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Designing Women S5 E2 - Anthony Meets His Dad

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

The ladies have a big surprise in store for Anthony’s “dirty 30”, but y’all, he’s been hinting at VCR all week! (A definition for those flummoxed by the acronym.) Sounds like we need to sidebar about the WORST birthday surprises. Meanwhile, Bernice is horny and Suzanne hasn’t quite learned her lesson about brandishing weapons.


Come back later in the week for an assemblage of reunion stories: the sweet, the funny, and the downright unbelievable.


A couple of reads for you:

Come on y’all, let’s get into it!




 

Transcript

Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: And hey, everyone, and welcome to Sweet Tea and TV.

Nikki: Hey, y'all.

Salina: Season five, episode two.

Nikki: Are you ready to hop in?

Salina: I'm ready to hop in.

Nikki: This one is Papa Was a Rolling Stone.

Nikki: The Hulu episode description is the Sugar Baker Lady scheme to locate Anthony's long lost father as a surprise for his 30th birthday.

Nikki: Air date September 24, 1990 we're calling this one Anthony meets his dad.

Nikki: It's written by Cassandra Clark and Deborah Pearl.

Nikki: Salina's notes remind me that this pair wrote Odell back in season three and that they will write five more episodes this season.

Nikki: And it was directed by David Trainer.

Nikki: What do you got for general reactions?

Salina: So, finally, this is an Anthony episode and an actual Anthony episode.

Salina: It was about his life, something pivotal.

Salina: And he was actually in most of the episode, which is starkly different than, say, the graduation one that we just watched last season.

Salina: So we had had some conversation about how that felt.

Salina: Almost like the episode where Suzanne shot.

Salina: I really I really was happy to see that.

Nikki: Yeah, I think that Anthony, when he had that flip switch reaction, when he learned that Henry was actually his dad, I think that was almost like the moment the whole episode came together.

Nikki: Like everything that had happened to that point and everything that would happen after that happened at that moment right there, which I thought was that section was also really beautifully played by Meshach Taylor.

Nikki: It was like super happy to super p*****.

Nikki: And it was just all happening at the same time.

Nikki: And I thought it was so realistic and so beautifully played.

Salina: That is so funny because my second general reaction is that I thought Anthony's reaction to finding out Henry was his dad was pretty darn authentic, was crazy.

Salina: It was so for a know because I think that's a hard tone to strike.

Salina: And just even thinking through the process of all of that and this kind of whiplash emotional roller coaster he must be on throughout this, it was really well done.

Nikki: I am really curious.

Nikki: I would love to know more when LBT.

Nikki: Comes to talk to us.

Nikki: I would love to know more about how they make decisions about how these episodes air.

Nikki: And we've talked about that before wanting to know that.

Nikki: But this specific episode makes me think that because would this potentially have been a better season five kickoff than the previous episode 100%?

Nikki: And so what is the calculus that goes into that?

Nikki: To say, let's start with that sort of like, silly, weird episode first and then come into this one?

Salina: I think that probably changes with time.

Salina: Let's just say a lot of things that probably don't matter because I'm not an expert here, but obviously not obviously.

Salina: But I believe that the network has a lot of say and it sort of depends on the network and on the time period.

Salina: So I think some of that may have ebbed and flowed with as.

Salina: Like, time went on in TV and has gone on in TV.

Salina: I mean, one of the reasons that people started going to streamers was because they had more she's.

Salina: And we've talked about this, but, like, a long time ago, that she really came out against the head of CBS years later and during the movement, really just for his.

Salina: And I'm sorry, like, what I read in this article is, like, a strangulation of women in the industry, right?

Salina: Like a sexism more so than like a grabby grabby situation.

Salina: Sorry, I want to be very clear that it's just regular old patriarchy sexism.

Nikki: Not to be confused with grabby grabbies, no grabby grabbies.

Salina: And I keep, like making sorry.

Nikki: The other general reaction I was going to bring up because this sort of stuff is hard for me not to think about once I've thought about it Anthony's birthday, because we had an Anthony's birthday in season three.

Salina: That's right.

Nikki: And so in this episode, in a cut line, he says that birthday was last year, even though for us it was two seasons ago.

Nikki: And according to Designing Women Online, we celebrated it in January last year, last time, but this year it's in September.

Nikki: I genuinely think this is solely based on air dates because I just think they put it where the timing fits best for them.

Nikki: Like you said, they really don't care about what happened previously.

Nikki: I think they just put it where it serves them best.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's a pretty big inconsistency.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: I also wonder, like, we talked before about and I didn't know this until I listened to the Office ladies and them talking about the show Bible, and this is the thing that guides and keeps up with all of these things.

Salina: And I just wonder if those became stronger over time or if they really didn't care.

Nikki: Yeah, they had no reason to care because you don't see time the same way.

Salina: Well, it's interesting if you think about it, because even like the Gilmore Girls, she pitched that show on the fly.

