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Designing Women S4 E3 - Miss Georgia for the Rest of My Life

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

When the Miss Georgia pageant moves their records over to computers, they discover a clerical error in the voting tally is putting Suzanne’s most cherished title in peril. First, computers? Nothing but trouble. Amiright? Secondly, how…is…Suzanne…going…to…take…this? Maybe not so well given Consuela and some voodoo curses come up, but that’s OK! It’s an excuse to “Salina’s Sidebar” about Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of NOLA.


Oh, also - it’s baby shower day! That’s right - we can’t forget Charlene’s pregnant and that there’s a shower for her! (In fact, come back later this week, where we’ll cover baby shower traditions (maybe even some Southern ones), in this week’s “Extra Sugar”!)


Dig deeper into Marie Laveau’s life with these super helpful sources:

Come on, let’s get into it!



 

Transcript

Hey, Nikki.

Hey Salina.

And hello everyone and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV.

Hey y'all.

Oh, I gotta get on it.

I missed my "bye", I missed my "hey, y'all".

No, you're good.

You're good.

You're golden, golden.

All right.

We're gonna really quickly just go ahead and jump into the episode because you know, I don't know, it's just got business to cover.

Exactly.

There is stuff to do.

We got to give the people what the, what they want.

We do and that didn't look like what you were gonna say.

Well, is because the words aren't coming out correctly.

We had, we had a baby shower set up today in honor of spoiler alert.

This week's extra sugar

Uh It was just a baby shower setup because we're talking baby showers and extra sugar and Salina made a punch that I swear to you had something more than ginger ale and juice in it and sherbet and a lot of sherbet.

Yeah.

I mean, there's no alcohol but I think just neither one of us, like I hadn't eaten a lot today.

I've eaten too much.

I don't understand.

Well, by the time that was done I had but like, I don't know if it was just a big sugar punch.

But yeah, I mean, both of us are going to have a hangover in like two hours.

It's a real struggle right now.

We're, we're not firing on all cylinders.

Yeah, so please bear with us.

But the um but I did want to ask you one thing if you could continue pointing at me heavily with that pen, while you say it, you're gonna love this one.

Ok, you're gonna love this question.

Do you know which child is your favorite?

Oh, that was, yes.

You like pineapple on your pizza?

I do.

It's fun.

It's like a really, like, apparently a very divisive question.

And I don't understand.

My mom used to when we would order pizza.

That's her favorite pizza is ham and pineapple.

And so when I was growing up, that was like mom's pizza and the rest of us had pepperoni or like meat lovers or whatever.

So it was a very like, yeah, it's sort of this thing of like in our family.

At least when mom liked something like it was just its own thing, you know, it was mom, mom like that.

So in my head, it was so unapproachable for so long because it was like, that's mom's pizza like you don't touch that.

And then as I got older, of course, she always would have shared it always just felt like her thing she would share with us and it became one of my favorite kinds.

So now, even as we order pizza, as a family in my family, now sometimes I'll get ham and pineapple just for me because I'm mom.

So now I get my own pizza.

That's nice.

See, I needed to ask you this question.

You didn't even know how much you needed to answer this.

Like this was really, this was a nostalgia for you.

Did you learn a lot about me?

I, yes, I'm glad I can do that for you.

I just, uh, I can see why people wouldn't think it goes together.

But I don't know.

I think pineapple is such an interesting flavor is also in our punch.

Um, and I just felt like that acidity just can.

It's just so, um, it's just such a nice, yes, it's such a nice flavor profile and depending on what you're eating with, eating it with it, like will really change whatever it is that you're eating.

So if you mix it with butter and Ritz Crackers and a pineapple casserole around the holidays, you get a totally other flavor profile that with someone recently did.

I did, I made one for Christmas and it's just good, it's good, cold.

It's good, hot.

It's better when Nikki makes it.

I tried.

It's better when anybody else makes it.

I think it's the bottom line just like anything.

Just prefer other people cooking for me.

I'm pretty sure I messed it up.

It's uh it's, it's one of my traditions.

Try something I was gonna say.

Go ahead, try.

You try.

All I can ever do is try.

And that is the only thing that I could do in the kitchen.

Uh So, yeah, that was just my only question.

Oh, pineapples.

Thanks for that.

Speaking of nostalgia, uh This week's episode has a little nostalgia in it for Suzanne.

So we are up to season four episode three.

There she is uh the I M DB description is on the eve of Charlene's baby shower.

An official from the Miss Georgia pageant bears the bad news that Suzanne will have to relinquish her crown due to a clerical error.

Air date.

October 2nd 1989.

This one's written by Pamela Norris.

I want to say the credits for the episode, say Pam Norris, but I M DB adds L BT s name to it.

Everything else I found said this is a Pam Norris episode.

Oh, and we've had this happen before.

Yeah, directed by David Trainer.

We're calling this one, Miss Georgia for the rest of my life.

So where are you at?

On general reactions this week, Salina.

So I talked in our season opener about how the first episode didn't feel like a premiere worthy episode.

To me.

This one does, oh, it had some nice 80s level stakes P A K E s like like, like it was something where I felt like, um, it, it's something near and dear to Suzanne.

So we've built up this kind of pageant lore over the past three years.

Um, we know it's something that means a lot to her.

It is, I would say almost inseparable from, like, her personality.

It is her.

Yeah.

I mean, um, so to set up an episode where we might take away a part of her that feels like genuine stakes.

Um And I don't know, I, I don't like, I'm trying to think of a show where it would, there would be like a whole episode centered around a pageant that's almost hard for me to imagine.

So I think that's, there's some part of that, that, that's what fills eighties to me.

Um So that's why I say eighties level stakes.

But yeah, I, I thought it was, it was worthy, it was worthy to be the first episode.

So my first general reaction feels related to that, which is I'm going back to not really loving the way they're playing Charlene's pregnancy.

