had some creativity in his toys.

Salina: Claudia wasn't just playing with Barbie dolls.

Salina: I don't remember exactly what the example was, but, I mean, certainly there's an argument to, like, if you have a little boy that's, like, only playing with cars and he's sitting there and he's able to pull different things apart and look at the mechanics of it, and he's building things with blocks.

Salina: And then you give a little girl a vacuum cleaner, like a make believe vacuum cleaner in a kitchen, tell her to go fake or make fake brownies or whatever.

Salina: There is something to that, but I think it goes always right.

Salina: And definitely kids, humans gravitate towards what they like at the end of the day.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: He also gets a fashion note in this episode.

Nikki: He is wearing this weird printed sweater with like plaid pants almost.

Nikki: It's an early 90s look.

Nikki: It's looking very much like what's the dad's name from Family Matters.

Nikki: It looks like a sweater he would have worn.

Nikki: So it's 90s.

Nikki: But those are not good patterns together.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Mixed patterns.

Salina: The Kohlers, there's not even any connectivity between that.

Salina: That was hard to look at for sure.

Salina: So my strays were, Eugenia says, my lover and I.

Salina: And I just think, like, anytime anyone talks about their lover, that just like seems like something that people don't really say.

Salina: So it just stood out to me.

Nikki: So the whole thing in this episode was that heterosexual couples don't refer to their significant other as lover.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: And I think what you're saying is probably more true.

Nikki: Like, no one really maybe Bill refers to Charlene as his lover because that's just like fantasy.

Nikki: And my lover yeah, I don't think most people normally talk like that.

Salina: Right.

Salina: And I was like, well, maybe that was just like, it is what people thought at the time.

Salina: Or I don't know.

Salina: Anyways, I'm just like, you're not really going to catch me being like, me and my lover, we're going out tonight.

Salina: What?

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Unless I'm being like facetious or like playing around.

Salina: Oh.

Salina: Did you have any other strays?

Nikki: I'm trying to decide.

Nikki: I have one.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: One more.

Nikki: A guest star spotlight Karen Coppins is who played Eugenia most importantly.

Nikki: She was in the mid 80s Jim Carrey movie Wince Bitten.

Salina: Do you know Empire?

Salina: It's like you just resurrected a memory that I existed deep in my brain.

Nikki: I've probably seen that movie more times than most people.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: And I've probably seen it maybe half a dozen times.

Nikki: So it's not that many times that I've seen it.

Salina: Do we need to put this on the movie list?

Nikki: I would not.

Nikki: Probably.

Nikki: Maybe.

Salina: Why did you see it so many times?

Nikki: Because my sister loved it.

Salina: Your sister has some interesting I think.

Nikki: We watched it at my grandmother's house and there just wasn't a lot to be consumed in terms of media there.

Salina: It just happened to you.

Nikki: So we just kept watching it over and over again.

Nikki: But she was also in Dallas and troop Beverly Hills.

Nikki: So again, there's just like so much inner pollination and crossover because we talked about how Pam Norris helped write the screenplay for Troop Beverly Hills.

Nikki: And of course Pam Norris is very influential in this show.

Nikki: So there's just a lot of circles running together.

Salina: I did notice the troop Beverly Hills and wonder if they like, maybe Pam Norris connected her over to the show or something.

Nikki: But I don't know.

Nikki: I just really wanted to mention Woodsbitten.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Wow.

Salina: And I'm going to have to go look into that later.

Salina: But as soon as you said that, I was like, I do know about that.

Nikki: I don't know that it's like a terrible movie.

Nikki: I just don't think it's one that holds up very well, because Jim Carrey, like anything Jim Carrey did early in his career, just looks so different from what you expect now that it might just be a hard watch.

Nikki: I don't know.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Okay, well, I actually have a request from you.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: What's the chances that a gal like me could borrow your nibbles for this episode?

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: What is she about to ask?

Salina: Nibbles.

Salina: That's N-I-B as in brunch.

Salina: B as in brunch.

Salina: Le s Salina.

Salina: Come on, y'all.

Salina: Let's talk fiddles.

Salina: Salina's nibbles.

Nikki: Come on, y'all, let's eat.

Salina: Thank you, Nikki, for letting me commandeer your segment today.