Salina: You don't necessarily just because you create a show, it might become your baby, but in the beginning, it's just a nugget of an idea.

Salina: I don't know that everyone comes into a show.

Salina: I know they don't come into a show and they have everything fully fleshed out for exactly the end of it.

Salina: Unless you're going on some source material and there's nothing here.

Salina: She basically was like, I like these four women.

Salina: I want to see them together in a show.

Salina: I want to see them in the workplace.

Salina: That's it.

Nikki: See, now what I'm wondering, though, is do I celebrate Anthony in January or September?

Salina: Oh, now you're well, when we're talking about Horoscopes, that's really important.

Nikki: It is important.

Nikki: And I just don't know.

Nikki: I do feel like a birthday is a really important one to get right?

Salina: Because birthdays matter to you because you're a Leo.

Nikki: They matter.

Nikki: The last general reaction I had probably fits better with the first one I shared, but I really appreciated when Anthony pointed out to Charlene that the word daddy doesn't have the same meaning to him that it has to her.

Nikki: And I appreciated that because I'm getting the sense either this season or maybe just forever, that people on this show aren't quite seeing the history of other people or are only seeing through their lens.

Nikki: And people throughout time generally aren't realizing that your reality is not my reality and vice versa.

Nikki: So just because you can't imagine being separated from your daddy doesn't mean I can't, because it doesn't have the same meaning to me that it does to you.

Salina: Or even just the word.

Nikki: Or even just the word, right?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Daddy.

Nikki: Big daddy.

Salina: That's why it's tough.

Nikki: You don't know this, but Blanche called her father big daddy on Golden Girls, which I feel like judging from the twitch in your eye, is not something you could appreciate.

Nikki: Big daddy.

Salina: I'm more of like a father father in a handshake.

Salina: It's just my Southern papa.

Salina: Papa, please.

Salina: I thought you were going to say papa.

Salina: Can you hear me?

Nikki: Anyway, I thought that was thinking about moments that sort of encapsulated the entire episode or made the episode sort of make sense.

Nikki: I thought that was really nice.

Nikki: That's my last general.

Salina: Well, I think my last general is a little bit of astray, but go for it.

Salina: I know it all worked out because it's a TV show, but for the record okay, if we're just talking purely record, I think Suzanne was right.

Salina: They should have just gotten Anthony a VCR.

Salina: That's what he wanted.

Salina: And all I could think about with Charlene is, god love her, but she's like the type of person who buys something off the registry because it's more special.

Salina: She's like, I know you wanted a new blender, but I made you this mailbox cozy shaped like a whale.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: We just had this conversation off air about a recent birthday I celebrated with a family member and how someone tried to give them something nice, but it wasn't quite what they wanted.

Nikki: And sometimes just giving them what they want is probably the best.

Salina: Can you give us names of everyone?

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: And Social Security numbers, will that work?

Salina: That would be well, only if you're going to go ahead and link the bank account because it's just too hard to do the work myself.

Salina: I'm a lazy criminal.

Nikki: Gifts are my love language gifts and acts of service.

Nikki: I just love giving gifts, and I love to give thoughtful gifts gifts.

Nikki: And so sometimes I will go off script and I'll get something because I feel like I know better for you.

Nikki: And that, let's just say, has gone both ways.

Salina: Yes, I do think sometimes you just.

Nikki: Need a mailbox cozy shaped like a whale.

Salina: If it is the right recipient.

Nikki: It's the right recipient.

Salina: Absolutely.

Salina: Is that what I'm getting?

Salina: A whale?

Nikki: I made it cozy.

Salina: Koozie.

Nikki: I made um I'm going to switch to strays really quick to say the father son banquet at Quint's School, which is what Mary Jo was talking about sort of early in the episode.

Nikki: She said it's mostly attended by divorced moms.

Salina: Yes.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I don't know if this is actually the right word.

Nikki: I thought about this this morning, but go with me.

Nikki: It's kind of a nice foil to Anthony's story, or like, a nice counterpart to Anthony's story.

Nikki: So, like, he's lived his whole life without his dad, this whole episode about him meeting his dad.

Nikki: And meanwhile, Mary Jo is living in this reality of kind of an absentee dad for her children.

Nikki: And it was just sort of a nice hand in hand moment or something.

Nikki: Some sort of nice nod to Mary Jo's journey and Anthony's journey, but being on separate sides of the coin or something.

Salina: Right.

Salina: The child versus the parent.

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: I thought that was interesting.

Salina: Yeah, that's a good outlook on that.

Salina: So my strays is that you mentioned this cut line, but there were some cut lines that I think should have been kept in because it would have added to the show, including the bad birthday experiences, because that kind of showed some of the foreboding maybe that he had around, or maybe, like I don't know, maybe surprises aren't the best idea for this guy.

Salina: I also think they cut a line where Anthony's talking about things that he had in common with his dad, and I thought that was kind of nice.

Salina: I do think that's really interesting when family members wind up having things in common and maybe they didn't even know each other that well.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And then the ladies took some responsibilities for good intentions gone wrong.