So the pageant was a really big plot line and, um, Charlene's pregnancy is this undercurrent, she has a baby shower and it's tied with this plot line.

That's so much more important to your point up to the character of Suzanne.

It just feels like they're underselling the baby and Charlene's baby experience these first few episodes.

So don't get me wrong when I found out they were having a baby shower.

I immediately flashed back to, was it the bachelorette party?

That was really awkward with the girl singing to her, which I really did not enjoy.

Um, so I was, my first reaction was like, oh, no.

Do we have to sit through that again?

Um, but still I feel like it was like an afterthought in some ways, you know.

So you talked about, uh, uh Jean Smart, I almost said Charlene Jean Smart having a high risk pregnancy.

And I wonder if they had to, like, I wonder if that was the reason they were diminishing some of the great point lines because maybe she couldn't be on her feet that much or couldn't be on the set that much.

Um, and maybe the, maybe her doctors were like, you need to chill.

That's a very good point, especially if they, if they didn't want her to have a baby at all.

And by this point she's very pregnant.

Um, but to the, also the point that you made when you first talked about that, like, it also means that it does unintentionally rob the audience of something that could be fun.

I do think.

Well, I'm sorry, I'm trying to like, I'm, I'm not trying to lay down showers or anything, but I'm like, well, what are you going to do?

That's going to be very interesting in a shower.

But you could have some kind of like Lucille Ball hijinks going on you absolutely could.

So I will say two things about that that uh are occurring to me as you're talking.

One is, um, it's actually surprised me pre previewing this whole season of how present Jean Smart is through the season because I'm like, dang, this lady had a baby and is on the set.

Like it just surprised me how hard she worked through the whole season.

Um It's just astounding and then the second thing is when I was researching Jean Smart's pregnancy for maybe the first episode.

Um I read about Annie Potts who spoiler alert again gets pregnant in a couple of seasons and they actually don't talk about her pregnancy on the show and she made a comment in the press that she thinks it's because Murphy Brown was pregnant at the same time and there were either some comments made or something said that made her take away from it that they felt like that was too many pregnant women at one time on TV.

This, this show and Murphy Brown are paired together.

So it's really hard for me to disentangle the patriarchy and say, and like come to terms with the fact that there's not some master plan for not talking more about Charlene's pregnancy, like it's great.

They highlighted it and they didn't hide it, but also maybe there's a little strate there um in not wanting to talk about pregnancy too, too much or make it main plot lines or something skeptical.

Nikki can't take that out of her head.

Yeah, I can see, I can see that.

Um, I forgot that we had talked before about Murphy Brown and this being paired together at some point.

Um, so this is maybe this could be a stray but this was one of my, what I felt like was a big reaction.

If this was a clerical error.

What do you think should have happened?

Like was this handled?

Well, I know, let me be very clear.

It's a TV show.

We know it.

They have to, like, set this up but, like, I couldn't help but think that, like, this is not how I would have handled it if I was on the pageant side of what?

So, what would you have done?

I think, um, because it's the pageant's fault, they should have added an additional winner.

Donna, just like an asterisk, a care.

Who, who cares, who, who care?

Like, ok, you don't need an astro.

I bet Suzanne would care.

Yeah.

Yeah, I hear you.

But I'd rather, I would, wouldn't you rather be, I'd rather be a second winner than it gets stripped away from me entirely.

Um, but it's, but it doesn't feel fair to do that to the person who did win 15 years ago, because like, the pageant people made a mistake.

You know, it feels like, as you're saying that I'm thinking about monopoly bank error in your favor, which implies there are bank errors, not in your favor.

Um, and they take your money back.

So this feels similar to that.

Yeah.

Or just like this idea that like, honestly one of these people have been like, yeah, it's just like, truly there's no way to prove it.

Yeah, it's just like dredging up something for what it doesn't really matter except to show that they made a mistake and that they can't be trusted, you know, talking about Suzanne.

Is it possible that Suzanne was like, I don't even know if this is an early adopter because I don't know how long this concept of like manifestation has been around.

We talk a lot about that now, like manifest, it, put it out in the universe.

But like Suzanne was a maybe like a devout uh she really like that was her, her mode.

It's like she just like closed her eyes to any impossibility in, in her mind.

And with this entire plot line, she's like, it's not true, it's not true.

It's simply not going to work out that way.

It cannot, I don't want it to, I just thought that was incredible.

She just refused to look where she ended up, right?

I thought it worked for her.

I only have one other general reaction which was, I thought the set up for this one was clever.

I'm not sure viewers would have expected the Donna Joe that we meet, you know, I think that's, that was like the old, like.

Oh, yeah.

You know the big reveal.

She's not your quote unquote, typical beauty queen.

She's, she's rough.

Um, she was, she's a mean old country girl.

That's what Suzanne said.

She was bitter and entitled.

Um, but that's what they wanted her to be.

Right.

We're not supposed to like her that way.

It feels all the more sweet when Suzanne gets to keep her crown and we also find out the is a little bit of a cheat because out that she slept with the judge in return for his vote, Suzanne is vindicated, she gets to keep her crown.

It feels like a win for Suzanne.

It feels like a win for fans of the show.

So I think I just think all in terms of the strategy behind that, the conceptualizing of this episode, I think all of that was really good.

It was smart.

Well, now I'm wondering, do you have other strays?

I'm like that was all the generals, you know, I was gonna say because my next one is my last point.

Here is just a stray.

Ok?

I do have a couple.

So um Mary Jo talks about how she cried easily when she was pregnant.

Even at commercials, I was just gonna say for the record like this is me all the time, at least when I used to watch commercials, Like I got a publix one.

this holiday season full on water works.

And now I can't remember it.

Like, just the whole concept.

Oh, I remember what it was.

It was a little girl.

Jeez, I'm gonna cry talking about it.

A little girl living next door to her neighbor and she can see a snowman in his attic and, um, she asks her parents something like, you know, why can't I have the snowman or why isn't he out or whatever?