Nikki: You're welcome.

Salina: I would argue that the most divisive topic brought up in this episode comes in the form of a meal brunch.

Salina: A reference brought to us by the mention of the fictional, I think fictional pink giraffe, a, quote, lesbian bar and restaurant with a fantastic eggs binny.

Salina: First coined in the 1890s and popularized in the US.

Salina: In the 1930s, brunch isn't just a meal.

Salina: It's a whole culture.

Salina: And I think that might be what makes it so divisive for the non convertible.

Salina: Does that track for you at all, or do you just feel like everyone is a brunch person?

Nikki: You said that it was not something that everyone agrees on.

Nikki: That was news to me.

Nikki: Oh, I just assumed everyone likes brunch.

Salina: Okay?

Nikki: Brunch affords the opportunity to have breakfast, and then second, breakfast and lunch, like, all in one meal.

Nikki: Let me tell you what's not to like.

Salina: You're speaking to the converted.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Or never needed to be converted.

Nikki: Honestly, no.

Salina: So I think you've answered my next question, which is, are you a brunch person?

Nikki: Of course.

Salina: So I know the answer not enough.

Nikki: To wait at a restaurant if there's a long wait.

Nikki: I'm not doing that.

Salina: So that's actually what I was going to say.

Salina: So I would definitely consider myself a brunch person.

Salina: But I understand some of the arguments I've heard for people who aren't, one is waiting.

Salina: I don't like to wait for a meal.

Salina: But also, brunch is a little bit of a C and B scene thing, depending on where you are, especially in Atlanta.

Salina: And that's not for everyone.

Salina: It's definitely not for I didn't know that.

Nikki: I had no idea.

Salina: It's a little bit of a scene.

Salina: So again, not for me.

Nikki: Who are these people with so much time to worry about things like this?

Nikki: I don't understand that.

Salina: But you can see if you're not in the scene or be seen.

Salina: Ilk why some people would not be like, oh, I'd love to go to brunch.

Salina: Okay, but here's the thing.

Salina: The food, that's the draw.

Salina: Like you said, it's breakfast, it's lunch.

Salina: What's not to like?

Salina: It's egg dishes of all stripes.

Salina: It's an endless bound of pastries and carby delights, carving stations, the sweet, the savory.

Salina: Both and what I really like is it's a meal of mule.

Salina: It's a meal of leisure.

Salina: So much of American dining culture is like, pardon the phrase, but it's wham, bam, get out.

Nikki: I was just thinking, I guess it depends on how quickly they're trying to turn tables over.

Salina: Well, that's what I think restaurants don't like about brunch.

Nikki: Kicked out a time or two.

Salina: But I like the company, the conversation.

Salina: I know some people like the day drinking.

Salina: I love to sit there and sip on coffee.

Salina: You're having delicious bites.

Salina: It's just a little bit more of something where it's an experience versus just like in and out and done anyways with the dining.

Salina: That is sure.

Salina: So I also think there's a couple of other things where I understand where but I don't think this is just brunch culture.

Salina: I think this is dining culture where maybe people get a little mixed.

Salina: But it's this idea that social media has just taken over so much that sometimes it becomes more about the instagrammability of a place and sometimes we're doing a little style over substance.

Salina: And honestly, I'm going to tell you, I don't care how many flowers you hang over my head, I'm there for the food.

Salina: And then on the other hand, I do understand too.

Salina: Like, okay, you can stuff a fried chicken donut sandwich inside a waffle, but sometimes just like one of those components executed well is fine.

Salina: So I do see where some of the brunch culture is maybe like getting a little bit over the top or something, but I thought it might be interesting to talk a little bit about some brunch trends that are happening right now.

Salina: Turns out that wasn't that easy to find, but I was able to pull together like a list by looking at larger restaurant trends.

Salina: These are things like that I've either seen when I'm out having brunch or I imagine could come into play because of the breakfasty part of food or lunch part of the breakfast, lunch, brunch.

Salina: So one big thing that I saw in a New York Times article that I think just kind of speaks to the moment that we're living in is this idea of what you could call a post pandemic trends.

Salina: One is like more experiential dining and the other is communal eating.

Salina: And it all boils down to this.