Salina: And I thought that was better than especially even more so with you saying what you did is sometimes within the show, we're seeing these spots where maybe they're only seeing their own lens and not someone else's.

Salina: So I think that would have helped a little bit in it seeming I don't know, just like maybe they were trying to think outside of themselves.

Salina: I have to say, though, there was one line that really confused me.

Nikki: Oh, tell me more.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So it's between Anthony and his dad at the train station.

Salina: At the very end, he says, there's one thing I want to get straight.

Salina: You say, I never bothered to come see you before, but I have seen you.

Salina: I saw your little scrawny newborn b*** in the hospital.

Salina: I came every day for a week and Anthony says, Were you wearing a brown?

Nikki: Oh, I thought that was a oh, like I was a newborn.

Nikki: How would I know that?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I was like, how did they miss that?

Salina: Yeah, I thought it would have made more sense.

Salina: So I think maybe a couple things could be happening.

Salina: I could be dumb, it wouldn't be the first time.

Salina: Or maybe that one just blew by me as a joke, but I think it would have been better if he had been, like, eight, broken his arm and his dad had been there and then he had actually seen him.

Salina: Now, that's just me.

Salina: But I also think if you have jokes that are going over people's heads, they may have needed a little bit more smoothing, so maybe yeah, I would.

Nikki: Have to watch it again.

Nikki: I think when I heard that I was imagining Anthony being yeah, like that means anything to me.

Nikki: I was a newborn.

Nikki: I appreciate you being there, but I knew nothing about you, and that's probably not the time you should show up.

Nikki: You should be at my birthday party when I'm eight and just sort of watching over me at the park.

Salina: Yeah, it might have been a very subtle, sarcastic delivery that I missed.

Nikki: It might have been none of sheldings.

Salina: Are we even here?

Nikki: Maybe anthony really does have a newborn memory.

Salina: He's very sharp.

Nikki: Did you have other strays?

Salina: I don't well, you want to talk about things we liked?

Nikki: I have a sidebar, Salina.

Nikki: I have a sidebar on worst birthday surprises.

Nikki: I wanted to see if that would be okay.

Nikki: But first I want to ask you a question.

Nikki: Is this the first season where we've had people laughing when the cast enter and clapping and cheering for them when the cast enter the stage?

Nikki: Or am I imagining that?

Salina: I don't even think I noticed that.

Nikki: Happened when Bernice and Anthony came on set, there was what's the word?

Nikki: An extended applause, a lot of hooting and cheering, because those are two really popular characters.

Nikki: I genuinely don't remember hearing that before in previous seasons.

Salina: Maybe for Bernice?

Nikki: Yeah, maybe.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: It's not that common, though.

Nikki: Yeah, okay.

Nikki: That makes me feel better because I heard it and I was like, I don't know if this is a thing.

Nikki: And, you know, the easy way to do that would have just been to go back to previous seasons, but it.

Salina: Kind of also depends on what's happening as they come in.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: If something comes in and something's obviously very off, I'm thinking back to remember in season one when Suzanne were you.

Nikki: Wearing a brown hat?

Salina: Burns down the design house that's going to be yeah.

Salina: She comes in and she's, like, wrapped in a sheet and she's all disheveled.

Nikki: And has in her hair.

Nikki: They were probably sharing then, that kind of thing.

Salina: Yeah, it's like an automatic like what?

Salina: Or someone who's not there a lot.

Salina: Like, even Bernice is still uncommonly there compared to the rest of the cast.

Nikki: Okay, I can go with that.

Nikki: So you want to sidebar?

Salina: Do you want me to answer a couple more times?

Nikki: Yes, please.

Salina: I would love to sidebar.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: It's a sidebar.

Nikki: Nikki sidebar.

Nikki: She's got a keyboard looking for a reward by digging deep in the obscure, taking us on a detour.

Nikki: What you got, Mickey?

Nikki: Mickey sidebar.

Nikki: Every time, man.

Nikki: Every time.

Salina: Have you the underwater effect?

Nikki: Me and my closet.

Salina: I love it so much.

Nikki: Have you ever had a horrible birthday present or like a terrible birthday surprise?

Nikki: Yeah.

Nikki: Would you feel comfortable telling us about any of them?

Nikki: You want a second to click your thoughts?

Salina: My mom loved surprise birthday parties for me, and she just likes surprises like that's in her wheelhouse.

Salina: I, on the other hand, would like a written out list of everything that's going to happen.

Nikki: She loves surprise spontaneity as long as there's a game plan before it happens.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: My kind of surprise is like, oh, you brought me a coffee.

Nikki: Yeah, what a great surprise, right?

Salina: Maybe I told you to bring me one.

Nikki: You picked pink wrapping paper instead of purple, which was the other choice I.

Salina: Gave you, you crazy gal.

Salina: But it makes sense.

Salina: My mom's a spontaneous lady.

Salina: I am a stick in the mud.