And, um, they can't explain it or they just don't know because they don't know the neighbor and at some point they show he's an older gentleman and he's watching her out the window.

Um, she drops some cookies off on his front porch or something and with a little note that says, like, Merry Christmas and he sees her and then there's like this weird flashback of some sort or something where it becomes clear that maybe he lost his little girl at some point.

Um, like, maybe she passed away or something happened.

And so it's clear that that was like a real sensitive spot for him and that's why his snowman is in his attic instead of his front yard.

But he puts the snowman out in the front yard and he, like, has it turned to her house waving at the little girl.

She brought him cookies.

It was so sweet.

I told her I'm going to cry again.

It was really sweet.

I cry at all the holiday commercials from public.

They know what they're doing.

Commercials.

Man.

So like I don't, I don't have anything to do with pregnancy.

I don't think so.

I don't think so.

What's your um I have a cut line when the ladies are trying to figure out how to break the news to Suzanne.

Uh One of the ladies, I don't know if I've ever said this before, but the um uh this subtitle script website that I read doesn't attribute lines to characters.

So I have to use context clues.

So I'm guessing this is Charlene.

It feels like a Charlene story.

She told a story about a friend who was cat sitting one time uh when the cat died.

So they wrote three letters uh to the owner.

The first one said the cat is on the roof.

The second was the cat fell off the roof.

The third one said the cat died.

The whole point was they broke the news gently and it quote softened the blow by spreading it out over three.

I feel like that would just make it worse.

Like you get the cat fell off the tree.

Oh my God is my cat?

Ok.

Oh, no.

So you spend like five days or however long it takes for the letter to get to you worrying about your cat and then you get the cat die.

There is no way there's no good way.

That's really it.

So that was it.

Um So I have two more Anthony drops off key lime pies.

For the baby shower because they're out of women ring.

And I just wanted to know which one you prefer a 100% all the time.

Key lime pie.

Ok.

I never ask me seven years ago if I like key lime pie, I'm going to say no for whatever reason in the last couple of years I have so gotten into it.

I really like key lime pie.

Yeah, I'm key lime too and it's because I don't like that type of meringue, meringue.

Um, like, I've had some of the Italian meringue before and it's not like whipped cream wrong.

I was going to tell me the difference.

It, it's, um, it's almost like a little, like, harder on the outside.

I mean, if you're ever at like an Italian restaurant and they have meringue on the menu, get it.

Um, and I can even tell you a place in Atlanta where you're very unlikely to order that on a dessert menu.

I'm telling you it's good take it from and I'm not an expertise in a lot, but I'm an expert in dessert.

But, you know, that's the other thing like if there's a chocolate pie and a fruit, like a key lime pie on the menu.

Key lime notwithstanding because I really like key lime pie.

I'm probably almost always going to choose the, like rich chocolate dessert at a restaurant.

It depends.

I'm not really like a big, like, um, I get this attributed to me a lot.

Like I think people think I'm a big lover of chocolate, but I'm not necessarily a fruit person either.

I'm more of like, there's like a bear claw.

Give you a cinnamon roll basically.

Like I, I can't say no to a pastry.

I get that.

Just grab a lot.

We had a yum, yum.

OK.

My last is that, did you notice uh Monica Monique in the crowd at the baby shower?

I, you know what?

I never actually saw her but I saw her in some summary of the episode or something.

It's just so funny that and, and I guess for anybody who doesn't know this is the friend of Charlene's who, uh, became a sex worker when they got older and then, uh, and tried to start the brothel, then she comes back for all the weddings even.

I mean, I don't even know.

She says she may have had like one line I think she did.

But that's so interesting.

But I guess it's because there's like there's obviously this friendship here, right?

Because we did the segment on Bobby Fey and she had a relationship with the Clintons.

So I think they must have all been friends.

There's something happening there.

Something's going on such a strange throwback over and over again.

Right?

But it's not just Monique Monica that makes an appearance in this episode.

We also get the return of someone else.

I couldn't tell if you wanted me to say it or not.

She's back.

Well, at least they're talking about her as back as she ever.

We never, we never get to see her.

So, in honor of that, that's gonna lead into a little Felina sidebar, it's a side Barcelona sidebar.

She got a keyboard looking for a reward but deep in the obscure, taking us on a deep tour.

What you got Salina in Salina's sidebar, your countdown was my fingers got stuck.

Then I got lost in the numbers.

She could try.

I think I was trying.

The punch is still, we're here punching honestly, my fingers just got stuck and then I was like, it's not moving, it's moving.

So look, I feel like this is maybe a little bit of a long shot.

But Cone's mentioned is, is basically about Suzanne enlisting her to place like, you know, a little voodoo curse on all these people who keep trying to take it around us.

Yeah, I mean, you gotta get, you gotta get to Yeah, stitches wind up, no snitches, Stitches, wind up in snitches.

two stitches, snitches, some version something, something you're in a ditch.

I don't know.

Maybe there's a witch you're Dead.

I don't know you did.

Um but anyways, so basically this was a nice excuse to return back to something that we talked about all the way back in season one in episode 10, we discussed different voodoo stereotypes and how maybe there's more stereotype that seeped into American culture than actually the reality of things.

And it was actually you who reminded me that I wanted to cover Marie Laveau.

Welcome.

Thank you.

I appreciate it because I actually missed the reference in the show somehow completely and I forgot that I wanted to cover Marie Laveau.

So I was really firing on all cylinders is what I'm trying to tell you.

Um So in case folks don't know, Marie Laveau is known as the queen of voodoo.

OK.

Queen B.

Um And so what's happening here?

Throw back.

Yeah, just throw back to last episode.

Um But what I thought we would do is start with some scene setting in Leveaux, hometown of New Orleans, which over the course of her lifetime was under Spanish French.

And finally, American rule, not to mention the Civil War and Reconstruction.