Salina: We were all locked in our homes for a very long time.

Nikki: Communal eating still sounds terrible to me.

Salina: Though, and I get that from some of the examples I'll share.

Salina: And I think you might react to this in the same way, even though it does sound kind of cool.

Salina: But basically it's this idea, though, at least with the experiential part.

Salina: Like once you've just been sitting around in your pajamas eating cereal day in and day out, you want to see something flambade, you want to see some cocktails finished table side.

Salina: I think people are looking for that interaction.

Salina: They're looking for excitement.

Salina: They're looking for show.

Salina: And.

Salina: So I think some of the examples that were given were, like, dining room trolleys or elaborate decorations, and again, like these flaming desserts and just things that just are entertaining, not only for eating, but entertaining for the show of it as well.

Salina: On the communal eating, I'll just say that was like food halls and all that.

Salina: That was a thing that was happening before pandemic started up.

Salina: But certainly we're seeing a term with that.

Salina: We love putting food on a board.

Salina: I don't think that's going anywhere.

Salina: And then the specific examples I saw for the part that you may not enjoy, Nikki, but I don't know, dessert towers, appetizer towers, large format cocktails.

Salina: There's a $100 disco mule served in a big disco ball at the Tipsy Alchemist in Austin, Texas.

Nikki: I can almost assure you that's not worth it.

Nikki: Yeah, I can almost assure you.

Salina: Yeah, I think the disco ball part is fun, but out of all the drinks that I would want in that disco ball, it's probably not a mule and $100.

Salina: Yeah, I mean, they're better bring me a $12.

Salina: There better be ten people.

Salina: That's all I'm saying.

Salina: And then this is what I'll call the brunch bolo.

Salina: Or in other words, be on the lookout for more of these as you're out plant based options.

Salina: That's having a moment.

Salina: Fried chicken in multiple formats, which is very exciting for me.

Salina: I love fried chicken.

Salina: But whether that's like, sandwiches, nashville hot chicken has been having a moment.

Salina: Unique handhelds is another thing.

Salina: Like French toast sticks.

Nikki: I love French toast.

Salina: I think you recently had that at a brunch.

Salina: You showed me some kind of meal made into a sandwich.

Salina: Avocados are leaping off the toast and into cocktails and desserts.

Salina: Low and no alcohol drinks.

Salina: But also on the other side of that, on that mocktail culture that's growing there's, like, showstopper, craft cocktails.

Salina: So, again, we want them smoked.

Salina: We want them foamed, vapored, bubbled, or downright on fire.

Salina: Dang it.

Salina: Anything you can do to them.

Salina: And probably caviar on top of something unexpected.

Salina: I recently experienced that myself, which was on top of a fingerling potato.

Salina: Then on top of that potato was a deviled egg mousse.

Salina: And then caviar on top of that.

Salina: And I see that look on your face, but it was delicious.

Salina: And then the final category for trends is just I'm calling it let's be Better Humans, shall we?

Salina: Across the restaurant industry, including brunch, we can probably expect chefs and staff to be thinking more about climate conscious food and drink production.

Salina: And then one thing that's come out of the pandemic as well is, like, humanizing the people behind the food and ensuring diners know that those are real people that are serving you your food today, which, as a former person in the restaurant industry, I can appreciate that one.

Salina: But I wanted to ask you before we move on, what's the best brunch that you've ever had or item anything like that.

Nikki: I think my favorite brunch, but it's more because of the experience.

Nikki: I actually don't remember what we ate.

Salina: I think I have a guess for what it is.

Salina: I'm going to hold it.

Salina: What is it?

Nikki: What's your guess?

Salina: Is it vegas?

Salina: No.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Although that was really fun because they have like an Eiffel Tower there, so it felt like we were on a Parisian street.

Nikki: No, my favorite was in San Francisco.

Nikki: Not San Diego, san Francisco.

Nikki: We did a bottomless Mimosa brunch cruise in the harbor, which was cool.

Nikki: It was really cool.

Nikki: We went all the way around the harbor.

Nikki: Like I said, I don't remember what we ate.

Nikki: Honestly, for me, brunch food all sorts of sort of runs together, unless you're doing like one of those bubbly cocktails, which I would probably never do because the style over substance thing resonates with me.