Salina: It makes sense.

Salina: And so there's been a couple of times where I've gotten embarrassed because my mom threw me a surprise party and I was doing something stupid.

Salina: At the point of surprise, one is just like, I think maybe I was nine or something, and my mom threw me a surprise party.

Salina: And suddenly one of my cousins came downstairs and I'd just been watching TV all day.

Salina: I don't even think I'd showered.

Salina: I was just like, laying around being a slob, probably covered in Nutter Butters or something, lucky, as I'm known to do and really not looking great.

Salina: And my cousin came downstairs.

Salina: She's like, what are you doing?

Salina: Your birthday party is right now.

Salina: And I was like and I was disgusting and had to go out there.

Salina: And mom didn't think god bless your heart, mom.

Salina: She didn't think to be like, hey, make up an excuse for something like, we're going to go out to the store, so why don't you shower today, you slob or something.

Salina: This is not horrible.

Salina: It's just something that sticks out in my head.

Salina: And then when I was 15 or I turned 15, she got all my friends together to throw me a surprise birthday party.

Salina: Let me be very clear.

Salina: When you're 15, you want nothing to do with anyone.

Salina: Excuse me.

Salina: I didn't everything is the height of embarrassment.

Salina: And she had lured me back somewhere.

Salina: She actually worked for a catering company at the time, and the person who owned the company, it was like in an old house, and she talked the owner into letting her borrow the house and all the grounds around it for the birthday party.

Salina: And so they had thrown me a giant luau, but I thought we were going like the decoy was that I have plans with my friends that night.

Salina: To go do something completely different.

Salina: And my mom told me to swing by because she needed me to pick something up or something like that.

Salina: And then I got there and I was like, mom.

Salina: And I was like giving her a bunch of attitude and I was like, I'm trying to get to where I'm going and you got me to it.

Salina: And then all of a sudden all of my friends burst out of side room surprise.

Salina: And I'm like being a total butthead.

Nikki: Oh no.

Salina: And this whole surprise thing, it's low self esteem.

Salina: What if all the people that you actually wanted there aren't there?

Salina: What does that say about me?

Nikki: Right?

Salina: They hate me, like that kind of thing.

Salina: Well, of course, obviously surprises just give me the I was not expecting you.

Nikki: To have that many examples when I what?

Salina: No.

Nikki: I have had one surprise birthday in my entire life and it was lovely.

Nikki: Kyle did it.

Nikki: I think it was when I turned 30 and he got a group of our friends together at a restaurant.

Salina: Thanks Kyle.

Nikki: I think that's the extent of my surprises anyway.

Nikki: So what I wanted to do with this sidebar is think about sort of like terrible birthday surprises.

Nikki: I had to expand it a little bit to probably more gifty than actually surprises.

Nikki: Like you had so many examples of surprise birthdays which just like, wow, that's so nice of your mom, is like one more than I had and mine was as an adult.

Nikki: That's just really nice of your mom.

Nikki: Misguided.

Salina: Let me be very clear.

Nikki: You've been clear.

Salina: I love my mom.

Nikki: You've been clear.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I love you, mom.

Salina: If you ever get to this episode, you'll get to hear that.

Nikki: So I realized when I was doing my Google searching, they're like tears.

Nikki: Tears or levels.

Nikki: T-I-E-R-S.

Nikki: Tiers or levels.

Nikki: To Janky.

Nikki: Birthday gifts and surprises.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Like they're just kind of crappy gifts.

Nikki: Like people not really being thoughtful.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: I mean, unless they're like fuzzy socks that I really enjoy getting.

Nikki: Right?

Nikki: So they'd be like socks they picked up at Big Lots on the way out because it was right there or something.

Nikki: That's really not thoughtful.

Nikki: They just picked it up on the way out of a store or something.

Nikki: Or like weird stuff.

Nikki: One person gave the example of like their grandmother gave them tea towels when they were 17 and that was literally.

Salina: It wrapped a tea towel.

Nikki: Now 38 versus 17.

Salina: It's a hot age, y'all.

Nikki: And then there are of course bad experiences altogether.

Nikki: So I found a BuzzFeed article that offered 19 stories of times people got really, really crappy birthday gifts.

Nikki: So things like a twelve year old gets a box of maxi pads at a birthday party in front of their friends.

Salina: An adult did that to them.

Salina: That seems cruel.

Salina: Was it a joke?

Nikki: No, I don't think so.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Or a kid turns 21 and gets 21 packets of ramen individually wrapped, which his grandmother insists he open one by one.

Salina: Oh, that's very strange.

Nikki: I think that one was actually one upped by the kid whose grandma gave him 100 individually wrapped pennies and then waited while they opened every single one.

Salina: That these grandmothers needed to go to the doctor.

Nikki: They berniced it.

Nikki: I don't know.

Salina: It doesn't sound well because that means she has to wrap one.

Nikki: This story.

Nikki: The person said she actually literally sat there and would not let the party go on until they opened every single one of them, and that was all she got them for their birthday.

