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Designing Women S5 E24 Extra Sugar - A Farewell to Suzanne and Charlene

Updated: Apr 11

Cue the sad music and grab the kleenex: today we say goodbye to Suzanne and Charlene. 


That's right, we’ve finally watched and discussed Delta Burke’s last episode. Jean Smart isn’t far behind.


Mourn the loss with us – let’s talk about some favorite moments, what they mean to us, and what happened to them both IRL next. We’ll wrap by asking…an oracle of sorts…what would have happened if we’d followed Charlene and Suzanne on their international journeys. 


Here were the sources we used this week:


Come on y’all, let’s get into it! 




 

Transcript

Salina: Hey, Nikki.

Nikki: Hey, Salina.

Salina: Hey, y'all.

Salina: And welcome to this week's farewell edition of Extra Sugar.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Cue the sad music and grab the Kleenex.

Salina: Today we say goodbye to Suzanne and Charlene.

Salina: Season five, episode 24, which we covered earlier this week, was Delta Burke's last episode.

Salina: And then Jean Smart is around for the first two episodes of season six, but she is not long for the designing women world to get through our loss.

Salina: We're going to talk about the good times, some favorite moments, maybe some favorite quotes, and what these two ladies mean to us.

Salina: Said that.

Salina: Really weird.

Salina: That's fine.

Salina: And then we'll touch on what went on for the two actors in real life following their exit from the show.

Salina: And then we're gonna wrap with, I don't know, it's a game, but we'll call it an activity.

Salina: Who doesn't love an activity?

Nikki: I love an activity.

Nikki: Keep me busy, Salina.

Salina: Well, basically, we're gonna see if AI can help us figure out what would have happened to Charlene and Suzanne.

Salina: Have we continued to follow their international stories?

Salina: That way we know, like, how accurate will our overlords be?

Salina: Will they know our story?

Salina: Nikki?

Nikki: I'm always kind to them, just in case.

Salina: I wish your names weren't so close to my coworkers names because sometimes you just start piping up in the middle of meetings.

Salina: But I love you all the same.

Salina: How that name could be so different from all names and still so close to people's names.

Salina: Crazy.

Salina: Anyways, so how do you feel about just starting with our favorite moments in quotes?

Salina: You feel good about that?

Nikki: I feel good about that.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Are you okay for me to share my favorite moment?

Salina: Yes.

Nikki: Okay, so actually, I'm panicking now.

Salina: One of my favorite moments, it's not actually in season five, although I tried really hard to keep it to season five, but because is Charlene and Suzanne together, I wanted to share this one, which is in season four, when Suzanne accidentally drinks Charlene's breast milk, which they call her expressed milk.

Salina: I don't think they were allowed to say breast milk, but that was a top for me.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: I am still flying high from my AFV episode a couple episodes back, so I did it.

Nikki: Grand prize and runner up.

Nikki: So for Suzanne, my grand prize moment was episode 17.

Nikki: This season.

Nikki: That was the smoking subplot.

Nikki: Okay, so she had a bunch of really funny lines.

Nikki: I'll take 100 chances with my lungs, but you only get one chance with my wig.

Nikki: And then the, oh, lord, not again.

Nikki: When her wig caught fire at the end.

Nikki: There was also some really great physical comedy, like that bit where Charlene said she couldn't stand to look at her standing outside in the new smoking section, and then unceremoniously, like, closed the curtains in her face.

Nikki: And then the real high point of that episode was this line from Anthony.

Nikki: I know this woman.

Nikki: She does what she wants to do till she doesn't want to anymore.

Nikki: Just stay out of the way and try not to get hurt.

Nikki: To me, that one line is the greatest tribute of all to the character of Suzanne.

Salina: I love that.

Nikki: And I kept thinking about that.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's right.

Salina: I would also like for someone to say that about me.

Nikki: Wouldn't it be nice?

Nikki: Yeah, I probably would say it about you.

Salina: Is it possible that someone might attribute that to me?

Salina: Why does it sound so much better for Suzanne than for me?

Salina: I start wearing it, and I'm like, maybe that makes me a terrible person.

Salina: So this was so hard for me because someone limited us to only so many favorite moments, which was smart.

Salina: I limited smart because we were both.

Nikki: Probably going to go over anyway.

Salina: That was smart.

Salina: And, well, so I had, like, it's either this one or that one.

Salina: And then I got up to, like, eight moments, and I.

Salina: Did.

Salina: I cut it to one.

Nikki: Oh, you're allowed to have a couple.

Salina: Well, it's too late.

Nikki: Oh, well, because I have two.

Salina: So, um, for.

Salina: For Suzanne, it's when she fights misses Chesley for her seat on the couch in season five, episode seven, old rebels and young models.

Nikki: So I thought about that one after I was done with my notes.

Nikki: It's too hard.

Nikki: I'm not gonna add it back in.

Salina: It's too hard.

Nikki: It really was.

Nikki: It was really hard.

Salina: Especially with her this season, man.

Salina: As they were trying to get rid of her, they gave her all the best stuff.

Nikki: So my runner up moment was her performance in episode 16 when Bernice gets a new nose.

Salina: It was.

Nikki: Cause she had such good facework and a couple of really good lines.

Nikki: So, like, she choked on her coffee when Bernice compared herself to a pig eating all the cookies.

Nikki: Then she said, bernice reminded her of Noelle.

Nikki: And lest we forget, she said, I know you all think I'm selfish and shallow, but I know what's most important in life.

Nikki: Someone says, friendship.

Salina: No looking good.

Nikki: And then, not to mention, she did prove herself a good person trying to help Bernice out.

Salina: No looking good.

Nikki: Looking good.

Salina: Just the way she's just.

Salina: Her and Julia both, really.

Salina: I'd have to give some credit to her as well.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: For sure.

Nikki: The voice works too.

Salina: Just.

Salina: So are we okay to talk about Charlene now?

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: So for her, I think I'm gonna say something too.

Salina: Um, I think it shows the disparity between moments and, like, Suzanne just has so many good ones.

Nikki: Yes.

Salina: And I'm just gonna be really honest.

Nikki: Charlene wasn't that great.

Salina: Love her.

Salina: But.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I think this one in particular, because there were a couple of rough episodes for me where maybe she was getting on my nerves.

Salina: Like the one where she had the house.

Nikki: I had forgotten about that till I went back and looked at notes.

Salina: Fever dream, all that.

Salina: But I think for me, this could be recency bias.

Salina: But what you gonna do about it?

Salina: The Rocky Runner in season five, episode 20.

Salina: I'll see you in court.

Salina: Her pure exasperation over everyone's ignorance of that movie was an absolute top for me.

Nikki: That was great.

Salina: So good.

Salina: And it's kind of nice.

Salina: Cause she.

Salina: But this is also.

Salina: We're coming to the end of her run.

Salina: I know people think about it mainly as the end of Suzanne's run, to be fair, but she gets to really kind of, you know, stick it to Julia for once, who often is being quite condescending with her and who also threatened her child at the beginning of the season, so.

Salina: And I know people love that part, but she did basically, like, say she was going to give her baby to, like, dogs or something.

Salina: And I do think that's, like, a little violent.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So that was my favorite for Charlene.

Salina: How about you?

Nikki: So I already gave Suzanne sort of partial credit for this one, but the moment where Charlene closed the curtains in Suzanne's face in the smoking episode is great.