And this next bit is from the historical podcast dig, which I would recommend y'all check out and it's just very specific and I, I, I want to give them credit because I can tell they did a lot of um research on this.

So, Anglo Americans swarmed into New Orleans after the Louisiana purchase and encountered a diverse Roman Catholic, mostly French speaking city of creoles where racial boundaries were fluid.

Creole, met any person regardless of race who was born in a French or Spanish colony as opposed to being born in the mother country, Creole, both black and white, free people of color and enslaved people all lived and worked uh in the city and intermingled often.

Anglo Americans were outraged at the racial mixing that was common in New Orleans.

They viewed Roman Catholicism as idolatry and voodoo as heathenism.

So I just think that background, that backdrop of where Marie Laveau was growing up is really important.

And I also, I couldn't help but think as I was reading all of this and listening to all of this, that, that migration, all of that transition and power in the area.

I mean, it must have just made it like a really crazy time to grow up.

Um And uh I mean, we think we think it feels hard today like that is a lot of different variables in the air.

So it seems fairly clear there was some culture clashing at play at the time.

As for Marie Leveaux, most people get caught up in these unsubstantiated rumors of activities like human sacrifice, cannibalism orgies.

The truth is, is that much of her life remains a mystery even to historians.

But reading between the lines of what has been pieced together, she's certainly one of a kind and that's what I want to talk about today.

You can really quickly do a voodoo queen uh Google search and you'll see all the other stuff that people are talking about on a regular basis about her.

I wanted to do something a little different.

One more quick note, like other times that we've looked back at historical figures.

The accounts vary, you know, she was maybe a hairdresser to the white elite, practiced voodoo at Congo Square and led rituals at Lake Ponta Train or not.

So, the asterisks on this one abound.

If anyone is an expert and wants to amend anything that I say today, please reach out because I'm all ears.

So she was born a free woman of colour in 1801 in the French quarter of New Orleans.

She's said to have been an incredible beauty.

She was of African Indian and French descent, a devout Catholic and a voodoo practitioner.

So it's important to remember and understand that while Voodoo's roots can be traced to Western and Central Africa, Louisiana, voodoo is one of a kind because it was influenced by Catholicism.

And according to dig, it is the only Afro Catholic religion to emerge in North America.

She was also reportedly an herbalist healer and or nurse depending on the source and was said to be instrumental in helping those afflicted during outbreaks, especially outbreaks of yellow fever, which seemed to be pretty common at the time and she was married and then subsequently widowed at a young age.

There's no absolute proof of what happened to her husband.

And I think that really has lended to her mystique and mystery over the years.

But what followed was her longest relationship with.

All right, you can test me on this with your French knowledge, Christoph Dominique de sounds good.

OK.

Or as I like to call him Chris.

Um but he was a white man of noble French descent.

They were together for about 30 years until he died in 1855.

But they were never married.

So this wasn't unusual for Antebellum, New Orleans where the system of age was quite common.

And I had to say it like that because I had to look it up and I sat there and listened to the pronunciation like 10 times.

Like anyways, basically, women of color were matched with white men through a financial agreement with a woman's mother or guardian for her financial security, think common law marriage.

So, are you familiar with this at all?

Ok.

I know that you really have a lot of, um, love for New Orleans culture and I didn't know if, uh, if you had done this level of digging.

This is crazy.

Well, so this was a work around the anti miscegenation laws that kept couples from legally marrying.

And it's worth noting that this, this wasn't really an American thing.

This was, well, listen to the name, but it was like a Spanish and French colony thing.

So while Christoph may have supported her financially, theirs was supposedly a love match.

And one of the ways that they sort of put that together is after he did pass, there's no record in her last 26 years of her ever being with anyone else.

So they had romantic.

So that's romantic.

Maybe that's what this is my whole thing with Marie Labeau.

Oh, that's possibly the sweetest thing I've ever Heard.

Yeah, exactly.

So they had seven Children and now just as an example of people said that they had 15.

No, no, it's really seven.

No, no, it's really this.

But the most author, um, source I could find was seven.

Only two of those Children survived, survived into adulthood.

And they were both also named Marie Confusing.

So together the two took painstaking steps to circumvent some pretty racist laws and ensure their Children could inherit property.

Um Whereas the laws typically kept Children of color from their white father's inheritances, uh records show they also purchased three enslaved women with the condition that they were freed, which suggests they were ultimately trying to help these women with some modern day scholarss even referring to them as abolitionists.

Uh However, other accounts talk it up to, they were just buying slaves.

So I I'm just saying it's, it's confusing possibly or not or terrible.

So according to the World Religions and Spirituality Project or W R S P, she fed and housed the poor post, a bond for free women of color who were accused of minor crimes.

She visited and prayed with condemned prisoners in their final hours and offered use of her family tomb to strangers who had no burial place of their own.

And while there is gossip of her Immortality.

Marie Laveau In fact became older.

And by her own testimony to a justice of the peace in 1873 had been sick for some time, was too sick to leave her room and could no longer walk.

She is said to have died peacefully in her sleep in 1881.

And according to at least a few references, her grave site was at one time the second most visited in the country only behind that of Elvis.

One thing that I heard now.

So she is buried in the oldest cemetery in New Orleans that still exists today.

And so many people were defacing her tombstone that they actually, and, and I think a lot of different gravesites in there that you can only go in there now with um a uh like an approved person, like a, yeah, like an approved tour guide.

And uh I, I, I guarantee you that shrunk the numbers tremendously as well defacing it in a positive way or in a negative way how you look at it because I, well, I, I think so the um an X is a big voodoo symbol from what I understand because it's like where the living meet the dead.

I'm pretty sure that's what they were saying it was.

So people were doing that, but then somebody came in and they just painted her whole tombstone.

Um and hers is more like mausoleum me um from what I could see anyway, in the pictures and like they painted the whole thing pink.