Nikki: A dollar.

Salina: Grandma needs to be careful because grandma might get put in a home.

Nikki: There was also a seven year old who got tupperware.

Salina: For any seven year old.

Nikki: So just not great gifts, right?

Nikki: There are more on the list.

Nikki: I'm going to link that in the show notes.

Nikki: But I also found a reddit where I feel like some of these birthday experiences were, like, more extra.

Nikki: They were beyond.

Nikki: So the first one was this kid's parents were throwing them a birthday party.

Nikki: This had to have been in the 90s.

Nikki: They took him to a McDonald's.

Nikki: Apparently this was a two story McDonald's, and downstairs was a party room where you could have birthday parties and stuff.

Nikki: So for their fifth birthday, their parents rented this place because they were expecting a new baby any minute now.

Nikki: And so they sort of felt guilty for this kid for his fifth birthday.

Nikki: So they sort of went all, you know, the McDonald's bash.

Nikki: It was all McDonald's.

Nikki: They also made it Power Rangers theme.

Nikki: And keep in mind, this was the basement of McDonald's.

Nikki: So the mom had hired the Power Rangers to come.

Nikki: The kid was thrilled.

Nikki: He's, like, fluttering around the Power Rangers while his parents are getting things set up.

Nikki: But at some point, the snow plow, which is cleaning the streets above, deposited a snow heap right in front of the only entrance or exit to the basement.

Nikki: So they got trapped.

Nikki: So at this point, they were trapped for the full four hour party.

Nikki: What I'm unclear on is why none of the guests came, because wouldn't they come and be like, where's the place?

Nikki: And then they'd all realize they're snowed in?

Nikki: I don't know the circumstances.

Nikki: They got trapped for 4 hours.

Nikki: It was just Mom, dad, and the Power Rangers.

Nikki: The Power Rangers only got paid for 2 hours.

Nikki: At the two hour mark, they removed their costumes, and he found out that they weren't even right.

Nikki: Like, they hadn't matched up the races or the ethnicities of the Power Rangers to their actual ethnicities in the show.

Salina: Because they're in costume.

Nikki: Because they're in costume.

Nikki: So he found that out and then didn't have any of his friends showed up.

Nikki: So he was devastated because he was snowed in a Mcbasement with just his mom, dad, and some knockoff Power Rangers.

Salina: Oh, no, that's terrible.

Salina: That is not the best it's like.

Nikki: One of those things where it's like it's certainly not the worst on the list, but it's also like he was fine.

Salina: I think that stays with you.

Nikki: I think so.

Nikki: Okay, so the other example I wanted to share with you was this guy's 21st birthday.

Nikki: So he's sitting in a bar on his 21st birthday with his phone, and he gets a new email on his phone.

Nikki: So it's the results of a DNA test, and the DNA test shows him he's a 99.99% match with someone else, his son.

Nikki: So he had had a child with a woman that he was no longer seeing.

Nikki: So he had this DNA test done to prove that he was the father.

Nikki: So on his 21st birthday, sitting in a bar when he gets this amazing news that he has a son, he calls the woman to tell her the news, and she shuts him down hard.

Nikki: She told him she didn't like him, she didn't like his job.

Nikki: She thought he'd make a terrible father.

Nikki: And then she hung up on him on his 21st birthday.

Nikki: And he was advised that he could take her to court and try to win some partial custody of his child or something, but that she would win because he was actually, it seemed like maybe an American living in Thailand or something.

Nikki: And because she was a native, she was more likely to be awarded custody.

Nikki: It would just cost him a ton of money.

Nikki: So after that, he had followed her on social media up to that point.

Nikki: After he made that phone call, she hung up on him, blocked him on social media, and now he can't see pictures of his child anymore.

Salina: Oh, well, we just really ratcheted up the I told you some of so.

Nikki: Those were some of the worst birthday stories and birthday gifts that I could dig up for you.

Nikki: Yeah, there weren't any fun.

Nikki: Like crazy surprise parties gone awry like yours.

Nikki: Awry, look here, Mohel.

Nikki: Some of those were just really sad.

Nikki: There were more I'm not even pulling out some of the really sad ones, like grandparents dying and stuff.

Salina: Several.

Salina: I bet you that's more common than you think.

Nikki: Several grandparents dying or their funerals being held on their birthday.

Nikki: It got really dark, so I didn't go there, but I'm going to link to it in the show notes if.

Salina: Anybody wants to just really get dark.

Salina: I have questions, like, then why was the guy just, like, randomly ran a DNA test?

Salina: And then how did he get the son's DNA when the girlfriend's like, you're stupid, I hate you and I want nothing to do.

Nikki: The sense I got and there wasn't a ton of context in the sort of comment, but the sense I got was that she had never been like that to him until that moment.

Nikki: He had had a little bit more flexibility in being around the kid.

Nikki: And then when she found out for real, for real it was his, I think she locked down and Wet mama Baron was just like, no, I'm going to protect this kid from you at all costs.