Nikki: My number one runner up, though, was Charlene in episode four, where Julia gets jury duty, her moral compass was on full display.

Nikki: And then she just kept getting herself into so much trouble with Julia.

Nikki: There was one part when the county marshal, or whatever it was, came to the house to take Julia in.

Nikki: Charlene recounted a string of throwbacks of every run in that the designing women have had with the law over the course of the last few seasons.

Nikki: The time she mooned the whole room, the time she drove through the p**** stand, the time she drove the getaway car.

Nikki: That whole part was so funny to me.

Nikki: And then they.

Nikki: Julia, like you just mentioned, threatens her baby by the end of the episode, Charlene just decides to let things slide for the sake of her baby.

Nikki: So, to be fair, and you mentioned this, too.

Nikki: This was just after the house buying episode, and she was on my last nerve.

Nikki: By that point, she had just been a real pain.

Nikki: But I do think that particular episode reminds us of how straight laced and, like, the moral compass she is for the whole show.

Salina: She's a big old donkey girl scout.

Nikki: Big old donkey girl scout, whatever that means.

Nikki: My grand prize, though, was episode two, which I had forgotten all about.

Nikki: This is where Anthony meets his dad.

Salina: Mm hmm.

Nikki: I had completely forgotten about this.

Salina: Yeah, that was a great episode with them.

Nikki: If you get to the end of the episode, she gives it, when you get to the end of the episode, she gives him a pep talk and the hard truth that he needed to go meet Charlie at the station.

Nikki: Their interaction was actually really dramatic.

Nikki: Anthony reminded Charlene that things aren't always so opie and Beaver Cleaver, but her help, she then turned and helped him realize that you only get one dad, though.

Nikki: And then they ginned each other up to the point where they finally just run out the door to go to the station.

Nikki: So it was a lovely performance, but also a really lovely tribute to her entire character.

Nikki: She really loves her friends.

Nikki: She believes the best in life and the world, and she's willing to do what it takes to get that for herself and her friends.

Nikki: And that's why that was the number one moment for me with charlene before.

Salina: I removed all my backup options, which.

Nikki: I'm really sorry about.

Nikki: You should always leave them, Salina.

Nikki: What am I gonna do?

Salina: I wanted to follow your rules.

Nikki: Am I gonna kick you out?

Salina: Well, I was gonna start the whole thing with I'm not following your rules.

Salina: You do that, Salina.

Nikki: It's your show.

Salina: You know, it's our show.

Nikki: It's your show and my show.

Nikki: You do your thing, I'll do mine, and never the two shall meet.

Salina: Could have been a good alternative name for the show.

Salina: I don't.

Salina: But anyways, I just wanted to say that I totally see you on that episode because I had that in there because I do think that is a top for her this season.

Salina: How about quotes for which you want.

Nikki: To start with Suzanne again?

Nikki: My grand prize.

Nikki: I'll say just my grand prize.

Nikki: The episode we talked about this week, episode 24.

Nikki: There's a word for people like you who think competition is a bad thing.

Nikki: Losers.

Nikki: I love it because it's very Suzanne, and I love it because it really resonated with me personally.

Salina: It was almost impossible for me to tease out my favorite Susan.

Nikki: Three.

Salina: Oh, excuse me.

Salina: Would you like to go two more times?

Salina: No.

Nikki: I'm limiting myself to my own rules.

Nikki: But that's exactly what happened.

Nikki: To me, it was such a slippery slope.

Salina: It was really hard, right?

Salina: Not as hard with Charlene.

Nikki: Not as hard.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So.

Salina: But this was the one that I wound up going with.

Salina: Oh, get real, Charlene.

Salina: You picked it, we painted it, and that's the way it is.

Salina: I don't see what's so hard to understand about that.

Salina: It's like I used to tell my ex husband, you married me.

Salina: You thought we were going to have sex.

Salina: We're not going to have sex.

Salina: And that's the end of the story, which you can also find on our social media.

Salina: So her, you can tell us the other ones.

Salina: Well.

Nikki: My runner up was way back in episode one.

Nikki: She said, personally, I don't enjoy history.

Nikki: People said I should learn it because history repeats itself.

Nikki: If it repeats itself, why should I pay attention the first time?

Nikki: It's so wise.

Nikki: It's so wise in a character that we're trying to paint is not wise.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: And then my honorable mention was episode 14.

Nikki: I say the man should have to kill the mouse.

Nikki: I gave that one my honorable mention because it is a fan favorite quote in general.

Nikki: It was a throwback to the man should have to kill the bug.

Nikki: And it was just a really delightful callback to her in previous seasons.

Salina: I want to say one of our most popular social media posts ever.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: So people love it.

Salina: They do that.

Salina: They do.

Salina: It also brings out a lot of opinions, which is really funny.

Salina: Just a lot of opinions about who should kill what.

Nikki: Kill what?

Nikki: Like, just kill what you're comfortable with what's happening.

Nikki: My God.

Salina: And then, like, a lot of you know what, people just get in their feelings.

Salina: So I guess that can help them.

Nikki: My ex husband would never kill the.

Salina: Bug, and that's why he's my ex husband, so that's why I poisoned him with the ipecac.

Salina: So for Charlene this season, mine has to be.

Salina: I can't believe y'all are being such prudes.

Salina: I mean, you act like studying human genitalia and o***** and premature ejaculation is something to be ashamed of.

Salina: Well, here.

Salina: Let's ask Anthony best.

Nikki: Like you said, I really struggled to find lines for her that were individual lines that I loved.

Salina: Without context.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: Without context.

Nikki: Right, Suzanne?

Nikki: Standalone in a lot of instances.

Salina: There you go.

Nikki: And in fact, my grand prize almost kind of needs context because it's what was around it.

Nikki: That was so funny.

Nikki: But it was in episode 19.

Nikki: Blame it on New Orleans.

Nikki: I'm sorry, I must have passed out for a minute when she passed out under the microphone.

Nikki: That has such broad applicability to life.

Nikki: You're in a meeting, and they're like, Nikki, Nikki, did you have something?

Nikki: I'm sorry.

Nikki: I must have passed out for a minute.

Salina: No, no, no.

Salina: You just lost the thread.

Salina: Not to give away my key phrase that I use when I've stopped and.

Nikki: I've stolen it now.

Nikki: And it's like, if someone's just, like, not even making sense anymore, I'm like, oh, my gosh.

Nikki: I'm so sorry.

Nikki: I must have lost a thread.

Nikki: Not, you don't make sense, but I must have lost a thread.

Salina: Cause I was sitting here knitting or doing anything else.

Salina: I started designing women, and I wasn't listening to you at all.

Nikki: So my runner up is, again, less of a one line situation and more just a really funny series of lines coupled with delivery.

Nikki: So it's episode 13, pearls of Wisdom.

Nikki: Toward the beginning of the episode, Mary Jo and Charlene are talking about Suzanne having a tryout for a segment on the local news program.

Nikki: And Charlene says, still, I think it would be good for Suzanne to have a job.

Nikki: And Mary Jo says, charlene, susan has a job.

Salina: Where?

Salina: Here.

Salina: Oh, yeah.

Nikki: And that whole interaction, just when I think about this season, I think about that interaction a lot.

Salina: That's a goodie.

Salina: I like it.

Salina: That's so good.

Salina: Well, the next thing I wanted to talk about a little bit is why fans love them so much.

Salina: And this is, like, our thoughts on that.

Salina: So it took some time, but we did finally find the designing women hive on social media, and the show does have a dedicated fan base.