And I think at some point, like people, I think it was just like it was crossing lines to where they were probably concerned that it was going to start really causing damage.

This is me just kind of filling in the blanks.

But I think you're right on the money and that some is bad and some was meant to be an match and what kind of nuggets you would have to have to walk into a cemetery and start defacing someone's grave.

I, I mean, I will like, I, I take that stuff superstitiously like, like, and it's also just respect.

I was gonna say I just take it respectfully.

I don't walk across, you know, and so if you're not going to do that, like those people can rest assured they do rest assured they walk across groups.

So to my point like, I'm not going to do that.

There's no way I'm going to go in and start writing on something.

Um So let's see.

While much was disputed about her life, it's widely agreed that she was powerful though the reasons why varied, perhaps her greatest power was her position and ability to straddle worlds.

She had a foot in both Catholicism and voodoo having influence and relationships with slaves, free people of color and elites.

By several accounts, she was sought out for her Counsel and consultation by people of all stripes and professions she certainly evokes strong emotions.

Marie Laveau is and has been both revered and reviled for about 150 years.

We've seen her life through the lens and eyes of others, but her story unfortunately is really lost to the passage of time.

Her truth might be remarkable.

It might be boring.

My best guess is it's somewhere in between and while we may never really know her, we can appreciate her for what she represents.

At least what I see in my reading of all of these different sources.

And that's that she was a subversive figure in a time of subservience for women and slavery for people of color.

She possessed power and authority in a time when there is virtually unheard when that is virtually unheard of for women, particularly a woman of color.

So in my opinion, she sounds brave.

Someone who didn't play by the rules because she knew the game was fixed for a select few so good for her.

And I imagine these things really anger many of her contemporaries.

I think it probably fascinated others.

People feared her.

They adored her.

These emotions have lent to an enduring legacy, most of which probably maybe never happened.

I want to be feared and adored.

I want that on my tombstone, mace both feared and adored.

I mean, you could probably get that worked out probably.

Um with this one, there was more mystery than history.

So we'll also link to great resources I came across for those who want to explore more on their own.

I mean, I literally read a dissertation for this one and I want to give that dissertation a lot of credit because I thought they had a lot, a pretty interesting bend on looking at what had been written about her in the past and being really clear that she really has been seen through the lens of white men, like, ever since she was alive and into her death.

And I just, it really did make me stop and think about like, how would you feel about someone taking your life who never met?

You never knew you piecing things together and telling your story.

It's so odd.

Anyways.

Um So anyways, that's Marie Laveau.

Interesting.

Well, and Selina said, but um there's no good exit guys.

I'm sorry, there just isn't.

Uh We want to talk about some things we like from the episode.

Sure.

I love the whole idea of Bernice thinking it was a surprise party, them all indulging it and then her yelling surprise when Suzanne finds out about the pageant title, the comedic timing was excellent on that one.

Also.

Welcome back, Bernice.

Uh I really love the visual that Charlene laid out of Suzanne's offscreen reaction to finding out she was losing her crown.

So she said yesterday, when you said that stuff about your cold dead scalp, you know, and then you ran out in the parking lot and threw yourself on the pavement, kicking and screaming and then you crawled to your car with the dirt and saliva all over your face and you drove out, peeling rubber.

We thought you were upset.

Sorry, I was silly us.

I just feel like that never would have played out, obviously, never would have played out on screen.

So the fact that she got to, uh, read it back and read it back through the Charlene lens was just hilarious.

Yeah, I think that's, you know, I've had the complaint that sometimes they talk about what I want to see.

But this is a really great example of when I don't want to see that, but I do want to hear them recount it.

It was so funny.

Uh Donna Joe's husband was a real highlight for me.

Um He said when he told everybody in the town that Donna Joe was the rightful winner and they said Donna Joe and I, they said Donna Joe, no way.

And I said, yes way.

Donna Joe, what he was telling that was so funny.

And then he says, like selling sparks plug spark plugs isn't as complicated as it sounds like just everything about him.

He was so proud of her and so earnest, she treated him like trash and I just thought he was, I just thought he was a delight.

So my first, I did like him.

Um my first like was also Bernice, but it was her random gift to Charlene of the live Gerbil at the baby shower And then also somehow evoking that Gerbil story from the 80s that was so popular and she was like, um, I'm not a professional comedian or anything.

It's just a gag gift.

She's so crazy.

Um, I do think that the one, the one selling point to the final seasons of designing women is, I think she appears in almost every everything.

Is that right?

Yeah.

They really up her character towards the end.

Uh, so the other thing that I really liked about this one was really just the idea that Suzanne got to keep her crown and it's made very clear that she turned on the pageant's, uh, pageant judges quid pro quo option.

It's a good reminder.

I think that despite her flaws, Suzanne really is a good person.

Um, and she does have like a high moral.

I know, I know.

You know, but she has a, she does have a high morality bar that I don't think she always gets credit for agreeing.

Uh, speaking of high morality bars, uh, Donna Joe does not have one.

And that was my last thing that I liked in this episode.

I think you mentioned it early on.

But the fact that we got that big twist at the end that the reason she won actually was because she cheated.

So she ends up not winning after all.

And I really like that.

Yeah, I like a redemption story.

Uh things we didn't like.

Um OK, so I've already said that I like the setup.

I like the twist.

I thought, I thought all that was good.

What I didn't love was Donna Joe's portrayal.

This felt like AAA little bit of punching down to me at someone in a rural area and someone who's overweight.

Um I don't know if you noticed this or not but the like, you know how they have the laugh track.

I literally heard someone in the studio audience like, cry out in horror, like when they were like, oh, you know, and I was like, ok, she's not a creature from the march, like what's happening?

Oh, I didn't hear that.

So, so like, like while this is funny in the world of a sitcom, like her Sleeping with the Judge, it low key also makes me think about perpetuating this stereotype of women sleeping their way to the top.