Nikki: I'm very wary if it's going to look fancy, it's not going to taste good, or if you're doing a whole song and dance, it's to obfuscate that it doesn't taste good.

Nikki: So I'm probably unlikely to try that.

Nikki: So I don't really remember what we ate, but it's probably waffles or something.

Nikki: But it was very good.

Nikki: Cool experience.

Salina: My favorite was classic on Noble.

Salina: This is in Aniston, Alabama.

Salina: The one thing I really love about Casey's family is they're not afraid to travel for good food, which is right there in my wheelhouse.

Salina: If they're willing to go, I'm willing to partake as well.

Salina: They serve a buffet style brunch every Sunday, and it's so big that it's actually laid out across multiple rooms.

Salina: Now, I haven't been in a few years, but I swear it's some of the best shrimp and grits I've ever had.

Salina: They also have two gigantic tables of homemade desserts that are all across the back wall.

Salina: And it's like again, I think going back to style over substance, this is just substance.

Salina: And they're all like those.

Salina: It almost reminds me of how, you know, you would go to a church potluck or something and there'd be all those really great desserts that have been passed down through the generations.

Salina: Like it was that it wasn't like, trying to be fancy.

Salina: It was like, this is just good cake y'all, right?

Salina: And I'm here for it in every flavor that you can imagine.

Salina: They also had, like I want to say they had a waffle station, omelette station, prime rib, like all of those.

Salina: Cornerstones of a huge buffet style brunch.

Salina: And if anybody is interested in going, I would especially recommend going around Christmas because it's decorated real nice with the trees.

Salina: Yeah, and it's fun.

Salina: I think they put out, like, a lot of you'll like this, a lot of, like the Christmas villagey stuff.

Salina: I wouldn't want to be the one having to dust it, but it looked nice and it's just really tasty.

Salina: So I'll throw in that plug and then this is also for you, Nikki, but anyone else who is a big fan of Dan Levy from Schitt's Creek, he actually did a show.

Salina: It premiered last year.

Salina: Casey and I just watched it.

Salina: It's called the big brunch.

Salina: It's on HBO.

Salina: Max, which bar my login?

Nikki: I have one.

Salina: Oh, okay.

Salina: I thought you didn't do HBO anymore.

Nikki: We have that one, I think.

Salina: Oh, yes.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So Big Brunch and it's a cooking competition show, but it's in the vein of the Great British Bake Off.

Salina: And it's because everybody's really nice to each other.

Salina: It's not like a throat slitting competition.

Salina: And so it's just got a good vibe to it.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: All the judges are pretty nice and they're basically like having little boozy cocktails the whole time they're judging.

Salina: And it's Dan Levy.

Salina: He's just amazing.

Salina: He's such a fun personality and he brings all that.

Salina: And the whole show was his idea, and hopefully he'll come back again next year.

Salina: I think it premiered late last year, so we'll see.

Salina: But anyway, we'll tell.

Salina: Time will tell.

Salina: But besides our love for Brunch, I know this wasn't really the episode for you, but were there things about this episode that you did like?

Nikki: So I actually thought Suzanne's lack of self awareness was funny and on brand for her.

Nikki: So, like, considering herself a celebrity that they would want to invite to things so other people would come thinking that Eugenia agreed to be her friend because, I mean, she's Suzanne, not just because Eugenia was lonely.

Nikki: I just find that perpetually endearing about Suzanne.

Nikki: And I think in a world of people who are overly self aware sometimes or just self reflective and all in their heads, I think it's kind of nice occasionally to meet a person who really just has no idea what's going on and it's just going bumbling through life, just happy to be the star of the show.

Nikki: I kind of like it about her.

Salina: I mean, I will say that I'm jealous of anyone who gets to be that free in their mind and just like, not yeah.

Nikki: She just didn't worry about things.

Nikki: So they got in her head about Eugenia.

Nikki: She was completely happy that this new friend she had found this woman who was forever indebted to, or Suzanne, I guess was forever indebted to for being nice to her.

Nikki: She was going to reward her.

Nikki: She was happy.

Salina: Let her be happy, nice to her, trying to sabotage her.

