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Designing Women S4 E6 - No Such Thing As A Sad Old Dream

Updated: Apr 1, 2023

Oh gosh, this week’s episode is a heavy one. While the ladies of Sugarbakers are preparing for a local talent show, Charlene learns that her dear cousin is living a reality that doesn’t match appearances.

Both plotlines touch on pretty serious cultural topics. As is our duty, we’ll bring you a little about both. Salina’s going to give us a sidebar on blackface and come back later this week if you can for an “Extra Sugar” inspired by Charlene’s cousin, Mavis.

References for you to dig into:

Come on, let’s get into it!



Hey Nikki.

Hey Salina.


Yes, everyone.

Yes, thank you.

We have at least two male with our diversity.

Um I have four words for all of you, but only you can answer.


Oh, no.

Where is this going Dolly Parton baking Collection?

Oh, yeah, I have one word for you.


I think that's a sound.

Whatever, man.





Uh I was looking it up and I like sent you a link and you already know about it because like it's Dolly Parton, but this came out a couple of weeks ago.

Wait, wait, wait a minute.

Are you about to pull a cake out from under the table?

Oh, why would you do that?

I can't, why would you do that?

You, the collection isn't available yet?

Let me go on.

That's, that's for like um a really well known Southern podcast to get a hold of.


Here's what's including the old baking collection.

There is everything is Duncan Hein's Dolly Parton.

So just assume that's included.


Caramel turtle, turtle, brownie mix, fabulously fudgy brownie mix, buttermilk biscuit mix sweet corn bread and muffin mix.

That's divisive.

I realize a dolly inspired tea towel.

A dolly inspired spatula, three keepsake recipe cards.

And a special note from Dolly.

Oh, we need it corn bread real quick.

Uh, divisive because some people like more savory cornbread and some people like sweet.

Is that what you mean?


And I think you've actually talked about that and as soon as those words left your mouth, I was like, we talked about this before.

So the reason I thought about it is because in the article, I think it was Southern Living um they, they asked her about it and because because there is such a division on whether or not you make corn.

Is it really corn bread if it's sweet.

And um and she of course, like I really think that she could just solve every world issue because she's such a diplomat.

And so, you know, she talked about her own experience and about how like uh how she like both, they're both good and how um they didn't always have money for sugar.

But when they did have money for sugar treats, it was to treat.

Yeah, that is really sweet.

And see my takeaway from all of this was going to be Dolly said it's supposed to be sweet.

She put sweet in her collection.

So sweet.

Must be superior.

The queen has spoken.

So just go ahead and put away your savory corn bread lost Kyle, lost this battle and in our home, we will only Forevermore have sweet I just, well, actually I thought her best point and I, I just remember this is like, it depends on what you're eating.

So, like somebody doesn't.

No, it doesn't.

I thought you said we go with what the queen says and the queen said it's sweet because she put it in her collection.

So we're done, we're done.

I like both.

I like both but like, I probably gravitate more towards the sweet.

Um, because unless it's like like a cheesy corn bread kind of situation, then it's different or like in dressing, probably the savory kind is a little bit better in dressing.

I think so.

Yeah, I think corn bread and milk with sweet corn bread.

But do you do buttermilk or?

That's what the real thing is though, right?

So my grandma does um savory corn bread and like 2% milk.

The real thing is like the, the kind that you make with like the crack ones and then you put the butter milk because you really just want the full amount of artery choking materials.

I don't want to take us too far down the rabbit hole because you know, we just switch to this for the episode.

I was gonna say we usually are so good about staying on track.

Uh Kyle was telling me the other day that uh 2% that full fat milk, like whole milk is only 3%.

So reduced fat is two of life is a marketing scheme, isn't it?

And didn't we just learned that in silly sales.

Um She's plugging herself, designing women season four episode five, extra sugar.

I was, my mind was blown.

I'd never heard that before in my entire life.

I had never heard that before.

So like in my head, I grew up with 2% milk.

That's the milk I always drank as an adult.

Now 2% is like drinking butter milk.

It's like thick and like eggnog.

It's very creamy and thick.

Um but I was only 1% point off of whole milk my entire childhood.


There you go.

And I know, I mean, it really is.

It's all just marketing.

We're all fools big, just all of us.

I didn't know it but I guess it just surprised me.

I'm like that makes sense.

It blew my mind.

Yeah, I don't really enjoy like milk on its own in any formula.

Not anymore.

I don't, I have a little bit of a dairy sensitivity.

Um and then on top of that just drinking it.

But it's like uh but all that to say going back to have we agreed then that we'll explore this package a little bit more like make a treat or something.

We got at least four treats that we can make.

And when does it come out?

I think it's February like I think Valentine's Day.

That would be so nice.

There's so, I think there's been like some special contest where maybe you could enter your name and win the package or something like that to tell me.

No, I have no, I put, um, I did use our email, our joint email to, um, by the way, have you packed Carolina Spanish material?

Are you still getting that?

Ok, thank goodness, I canceled the, the invite.

I ended it.

That's why you stopped getting it.

Um, but I entered our email in to get updates and, and so I have to get all the Duncan hein updates but in getting that, I should know when it's gonna, but I haven't gotten anything.

Well, I guess we the Duncan he hasn't made Duncan Heinz hasn't made any announcement.

I am like an aggressive spam dele but I double check that it doesn't seem relevant and Duncan Hines would catch my eye.

Yeah, we'll see.

I just did it the other day.

So hopefully something will come through.

But so maybe when Dolly comes on the show, we could bake her one of her own sweet treats and see what she thinks.

I would, you know, I don't really do anything in the kitchen.

So you're gonna have to be in charge of that.

Well, yeah.

Ok, I would be way too nervous and hopefully Dolly doesn't look at the coconut cake video we did on social media where we compared her coconut cake to homemade coconut cake.

I said you never said one was necessarily like heads and shoulders above the other.

It was just a slight taste difference.

They both had different things going for them also, I don't make homemade brownies.

So this brownie mix is just going to be the best of the best of the best.

Does anybody make homemade brownies?

That's a good question.