Um And I, I think we're finally getting into an era where we recognize this as bogus or at the very least it's much more complex than, than just sex.

Um But this kind of portrayal lends to blaming women in these scenarios while men often get off.

No, that's why I was going to get off scot free, but maybe also that first.

Um and then no one ever addresses like these bigger problems and they never try and fix these bigger problems, which is the sexist and discriminatory systems that led to these situations in the first place.

So I, I know that's like a deep breathing on this, but I have to watch these episodes a lot and I can't help it.

So, um again, this is like, this is, it's not exactly about the episode, but it was very hard for me not to on the third watch be like, is this really fair?

And then the guy like the judge is like, and then we kind of like, walk away hating Donna Joe and, and that just doesn't feel nice.

The o OK.

So I think those are all really great points.

And the only maybe converse of that I would say is that Suzanne said, uh That even when she knew her, how many years ago was it 20 years or whatever?

However many years ago it had been that Jonah Joe was a mean country girl.

So she had been a mean girl back then.

So, um that part of it just felt like we got to see actually who she was and then you get to see that compounded by her, her not um realizing her self entitlement.

So like almost like this alternate reality of what happens if, if people don't come out on top.

So Donna Joe, um you mentioned like her appearance and the way she looked, it's almost like that's it all went downhill after that.

And she didn't get, she says she didn't get out of that podunk town, she had to marry this loser over here.

And, um, so to me, it just, it, I didn't read it that way because it read to me like it was meant to be what happens if it doesn't work out this way.

And you see how Suzanne ended up, if it had gone the other way, how would, if Suzanne have ended up?

Um, I might not read it.

So it was such sensitivity too.

If, like, there was more portrayals of people from rural areas.

There's not.

So then you just, and this show in particular or just in general, in general and then I think when we do get them, it's like this and I'm like, what?

It's interesting and I, I'm glad you're saying that because I think there will be an episode later this season where we will talk about that a little bit because it is interesting that the show in a lot of ways, tries to push back on that.

But then in other ways, it almost doubles down on it and even beyond embraces it, like, puts it out there for people to make fun of along with them.

It reads very classist and, uh, sort of like the opposite of what we're trying to do, which is like, no, we're not like that.

Yeah.

I mean, because, and it's hard because, uh, the stereotypes are based in some kernel of truth, right?

And, and, and I think that's gonna that might be the struggle point of the show of our show is like trying to recognize that yes, some of this does exist and that's ok.

And yes, some of this other stuff exists.

Like people who like are very different from whatever that stereotype is.

And that's ok too.

Um I, but yeah, I'm with you and I, I know what episode you're talking about and I look forward to really diving into that one because I do agree.

I think um I think it is good to uh push back and say that you can have progress in a, in a, in a place that maybe people didn't see as being progressive at the time.

But that doesn't mean you have to take a big dump on it in order to show the progress.

It's tough, it's tough, tough.

Uh The last thing that I'll say that I, I don't like, even though I, I it's, it's, again, it's a sitcom but they, there is this hostile energy where we turn women on one another, like it's like a good time or something.

And, and, and there was a little bit of that in here too, like between her and Donna Joe, like, um I, I don't know, I think I just, that always hits me in a certain way because um I think women have been turned against each other for a really long time because that's useful to other people.

So I don't love it.

I think if we were talking about maybe in the workplace, to women of each school level or if we were talking about, um, like in a family, two women.

This is actually competition.

So, um, Suzanne says herself, like, I wasn't there to make friends.

I was there to win and to, to me as a competitor, someone who takes these things quite seriously.

Uh, I think she, I think they were both in the right for hating one another.

Yeah, one of them had to win.

I'm not trying to make friends.

That can only be one.

You're telling me if you weren't a pageant, you wouldn't be there to make friends at all, you know.

Yes I want those troves.

They have good ones.

Yeah.

I don't know.

I, I, I probably would be like, more in the miss congeniality way only because I'm a people pleaser.

So outwardly I'd be very kind to people inwardly, I'd be screaming and yelling that I really want to win.

So I think most people who are involved in a pageant, they, I think I do agree that Suzanne is probably just more honest about that.

I just think she's a little bit of a harsh right turn.

Like you don't, like, you don't have to kill each other, um, situation that has to happen here.

No one has to get cut.

So, yeah.

Well, do you, uh, is there anything else that you wanted to talk about about?

Like, No, we talked about early on, about like, like, ok, I was gonna say, whoa, wait a minute.

Where are we at the top of the show I talked about or at the top of this episode I talked about how I didn't love pairing it with the baby shower and the, um, pageant plot line.

That was probably the biggest thing about this episode.

I didn't like, I just wish that we, I don't know, I just wish it could have been one or the other or one with another plot line or something.

Yeah.

Yeah, I definitely think there are some things that could have been teased out, especially with Bernice.

Um, I'm glad that you brought up those points because, um, I did remember the gerbil thing but I forgot the other stuff that she did.

She's the best.

She's the best.

Well, speaking of things that are best or not best, would you like to rate this?

A nice transition?

I would, my rating scale is actually baby shower gag gifts, uh, in honor of the gerbil that she gave her.

I gave it a four out of five.

Uh, it wasn't total perfection for me just because I wasn't super antsy to watch it again.

Um I think the baby shower scene was really awkward for me in some ways.

Um, just like a little, like when they get these big giant groups of people together for celebrations, they always read awkward to me like when yes, like on any show, when they're like cheering, you can just see it just, you know, there's always some person that doesn't realize they can actually be seen on camera making a weird face and it just gets awkward to me because I get lost in the detail and it's just uncomfortable.

So didn't love the baby shower scene.

Um, but I, I love watching Suzanne get to come out on top.

I'm a Suzanne apologist.

It's gonna be a good season for her.

I think.

I think so.

She's learned a lot.

Um So I also give it a four out of 54 out of five.

No, take these back.

It's really struggling to raise on this one.