Nikki: Well, you don't like that, right?

Nikki: You don't like that at all.

Nikki: What about things we do like about this episode of Designing?

Salina: Okay, I see where you're going.

Salina: I'm like no, I don't like it.

Salina: Geez.

Salina: Why are you badgering?

Salina: Because I'm about to break the news.

Nikki: To you that I have your child and I don't want you to see them.

Nikki: That's fine.

Nikki: I was just trying to get you to go with my transition.

Salina: I get it now.

Salina: I don't like it.

Salina: What'd?

Nikki: You like Salina?

Salina: I liked Bernice's B plot in surging hormones.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: I thought that was pretty funny.

Salina: Suzanne saying not only is she nuts, she's hoarding, which I was so close to trying to name the episode that, but it just didn't really make any sense.

Salina: But I really wanted to.

Salina: That plot point was only bested by her surprise gift for Anthony.

Salina: The bodybuilder so funny, like in Random.

Salina: I'm not sure why they didn't get, like, a dancer.

Salina: I guess they did it for the laughs.

Salina: But it's almost like, is this a thing?

Salina: Like somebody just comes and flexes in front of you?

Nikki: Probably is a thing.

Nikki: And that probably also was the G rated version of the dancer.

Nikki: The part they could put on TV would be my guess.

Salina: That's a good take because I was just like, how strange.

Nikki: I think what you're saying kind of aligns with my first like, which is that I think in previous seasons we've occasionally hit a point in an episode where we're like, man, every character is just on fire in this one.

Nikki: All the script writing is really funny.

Nikki: All of the plotlines are funny and they're all delivering really well.

Nikki: This episode felt like that to me.

Nikki: I feel like we got a lot of really good stuff about a lot of the characters all the way up to Bernice.

Nikki: Like you said, her story was so funny and she delivered so well, and I think it all just fit in this episode really well.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I think for me, one thing I can't not share at some point in this episode recap is Meshach Taylor and Jean Smart's really strong performances at the top of the third act before they go to find his dad.

Salina: My second like, right?

Nikki: That's like the best part.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So they hit the dramatic and comedic notes pretty well, and I really, actually love that.

Salina: It was Charlene that went with him to the train station and she stayed a support to the scene rather than driving the action.

Salina: And so many times, if it's like Julia, it feels like the writer will just turn it over to Julia sometimes.

Salina: And I.

Salina: Love that she really just hung in the back and you got to see.

Nikki: Her face while she was watching this all unfold.

Nikki: And it was so beautiful and lovely, and she just wanted the best thing to come out of this.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: She wanted Anthony to have the dad that she had and have that experience.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Well, it's very sweet.

Salina: And when she's like, let's go get him.

Nikki: I loved that.

Nikki: Yeah, I said it was I loved that they riled each other up because I just loved how it built to the point where you're like, they're about to walk out of this building separate like they are not friends anymore.

Nikki: And then he says, So should we go get him?

Nikki: And she's like, yes, or vice versa.

Nikki: We go, yes.

Nikki: It was really well done.

Salina: Yeah, it was amazing.

Salina: And you need the good writing and the good performance, and I think that speaks to your compliment of this one.

Salina: I only have one more.

Salina: You got anything else?

Nikki: I have one more, too.

Salina: Okay, good.

Nikki: It's in that same vein of just this episode being really well rounded.

Nikki: Like, we got funny, serious and silly all in one episode.

Nikki: And we've talked before about how challenging that is to do in such a short period of time, and I just really liked that we got all of that.

Nikki: And I felt like the pacing was good, with one exception, which I'll get to in my didn't like.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I think it's really sweet that Charlie got Anthony the Louisville Slugger that he mentioned in that one point.

Salina: And I had all these dreams know?

Salina: It started to sound like Rich, but.

Nikki: Not McAuley Culkin's biggest paycheck, right?

Salina: May I so boldly suggest that the better present may have been a VCR.

Nikki: Kid me the darn VCR.

Salina: Please get Anthony a VCR.

Nikki: What I was trying to remember, and I don't think I ever ended up jotting this down, but I had a moment where I was like, is that what he was asking for last time, too?

Nikki: Did he just want a VCR last time?

Nikki: But I think I found out no, I think I found out last time.

Nikki: It could have been a TV he wanted, maybe.

Salina: I know they got him a camera.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So they stole him.

Nikki: Shoot, I should have written it down because I had a moment where I was like, did they, one, get his birthday, like, off track in the story, but then also get him having the same asking for the same gift again?

Nikki: Every birthday with Anthony is going to be needing a VCR, right?

Salina: Somebody get it for the man.

Nikki: Get him a VCR.

Nikki: That's right.

Salina: Well, I didn't have any.

Nikki: Oh, okay.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So I'll let you take this one.

Nikki: So I think the only one I had is I said the pacing was good with the exception that I still wonder.