It's a good question.

Like, really difficult.

It seems like it, but I got my mixer back.

I got my stand mixer back.

I've had a little bit of a fiasco with getting it repaired.

Uh But I have it back now.



Well, the time is not, not uh time is February.

February and I'm sorry y'all, I'm having a little bit of a, a cough thing.

Um uh which recipe of hers do you want to do the most out of these?

And then we can pop on into the episode.

But here's what she makes available online because this might be how we decide what to do.

But we have peanut butter skillet, brownie, Sunday, pecan pie, brownies, jalapeno corn bread and cheddar and chive biscuits.

Oh, dang.

I'm gonna pick one of the first two.

Uh only because I think we need a sweet and a savory.


So I can pick one of both.

So basically we have the recipe.

So if we just do those first two brownies and then those second two like breads and biscuits, I think we would, we would be pretty good.


Yeah, that sounds reasonable.

That is so, so hard because I do love jalapeno and cornbread.

But also like cheddar bay biscuits is what that sounds like.

I also love those and then both.

I just love brownies.


I, I, for me it's an easy pecan pie brownie all day.

And on Sunday.

And what was the first one?

The peanut butter skillet.

Peanut butter skillet.

Oh, dang, peanut butter and chocolate.


I mean, I'll eat either.

So, if you have a strong feeling then I guess it's pecan pie brownie.

I'm always willing to concede except for when I'm not.

And then she goes, that's scary.

That, that seems that, yeah.

But it's like, it's like a fewer times I think I'm scary.

And most of the time I can see.

Is that a fair percentage?

No, no.

Uh, the pecan pie one will do for the show if that makes sense to do here because we have a nut allergy in my house and they would, they would love the other one.

The peanut butter one.

So, yeah.


It's a good idea.

You're smart.

You're the best.

I like all Salina is always right.

It's, it's just me here at this table.

That always seems to be right.

He's right.

That's really all, all the words I wanted to hear.

Let's just make all four of them.

And then that, I mean, we could just, like, tear off one, a quarter or something.

I think that might be the way we end up going a couple of fiscal year.

Other thing we could do is we could do one, uh, do the one Dolly recipe and then, like, sort of, because I think it's gonna be a, a supplies issue.


It sort of seems like maybe, yeah, Dolly mixes are in short supply.

Well, I don't know how we're going to make jalapeno with the sweet corn bread mix.





But I guess she's saying to do that.

If all he says to do that, then I guess we have to do it.

Speaking of Dolly, who is a woman.

This guy used to be a girl and maybe she, sometimes she used to be a girl.

Now she's processing a few things all at one time and I bet you she's been around.

Is it time is the time for rowdy girl for uh it is, this is, hold on, hold on this transition.

That was slick.

I didn't even see what was happening in the middle and trying to remember the tune of not just a girl but yet a woman, not a girl, but not yet.

A woman.

That's it.

Not a girl, not yet a woman by Britney Crossroads, Crossroads Man.


What a year?

And he is, he is designing women's season 4. Episode 6 of the rowdy girls.

Hulu says Anthony and the Sugar Baker ladies prepare a song and dance routine.

All allow the Supremes for an annual talent show with the help of Charlene's cousin Mavis.

But it turns out Mavis is also in need of help too.

Air Date October 30th 1989.

I think I wrote this one.

Uh, oh, when I saw Allah, I thought that was you.

Um, I don't know, it was that part.

I definitely, I think I had to rewrite the Mavis part.


Didn't you know how it is.

Didn't scratch your back.

Uh We're calling this one.

No such thing as a sad old dream.

It's written by L BT and directed by David Trainer.

Don't you be bringing the last episode into this episode?

This is new episode energy.

Those are called Easter Eggs and Throwbacks, Salina.

Those are for the real fans.

Oh My general reactions and stray observations.

I found the domestic abuse storyline to be highly effective, especially for something that's 34 years old.

And let's just go ahead and say like, because I'm, I'm just popping into the domestic abuse piece.

Like I know you're talking about that for your extra sugar.

If anybody needs to bow out now, it's not going to hurt our feelings.

I truly consider this particular topic one of and there's no point in competing or arguing, but I do think it's one of the most triggering of trigger warnings that you would have to offer, offer for like this top, like for any topic, this is very sensitive, super sensitive.

If you've ever been affected by it.

I can't imagine how sensitive this would be.

So, yeah, and so I think, um I think that might be why we came into the episode.

So Zany too just because I think we, yeah, we is about to get heavy.

So I'll just say bow out if you need to right now.

We totally understand.

And if you do need help, call the National Domestic Abuse hotline at 807 997233, 807 997233 or text uh start to 88788.

Um So there's a couple of different ways that you can access help there if you need it.

And then now I'm gonna jump back into these general reactions just to say, yeah, for me, I mean, thinking about this being as old as it is 34 years ago.

Um It just moved me, it rocked me honestly, I was not anticipating it.

So there's a scene where Mavis's husband is attacking her in the other room, but you only see Charlene's reaction because she's left something, she's coming back into the house and you hear him in the other room and like those two things that you're you're hearing that and you're seeing Charlene at the same time, it really intensified the scene a lot.

It actually scared me a little bit and I'm like, I'm not someone who's like really rattled that easily.

Um But his voice was so it really freaked me out a little bit and Jean Smart's facial expressions, that's actually my first, um my first reaction to this whole episode is just, oh boy.

Like this was a lot Jean Smart's facial expressions.

During that moment, you can watch every moment of every emotion playing through her face as like she thought this relationship was one thing.

And now what's this other thing?

And do I go in?

Do I stay here?

Do I get in the middle?

Do I stay out?

Should I let them do their thing?

They're the married couple.

It all just played out in, what was that?

That was like 22 seconds long or something.

It was the briefest of brief but so intense and it felt like it felt like a thunderstorm, it felt like it happened so abruptly and you're just like sitting there like what just happened?

I think we um have also talked before about how good Jean Smart's facial work is and this is what it's a really astute thing to pull um from this episode because it's another place where that's really on display.

Um Just in thinking in line with how effective this plot line was.