Um Despite my close and very 2023 reading of this episode and what it does and doesn't say about society in 1989.

This is great.

I thought it was funny.

It let Delta shine once again is only, she can do like, uh I may not be an apologist but she's talented lady.

She really is.

Uh I thought it was a good idea.

It was good fun.

Um And like I thought that it was really smart to go after something that she cared about so much.

So we're only three episodes in.

But for me, this is the best episode so far this season.

Uh You can have that.

OK, thank you.

I'll take it, 80s, things, registered letters.

Uh I think this is, maybe they were trying to get in touch with Suzanne and they talked about registered letters.

This is totally still a thing.

They're called like certified letters or something now.

Um But it's like, it's an extra charge, so I've never done it before.

It's some way of tracking the letter to make sure it gets where it's supposed to go.

I always charge more and I'm like, no, thanks.

And they're like, are you sure these are your taxes?

And I'm like, no, thanks.

I didn't want them in the, I don't care who gets them.

Uh and then loading files onto a computer, but like as an afterthought, which was the whole way that they found out about the miscalculation, she was like, we are putting the files on a computer and I was like, what are you doing that afterwards?

It didn't start there.

Very 80 agreed.

That was also on my list.

Um Southern things.

Uh We had a Scarlett o'hara reference in there.

They were talking about how that's Suzanne's sort of mental M O is to Scarlett o'hara things.

Uh Way Cross Georgia.

We've actually had this reference before in season three episode 14 Odell.

Um because that's where they went to get, there was some reference to like, that's where they were going to get married or something.

You're like, why way Cross, like what a weird reference uh to be from Way Cross.

However, I don't think Donna Joe's accent was rural enough.

I think it should have been a little more pronounced.

Uh and then slop and sugar is what Suzanne said.

Donna Joe used to do.

I feel like other people say that.

And I think she said that before though, probably in the June episode.

I think that's how she talked about.

Um Charlene's mentor her.

Yeah, that sounds right.

That's it.

I am really curious like if we ever get to interview L BT, we will manifested.

Has Suzanne taught you nothing when, when we talk to L BT, I really want to ask like, what's the way cross thing?

What is the way cross thing?

And I don't mean to be whatever to people from we cross.

But I think even people from Way Cross would be like we have bubba burgers and that's about it.

So what do you, what are you bringing us into all this for?

It's just a random reference.

Yeah.

So it makes me wonder if she has like some kind of connection to there.

Um The only other things I caught were the biscuit cutter.

Uh Anthony's the one that mentions this one.

He's kind of kidding around that like being a baby shower prize or something, uh which I have seriously bought for you.

What?

I don't remember that reference is he's making some kind of joke about like, I think they're like, sorry, you can't be here and he's like, oh, I missed the biscuit cutter prize or something?

Ok.

Uh, Suzanne, you got that one?

Oh, calling a to a commode.

Oh, my gosh.

My grandma used to do that.

That's what the, and I, you know, we've talked about this before and I thought that, um, I, I, you know how sometimes I will say stuff like, I don't know, but it sounds southern but I don't really know.

And I can't find anything.

I finally got curious and looked it up and there was this entire article on apartment therapy where they talked about all of these things that southerners say about in, about, in their homes that no one else except for southerners know.

Do you want to hear some of them?

Ok.

So I was like, oh, this would be kind of fun.

Um, a sleeping porch, a three seasons room or a Florida room.

I know about those.

My, my mother-in-law calls them a Florida room.

We thought she made it up.

It's just a slightly more closed in porch, kind of like a sun room almost.

Yes.

Yes.

I think there's a little, there's, but like in a sun room you would still have like ac or, or like heat, I think in these, like, they're, they're closed in, but you don't necessarily have like that additional like, uh, completeness.

Sorry.

Can I ask you one more question?

Do you think it's the same thing or different than like a screened in porch?

I, I think, I think it's the same.

Ok.

You can comfortably hang out three out of the four seasons in winter.

It's too cold enough.

Um, a Veranda, a gallery or a portico.

I hear Veranda.

I can't say I hear a gallery or portico.

A, we only use Portico when we're talking about, like historic homes.

Right.

Nobody's ever called my 2000s home thing.

A portico.

So, but I, and I guess maybe it depends, like, I guess some people do actually use that term, but I agree.

I would never normally, um, use that.

Another one that they talked about was a, a joggling board.

What?

Ok.

I didn't know what this one was.

Either.

A joggling board is a long bendy piece of wood that sits on two stands and can rock back and forth.

Did you see or whatever.

Exactly.

What do you do on a joggling board?

Look here, look at you in the article are like, um, I think that means I'm the target audience.

You sit and joggle by gently bouncing up and down and side to side.

That is the dirty thing in a house.

What do you got?

I'm sorry, I gotta look this.

What is this?

It's like the bench version of a medicine ball.

Joggling boards are almost always painted Charleston green.

I mean, literally, that's the dirtiest sentence I've ever accidentally read.

What is this?

This is making me wonder.

Am I Southern at all?

So, is it supposed to be sort of like a swing.

This is like one where they don't have a picture.

So it's a little tougher for me.

It looks like a bench.

Um, and I, I it kind of goes like this.

So to me it kind of looks like a rocking bench almost, but it rocks horizontally instead of what is this?

It rocks vertically instead of horizontally.

I think, I think that's a Charleston thing and I think people sometimes conflate Charleston with the entire self.

Well, maybe somebody will let us know please.

If you know what joggling, what is this?

What I have to read that line again.

You sit and joggle by gently bouncing up and down and side to side.

It says joggling boards have long been used for rocking babies.

In earlier days, gullah nurses called das would sit holding their charges in their arms singing a soft lullaby as the gentle soothing bounced the infant to sleep.

So that is definitely a Carolina thing we're talking about.

Not my part of Carolina.

We didn't have a joggling board.

I, I don't know.

It sounds exciting.

It is like a seesaw for adults and that's why I'm like they're like explaining it.