Salina: And anecdotally, we've seen a fairly visceral reaction to the final seasons without Suzanne and Charlene, and particularly Suzanne.

Salina: So I do feel like we can.

Salina: We've seen enough that I feel like we have the pulse.

Nikki: Yeah, I think that's right.

Salina: And so I feel more comfortable doing this now.

Salina: Do you mind if I kick this one off?

Nikki: Absolutely.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So for Suzanne.

Nikki: I'm sorry.

Nikki: Absolutely, I mind.

Nikki: I would like to go first.

Nikki: No, please.

Salina: I was gonna read.

Salina: Take it away.

Salina: Suzanne, I love.

Salina: Wonderful.

Salina: Perfect.

Salina: So, on the one hand, it makes very little sense to me why fans love Suzanne so much.

Salina: If I'm completely honest, in many ways, she's almost the foil for the show.

Salina: She is the old guard for the south, very skeptical of the show's main objective, which I read to be ways to show a more progressive south.

Salina: I don't want to put that on anybody else, but that's my reading.

Salina: We said before, Suzanne is like a beautiful, rich Archie bunker.

Salina: You know, she's classist, out of touch, sexist, self absorbed.

Salina: I'd say a generous reading is that she has some prejudiced stances on race.

Salina: She didn't want Anthony to work there or be a partner.

Salina: And that's just this season after she's arguably had a lot of growth.

Nikki: Okay, sure.

Salina: Honestly, people should probably hate her.

Salina: And yet she is hands down the favorite, and she's also ours.

Salina: I will also say, for the record, that she and Charlene are the only two that never get dragged in comments on posts.

Salina: Oh, people really love or hate Julia.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: God bless it.

Salina: I think they might forget Mary Jo, but here, I promise there's a good side.

Salina: On the other hand, I think fans love her because she's hilarious and hilariously outspoken.

Salina: She says what most people are thinking and wouldn't say people love that she's quirky with her gun toting and pig owning people like a character.

Salina: She is the eccentric side of the south.

Salina: She became more relatable as the seasons wore on.

Salina: You know, she lost all her money.

Salina: We think maybe.

Salina: Maybe it's unclear.

Salina: There's the battles with her weight, constantly feeling the need to diet.

Salina: I feel like almost that's a universal thing that people relate to, and it turns out she really does care.

Salina: You talked a little bit about this before, but, you know, maybe the motivation isn't always pure, but Suzanne is fiercely protective of Julia and really, all of the ladies.

Salina: We saw her threaten Charlene's professor this season with a gun.

Salina: She offers to pull a revenge plot on Don for Mary Jo after he ghosts her.

Salina: She sells her cadillac to pay for Bernice's corrective surgery.

Salina: And early on, we got to see that vulnerable side of her, that question asking side of her with Lucy.

Salina: And I do wonder if people just generally enjoy how she's overcome people's underestimation of her because she's more than meets the eye and she is much more than a pretty face.

Salina: So that's my long winded way of saying, that's why I think people really love Suzanne.

Nikki: Yeah, I don't think I have much to add to that.

Nikki: I think you touched on almost everything.

Nikki: Greatness, I would say larger than life, is something that I think resonates with a lot of people.

Nikki: Like, she's almost a caricature.

Nikki: So she's always sort of bigger than everybody else around her in terms of, like, her character and her the things she says.

Nikki: And I think that really resonates with people.

Nikki: I think also a lot of times people just like to hear someone say the UN PC thing that we're probably all thinking somewhere in our heads.

Nikki: Not the racist stuff, not the sexist stuff.

Nikki: But sometimes it's just like calling stuff out, right?

Salina: Call a spade a spade.

Nikki: People really like that.

Nikki: She's a lot of comic relief.

Nikki: She's freaking hilarious.

Salina: And maybe they.

Salina: I wonder if they're craving it right now.

Nikki: Oh, people.

Nikki: Yes.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: They're craving.

Salina: Because we don't get that.

Salina: Like, there's so.

Salina: There's so much fear in that right now for fear of saying the wrong thing.

Salina: And I think some people are digging back into the well of sitcoms to see what people used to say.

Salina: Maybe we could find a happy medium.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: Go on.

Salina: I think.

Nikki: I think a happy medium is probably the place we need to work toward.

Nikki: And I think that's probably what resonates is she does hit it sometimes.

Nikki: Sometimes she's like, come on, really?

Nikki: But a lot of times she really does hit it.

Nikki: She just says it and you're like, oh, my God.

Salina: Could someone just say that Anthony wants a VCR?

Nikki: Just say he wants a VCR.

Salina: Get him the d*** VCR.

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: Don't mess around with this couple that is cheating on each other.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Stop messing.

Salina: Get out of the paint.

Nikki: It'll get messy.

Nikki: Yeah, the other thing, so the loyalty was one thing I wanted to say, and then the last thing that really struck me is that I think some of her off camera experiences for the deep cut designing women fans, some of the things she experienced off camera, I think, endeared her to lifelong fans.

Salina: That's a fair point.

Salina: You know, can I just tack on real quickly there that someone on social media told me that they not only stopped watching the show after she left, they stopped watching all of LBT shows.

Nikki: Oh, yeah.

Salina: Because that's how whatever connected they felt to her story that they couldn't even.

Salina: It was like a boycott.

Salina: So I think that really speaks.

Salina: And by the way, it's 2024, and.

Nikki: They told me that, yeah, you know.

Salina: That'S a long time ago.

Nikki: It's a long time.

Nikki: I think you mentioned a lot of people might relate to her weight struggle a little bit.

Nikki: One of the themes that I notice when I look at the comments on social media is people well intentioned shouldn't, probably don't need to say it, but they'll always say, I never thought she was big.

Nikki: I never thought she was a large lady.

Nikki: So on the one hand, like, let's just not say those things.

Nikki: But on the other hand, that does give me a sense for how tapped into that experience people still are now.

Nikki: It resonated with them that she was dragged so much, and I think that endeared her to them, her character and then Delta Burke as a person.

Salina: On the flip side of that, you'll have people say stuff like, the fatter she got, the funnier she got.

Salina: Jesus Christ, people.

Salina: It's rough, and it's so hard for me to not respond.

Salina: It's so.

Nikki: It's gotta be.

Salina: I've.

Salina: Oh, I've been trying to learn the joys of restraint.

Salina: I do want to add on one more thing.

Salina: I sometimes wonder in thinking about this category in particular and in pulling a lot of clips in the last year and thinking over the larger trajectory of Suzanne's character.

Salina: Yes, she was funny in seasons one and two, in my opinion, while it's not the way I would have phrased it, I also agree she gets funnier as the seasons go on, and you can feel that character change.

Salina: She starts out more as, like, what I think was first intended, which was like this very demure, like, beauty pageant.

Salina: And then eventually, she kind of goes into this more, like, body place.

Salina: You know, she's much more outspoken.

Salina: She's larger than life, as you describe.

Salina: I think that was the perfect description.

Salina: We see some of that start to really, the seeds are planted in season two with the pig, with.

Salina: We see some of that eccentricity, but it doesn't really start to take shape until season three, and then it really gets pushed out there in season four.

Salina: And by five, we're met with the Suzanne I think most people think of.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: And I think that's what you were speaking to in the main episode, and I don't know if she had not.

