Thelma Harper and her spinster sister Fran open their home to Thelma's recently divorced son Vinton and his teenage son and daughter. It's quite an adjustment for everyone, especially the ... See full summary »
This "All In The Family" spin-off centers around Edith's cousin, Maude Findlay. She's a liberal, independent woman living in Tuckahoe, NY with her fourth husband Walter, owner of Findlay's ... See full summary »
A greasy-spoon diner in Phoenix, Arizona is the setting for this long-running series. The title character, Alice Hyatt, is an aspiring singer who arrives in Phoenix with her teenaged son, ... See full summary »
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Lara Jill Miller
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
As with many shows, the pilot features a set that's different from that of the one used once the show is picked up by the network; in this case, there is a stepped entryway beyond the front door, Julia's desk is located front-and-center of the set, and much of the furniture is completely different. Sharp-eyed viewers will also note the dark and grainy quality of the pilot, which is in contrast to the bright, warm, crisp look of the remaining episodes. Dedicated viewers will also note that not only is Suzanne's relationship with Ted, Mary Jo's ex-husband, almost NEVER referred to again after the initial episode, but that Julia alludes to Suzanne's "many" marriages, though in later shows, it's clearly stated Suzanne has only been married three times. See more »
Bonnie Jean 'B.J.' Poteet:
In Texas, we have what's called the "Bubba Factor," where everyone is nicknamed Bubba. Except Ross Perot... they call him Mr. Bubba.
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Designing Women is a true classic show, certainly with its original cast, offering some of the best characters, chemistry, and scripts ever on television. The people behind the show were the Thomasons, good friends of Bill Clinton from Arkansas, and often, the show expressed their liberal point of view.
Julia, Suzanne, Charlene, Mary Jo etc., have now all passed into syndication where they can be enjoyed all the time. These wonderful actresses fleshed out their characters so were able to laugh, be appalled, and cry with them: Julia, the widow, outspoken with a good heart; Suzanne, her beauty queen sister, selfish, shallow, and lovable; Charlene, the patsy, pretty, sweet, and naive; Mary Jo, the divorcée, struggling with dating and motherhood, self-deprecating and funny. And what can be said about that supporting cast of Meshach Taylor as Anthony and Alice Ghostley as Bernice? Perfect.
Even though I laughed hysterically at many of the episodes, two stand out - one where, during freezing weather, Suzanne and Anthony are stranded at a fleabag hotel for the night; the other was when the girls went on some sort of camping trip and were ordered around by a counselor - I'm vague on the details, but I can still see the look on Charlene and Mary Jo's faces.
Like the Golden Girls, with the loss of one of the cast, in this case Delta Burke, the show suffered, although it was still funny with Julia Duffy and Judith Ivey. But audiences find it difficult to accept new characters as replacements, no matter how good. The chemistry was never the same. Nevertheless, even the later episodes make for great viewing.
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