Nikki: Well, in the end, we find that out.

Nikki: That was the twist.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: It fit with Suzanne.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So at its core, this is like a case of mistaken identity and places episode.

Salina: And that's the kind of hijinks I'm always going to be a little I'm going to gravitate a little bit towards.

Salina: Because I think that's sometimes the closest thing that we really get to a twist in a sitcom.

Salina: And I did think there was something about their time at Uncle Gertrude's that I don't know why they thought that was a lesbian bar.

Salina: I don't understand where the confusion came in there.

Salina: But what I did think was funny is it put me in the mind of all of those videos where they'll be like, it'll be a romantic movie, but they'll put it to a horror movie track and then it'll read scary because it's a horror movie or the other way around.

Salina: And so it made me think a little bit about that because that's true and it is really about perception.

Salina: And I think the way they were reading things, I just thought that was so interesting.

Salina: And I do like that kind of psychological dynamic, like reading it, the server is being nice, and obviously she's hitting on me, like that kind of thing.

Salina: So, anyways, perception, people, it's important.

Salina: I also thought it was speaking about the sabotage.

Salina: I thought that was a good reveal at the end, and I kind of liked that.

Salina: That made Suzanne like her more.

Salina: It's like, oh, maybe we can be best friends.

Salina: This is wonderful because I was trying to sabotage you two, right?

Salina: And then even though it is a hill turn and it means Suzanne potentially didn't learn anything, her delivery of the line, if we can put a man on the moon, why can't we put a man on you?

Salina: I say we can do it.

Salina: It was just well delivered, and it made me laugh.

Nikki: I don't mind that Suzanne's mind didn't necessarily change or like, it changed in a Suzanne way.

Nikki: I think I'm being inclusive now because I'm friends with a gay person.

Nikki: That's fine.

Nikki: It's so weird to me, this episode.

Nikki: I mean, this show usually just does these things so nicely or does it with a level of self awareness that this just didn't feel like there was resolution.

Nikki: Like the Suzanne thing is I thought that was funny line.

Nikki: I thought the end was funny, but there was just like the other characters just something read off to me.

Salina: I think you're right.

Salina: I think it was a little off putting the way, especially since they were, like, so knowledgeable when they broke it to Suzanne.

Salina: But then they go in and they're freaking out just as much.

Salina: The only thing I can't figure out there, and I think that's what I was trying to say is on some level, the show trying to show us the hypocrisy there.

Salina: Oh, they're so in the know.

Salina: But then they get in that situation and they're just as bad as Suzanne.

Salina: And I just feel like if that is what they were trying to do, I just not sure they did it to the success that it could have been done.

Salina: They needed, like, one other thing in there.

Salina: And I don't know what that thing is, but just something to let the audience in too.

Nikki: Well, someone to point it out, I think is what's missing.

Nikki: Usually there is some level of a straight thinker or like a voice of reason, an Anthony to point out, like, don't you guys think like you did in the episode about the bowlers?

Nikki: Again, don't you think you're being a little hypocritical?

Nikki: That feels like that was missing.

Salina: Maybe they underused Eugenia because she would have been a really good person to point it out.

Salina: Like, maybe instead of just saying, why would you think that I would invite you to a lesbian bar?

Nikki: But she gets so cool about the whole thing, and she really should have just called them out on all of that stuff.

Nikki: Like, even in the sauna with Suzanne, she had like a toeing to the line of pointing out how horrible Suzanne was to her by saying, like, normally it doesn't come from my friends or something like that.

Nikki: But she didn't even deliver that in a way that made me feel like this poor woman.

Nikki: It just felt like, unbothered.

Nikki: Oh, well.

Nikki: It's just life.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: Which I felt was a shame.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's right.

Salina: So I think we were kind of already we're already in the mix, but is there anything specific besides what we've already talked about in terms of things you didn't like?

Nikki: That's probably enough.

Nikki: I understand and acknowledge that we're watching this through 2023 woke eyes, and I don't want to hold the show accountable for that time disparity, but also feel like they've done it really successfully in other shows and in other episodes, and they just didn't do it in this one, which was a real shame because.

Salina: I just use the opportunity.

Nikki: Yeah, it feels like a missed opportunity.