Salina: So some of that, I think, was happening along with, like, those character changes, with her real life experiences, as she was battling depression, as she was battling weight issues or perceived weight issues, or however we want to frame that, whatever those.

Salina: The critique was coming at her for real.

Salina: So it was really happening to her.

Salina: And then all of the things with the show and the things with her husband and them not getting along with the producers and all of these things happening, and I think we see some of these, this bolder character emerge, and I just wonder if we had really carried on with the Suzanne of one and two, and let's say this show goes eight seasons and she's there the whole time.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: She would be the show favorite.

Salina: That's my personal opinion.

Salina: I don't think that she really comes into her character until we get further in, and that's really when we see that Suzanne start to take shape that I think people remember and love so much.

Salina: So.

Salina: All right, Charlene, how about you?

Salina: Want to lead us into this one?

Salina: Are you comfortable with that?

Salina: Sure.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: I think over the course of the show, charlene became so much more than the receptionist at Sugar Baker's, which is how we met her at the very beginning.

Nikki: Dare I say she became the receptionist of our hearts, or at a minimum, the receptionist like we all wish we could run into if we went into a business.

Nikki: Like, she's charming and funny and nice.

Nikki: I think she's a fan favorite for a lot of reasons, but in general, I think it's her balance of innocence and wisdom.

Nikki: Like, she's simultaneously naive, but also can talk Anthony into, like, going to meet his dad, who he was adamant two minutes ago he wasn't going to.

Nikki: Because she can talk that wisdom about family and life.

Nikki: She salted the earth and genuine, but she's also really quick witted and funny, and I think people really liked that.

Nikki: It hard to come across one line, you know, that encapsulates Charlene as a character, but in context and in her place, in a conversation.

Nikki: She's so funny and adds so much light and warmth to everything.

Nikki: I think people really loved her little anecdotes of her small town and of the people she's met over the years.

Nikki: Early on in the series, we got to hear how many influential people she knows just because she's freaking nice and talks to people and takes a genuine and kind and takes a genuine interest in people.

Nikki: And I think that warmth and that authenticity really showed, shone through for people and resonated for people.

Nikki: The last thing that every time I think about her is that, like, donkey girl scout.

Nikki: What do they call her?

Nikki: Big old donkey girl scout.

Nikki: I think that resonates with people too, though.

Nikki: Her straight lacedness and her moral compass for, like, what she provides to the rest of the character.

Nikki: I think that it's not in a Julia hottie sort of like, I'm better than you way.

Nikki: It's just like, let's not be able holes to each other sort of way.

Nikki: And I think that resonates for people.

Salina: Yeah, I think resonates with Charlene is just the good general word to use.

Salina: Like, the character of Suzanne is complicated.

Salina: I don't know that I feel like the character of Charlene is complicated.

Nikki: She's pretty straightforward.

Salina: Right?

Salina: So.

Salina: But similar to Suzanne, I do think that she has also underestimated a lot.

Nikki: Of, but she shouldn't be, especially this season.

Salina: She was right.

Salina: And I also feel like it's easier to figure out just why people like her.

Salina: I think some of our words will overlap.

Salina: But she's warm, sunny, and kind.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: I mean, that's, you know, we all.

Nikki: Like a warm, sunny kind.

Salina: Right.

Salina: Unless you're like a sorceress of the dark heart or something.

Salina: You probably like to run across that type of person because they.

Salina: This feels like the other side of the coin that you've already shared.

Salina: But because they play her as ditzy so much, it makes those whittier moments even more punchy, I think.

Salina: And I also think that her backstory on the show is truly relatable.

Salina: She grew up in a small town.

Salina: She didn't come from much.

Salina: She's starry eyed.

Salina: She's a dreamer and hopeful.

Salina: And even if you don't relate directly to those things, I think most would agree they're admirable qualities to have or to run across in a human being.

Nikki: Right.

Salina: So this one just.

Salina: Just a little bit more straightforward.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: How about how we, like, we relate to them?

Salina: So when it comes to Suzanne, like, what do you feel like?

Salina: You.

Salina: Where she sees you.

Nikki: Oh, my gosh.

Nikki: So I think I am just a reflection of other people's love of her because she tickles me personally because I think she sometimes says things that I would love to say if I weren't afraid.

Nikki: And I don't, again, I don't mean the racist and sexist things, but I mean, like, the calling something like it is and just saying it so we can all just get it out in the open and start talking about that instead of talking around it.

Nikki: I wish I did that more.

Nikki: Right, because you waste so much time by energy getting to it.

Nikki: Right.

Nikki: So I love that.

Nikki: She's also just.

Nikki: The character is ripe for antics, like her quirkiness and her unusualness, but also her larger than lifeness.

Nikki: She's just going to get into antics, which, personally, for me, I love.

Nikki: I love a good antic.

Salina: You like it when antics happen to you.

Nikki: I love.

Nikki: No, no.

Nikki: I love when antics happen for me to watch on tv.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: So I just.

Nikki: I think that's what I loved about her.

Nikki: Like you said, she's been a complicated character over the course of everything.

Nikki: But if I think about season five and the character that she is now, I think it's just that she's so freaking funny.

Nikki: I just love how funny she is.

Salina: Yeah, I think so.

Salina: If I was gonna think of, like, the ways I feel like I relate to Suzanne.

Salina: Her version of anger feels like me.

Nikki: Oh, okay.

Nikki: To be honest.

Salina: So I related on such a very deep level now, I had to go back to season four for this.

Salina: But episode 20, tornado watch, when she screams happy anniversary, Lois.

Salina: And shimmy after she's told Charlene repeatedly she doesn't want to be on camera.

Salina: She doesn't want to do it.

Salina: Please don't make her say happy anniversary to strangers is like, it's pretty on par with who resides inside me.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I very much relate to her as a childless person, even though hers is a tad bit more extreme than mine.

Salina: But her experience with Randa at the mall.

Salina: I don't know.

Salina: I'm above getting in a fight with a nine year old.

Salina: I'm not proud.

Salina: I'm just honest.

Salina: And then her hard pass on going down to a pizza parlor with a bunch of screaming kids.

Salina: I feel it.

Salina: I'm gonna be shopping with Bernice as well.

Salina: I would love to go on that shopping outing, as it were.

Salina: She's got some real only child energy, despite being the little sister of Julia.

Salina: Well.

Nikki: Cause she might be little by a lot, which means that she might have been an only child.

Salina: And I think that she's often described that way, like, you know, and so this season in particular, when she goes in and she takes every space in the New Orleans hotel room and doesn't think twice about it, why.

Salina: Why should I move my stuff?

Salina: I was like, oh, God, that's who I was when I was like, twelve and I didn't know any better.

Salina: I was like, oh, I thought all these spaces were mine.

Salina: I'm sorry.

Salina: And then finally, the constant dieting.

Salina: Rice cakes, check.

Salina: Smoking, check.

Salina: Every dumb idea, check.

Salina: So it just.

Nikki: I got.

Nikki: I get, I get it.

Salina: So how about Charlene?

Nikki: I think Charlene is the one that personally, like, I.

Nikki: The character of Suzanne resonates with me for reasons, but not for reflective reasons of my own.

Nikki: Charlene resonates with me because I feel very Charlene like.

Nikki: She's obviously not so secretly one of my favorites on the show.

Nikki: I think she's so delightfully naive, caring and curious.

Nikki: And it's been really fun to watch her grow row.

Nikki: I do think we've talked about this, that the writers sometimes take the easy way out and write her as dumb, but we know she's not dumb like she is smart.