I, I thought the actor who played Mavis Kim Zimmer did a really good job expressing something between melancholy and like giving up and it was just beautifully written.

Um When she said there's something sad about an old dream, isn't there?

I just about fell apart.

And I think it's because even if you haven't had Mavis's experience, I think most people, at least by a certain age can relate with that sentiment, that sense of loss.

And I just feel like she relayed that in such a relatable way and in my extra sugar uh on domestic abuse, I'm going to talk a little bit about some of the red flags or some of the signs that you might not see.

Um And I'm going to talk about some of the things that this episode hit just right.

And the other thing about her and her storyline and her characterization of the character um is that you also see so many different aspects of the way she's had to live her life with this man.

So she's a little bit carefree and foot loose with the girls and then he comes in and she's a little bit guarded, but still gives off that sign that those signs of like a, a happy domestic situation.

And then of course, you see her or hear her on the flip side um of people leaving and what it looks like behind closed doors for them.

And that was three very distinct environments in which she had to almost shape shift to exist.

And I thought it was just played really well.

I know it's just a TV show, but that was also realistic, I think um something else that really a lot of times I know that we sort of go back and we're like, but why, why, now, why at this very moment?

And so, um just full disclosure, I asked Nikki uh before we started, I wanted to make sure I wasn't stepping on her extra sugar, but I did find something that I think L BT S motivations could be related to and I wanted to share that.

Uh So I think that she may have been inspired by the story of Tracy Thurman who was paid 1.9 million by the city of Torrington, Connecticut after she sued the local police for ignoring multiple domestic violence reports and then failing to enforce a court ordered restraining order involving her husband.

So the way it plays out is the husband winds up showing up maybe a couple weeks into this restraining order attacks her so violently that she winds up hospitalized for eight months, both partially and permanently paralyzed.

There was an officer on the scene.

He reportedly did little more than watch the incident play out.

Um The lawsuit resulted in sweeping national reform of domestic violence laws including the Thurman law.

This is also known as the family violence Prevention and Response Act instituted in Connecticut in 1986 which mandates police make arrests in domestic violence cases even if the victim does not wish to press charges.

And then I see, I think I knew about this from the TV movie, I cry for help.

The Tracy Thurman story.

This premiered on NBC 10 days before this episode aired.

I think I probably saw it in reruns like on Lifetime or something.


And then um it's, it's the timing is not accidental.

October is Domestic Awareness Month which first began in 1987.

So it's all kind of spinning around each other a little bit.

Uh I cried, I'm not kidding.

I cried straight through the scene where Charlene was trying to get Mavis to leave with her and alternates between like trying to empower her and then just straight out, begging her to leave and giving her the out, giving her all of the, I've already Prethought the first three steps for you and here's how you can do it.

I straight ugly, cried through that.

I watched this episode, I think twice and every time or both times I just like cried.

I was ugly.

That broke my heart.

That was so horrible.

Yeah, it's tough.

Um, do, do, is there anything else general you want to talk in general?

And it's sort of a question for you.

I was curious how you felt about these two plot lines, the talent show with its own delicate cultural reference and Mavis's story being put together in one episode.

It's really interesting that you ask that because I actually don't have any.

I'm here in the next few minutes.

I don't have any dislikes, but it was the closest I could come up with when I was trying to think of something which is like, I under, like, I think on the one hand, obviously they're trying to inject some comedy in this one and I think it needed it.


We needed some levity.

I mean, you were crying through the whole thing, you know, I cried.

Um, on the other hand, I think, because the, the topic of blackface is such a weighty one.

I did, we give it its due up against something that's also very weighty in a completely different way.

I don't know.

I don't think so.



I don't think so.

I thought these two probably could have been split up a little bit.

I think that we get the closest to um any sort of like insight into L BT S perspective on black face uh with a line from Anthony where he says like it's complicated and I feel like maybe we should have explored the complication a little bit more and maybe that would have been a little more educational than just it's complicated.

And then the lady is repeatedly saying it's racist, you know what I mean?

Um And then I had one more stray.

Uh It is like the strays of stray.


Did you notice that when the women walked out of the house after their dance practice with Mavis Julia dropped her purse.

It was like the most Un Julia thing.

It caught my eye because it's very, it seems to me to be very unlike Julia to drop something and like, I, I don't know how to describe this.

Like she bent over and I was like, that's so un Julia.

Like, it was very much like Dixie Carter was like, oh crap.

I dropped my purse.

I got to pick it up and it felt like an outtake that was left in the episode.

But if you didn't notice it, maybe I just read something, maybe I'll have to go back and watch that.

I thought you were going to say that Mavis was actually played by T Tommy Reid.

Actually, I was thinking, you said the, the actor's name a few minutes ago and I was wondering if it was, um, the best friend who became a sex worker.

Um, they kind of have the same look, she just keeps showing up everywhere.

It's just she plays all the parts.

She sometimes she dropped her purse, it wasn't actually hix car.

Uh uh So my strays are Mary Jo is 34.

Did you get?

I don't think we've explicitly heard her age before.

I think we've guessed at it.

I actually had written down and just decided to gloss over it.

But now that you've brought that up, Mavis shared that she's 35 and I have to tell you I am having such an identity crisis at this age.

I'm having such an identity crisis because I'm looking at these women thinking, but I look so young.

I do feel like not in, like my skin looks so dewy and young and radiant, you know, like the way I carry myself, the way I dress, I feel like when I'm out in public people are like, what's that, that nanny doing with the babies?

You know, like I just feel like they look at me and think I just look like a little bit sloppy, a little bit messy.

These women are so pulled together and so mature looking and I'm just like, dang, am I not the right version of 37 or were the women in the 80s?

Just I think we've talked about this before.

Yeah, it was just like a different time.

This is also television.

So, um but I will say like I've seen pictures of mom's from the 80s per chance and they just like, it was just a whole different look.

It's just all very different, but it's good to know that at least three times a day.

Now we should plan to feel stung by our own age of mortality.

And I think that's, that's the real walk away, you know, harsh.