Salina: Well, I think it's totally fine.

Salina: First of all, I think we can do whatever we want because this is our podcast.

Salina: But I think we're well within the rights to talk about what the mindset could have been in 1990 and how that differs from now.

Salina: That's the setup.

Salina: So I think that's perfectly understandable and something that we should talk about.

Salina: For me, actually, the thing that I really didn't like was the pacing on this one.

Salina: Again, it just took a long time to get to the action of the show.

Salina: We don't even meet Eugenia for like a third of the episode.

Salina: So for me, I think we could have just picked it up there in the beginning.

Salina: Do you want to rate this one?

Nikki: Sure.

Nikki: My rating scale is Steam Room heart to heart.

Nikki: I am squirming like a little pig and oil over here.

Nikki: I am just so uncomfortable.

Nikki: So between me squirming and you eating nuts, I feel like there's going to be some weird sound happening.

Nikki: I'm sorry.

Nikki: Just very uncomfortable.

Nikki: Now I have a cramp in my side.

Nikki: I'm sorry, guys, if there's a lot of noises.

Salina: Steam room hearts are that you said and you over there eating nuts.

Nikki: It's both of us.

Nikki: We're both making noises.

Nikki: So we're three out of five I think is what I gave this one.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: It just didn't do it for me.

Nikki: Some of the writing was good.

Nikki: There were parts I laughed at, but I thought it had potential to be more self exploratory and sensitive than it was.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I left off a rating scale, so I'm sorry about that.

Salina: I'm just going to go ahead and pick yours up.

Salina: But I did give it four out of five.

Salina: I thought the dialogue in this one was really good, and I still feel like Suzanne walked away with something from this one.

Salina: I think that encounter with that woman in the sauna did mean something.

Salina: I think it did land on her, at least to some extent.

Salina: And I like it anytime the ladies learn lessons.

Salina: Although you are pulling me, I probably would have changed my rating a little bit.

Salina: You definitely influenced me on this one, and I totally see the thoughts that you have on this one.

Salina: The only reason I didn't go higher initially, though, again, was because of the pacing.

Salina: It just didn't work for me.

Salina: You want to talk about some 90s things?

Nikki: Mary Joe referenced Kmart.

Nikki: It doesn't get more 90s than that.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: She said, Attention, Kmart shoppers.

Salina: She sure did.

Nikki: It's just the most 90s.

Salina: So Mary Joe telling Suzanne to loosen up because it's the 90s.

Salina: This is not the first time that we've heard this sentiment.

Salina: It's not the last time.

Salina: Almost like if we were still doing our bingo card, I might throw it on there.

Salina: We talked about this plenty, but again, this plotline, I think, was very common in the even into the early aughts, kind of like this.

Salina: I didn't even know that they were gay.

Nikki: Okay.

Salina: And then you talked a little bit about the gender toys, and I think my thing is, in terms of it being a 90s reference, was this idea that I think parents were starting to identify around this time that, hey, maybe there's something to what we put in front of our children for eight to 10 hours a day.

Nikki: Southern Things Theater of the Stars was where they were going to see whatever this show was that they were going to see.

Nikki: That was a nonprofit Atlanta production company that closed in 2013 after 61 seasons.

Nikki: So over their run, they presented and produced over 700 productions.

Nikki: It sounds like maybe they worked mostly out of the Fox Theater, but I think they also had productions at other places.

Nikki: And then there was a Fitz Plaza reference.

Nikki: And then the saying, it's as plain as a pig in a parlor.

Nikki: I have never heard that.

Salina: No, but I like it.

Salina: It sounds Southern.

Salina: And I think a pig in a parlor would be pretty plain.

Salina: Like, you're not going to miss that.

Salina: Plus, it coming from Suzanne, like, extra point.

Nikki: She'd have her pig anywhere.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So I had two more in addition to what you had one is.

Salina: I did try and find the pink giraffe because I was like, well, maybe that was a place that existed.

Salina: If anyone does know that that existed.

Salina: I try really hard to not say that I know anything definitively because I don't.

Salina: I was able to find the sports page.

Salina: That was the closest I could find to a well known lesbian bar at the time.

Salina: And I found an article that was really sweet that talked about a lot of the patrons who attended there and how they still have like a Facebook group.