Nikki: But that doesn't mean that she can't also be naive and believe the best in life.

Nikki: And that's where I feel like I see eye to eye with her.

Nikki: I genuinely want to believe the best in life.

Nikki: The older I get, the more skeptical I get.

Nikki: But I usually do have a pretty, like, positive outlook on things.

Nikki: Like, it's going to end up.

Nikki: Like, I'm not always going to say it's going to end up well, but we're going to come out the other side of it.

Nikki: It's going to be fine.

Salina: And there are some things we can.

Nikki: Do along the way to make the adventure a little more fun.

Nikki: Like them in New Orleans.

Nikki: Her approach to New Orleans is my approach to a new city.

Salina: Like, let's go do.

Nikki: Let's go see.

Nikki: Let's try this, let's try that.

Nikki: And, like, I have this real fear of missing out because there's so much in life and I don't want to miss it.

Nikki: And I feel like Charlene is that same way.

Nikki: I also have a really annoyingly strong moral compass.

Nikki: Like, I want to do the right thing to the point sometimes of shooting myself in the foot because I want to close that loop.

Nikki: I want to make sure you feel seen.

Nikki: I want to make sure that, you know, if you texted three days ago with something that's outstanding and no one responded to you, I don't want you to feel alone.

Nikki: So I'm going to drudge it right back up and we're going to have that conversation, which was her and Julia in the jury duty episode.

Nikki: We're going to finish this out because it's the right thing to do.

Nikki: So I feel like I resonated in that way with her.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I'm in typical our fashion.

Salina: I'm not sure how much I relate to flippy floppy.

Salina: Yeah, we both love a good pop culture reference.

Salina: And I would consider myself a bit of a dreamer like Charlene.

Salina: When I was younger, I always wanted to be the first woman.

Salina: Everything you know from this podcast that I'm like, okay, Reese Witherspoon's coming along.

Salina: Anytime we're gonna go.

Nikki: LbGT is going to email us soon.

Nikki: I feel it.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Like, you know, just I'm.

Salina: I'm.

Salina: I am.

Salina: There is that version of me that sort of weighs out or balances out the really fun, pragmatic side of me that's like, everything is terrible anyways.

Salina: I am also a strong believer that women should be in the ministry.

Salina: Incidentally, we have that in common.

Salina: And she loves to learn.

Salina: I love to learn, and that's about it.

Salina: And I love her.

Salina: I just, like, I don't feel like.

Salina: I just don't.

Salina: I don't at all, really, with her.

Salina: I'd love to be her friend, but I think that's.

Salina: That makes sense.

Salina: Right?

Salina: You kind of want to draw in people who have enough in common.

Nikki: Right?

Salina: Like, we could talk about movies, and then we're both bringing something else to the.

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: So it takes all kinds, is what they say.

Salina: That's why you could be my Charlene.

Nikki: I think I am your Charlene.

Nikki: I don't think you're my Suzanne.

Salina: I don't.

Salina: Yeah, we got a ton in common, I think.

Nikki: I actually think a lot of times you're more than Julia.

Salina: Yeah, probably.

Nikki: You keep us in line.

Salina: Sorry about that.

Nikki: Not the bad part.

Salina: Sorry about that.

Salina: It's my competitive nature.

Salina: The ball part.

Salina: I also thought we could talk a little bit about what they've meant to us.

Salina: We've kind of been doing that all along.

Salina: Also, I just want to say that it's really funny that I'm taking all of this on because Nikki came up with this outline, and I keep saying it like, I came up with this, and I feel like I need to give Nikki some credit right now.

Salina: But would you like to talk a little bit about what they mean to us, Nikki?

Nikki: I feel like I merged those feelings into the last segment, so I don't have much more to add.

Salina: Yeah, I think that's fair.

Salina: We've been kind of weaving it in throughout.

Salina: I think I was just gonna.

Salina: For me, I'll just also note that, most importantly, that both of these characters have taken up a lot of my brain space for the last three years.

Salina: Delta Burke, in particular, has been the catalyst for so many things that we've taken a closer look at as we've gone on with our own show.

Salina: So we've looked at things like lifestyle habits that I think have been really important because they're things that can really affect and impact your life.

Salina: This ongoing, unfair treatment of women, both in Hollywood and in real life, is always going to have a soft spot in my heart.

Salina: The politics of tv, often on the screen, I think, are really important.

Salina: It's so much to unpack when maybe on the surface, it appears like it's no big deal.

Salina: It's just an old sitcom, but it's a lot more.

Salina: And it's allowed myself the opportunity to explore those things, and I think they're very important.

Nikki: It's so hard to tell people, like, the elevator pitch of our show, because the elevator pitch of our show is that we're talking about designing women.

Nikki: But then I always have to, like, caveat it with, but we talk about so much more than that.

Nikki: We talk about all these other things that come up along the way.

Nikki: When you talk about a show this old, right.

Salina: It's really a springboard to talk about important things.

Salina: I mean, there are sitcoms.

Salina: They're not important except for the.

Salina: Except for pure entertainment.

Salina: But it's not life or death, you know?

Salina: And.

Nikki: But I do think that's a lot of what LBT's been trying to do with the show.

Nikki: It was the something.

Salina: It was the intelligence.

Nikki: Exactly.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: The show in general.

Salina: But certainly Charlene and Suzanne have kind of been in the background in my whole life, and that's something that I really had to sit with this one for a minute.

Salina: But I've talked about this before, but each time I've watched the show, I've been in a really distinct era of my own.

Salina: So the first time I watched the show, like, like large parts of it, I was a little kid, and then I was a young adult on my own for the first time, and now I'm someone staring down the barrel of middle age.

Salina: So just really three very different places in my life.

Salina: So in some ways, they're like a measuring stick for my life.

Salina: It's like notches on a doorway.

Salina: So it was interesting to kind of, like, reflect back and think about the different person I've been is like, I've come back to this show and how I kind of come back to it with, like, a little bit of a different lens, you know?

Salina: So the other thing that we talked about that we would talk about is touching on what happened in the aftermath of the show for Delta Burke and Jean smart after their exit from designing women.

Salina: If I was just going to, like, encapsulate it really quickly, Delta Burke clearly had a tougher time, and I.

Salina: But I do think it's fair to say that the shadows of Suzanne and Charlene loomed over both of their careers for a long time.

Salina: So, Nikki, you pulled the articles for both of these scenarios where they're at, and we can, however, I don't know if you.

Salina: We can start with.

Salina: We've been starting with Suzanne the whole time.

Salina: So you want to start with Delta?

Nikki: I was going to start with Delta, but only actually because hers was tougher to talk about in the immediate days and months after the show.

Nikki: We know she was leaving the show under duress.

Nikki: We know from interviews she's given since then.

Nikki: It was a bit of a dark period.

Nikki: So Ashley wanted us to pick up a couple years later after she left the show, because the outlook was a bit brighter for her.

Nikki: So by late 1994, she and LBT had patched up their feud, at least to a point where Delta was comfortable committing to a brand new show, Women of the House, in which she reprises the character of Suzanne Sugarbaker.

Nikki: But this time, she's filling her late husband's seat in Congress.

Nikki: So designingwomenonline.com had an old tv guide article from around this time in which Delta says, it felt like I had come home again.

Nikki: It was suddenly like I was at peace in my body.

Nikki: I was at peace in my mind.