Yeah, it's a good time.

Um My other stray.

I, I hope this counts as a stray.

I, I don't know.

Anyways go with me on it.

I found it very interesting that Suzanne not only winds up playing Diana Ross during the talent show while the other ladies play the Supremes.

Um But she's also separated from them prior to and during the performance.

And I can't help but think we're seeing rising tension on set as I had to look back into the Supremes history because it's not something I have visited as a bleach.

Um But it's hard to not see some of the correlations here.


So the group didn't initially have a lead.

Our ladies, well, they still don't technically have a lead.

But yeah, if you're in that designing women fan group or like you see how we've talked before about how it feels like they have pulled Suzanne up a little bit where she's getting more of her own storyline.

Um It feels like there's something there.

So the Supremes didn't have a lead then Barry Gordy named Diana, the lead vocalist.

Um This was a very contentious move.

She eventually goes on to leave the group in 1970 to strike out on her own as a solo artist.

Delta Burke eventually leaves the show.

I mean, the trajectories might be different between Diana Ross and, and Delta Burke.

But still there's something, there's some kind of symmetry there that I can't help but feel like I don't, I don't know if they're intentionally telling us or if it's just like, you know, how things work into your subconscious and out on imitates art, you know, is it the chicken, is it the egg?

You know, Schrodinger's cat?

It's who knows, who knows, who knows.

Um So with all that in mind.

Speaking of the Supremes, can we, can we please sidebar about Suzanne's decision to wear darker body and face makeup for a more authentic impression of the iconic group, please.

It's a side Barcelona sidebar.

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

What you got Salina in Salina Sidebar?

Here's what you don't know if you're not in this room.

Nikki gives an immaculate countdown.

My fingers mess up every time.

No, no, it's me.

Um I, so this episode really questions whether or not this is black face.

What Suzanne does theatrical makeup?


Let's look at a definition.

Shall we when non-black people darken their skin using makeup or other products to imitate a black person?

So that's kind of irrefutable.

But instead of hearing my interpretation of what they said or your interpretation of what they said, maybe we should listen to a clip.

But first before we do that, if you are a longtime listener of this show, you've heard my disclaimer before.

You've heard Nikki's disclaimer before, but we are two white women.

So before we go into this segment about black face in no way, um Am I trying to claim the black experience or act like I can ever fully understand it?

I cannot.

But my hope is that I can learn and grow and share.

So I truly hope that this can be received in that spirit.

And if anyone ever feels like we didn't approach something with the right level of sensitivity, we definitely want to hear from you.

So please reach out and we're always telling you all of the ways.

So how and with that in mind, Nikki, can you play that clip for us?

Yes, I went down to the beauty supply and I asked them to mix up some real dark body and facial makeup for us.

You know, so we could be more authentic Suzanne.

Let me get this straight.

You think we're gonna do that song in black face?

Well, I don't know what you call it, do you, but I mean, if we're gonna be the Supremes, I think we should certainly try and look like him.

See if we can't go around in black face.

That's racist.


If Dustin Hoffman was gonna play Martin Luther King, you don't think he'd wear black makeup Suzanne.

Dustin Hoffman would never play Martin Luther King.

That part would go to a black actor.

Well, I think that's racist.

I think it should go to whoever the best person is and that could be Dustin Hoffman, Suzanne.

I don't care what you think we are not going to wear that Anthony.

Please explain this to her.

Well, I I've tried but actually she does have a point.

I mean, she is not talking about that with a big white circle drawn around his mouth.

She's talking about theatrical makeup like Eddie Murphy wore when he played that white guy on Saturday Night Live or so, Olivia wore dark makeup when he played Othello.

So, Anthony, you think it's all right to go around in blackface?

I don't know, man, it's very complicated.

I certainly don't think one should do it while one is tap dancing and eating watermelon, man.

God, I love Anthony so much.

Um You know, I, I, I want to stop and say that I do think this is an example of something that sets designing women apart from many of its contemporaries.

I mean, they weren't afraid to at least bring it up.

Um This and other controversial issues.

So bringing up black face at all, let alone in a Southern show is pretty singular and I want to give credit where credit is due.

Um So today I want to talk about some of um the history of black face and then sort of connect it to a more current thing that happened in recent years.

Uh So I found a 2019 Fox interview with John Strass Baugh.

He's the author of black like you who gave a really nice distilled history of Black face.

I'd like to share some highlights from it.

So blackface came to America via the traditions of European theater.

It was a way to signify darkness and evil.

That's a something that is still in the culture today.

Um And maybe that's its own thing to unpack about European culture.

But initially, there was not really a direct connection to race.

It appears in the US in the 18 twenties and not in the South, it actually appeared in the North perform performed by poor Irish men and then later by immigrants and then later women strausbaugh points out it was a way sort of for marginalized groups to quote unquote fit in and signal that they were white too.

And while it was tinged with racism, for sure, there were also these elements of like admiration for black culture, but that really seemed to take a turn after the civil war.

And then at that time, there seemed to be more mocking and cruelty in, in the mix.

And by the late 18 hundreds, blackface wasn't relegated to minstrel shows.

It really seeped into many parts of the culture.

And I think they talked about things from books to advertisement and it was just like everywhere after World War two.

However, blackface started to be a no, no.

And by the sixties was considered quite taboo.

There was a revival of blackface in the 80s on college campuses all across the country.

Strausbaugh shared this was a quote direct reaction to the push to diversify universities at the time and to open them up to people of color.

And it Nikki, I'm sure you remember this.

It wasn't that long ago.

It kind of felt like the whole country was reflecting back on that decade in 2019.

And this is after um the after some racist photos surfaced in the medical school yearbook of former Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, one person in the photos was in blackface.

Another was in Ku Klux Klan robes.

And then not long after that, Virginia's former Attorney General, Mark Herring admitted to appearing in blackface at a college party in the eighties.

This was a huge news story at the time.

Um Everything feels kind of minimized post 2020.

But I just remember this being absolutely everywhere.

Uh And it really put blackface in the national conversation away.