Salina: And they're all really close, still like 40 years on.

Salina: So I included that in our blog post in case anybody wants to read about their experience here in Atlanta at that time period.

Salina: And then Mary Joe is definitely flipping through an issue of an Atlanta magazine, which I found on their website.

Salina: It's the December 1989 issue.

Salina: That's pretty impressive.

Salina: The name of that cover rocketing into the 90s, which I guess could have also been in the 90s category.

Salina: That's true.

Salina: References that we need to talk about.

Nikki: The only one I caught was sisters in Sappho.

Nikki: I could not why are you giving me that look?

Salina: Because I was going to say if you found it, did you find that?

Nikki: I didn't find that specific group, but I did find that Sappho was a Greek poet who lived during the 6th and 7th centuries BC.

Nikki: She was from Lesbos, so the word lesbian is an allusion to her.

Nikki: I was telling Kyle this the other day, and he's like, that's not for real.

Nikki: And I was like, no, it really is.

Nikki: Her sexuality has been debated for years.

Nikki: She was either a promiscuous heterosexual or the world's most famous lesbian, depending on what you read.

Nikki: And several ancient sources referred to her as the 10th Muse.

Nikki: So I couldn't find that Sisters in Sappho itself was a real group.

Nikki: But I think it's not a far leap to make that that's what it was referring to if it wasn't real, was Sappho.

Salina: Yeah, sure.

Salina: I think I was able to find a group, Daughters of Sappho, but it's not like the size of a group, like P Flag or something, you know what I'm saying, where it's just so expansive.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: I wasn't able to track that one down.

Salina: That's why I was looking at you, because the good Googler you are, I was like, I probably just didn't do a good job.

Salina: Googling hetta gabbler.

Salina: Also got a snarky reference from Mary Joe.

Salina: And it's a play, and it's basically a female variation of Hamlet.

Salina: This is one of those ones where you say, like, I started looking and I got bored because I'm not as smart as Mary Joe.

Nikki: I guess I was going to say if it's usually used as like a snarky, everyone knows this sort of thing.

Nikki: I'm like, okay, that's going to be boring.

Nikki: It's just going to be in the weeds.

Nikki: And boring.

Salina: Also, I just sort of read as like, oh, yeah, being a woman is terrible.

Salina: I was like, I don't know, I want to go too far down.

Salina: It's like it's the lived experience.

Salina: Thanks.

Salina: And then dippity do.

Nikki: I had that one written down.

Nikki: I meant to have it in my show notes and I forgot.

Salina: Well, you know what's so funny is, like, what is a floral this Dippity Do hair gel.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: As soon as I looked it up, it's like that pink bottle.

Salina: And I was like, oh, dippity do.

Nikki: There you go.

Salina: I do like the name.

Nikki: Mine would have been La looks.

Nikki: That's the gel I used when I had a perm.

Salina: Yes, it'll make your hair crunchy like fall leaves.

Salina: Oh, it will.

Nikki: That was the vibe.

Salina: What a time to be alive.

Salina: You know, I saw my references.

Nikki: All right, so next episode, season four, episode 24.

Salina: There's still eight more to go.

Nikki: It's called foreign affairs.

Nikki: We'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at Sweet Tea and TV TikTok at sweettvpod.

Nikki: We're on YouTube.

Nikki: If you search Sweet Tea TV, our email address is, and you can visit our website WW dot.


Nikki: That's where you'll find the thing that Salina mentioned earlier about the sports line.

Salina: Oh, sports page, yeah.

Nikki: So if you want to read some of those sorts of things, those are always in the blog post for each episode.

Nikki: You can also find additional ways to support the show on the Support US page and come back Thursday for extra sugar.

Salina: Where we're going to play trivia.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Trivia time.

Nikki: Yeah, for that.

Nikki: Nobody else got the dance?

Nikki: Just me.

Salina: A civil yes with a surprise.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Nikki: What does it mean, Salina?

Salina: It means we'll see you around the bin.

Salina: And it also means I'm super sorry that I was eating nuts during this episode.

Nikki: And I'm sorry I was squirming.

Nikki: We both have things to be sorry for.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Bye.

Salina: Bye.


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