Nikki: And maybe I just want maybe I'm aiming in this show for one plotline that goes all one serious or like one high stakes line that goes all the way through the season or at least an arc of some sort instead of just a quick, fast and in a hurry solution.

Nikki: I wonder if we've just let this Charlie Anthony thing breathe for a couple episodes.

Nikki: Like, Anthony establishes a relationship with this guy who is his dad's friend and realizes they're more alike than he ever thought.

Nikki: And he starts to wonder.

Nikki: I just wonder if it could have been more interesting.

Salina: Well, they even set it up for him to stay on his couch.

Salina: And we've previewed the season and I can tell you we don't hear about again.

Salina: Right?

Nikki: Right.

Salina: Not even a mention.

Nikki: I just think it's so OD.

Nikki: And maybe you've said a couple of times that you don't think they use Mary Jo enough.

Nikki: I wonder if this is an example of where they're not using Anthony's character or Mishak Taylor enough.

Nikki: Because we've heard a lot about how influential his grandmother was.

Nikki: We've heard that he didn't have a father.

Nikki: This is a crucial part of his life and we just are going to get the one episode and we're going to be done with it.

Nikki: And that's all it is.

Nikki: We've heard about him being a big brother to kids so that they don't end up in the situation he's in.

Nikki: Sort of a father figure, the big brother episode, things like that.

Nikki: This is a big part of his life.

Nikki: This is a huge piece of his constitution, and we're just going to get the one episode and move on.

Nikki: It's just weird to me.

Salina: Yeah, it's just weird.

Salina: Yeah, I agree.

Nikki: So I feel like we could have this one caught me off guard because we've spent so much time talking about how he doesn't have a dad.

Nikki: I wasn't expecting him to have a dad right now.

Nikki: And then he's gone and we're not going to talk about it again.

Nikki: Out of left field and then also short shrifted.

Nikki: So it's like that kind of dislike where it's like I'm not asking them to change the show for me, but I'm just saying I could see where we could see this going.

Salina: Yep.

Salina: Get that.

Salina: How about ratings?

Nikki: My scale is extra special.

Nikki: Extra crappy.

Nikki: Birthday presents.

Nikki: Beautiful.

Nikki: So I gave this one a four out of a five.

Nikki: Like I said, I really liked the heart of this one.

Nikki: I really liked that.

Nikki: Slash meshach.

Nikki: Taylor got an entire episode to himself.

Nikki: The performance was incredible.

Nikki: It was the full range of performance in this one episode.

Nikki: I just would have liked the storyline to get to breathe a little bit and to live with that for a minute.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: I also gave it a four out of five, but I gave it four out of five unattainable VCRs.

Salina: It's done.

Nikki: He's never getting the VCR.

Salina: Never getting it.

Salina: So I'm scoring it this high for two reasons.

Salina: I mean, I know I didn't have any dislikes, and that's normally an automatic five.

Salina: I just think it's a little early in the season to rate anything that high.

Salina: I really hope I don't regret my decision down the line, but this is a made up system, so it's probably going to be okay.

Salina: But one of the things I really liked and wanted to score it this high for is the fact that I think it's one of the more important plotlines we've gotten that's not tied to some kind of current event or social issue.

Salina: Not that I dislike those.

Salina: I've loved many of them.

Salina: But I think that makes this one feel fresh, like it was emotionally potent and important, and that felt a little different to me.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: And then again, I also wanted to say that in addition to Mishak Taylor and Gene Smart, bill Cobbs, who plays Charlie, also was giving a really great performance.

Nikki: Yeah, that's true.

Salina: So what about 90s things?

Nikki: VCR.

Nikki: What?

Salina: Anthony would never have a VCR on this list.

Nikki: Please tell me you have VCR on this list.

Salina: I do.

Salina: But it says Anthony's VCR.

Salina: Oh, anthony's lack of VCR.

Nikki: Poor guy.

Salina: What else do you have?

Nikki: That's all I have on 90s things.

Salina: I have looking at a physical catalog and sending in the order that's all in the cold.

Salina: Open Kmart.

Salina: And then Charlene's outfit at the beginning must be the epitome of 90s fashion.

Salina: And I have that my phone I pulled up earlier.

Salina: And of course I closed it.

Salina: Well, I did, and now I'm not sure where I put it, but I can tell you that it was like those neon colors that were so popular in the can't believe I misplaced this thing again.

Salina: Anyways, I'll find it it was quite 90s.

Salina: I'm not going to hold us up for that.

Nikki: She has a string of 90s outfits this season.

Salina: I'm telling you, it is really something.

Salina: And that's all I had on 90s things.

Nikki: Okay, so southern things.

Nikki: I had the Kmart.

Nikki: Julia said this way back at the beginning of the episode.

Nikki: I had no idea they were so solicitous down at the Kmart.

Nikki: I personally believe adding the before things and adding an S at the end is just a huge Southernism.

Nikki: So we don't call something Kroger.

Nikki: We call it the Kroger's.

Nikki: We don't call something Kmart.