I haven't seen in my lifetime um coverage from that year was the best insight I could get into what was going on when this episode of Designing Women premiered.

Here's a couple of other ti ti ti Burts tidbits worth mentioning.

So there was uh an article by USA Today and it was USA Today Network.

They wound up reviewing 900 publications at 100 and 20 schools across the country and found more than 200 examples of offensive or racist material at colleges in 25 states.

From large public universities in the south to Ivy League schools in the Northeast.

Liberal Arts boutiques and Division one powerhouses.

I'm gonna stop and just say for a second that on the one hand, I'm like, whoa, I mean, that's a lot.

Um It's not surprising, I guess based on what people are saying was going on in the eighties and this turn, um, what I also am struggling with a little bit is this idea of like going back and combing for these things.

Um, and something that just, it feels like we're kind of going back and, and looking for mistakes that people made.

Um, and just, I would just tell you I'm struggling with it a little bit.

Um, but at the same time, I do think it's a, it, it's important to, to, as long as we're not trying to necessarily go through and identify and go back and attack everyone for it, they did actually call out a couple of people in the article and talk about how um they didn't find any politicians and I was like, were you looking for politicians?

Like, you know, like, what, what was the goal here?

Um And so I, I did, I, I did struggle with it a little bit but I, there's a part of me that also really understands it.

Um I also ran across something where Darian L Baldwin, an American studies professor at uh Connecticut's Trinity College told the chronicle that fraternities and sororities at primarily big 10 colleges saw a quote explosion of black face minstrels at Galas and began holding mock slave auctions.

During this time.

We talked about this in season one, I think, I mean, I am so not, I'm not surprised by this because we've talked about it.

I am super surprised by it because of my own experience in college.

I, I can't imagine how I would have reacted if I was in an event where this happened.

Yeah, I would have lost my mind.

Yeah, it's, uh, you know, and I didn't really have a traditional college experience.

Um, so, uh, I, yeah, I don't, but yeah, I would have reported that so fast.

Like how in what world is this just happening?

Well, so my goal was to really see if there was some current event that prompted L BT and maybe this was it, I'm not sure, especially if we pair that with what was being said in the other episode because I know we were sort of unpacking it like a what a weird joke to make.

But maybe that was her commentary on what was going on in the schools that time.

And maybe she was like, what the hell is going on, you know, in all fairness to her.

I think this is that thing that makes it difficult to unpack it all these years later.

Um, we may have put the microscope back on the eighties, but it didn't stop there.

So Professor Baldwin also spoke of Greek students putting on black face at private and semi event or semiprivate induction ceremonies in the nineties and early two thousands.

And then, well, this one I know for sure I've heard of which is the pimps and hose parties followed that where white people would wear big furry hats, long coats and bright colors and say things like thug life and ghetto, fabulous.

Um, I think that that was a thing that happened to a lot of people in the early two thousands and hindsight being 2020 and such, they were very popular.

Um, I thought he'd wrap up by discussing what happened to Governor Northam post scandal because I do think there's hope in that story.

So the Reader's Digest version is that he didn't resign, he refused to actually and rather he apologized and made amends through words.

Yes, but also through action.

I mean, anybody can go on an apology tour.

Uh We see them all the time.

Um So he left off office as one of if not the most racially progressive governor in the state's history.

According to a New York Times article, here are some things that happened during his tenure became the first Southern state to abolish the death penalty.

They allocated more than 300 million to the state's financially struggling Black colleges and passed sweeping police reform measures as the New York Times noted.

And this is really important.

I think none of this could have happened without the Black Virginians who continued to back him despite what had happened from staff members in his administration to the legislative Black caucus and the activist community.

We'll link to that article so that you can see or hear directly from Virginians who stuck by his side.

And what else came of that strategic decision because it was strategic.

One thing's for sure.

We have to keep talking, we have to keep trying.

We have to keep learning otherwise we're doomed to rinse, wash repeat.

And I'm pretty sure I don't want another shot of the eighties.


And now you're making me rethink a lot of college parties.

I'm sitting here like how, how does black face happen?

But pimps and hose parties, man, those were really popular during college.

And I brought that up specifically because I think these things and that's why it's so important to bring these things out of the shadows and talk about them because you don't know what, you don't know.

And I feel like all of these things, they just, um, like it'll sort of fade away but then it comes together in this new way.

It's not exactly what it used to be, it's not Al Jolson to Anthony's point, you know, it's, it's not what he was saying.

That's like this really like, clear, absolute, like, you know, this is bad kind of thing.

And so, and, and I think we have to talk about it in a way, um, where we can learn and that's why I keep saying, learn and that's why I keep saying grow because we weren't born knowing everything.

Many of our eyes are closed to things that, you know, we haven't sat down and talked about before.

Um, and so, yeah.

Wow, that's a lot, that's a lot to unpack.

And I, I think a lot about what I things I did younger versions of myself without realizing what I was doing.

And I think that maybe partly goes back to uh the thing you mentioned at the top of the sidebar about like that analysis, um looking at old stuff, like if you look hard enough, there's probably something on all of us.

That's why I said I struggled with it a little bit because, um, it, when things come up organically, we should absolutely address them.

But I've actually heard other commentators talk about, it starts to feel a little bit more like a witch hunt and I, that I don't know if we learn and grow from that.

I think we have to take the opportunities.

Um, but we don't necessarily have to go find the hunt for them.


And so there's probably plenty of opportunities today to educate current things that are ongoing that we could focus on what I decided to take away from that analysis, especially as a Southern podcast is, is in, in, in looking in the history of all of this is like, um, it's pervasive, you know, we get a, we get a lot of the association in the South for a lot of fair reasons, but it is widespread and I think we have to keep that in mind if we're ever really going to tackle the issues that are really here, that some of these things, they're just, they're so deeply ingrained so, well, I can't say we solved anything but we did talk, we talked.

Yeah, that's what it's all about.

Uh I don't have a good transition to be honest.

Um, but would you like to talk about some things that you liked about the episode?

Yeah, I think I mentioned a little bit of this, a little bit of what I liked at the top of the episode thinking about the way this um story, like kind of domestic abuse was um was addressed.