Nikki: So throughout that article, she talks about the really dark spiral that she went through after she left designing women.

Nikki: So it included a failed attempt at another show, Delta, and then her slow climb back out of that, thanks to a lot of therapy, it sounds like, and a lot of self reflection.

Nikki: Toward the end of the article, she says, standing on the set in a sleek black and white designer suit, the article says, standing on the set in a sleek black and white designer suit, she says, I think this is the happiest time in my life.

Nikki: I feel like myself again.

Nikki: Sadly, the show only lasted a season or 13 episodes.

Salina: Yeah, I would really actually like to get a hold of it because I'm very curious and I'd like to see it.

Salina: That is something I'm actually interested in exploring in terms of sweet tea and tv, even.

Salina: Maybe not episode by episode, but maybe just, like, trying to watch it and then, like, having one episode on it or something.

Nikki: It would be a really short episode by episode season because it was only 13 episodes.

Salina: Right.

Salina: I think the only thing, I think that was a really, really good overview of what was in the article.

Salina: There was a couple of things that surprised me.

Salina: One thing that surprised me is that she's like, that I had not read before is she's pretty artsy.

Salina: So in addition to therapy, it sounds like she was also doing some, like, I guess she was drawing, like, fashion and design.

Salina: So I thought that was interesting.

Nikki: But she did end up getting her own clothing line later.

Salina: She did.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: And you can actually still find it.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: I've seen it, like, going through marshalls and stuff.

Salina: Oh, I almost, like, posted something to stories, but they were, like, intimates, and that felt weird to be like, here's a bra.

Salina: Thank you.

Salina: Thank you for sharing this bra.

Salina: So the other thing that stood out to me that I really liked reading in the article was they were talking about what a pro she was on set.

Salina: And so in that series, too, was Terry Gar and the woman who plays Patricia Heat.

Salina: Thank you.

Nikki: I was shocked.

Nikki: She's in that show.

Salina: So we're talking about two well known actors.

Salina: I mean, and she's a like a gold standard of sitcoms in her own right with everybody who loves Raymond and the middle.

Salina: In the middle.

Salina: I mean, altogether, probably 20 years of sitcoms right there.

Salina: And they said that both her and Terry Gar were struggling with their lines.

Salina: And Delta Burke comes in and she's just firing off missiles.

Salina: And I love that.

Salina: And it spoke to exactly like what Delta Burke did on designing women.

Salina: She came in and she fired off missiles.

Salina: So it was nice to hear that she was in a happier place.

Salina: I mean, maybe eventually her happier place was not being on a television show and just being home with the husband that she loved.

Salina: And that's okay, too, if that's what she wanted to do.

Salina: I do think that it is really something to think about.

Salina: Did you see how old she was in that article?

Salina: She was 38.

Salina: She was our age.

Salina: Attempting a second act, trying to work on herself, figuring out if she wanted kids all at the same time, coming off everything she experienced with designing women.

Salina: I think that's a ton for anyone to go through.

Salina: And I just want to, the last thing I want to say about this is that I think my heart just really goes out to her still for that time period.

Nikki: Sounds dark.

Salina: I truly hope it's lighter.

Salina: I actually had someone reach out.

Salina: And on social media, she messaged us and told us that she's friends with Delta Burke.

Nikki: Oh.

Salina: And she said that she became friends with her because I think she, like, was making some t shirts and anyways, and they struck up a conversation.

Salina: And, you know, the one thing I had shared with her is just that I hope that she saw the kind of love that she still generates.

Salina: That's on something that you and I have talked about, because I just think that's really important for someone to see, really anyone, but especially someone who went through so much and, and didn't really probably feel like she had anyone in her corner at that time.

Salina: There was no way to get that automatic feedback the way you do now.

Salina: And so I truly, I just truly hope that she sees that there are people out there that really cared about what she brought to that character and that she actually just brought, like, a lot of genuine happiness to people.

Salina: Yeah, we talk about Jean Smart.

Salina: Yeah.

Nikki: So she left designing women on much brighter terms and with a much brighter outlook, I think, than compared with Delta Burke.

Nikki: So we found a 1991 LA Times profile of her, which I'm afraid maybe you weren't able to read cause it was behind a paywall.

Salina: Were you able to get it every great once in a while when my time has come back around?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So I was able to read it.

Nikki: Okay, good.

Nikki: Because it stopped working for me and I had found it, had to find another way.

Nikki: I'm now an LA Times subscriber.

Salina: Perfect.

Nikki: Just kidding.

Nikki: So LA Times sums it up this way.

Nikki: Countless stars have left popular series and immediately disappeared from view.

Nikki: But that hasn't been the case with smart, who played the Sugar baker's business manager, Charlene Frazier, for five seasons.

Nikki: The article went on to note that she had been working nonstop.

Nikki: I guess from the time she left the show, she was in big screen movies like Mistress, which I had to look up to tv movies like overkill, and she was working off Broadway as well.

Nikki: And then they asked her how she felt about leaving designing women, and she said, I had a good time doing the show, but five years is an awfully long time for an actor to work on the same project.

Nikki: It's sort of an unnatural position for an actor to be in to a certain extent.

Nikki: So at the time that the profile was written, she was promoting her latest NBC made for tv movie just my imagination, and talked a lot about how excited she was to take on new things and try new things.

Nikki: She talked a little bit about her relationship with Richard Gilliland and how many collaborations they had, like, almost inadvertently had with one another.

Nikki: It just worked out that they ended up collaborating a lot.

Nikki: She also talked about being parents to their young son Connor.

Nikki: And all in all, it really just sounded super rosy from her.

Nikki: We know from your extra sugar segment, Salina, way back in season one, episode 14, that she's worked really consistently over the years and even mounted most recently.

Nikki: What you, what you said, don't call it a comeback, but some people are calling a comeback or a genus on the last couple of years.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: To me, it just, it just reads like the strongest point of her career.

Salina: The most prestigious television series.

Salina: Maybe she should have been getting them all along, you know, but everything she kind of touched, even if it were like, smaller roles or whatever, like, she does bring such a charm and just so much energy to it that she makes, like, this lasting impression.

Salina: I think she was only on, like, a small handful of Frasier episodes, but I know that that's one that, like, I think she, like, wound up winning an award or something for it.

Salina: Like, I, she just, there are no small parts, says the person who basically falls apart trying to do one video on her own phone.

Nikki: I always end up with this small parts.

Nikki: It's a safer place for me to be.

Salina: I did think of it very much so as let me rephrase this before I finish her talking point about just being ready to move on.

Salina: I'm trying to figure out if I believe it or not.

Salina: I think maybe she was ready to move on and do different characters.

Salina: But I just.

Salina: It's hard for me to believe that most people weren't ready to jet after how hard it had been just being around there with everything going on off, going on off screen, like everything in life.

Nikki: It was probably a pros and cons list that she ultimately had to make, because in several interviews this LA Times, 1 may have been one.

Nikki: She talks a lot about how they had a young son.

Nikki: They were actors.

Nikki: So having a steady paycheck was really nice from designing women.

Nikki: And when you have a three year old and two actors, any one of you having a steady paycheck is probably great.

Nikki: She talks about, though, how that is not a place from which to make artistic choices.

Nikki: And so she had to sort of come to terms with that, and she had to make peace with the fact that she might have to go with a little financial instability.

Nikki: So I imagine there was a pro con list, and one of the biggest cons to leaving the show was losing financial stability.

