Outspoken feminist Julia Sugarbaker runs a design firm out of her Atlanta home, along with her shallow ex-beauty queen sister, Suzanne, divorced mother Mary Jo, and, naive country girl ... See full summary »
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Pat Harrington Jr.
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Dick Loudon and his wife Joanna decide to leave life in New York City and buy a little inn in Vermont. Dick is a how-to book writer, who eventually becomes a local TV celebrity as host of "... See full summary »
Outspoken feminist Julia Sugarbaker runs a design firm out of her Atlanta home, along with her shallow ex-beauty queen sister, Suzanne, divorced mother Mary Jo, and, naive country girl Charlene. Black ex-con Anthony helps deliver furniture for the business and voices his unique opinion on whatever the women are discussing. Episodes typically revolve around the work, personal, and love lives of these four women. Written by
Of the 25 series the major television networks debuted in 1986, Designing Women was the only one to still be on the air for the 1992-3 season. See more »
Anthony, where have you been all morning?
The question should be, "Where have I been all night?" I'll tell you where I've been. I was locked in the basement of Suzanne's house!
Oh, were you locked in there? I thought I heard something.
Did it sound anything like someone shouting "Let me out of here, bitch!"?
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"Designing Women" centered on four Southern women who worked at an interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia. The original cast included Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart, and Meshach Taylor. The humor was outrageously funny, witty and topical and the actors all worked well as an ensemble since their characters were so well-defined and very different. I am puzzled by the many negative comments about this show stating that it was not funny. Were these people watching the same show that I was?
In 1991, both Delta Burke and Jean Smart left the series and were replaced by Julia Duffy, who had played Stephanie on "Newhart," and Jan Hooks, an alumna of "Saturday Night Live." Both were fine actresses but their characters were not well fleshed-out. Duffy's Allison Sugarbaker was a New Yorker and, in my opinion, just never caught on with viewers. Hooks' Carlene Dobber was simply a nitwit, which is a shame because Jan Hooks was hysterical and very versatile on all the seasons she was on SNL. They never developed a multi-layered character that utilized her full comedic potential, but rather one that was mostly a one-note caricature. So, this truly fine and funny actress was wasted in a silly role. Julia Duffy was replaced the next and final season by Judith Ivey, whose character was again a Southern type who fit seamlessly into the ensemble.
I often think the best character was Bernice Clifton as played by the outrageously funny and talented Alice Ghostley. Next to Suzanne Sugarbaker, this character had some hilarious and unforgettable lines.
There are many terrific episodes of this series. They are currently being rebroadcast on the Lifetime Network along with "The Golden Girls," another great series. Those who commented that "Designing Women" is a rip-off of "The Golden Girls" are mistaken; both are fine situation comedies in their own right but are also very unique and distinct from one another. The only thing common to both is that each show starred four wonderful comedic actresses. It would be great to have some solid programming such as both of these shows on the networks today.
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