So I won't go too much in there.

I will say uh one kind of random thing that I really liked.

Mary Jo said at the top of the episode, she was going on some rant about medical forms at the doctor and specifically going to a new gynecologist.

Do you remember any of this?


And she's like, she's like, they're asking you about the onset of Menzies.

That's again where we found out she's 34. I'm 34 years old.

How do I remember that?

Let me tell you the amount of validation that this brought me because this sounds so may sound peculiar to some people, probably peculiar to men, but more often in my life than I'd like to admit, I am asked like, when did your period start?

Like when you're talking about a teenage girl and you're talking with a teenage girl's mom and she's like, it's going to happen any time now, when did it happen for you?

I've been in that conversation probably more times than I to him.

You look like you have not had this experience.

I don't think so.


I feel like I am like, not all the time every day but more often than you would expect.

I feel like people are like, when did you start?

Because I feel like girls are starting sooner and sooner and it's cows and dairy and whatever.

Um And I'm always like, I don't know, like, you don't know, I could probably zone in on a time period because I remember what happened.

Like I remember my sister walking me through things and whatever.

So I kind of knew where I know where we were.

I knew where we lived at that time to tell the story no matter what, right.

But I don't remember like I can't say I was 12 years old.

It was a sunny day.

I was wearing white shorts and I was sitting in a Braves game, you know, like I don't have that level of specificity that I feel like so many women have.

I don't remember that that way.

You mean that you didn't get the, the cake?

What do you remember?

Did you have to get pulled out of your fifth grade class and shown a video on starting like this did not happen for you.

Let me tell you, let me tell you no.

Well, let me tell you, I missed the last month of fifth grade because we moved and they, because we moved and they let me just finish the school year.

So I missed the rest of day.

They had to mail me my t-shirt.

That's why I use drugs today.

And I must have miss sex ed because this resonates none with me.

The first memory I have of sex ed.

It looks like you figured it out.

You know, you got two kids when you have.

I figured it out.

The first memory I have of sex ed is like 9th or 10th grade.

So I don't know what to tell you.

Me too.

And it was my, I mean, it's not my first memory but it's my very tiny gym teacher who was about four, 10 and £10 and every time she said penis, she would whisper it.

God bless her and I'll never forget it.

And I'm like, man, they really did a dirty thing to you because this is just, this is scarring the hell out of you.

I feel like I could get up and me.

No, I was fine.

Um So her trauma is traumatizing me via you.

It was just so like in the like, ok, I, I don't think this is how this is supposed to go.

But the, the video in fifth grade though, since you missed it, this walk me through what you were supposed to get and I don't think either one of us did.

When we started our Menzies, our mothers were supposed to take us and bake us a cake and tell us that now we're a woman.

Is it the groaning cake?

From the baby shower episode?

I talked about and then the counselor who was not ready for our questions and I asked her, I said, I'm sorry, is that blood?

And she said it's not real blood in the cake for your Menzies?

Oh I thought you were, I thought it was like a red velvet cake.

Oh, sorry, I got confused.

Still trying to figure out the cake is it?

I love that you're stuck on the cake.

I mean that really is the most important part and the other part is probably really a little much for me.

Nothing's wrong with you.

You just want some cake just to be clear.

Now who makes the cake?

Is it Duncan?

Is this a dolly Parton opportunity?

It's like tell me more about the fluids today.

I would probably ask about the case.

You know, I'm all caught up on the other part.

But to your point about this being a likable scene.

Is her going?

Oh, yes.

It was the third of June, another sleepy Dusty De today.

I I thought that was really hilarious and also I can't help but think that that's also my best friend's birthday.

So happy birthday actually on your Dusty De today.

Hopefully not the onset of her Menzies.


Um, I thought that Anthony was also wonderful.

This episode, one of the reasons we dropped in that clip because I just, he's gonna deliver it much better than I could probably more appropriately.

Um, uh, what else were likes for you?

That's all I have.

Uh, my very last one is Charlene looking out into the crowd and seeing Mavis while they're singing.

Ain't no mountain high enough.

It's pure perfection.

And it also puts me in the mind of season two episode 20.

How great thou art when Charlene is in the crowd after she convinces Julia to sing the solo Charlene, she's just really the glue.

It made me cry so hard.

It, it's a toughie.

Well, so things we didn't, I think that was her cue that it's my turn.

So we didn't like, um, I, I think I already alluded to mine earlier, which is like, which it was your question for me.

Did these two things belong in the same episode?

A as I think the sidebar sort of in that it's complicated and maybe too complicated to happen with this episode.

But also like, like I still think it's a really good episode.

Maybe that's as far as they would let them go with it.

Maybe the network only wanted that much or something.

At least they got that much is probably the perspective I should have.

I think it would be fascinating to see when she got pushed back from the network.

This is what I want.

This is what I want to ask L BT when she comes on the show is I really want, I want to get a sense for what those lines were because to your point, it does seem the show was really progressive and pushed a lot of boundaries.

And I'm curious how much blood sweat and tears went into that boundary pushing if any, it's possible.

CBS was like, do whatever you want.

Although we, I think we have enough knowledge from the way that she's talked about who was running CBS at the time that it was.

It was.


So how did she get away with it?

Well, one day Nikki started, it'll be me L BT and Dolly.

We'll be sitting here with our Duncan forgot Reese Witherspoon, Dolly Parton.

Reese Witherspoon is like Salina Nikki.

I was braiding my hair because she's my, she's my bestie.

I want to take y'all's podcast and I want to take it all the way.

We'll be like, I mean, I guess pump the brakes, give me time to quit my day job.

I can't decide if I'm gonna find this delightful or terrible and listen back.

So I probably just won't listen.

Uh It makes it feel like it never happened.

I'm manifesting.

I like that.

I do get your inspiration board.

Speaking of.


My rating scale for this episode.

Oh, would you like to rate the sucker?

I would love to tell me about it.

Uh Supportive best friends.

Speaking of re that's my um rating scale.

I think if I could rate the individual plot lines themselves.