Nikki: But I'm sure one of the biggest pros had to have.

Nikki: I mean, if the entire cast got together, the entire cast and crew got together and had to vote about one particular person, that starts to feel toxic, and no one wants to work in a toxic environment.

Nikki: And for her, maybe she just had to make the choice that it was time to move on.

Nikki: And one of the benefits of moving on is she leaves behind toxicity.

Nikki: But also she gets that talking point of now I get to be artistically creative or whatever.

Nikki: Probably a little bit of everything.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: And I mean, and this is always kind of like the.

Salina: Where this.

Salina: Where our conversations have to come to a head is.

Salina: We don't know.

Nikki: No idea.

Salina: We just.

Nikki: Other than what we read, we have to read between the lines sometime.

Salina: Okay, well, one more note on Gene smart hacks returns to Max on May 2.

Nikki: Hacks on Max.

Salina: Hacks on Max.

Salina: Sounds like a doctor Seuss book.

Salina: So last up, Nikki, you had the excellent idea to see what our friend chat GPT had to say about Charlene and Suzanne's journey after designing women.

Salina: So in prepping for the episode, I just went ahead and asked a series of questions, and then on a scale from one to ten, I want to know, how do you think old chat GPT did?

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: One being bad, ten being good.

Salina: Sure.

Salina: Let's go that way.

Salina: So what did you think?

Nikki: I didn't read them.

Salina: Do you have them somewhere?

Salina: Oh, I'm asking you to guess.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Do you think they did a good job or not?

Nikki: I see.

Nikki: Okay.

Nikki: I'm so prepared for something else.

Nikki: Do I think they did a good job?

Nikki: No.

Nikki: I'm gonna give it a five.

Salina: A five?

Salina: Okay.

Salina: All right.

Salina: Well, let's get to it.

Salina: Let's see how this turned out.

Salina: So the first question I asked was, Suzanne Sugarbaker and Charlene Fraser left designing women in 1991.

Salina: Charlene heads to England.

Salina: Susanna, Japan.

Salina: What happens next after Suzanne Sugarbaker?

Salina: This is the answer.

Salina: Played by Delta Burke and Charlene Frasier, played by Jean Smart, left designing women in 1991.

Salina: The show continued with new characters and storylines.

Salina: In the series, the departures of Suzanne and Charlene were explained by Suzanne's decision to marry a japanese businessman and move to Japan, while Charlene moved to England with her husband.

Salina: Following their exits, the show introduced new characters to fill the void left by Suzanne and Charlene.

Salina: Julia Sugarbaker, played by Dixie Carter, remained a central character along with Mary Jo Shively, played by Anne Potts, and Anthony Bouvier, played by Meshach Taylor.

Salina: The show continued to focus on the interactions and dynamics among the remaining characters as they navigated their lives and careers at the sugar Baker interior design firm in Atlanta.

Nikki: So thanks, chat.

Salina: GPT so you can definitely tell that they found things on the Internet.

Salina: I mean, I didn't.

Salina: So what I had to do is I kind of had to start fine tuning the questions to try and see if I could get a little bit more out of this them.

Salina: And so what I'm the next.

Salina: Where I finally landed, where I finally started to get a little bit more was with what do you think happened to Suzanne Sugar Baker after she moved to Japan?

Salina: I removed the question from Charlene's point of view because the answer was really boring.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: So here's what they had to say.

Salina: Given Suzanne Sugarbaker's larger than life personality and ambitious nature as portrayed in designing women, it's intriguing to speculate on what might have transpired after her move to Japan.

Salina: Here are a few possibilities.

Salina: Successful business ventures Suzanne was portrayed as a savvy businesswoman throughout the series, where she said after moving to Japan, she might have utilized her entrepreneurial skills and I might learn how to say that without drinking a little to start her own business or expand her husband's existing ventures.

Salina: With her determination and charm, she could have forged valuable connections in the japanese business world.

Salina: Two, cultural adaptation.

Salina: So moving to Japan would have presented Suzanne with the challenge of adapting to a new culture and language.

Salina: Perhaps she immersed herself in japanese customs and traditions, embracing the opportunity to learn and grow personally and professionally.

Nikki: Sounds just like her.

Salina: Number three, international influence.

Salina: Suzanne's bold personality and flair for design could have made her a prominent figure in Japan's fashion and interior design scene.

Salina: She might have become a sought after consultant or influencer, blending her southern charm with japanese aesthetics.

Salina: Four, personal growth.

Salina: Living abroad could have provided Suzanne with a chance for her personal reflection and growth.

Salina: Away from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta.

Salina: She might have discovered her new passions or hobbies, enriching her life in unexpected ways and in family life.

Salina: Number five.

Salina: Suzanne's marriage to Mister Fumio Sugura could have brought her joy and fulfillment in her personal life.

Salina: Whether starting a family or nurturing her relationship with her husband, she might have found happiness in her new role as wife and potentially as a mother.

Salina: Oh, there's one more thing.

Salina: Overall, while the specifics of Suzanne's life in Japan were not explored in the series, one can imagine that she's continued to live life with the same gusto and determination that characterized her character in designing women, leaving a lasting impression wherever she went.

Salina: I think that last part probably been the most accurate.

Salina: None of it was inaccurate.

Nikki: Yeah, I love the idea of her going to Japan and creating, like, almost a microcosm of the Beaumont driving club.

Nikki: Like, taking her approach to culture and society and, like, extending that to a group of japanese women.

Nikki: Like, I like imagining Suzanne standing in the middle of a group of, like, ten japanese women who are suddenly wearing shoulder pads and big hair.

Salina: Oh, wonderful.

Nikki: Like, talking about who they're not gonna let in, which biddy they're not gonna let into their next bridge meet bridge game or whatever.

Salina: I was thinking more like she just had to get in to be a geisha because it's super.

Nikki: That could happen too.

Nikki: I do like this idea of her stumbling on a business venture.

Nikki: I do kind of wonder if they're mixing Delta Burke, because she did have the clothing line, which I think was, they're still selling it.

Nikki: It must have had some level of success.

Nikki: I do like this idea of her getting, like, some fun money to do something and landing on something that really resonates, like taking wigs to Japan.

Nikki: Like, wigs were never a thing before Suzanne sugar Baker got there and introduced all the women to wigs or something.

Salina: Maybe it's a line of baby wigs, right?

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: Okay.

Salina: Yeah, I like that idea.

Nikki: I like that idea.

Salina: Then I went a more shenanigans route.

Salina: So I was like, tell me the shenanigans for the ladies.

Salina: So here's what's happening.

Salina: What they think might have happened with Suzanne.

Salina: So while the series designing women did not depict Suzanne sugarbakers life in Japan, imagining the kinds of shenanigans she might have gotten into can be a fun exercise, given Suzanne's flamboyant personality and penchant for finding herself in amusing and often unexpected situations.

Salina: Here are some speculative scenarios.

Nikki: Alright, I love speculation.

Salina: Cultural clashes.

Salina: Suzanne, with her southern charm and outspoken nature, might have found herself inadvertently causing cultural misunderstandings or faux pas in Japan.

Salina: Picture her attempting to navigate japanese customs and etiquette with her signature flair, resulting in humorous cultural clashes and misunderstandings.

Salina: So I think that is something I see here, too, why writers are like, wait a dang minute, because they're definitely coming up with these nuggets of ideas for episodes.

Salina: Although as a writer, I might also be like, help me remember what I wrote and what can I write next on this 24 episode season?