I'm like a see saw, I understand.

Ok.

So a powder room or a commode.

These are definitely two that get a lot of mentions on designing women like both of these two.

So we just talked about commode.

That's like our nicer way of saying toilet but I actually think commode sounds really weird though.

It sounds very, uh, tactical like a navy ship or something.

It is.

It's referred to the ship's bathroom.

Shut up.

I feel like you just really pulled that out of nowhere and it's correct.

Um, but a powder room is really, basically, it's just a half bath.

Um, because there's no, which oftentimes has no bath.

Yeah.

That's weird, isn't it?

Ah, nothing makes any sense.

Um, then there's, this is Louisiana specific but it's locker house shoes and haul tree, haul tree I get, which is basically just where you put your coats and stuff.

It's, you said house shoes, house shoes.

I think you're familiar with those.

Oh, yeah, I am familiar with this.

I'm like, I don't know what a house she is.

Well, what about a locker is the same thing as a haul tree.

Yeah.

Ok.

This is me doing it on the fly.

I like it.

I love it.

It's so processing together.

But that's what Kyle said.

We need to be on the fly.

Do you love it?

Kyle, stop listening.

He just buys the equipment and shows me how to use it.

He doesn't actually listen, I believe in you, um, bottle trees.

I mean, I've seen them, it's like a baby bottle tree.

This is outside.

So, take a real tree or a wire stand and they put glass bottles all over it.

We talked about this, uh, when I did my extra sugar on.

Uh They were blue ceilings were we don't call it hat blue, but they do.

And they also are talking about that here too.

But so the blue bottles are meant to capture evil spirits to keep them from getting in the house.

And then the blue roofs is meant to confuse evil spirits or what are called hats.

But we don't, we don't, we don't call them that.

Um And then an honorable mention is to put up and this is put up.

This was actually my favorite.

Not to be confused with.

Uh, well, let me read you the paragraph.

Ok.

Well, this isn't a thing per se.

It's something that comes up a lot in houses because Southerners don't put away things they put up.

So you might put up your Christmas decorations and put them up after the holidays.

Dishes are put up, not put away.

It's one of those quirks that accent or no.

Can give away a Southerner.

That's hilarious.

Do you say put up?

I say put up and actually I realized around Christmas time it gets very confusing because you're telling someone I put up all the Christmas decorations and you're like, oh, you put them out in the front yard because like Christmas is over.

That's interesting.

I'm like, no, sorry, put away the Christmas decorations.

I found myself having to correct that for some reason this year and like I put up the tree.

No, no like, put it up up and then I put it up like, you know, it, it like the inflection helps.

Yeah.

If you say it like this and then I put up the tree, that means you put it away in the season because you're so I put up the tree, I get it.

But that would actually, I think was my favorite because I don't think I even register.

You say that.

And not until maybe like my first friend who moved down here from like Ohio or something.

And they were like, what are you saying?

You southern weirdo.

And I was like, wait a second, don't we all say that?

Wait a second.

Uh So that was a really uh that was a second sidebar.

I like that one.

Um references that we need to talk about.

I don't have any.

The only I only had 21 is Burt Reynolds, which I thought was an interesting reference since L BT and Harry Thomason will go on to create the hit show Evening Shape starring Burt Reynolds.

In fact, it would start the very next year, which means they were probably in pre production and stuff.

So she probably had Burt Reynolds on the brain.

And then I want to say we got a trifecta Elvis Priscilla and Lisa Marie reference.

I initially had altogether something different because like the Elvis movie came out this year, there's actually a Priscilla movie that's coming that I didn't know about until I looked back into a couple of things.

But, um, too coincidental really.

And very sadly, Lisa Marie just passed away this week.

It, it won't be this week by the time this airs.

But, uh, you know, not even that far from Elvis's birthday, I think he was born on January eight.

She was only 54 years old and it's just super sad.

Did you watch any of the red carpet footage of her before she had her incident?

I watched some red carpet footage.

She really did not look good.

She didn't look well at one point they were interviewing her and she reaches over to whoever is with her and says, like, let me hold your arm for a minute and they showed her coming down the red carpet.

So I think she hadn't been feeling well.

Um, it was really unexpected how quickly she had her, it was a cardiac arrest.

Um, it happened really quickly after the Golden Globe uh that the Golden Globes just happened.

So, so I guess I was, I don't think I realized that she was there.

She was on the red carpet there and then, and then had a cardiac arrest.

Ok.

I think she was there because of the Elvis movie.

If that makes sense.

Yeah.

Austin Butler, I feel like was up for some awards or something.

He won.

Oh, good.

Look at us putting it together.

Oh my, it was really, really awful.

It happened.

Really, son died two years ago and it sounds like she hasn't really been the same since I'm sure.

Um, so just, I didn't mean I'm not trying to bring it down.

I'm just saying it was really weird and coincidental coming back to this and us meeting today that that just happened and I didn't want to skip over that because that's significant.

So, next episode, next episode, episode four, this is an episode where we'll talk, I think a little bit probably about the way we treat rural people in this show.

It's called Nightmare from Hee Haw.

We'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at sweet Tea and TV, email sweet T TV pod at gmail dot com.

Our website is W W W dot sweet T TV dot com.

Uh As always, there are several ways to support the show, tell your family and friends about us, rate or review the podcast where you listen.

We also have some additional ways to support us on our website from the Support Us page.

Uh and come back Thursday.

This one's mine.

This one's my old extra sugar.

Uh It's a segment I'm calling.

I've never been crazy about this but I haven't been able to find a new name for it.

So I'm diving in with it an hour to endow her and devour.

Let's hook it up with a baby shower.

Hey, yeah, hopefully that gives you an idea.

Of what we're going to talk about.

Is it pumpkins?

Yes'm.

Well, you know what that means, Nikki.

What does it mean, Salina?

Means we'll see around the bend.

Bye.


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