Um These both were almost fives to me.

Certainly the Mavis plot line was a five.

You're changing text on me.

Sorry about that point out.

Follow suit.

Um black, the Black Face plot line and the um uh talent show plot line.

I feel like if it had been treated as its own plot line, maybe they could have navigated the nuances a bit more, which was my drawback to that plot line.

I felt like there was more nuance that we didn't get to cover.

So I'm gonna assume they would have done that with making it its own, which would have meant both would have gotten fives.

Uh That said they didn't do that.

Uh It felt like it almost short shrift both plot lines a little bit.

So I'm gonna give it a four out of a five.

But uh as always, I'm not a TV, show writer and I have no idea what I'm talking about here.

So, um I just sort of felt like maybe if we mirrored Mavis's relationship with one um with another relationship, like Bill and Charlene arguing over baby names or something.

Um Something that really showed the worst of the worst and how a relationship could work.

Like maybe that would have felt like a complete plot line in and of itself because what I was wondering is, did it feel like this couldn't be its own plot line?

Like they needed something else to go with it?

And maybe if they had used something with Bill and Charlene's relationship, it was kind of a little bit frivolous in this context.

Maybe it would have given it a little bit of levity but also been able to fill out, fill out the story a little bit.

I don't know, I don't know.

I gave it a 4.8 out of five rowdy girls.

Uh I, I think it was an impressive feat tackling once again, something that mattered like the, the like domestic violence in a fair, fairly realistic way.

And you know, L BT brought the emotion, but she also brought some laughs to help balance things and she took two things that seeming seemingly have nothing to do with one another.

And even if it didn't work 100% because I do agree with that reaction, I do think that both of them made you think and um so not a perfect execution, but I, I think the show was pretty clear.

It didn't think blackface was acceptable while humorously reminding us that like so many things it is decidedly complicated.

Um So that is why I'm giving it such a high score eighties things I have nothing written down here that said, I feel like there was something in that scene where they were doing their dance, their dance practice, like some leg warmers or something.

I probably should have touched on but I think in general it's probably always like a blanket fashion.



Pretty much.

Um, Mavis brings in Motown on cassette tapes.

Mavis's sunglasses.

Straight out of the 80s.

I had like, a little weird thing on, like California Raisins gets mentioned.

Um, I think, I think Julia drops the reference.

You know what the California Raisins are.

Yeah, my aunt had the little, yeah, she had him and I remember we used to play with them saying my grandfather had them.

Um, and uh I just, I, I watched a whole, we're gonna link to it so people can watch it.

It's, if they want to, it's, um, it's not a force situation.

It's called, I wanna be very clear.

You do what you want, don't watch it, don't watch it.

We give a link to it and then stand over people's shoulders till they watch it.

But it's called Weird history food.

And so this whole thing that happened is because they were just trying to sell raisins.

Um, the California Raisin Advisory Board just going to show that there really is an advisory board for everything.

It was probably big.

It probably is big business.

Uh Well, I mean, it's nuts.

So like the first commercial debut in 86 that's not nuts.

It's right.

Um, where they sing and dance too.

I heard it through the grapevine basically capitalizing on its popularity from its recent uh use in the Big Chill, which I feel like most like people younger than us probably don't even I that barely registers for me, but it was a huge deal at the time.

Um I actually went back and watched the Big Chill because I felt like I just needed to.

Um but later commercials featured Ray Charles and Michael Jackson, but in claymation form, but they really were voicing them and which, you know Ray Charles is a nice little connection to our show.

There was every type of merchandise you can imagine at like the little figurines that you mentioned that these are the two craziest things to me.


They're on the Billboard's Hot 100.

They uh I mean, sorry, sorry, they are number 84 and then they had four albums including a Christmas album.

Two went platinum.

It's a commercial then they were part of a Christmas special.

They had their own cartoon and an Emmy winning mockumentary giving them all back stories.

Oh, that's fantastic.

So a mockumentary is a version of a documentary.

I love watching.

I mean, I bet it's very accessible.

Oh, wow.

So I just, I had to share that because I was like platinum albums.

It's a commercial, there was a thing recently about M and MS um where they introduced a new M and M the purple M and M and there's been a lot of backlash about the way they like desex one of them, it's been like a whole thing.

They ended up bringing in.

Um, not my, it's not Maya Rudolph, is it Maya Rudolph who's now one of the, who's now going to be the spokesperson because they've temporarily retired.

The M and M si think you're right.

People take their mascots very seriously.

And you really, I was thinking about this and I just want to be very clear, this is what I'm saying.

Like I was thinking about this the other day about like how like knowing people are so particular about these things.

Why did they feel the need to mess with that?

What research were they operating on that?

They felt like let's introduce a new one or that the public is ready for us to put her in converses.

Like I just don't understand.

Why is the public not ready, right?

Why does the pump?

It doesn't matter?

It doesn't matter.

So you're on principle and I'm just like practical.

I'm like, just leave it alone, just leave well enough alone.

My God.

Can we just all go eat M and M's and shut up also?

Do you remember?

And I've totally rabbit holed us.

Do you remember when they introduced the Blue M and M?

What a big deal?

That was, it was in the nineties and there was like the new Blue M and M in like you had uh only certain packages had them or whatever.

And so it was always a really big deal if you got a blue M and M, I swear to you this day, if I found a blue M and M I would be over the moon about it.

That's the kind of marketing I need power, that's power.

But also it's something I've learned about myself in the last few years.

If you tell me something is limited edition, I'm going to go wild trying to find it.

I'm absolutely going to lose my mind.

Very susceptible to marketing is what you're saying.

Marketing of limited edition things that I put in quotes.

If you tell me, there are only 100 I'm going to lose my mind trying to find it.

I don't know what it is about me and I don't know what it is about the last couple of years.

I think it's COVID when we couldn't find toilet paper and I found toilet paper and now I feel like I had that small victory.


I was gonna guess it was like maybe a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory kind of thing.

Like you just want a golden ticket.

You know what I'm saying?

I don't know golden ticket.

I don't have one of them.