Nikki: We call it the yeah.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Although I don't put an S on the end of Kroger.

Nikki: No, and I don't either.

Salina: It is a very Southern thing.

Nikki: And actually the first Kmart was in Michigan.

Nikki: I looked it up.

Salina: Oh, was it?

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I had New Orleans because that's where Anthony's dad came from.

Salina: And then the Louisville Slugger is the official bat in MLB, and they're manufactured in MLB.

Nikki: What does that mean?

Salina: Major League Baseball.

Nikki: I'm just testing you.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: If you know it, that's a good test.

Salina: To be honest.

Salina: That's a good test.

Salina: I was she panicked but there's also a Louisville Slugger Museum and factory in Louisville as well.

Salina: References we need to talk about Morley Safer.

Nikki: I actually didn't write down when they mentioned this.

Nikki: Do you remember?

Salina: It's fine to say don't.

Nikki: They mentioned Morley Safer at some point.

Nikki: So that's a name I know, but I felt like I owed it a good old goobs just to see what's going on there.

Nikki: So he was a Canadian American broadcast journalist.

Nikki: He worked for 60 years.

Nikki: He lived from November eigth, 1931 to May 19, 2016, as Bernice indicated.

Nikki: He was most well known for working on 60 Minutes.

Nikki: He joined the cast in 1970 after its second year on the air and literally retired, I think, a few months before he died.

Salina: Yeah, he's really fascinating.

Salina: I have a journalism degree, and I don't think I know who this person was, so that's on me.

Nikki: I know the name, but I don't watch 60 Minutes.

Salina: Yeah, I never have.

Salina: So that's never been my thing, and I've just never been into that long form news program.

Salina: It's just not you know what?

Nikki: I like a really misleading headline that I can just read, internalize and move on.

Salina: Well, I like to share it, too.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: Put it on Facebook.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: With all the grandparents for all to see.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: So I added his New York Times obit to our blog post and show notes only because a really fascinating life, and it's worth a read, but I don't think it's not extra sugar today.

Nikki: Okay, true.

Salina: But very interesting.

Salina: And then my last reference is Bill Cobbs, who plays Anthony's dad.

Salina: Again, he's got a filmography that probably goes on for a mile, but I know him best as Whitney Houston's manager, and The Bodyguard, the movie I probably saw 72 times as a kid.

Salina: And there's just something about him that he's like, a very kind energy, and I like him a lot.

Nikki: I had one more thing that I looked up, which was the phrase bought the farm.

Nikki: I'm just going to barrel through.

Nikki: Bought the farm.

Nikki: Mary Jo described Anthony's father this way.

Nikki: She was trying to gently say, maybe he died, and I looked it up because bought the farm seems like a Southern term.

Salina: No, I could see that, but I could also see it not being that.

Nikki: I don't think it is.

Nikki: It's a 1950s, probably an Air Force term.

Salina: I definitely didn't expect that, because that's.

Nikki: How they like to imagine the pilot after a crash and dying, aka.

Nikki: He bought the farm.

Nikki: He went to the farm in the sky.

Nikki: So that's a nice way of looking at it.

Nikki: Or possibly he destroyed the farm.

Nikki: So that means he bought it.

Nikki: It's his now.

Salina: Oh, interesting.

Nikki: So I don't think it's Southern.

Nikki: I think it's World War II era, though.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: You're welcome for that random today.

Salina: You know I love random.

Nikki: Love the random.

Nikki: Well, speaking of the random, are you ready to move into the next episode, which is very not random.

Salina: So random.

Nikki: Next episode.

Nikki: Season Five episode Three Working Mother We'd love everyone to follow along with us and engage Instagram and Facebook at sweet.

Nikki: Teantv TikTok at sweettvpod.

Nikki: Our YouTube account is at sweettv.

Nikki: 7371 our email address is sweettvpod@gmail.com and our website is WW dot sweettv.com.

Nikki: Did you appreciate the full eye contact I made with you through that?

Salina: I did.

Salina: It was very nice.

Salina: Thank you.

Nikki: Why are you covering your eyes now?

Salina: I was wondering if I could cover my eyes and say, I'm back.

Salina: And I think the answer is no.

Nikki: Get the YouTube channel right.

Salina: 7371 there you go.

Salina: I, like, also so stupid.

Nikki: So there are several ways to support the show.

Nikki: Tell your friends and family about us.

Nikki: Rate and review the podcast wherever you listen.

Nikki: And then if you visit the website, there are a couple of other ways you can support us from the Support US page and then come back Thursday for extra sugar, where we're going to.

Salina: Talk about reunion stories.

Nikki: Better or worse than my birthday stories?

Salina: Different.

Nikki: Different.

Salina: How do you like that answer?

Nikki: Let's see.

Salina: How do you like them apples?

Salina: All right.

Salina: Well, you know what that means.

Salina: Nikki what does it mean?

Salina: Salina it means we'll see you round the bend.

Salina: By SA.


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