Salina: Fashion fiascos.

Salina: As a fashion conscious character, Suzanne could have found herself trying to make a statement with her wardrobe in Japan, only to discover that her bold southern style doesn't quite fit in with the subtler japanese fashion sensibilities.

Salina: Imagine her attempting to blend her love for big hair and bold colors with traditional japanese attire, leading to comedic fashion fiascos.

Salina: Which is kind of the route you were headed.

Nikki: Except in my version, she, like, takes over and wins.

Salina: Right.

Nikki: And suddenly all of Japan is Suzanne Sugar Baker.

Salina: That's right.

Salina: Language mishaps.

Salina: Suzanne's southern draw and colorful vocabulary could have led to amusing language mishaps as she tried to communicate in Japanese.

Salina: Picture her attempting to order food or ask for directions, only to be met with confusion or hilariously mistranslated responses.

Nikki: Yep.

Salina: Culinary adventures.

Salina: Suzanne might have embarked on culinary adventures in Japan, sampling local delicacies and attempting to recreate southern dishes with japanese ingredients.

Salina: Imagine her trying to handle her hand at sushi making or attending traditional tea ceremonies with her usual flair for the dramatic, adding an extra dose of comedy to her culinary escapades.

Nikki: I think she would have had to.

Salina: Know how to cook to start there, right?

Salina: Exactly.

Salina: But I could see her getting, like, maybe she's, like, trying to make friends.

Salina: Cause she's lonely and, like, goes to a sushi making class or something.

Salina: Or like, she gets goaded into one.

Nikki: Yeah, I could see that.

Nikki: Yeah.

Salina: Business endeavors knowing Suzanne's entrepreneurial spirit, were we watching the same show?

Salina: She could have found herself getting involved in various business ventures in Japan, from starting her own fashion line to opening a southern themed restaurant.

Salina: I keep wanting her to eat.

Salina: Yeah, picture her navigating the complexities of japanese business culture with her trademark charm and determination, leading to both successes and mishaps along the way.

Salina: While these are purely speculative, they capture the essence of Suzanne Sugarbaker's character and the potential for comedic hijinks in her life in Japan.

Salina: So how about Charlene?

Salina: Imagining the kinds of shenanigans Charlene Stillfield might have gotten into after moving to England provides a delightful opportunity to explore her character's warmth and innocence and new surroundings.

Salina: Which is exactly how you described her.

Nikki: Warmth and innocent is it time to tell everybody I am actually chat?

Salina: GPT that's right, Nikki has left.

Nikki: I have been replaced by Nikki Bot.

Salina: So here are some speculative scenarios.

Salina: Lost in translation Charlie, known for her charming southern dialect and occasional misunderstandings, might have found herself in amusing situations due to differences in language and british colloquialisms.

Salina: Picture her innocent confusion over british english phrases or her attempt to decipher local accents, leading to humorous interactions with neighbors and shopkeepers.

Nikki: I could see it.

Salina: I could see that this would be.

Nikki: A very funny couple of episodes, right?

Salina: Just like her landing there initially.

Salina: Teatime troubles Charlene's introduction to the british tradition of tea time could have resulted in comical mishaps as she navigated the intricacies of brewing the perfect cuppa and mastering the art of scones and clotted cream.

Salina: Imagine her earnest efforts to host tea parties for her new english friends, complete with her signature warmth and hospitality.

Salina: Despite occasional culinary mishaps, cultural clashes, Charlene's southern charm and down to earth nature might have clashed with the reserved demeanor of some english acquaintances, leading to humorous misunderstandings or awkward social encounters.

Salina: Picture her inadvertently breaking british etiquette norms or trying to introduce her own southern customs, such as potluck okay, pot luck dinners that could have gotten interesting or porch gatherings to bemused english neighbors.

Nikki: I thought she was going to introduce pot liquor.

Salina: Well, maybe historical hijinks.

Salina: England's rich history and picturesque landscape could have provided Charlene with opportunities for whimsical adventures.

Salina: Imagine her exploring quaint english villages, getting lost in sprawling english gardens, or enthusiastically participating in historical reenactments, all with her characteristic innocence and curiosity.

Salina: And then last, quirky quandarys.

Salina: Charlene's endearing naivety might have led her into quirky predicaments as she adjusted to her life in England.

Salina: Picture her mistaking british customs or landmarks for something entirely different, inadvertently joining a local Morris dancing troupe or embarking on a whimsical quest to find the best fish and chips in the countryside.

Salina: These are purely speculative, but they do capture the essence of Charlene Stillfield's character and potential for heartwarming and humorous adventures in her new life ending.

Nikki: We get it.

Nikki: Chat GPT there was never a sequel to the show.

Salina: Do you feel satisfied?

Nikki: I would not watch either one of those shows, but if it was just a couple episodes, it would have been really funny.

Salina: Yes, I agree.

Salina: I also, it felt much more specific when I looked at these at like, 05:00 in the morning, and now that I'm looking at 350 in the afternoon, I'm like, well, they just pulled a bunch of keywords.

Nikki: They did, didn't they?

Salina: That's interesting.

Salina: I did get a last minute request from Nikki to look into Olivia.

Nikki: If it's terrible, I don't need to know.

Salina: It's terrible.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: I don't need to know.

Salina: I think it's because they have less to pull from.

Nikki: I just wanted to know what would have happened to Olivia.

Salina: I think she's president.

Salina: Yep.

Nikki: Well, it's possible.

Salina: Yeah.

Salina: She's now on Madam secretary, on CB's.

Nikki: Couldn't decide if she would have gone in the military like her dad, or if she would end up back in Poplar Bluff.

Nikki: You know what I mean?

Salina: That's fun.

Salina: Like, she was like, big city girl.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: In London, she got tired of that and decided to go back and.

Nikki: Yeah, right.

Nikki: And then green acres it.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: Okay.

Nikki: Exactly.

Salina: We can do that.

Salina: We'll chat.

Nikki: GPT there you go.

Nikki: We don't need chat.

Nikki: You pT.

Salina: And then I know you wanted to know about Noelle, but she ran away, so what exactly is it that you wanted?

Salina: I just want to know, like, where.

Nikki: Did she end up?

Nikki: Like, did she end up in a.

Salina: Loving heart out on green Acres?

Nikki: That's what I wanted.

Nikki: Like, did she run away to the suburbs of South Atlanta and she was adopted into a farm family, or did Consuela's family catch her again and take her to their meat market?

Salina: Let's go with the first one.

Nikki: Actually, I like the first one better.

Salina: That feels happier.

Nikki: Just those feel like the two unanswered questions for me.

Nikki: I need resolution.

Nikki: Well, I mean, I still need to know what happened to Quint and Claudia, and I know we're never going to see them again, so I guess theoretically, we could have run that on through chat.

Nikki: GPT and or I could have come up with predictions.

Nikki: But those were the they've still got a couple of seasons left with Mary.

Salina: Jo, so that's right.

Salina: And it's not really it's not really about them.

Salina: It's about Suzanne and Charlie.

Salina: It is.

Salina: And for on that note, to Suzanne and Charlene and Delta Burke and Jean Smart.

Salina: Thank you for the laughs, the tears.

Salina: Thanks for the memories.

Salina: You all always hold a special place in our hearts.

Salina: You know the drill.

Salina: Dm us, email us, or contact us from the website and find us all over the socials.

Salina: And that's this week's extra sugar.


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