Maybe like Sber taste like Shana Ber a little bit of that.


Um Southern things uh Natchez Mississippi, which is not at all how I thought that was pronounced, but I looked it up and it is say it one more time.



I think that's how I was saying it.

That's the city Suzanne went to also.

It just seems like a fascinating place because I looked up a bunch of stuff on it.

It was too much, but you guys should look into it.

It's just too much to share.

I can't handle Nikki looking me all squinty eyed in the light.


Sorry, I can't even see you if that makes you feel any better.

And that was your only one.

That was my only one.


Uh Dolly Parton, who everyone wanted to be in the prison talent show and all I could think is, don't we all, Anthony, don't we all, we just want her to be in our podcast in my home, in my life.


Everybody wants Dolly Parton in her in their life.

That's true.

Uh There was also a mention of the children's hospital and I was just wondering if they were uh referencing choa.

Um our children's health care of Atlanta.

There's no way to know.

It's, I mean, I'm sure they weren't.

It's, it's every city has a children's hospital but is it, uh, references we need to talk about?

I don't, we don't need to talk about this one, but we don't need to do any of that to be clear.

This is all unnecessary.

Uh Sometimes I look at, I don't know there's a couple of things in this one that are necessary, but go on sometimes I look at my list and I'm like, why did I think that was interesting.

But here you go guys.

Uh Lily Marlene, this is the song that Julia sang during the last talent show.

I was like, what is that?

But uh it was a World War Two era German song that was popular among the troops.

And really the only reason I think I ended up leaving it in my show notes was just as a reminder that I really, really think that if L BT had a favorite war, it was World War Two because in season two, uh there was that like fever dream of it.

So, what's your favorite war?

I'm in a war of 18, 12 kind of gal myself.

Um I like anything that's confusing like the 100 years war, but it wasn't really 100 years.

You know what I'm saying?

Uh Someone will, someone will tell me I got that wrong.

I'm sorry y'all, I haven't learned about the 100 years war in a while.

Um I like things like the Boston tea party that sound a lot more fun than they really were.

That's my kind of a skirmish.



A skirmish with like a touch of whimsy.


And some kind of refreshment.


You know, like, can we have some drink?

Just a little tea?

I want to stand up for myself.

I want a warm beverage.

Um This is my daily life.

I had a Motown on here again.

I only because we talked about the Supremes a little bit.

Gladys Knight and the PIPS got brought up and they're, um, they're from Atlanta, Georgia.

So it just felt like a nice connection there.

And then Gladys Knights chicken and Waffles used to be down the street from where I worked in downtown Atlanta.

And man, that place was always hopping and chicken and waffles.


It's an unlikely but wonderful duo.

It is a beautiful thing.

It really is, but it was always too busy, but I like they're not there anymore and I, I really regret that I never had anything from there.

But anyway, nevertheless, nevertheless, um I persisted, Ken Zimmer.


Do you think that if people really try to mind back to our episodes, they could tell when we had reached our very end?


Only because we mentioned it every time, an apology.


Uh Sorry, I'm getting a sunburn here sitting in the light.

We're on the eighth hour.

It feels like only seven hours for you.

But for us it's eight.

It's like just yesterday we started, right.

So Kim Zimmer who plays Mavis, I thought she looked familiar.

Uh So she's best known for her role as uh Ravi Shane on CBS soap opera.

Guiding Light.

I knew the, the reason she looks familiar to me is because I think that was one of my grandma's favorite stories and my grandma used to watch every single one but guiding light was always the one I could tolerate.

And so I think religious in some way, guiding light.

Um, well, so it just, it felt it worth mentioning because if I'm math, right, she won't trust this.

She was on that show for like, 20 or 21 years altogether with like, maybe five.

So let's give that woman some do if I'm an actor, that's the kind of job security.

I want, she won a bunch of daytime Emmys for it.

So yeah, so she, she is doing it.

She was, she, she did it.

Look at her, now, look at her go.

I also have Dustin Hoffman on the list.

I just wanted to say the man had some big hits under his belt by the time this comes out, I mean, I don't think that he should have played the role Suzanne was suggesting, was it Mark Martin?


Anyways, but um he had already been all the President's men, Tootsie Kramer versus Kramer Ray man and the graduate.

I mean, he has a great actor.

I just want to say that also my personal favorite hook.

I didn't realize that was such a divisive movie that some people hate.

Ok, thank you.

I was like, how do you hate hook?

You devil?

What did Robin Williams say?

Some people hate it.


That is wild to me.

It broke my heart the first time I ever heard that.

That's, that's a good story.

It's, it's darn good story, isn't it?

Steven Spielberg or something?

Yeah, he did a lot of things he still does.

He's doing a lot of the same.

He's probably gonna win Best Director and Best Picture this year.

Look at that we made, we brought it back to the current times.

How current next episode designing women season four, episode seven, Bernice's sanity hearing.

As always, we'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at Sweet Tea and TV tiktok sweet tea TV pod, email sweet Tea TV pod at gmail dot com.

And our website is W W W dot sweet Tea TV dot com.

There are also several ways to support the show.

You can tell your family and friends about us rate and or review the podcast wherever you listen.

We also have additional ways available from the website on our support us page and then come back Thursday for extra sugar.

Uh This week's episode will be really heavy.

We're going to talk about a domestic abuse.

Uh If that's triggering, hold off until next Monday's episode.

However, I do do want to say sometimes it's hard to listen to things.

Um but the information is really important.

This was a really hard segment for me to write and I think my normal M O would be just to avoid it because I'm a naturally emotional person.

And if I know it's going to make me emotional like this was really informative to me.

Um And there were a lot of things that I'm glad I pushed myself to listen to.

So I never instinct was to take it from you.

Yeah, because I know you feel so deeply.

I am just high strung and painfully empathetic.

So it's, it's hard and I'm just high strung.

It's match made in heaven.

Uh So if it's possible for you, I'd love for you to listen.

If it's not possible, never any judgment here, protect yourself.

And, um, that's all I got this week, Salina.

You know what that means?

What does it mean?


It means we'll see around the bin.


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