Big Daddy Hollingsworth is in town with his antebellum lexicon and a gee-tar, as he informs Blanche that he sold the entire estate in order to pursue a country music singing career. Meanwhile, Dorothy and Sophia deal with Mr. Barton, aka "Mouth" and his complete disregard of neighborly responsibility through both civic involvement and the old stand-by, a Sicilian curse.
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 24: Get Out the Boots, He's Back!, analyzing The Golden Girls Season1 episode, Big Daddy:
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And also the President's Twitter page, but I guess that's neither here nor there. You can find The Definitive Guide for Beginners: How to Start Watching The Golden Girls, a starter kit on EnoughWicker.com on Monday, September 14, which also happens to be the 35th anniversary of the show.
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Hello, and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we put on our boots and discuss the most amazing ladies of the 80s, The Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're tackling the 24th episode in the series Big Daddy.
Oh man, this episode is BIG. This is an awesome episode. I think it's hilarious.
I love it. I know I'm gonna get caught on this 100 times, but it honestly actually might be my first one -- my favorite one of the first season.
We should keep track of how many times you say that.
I know. I can't stop.
It's just such a pure love. You know, it's like put it in front of you. It's your favorite.
But no, this one has amazing lines. I actually think the A and B-stories are both incredible and work really well. And they almost like -- I don't even think they are intentionally like this, but sort of the over the top Southern parody and then we get this like over the top Italian stereotype of Evil Eye and everything that goes with it is just -- they're great. They're very rich. Both the storylines are rich.
And I think what works really well is you -- we'll talk about this a lot, but and you referenced this in the last episode, but Sophia is continually, like, sort of checking Big Daddy's ridiculousness, and so is Dorothy. But Rose reacts in the total opposite way, which is, like, confounded enthusiasm, which she does so well, and I think she does that -- that's a running theme for her character, but this is the first time that we've really seen it and it's when she's, like, so excited to be in Gone with the Wind, it's just, like, perfect. It really works well in tandem with the other -- the other two being like "What the fuck?"
Absolutely. It's so great. Just skipping ahead to that exact Rose one, where Blanche is like, "I can't believe it" when -- when Big Daddy's gonna play and Rose is like, "Neither can I! Free tickets!" It's just so much fun. It's just so much fun. Oh, God. Well, this is perfect. So we start off with already, like, a sweet line from Sophia, where she's like, "Excuse me Rose, have I given you any indication at all that I can," which is like definitely meme-able and like a fabulous Sophia v. Rose type of comment, which is wonderful. And then we launch straight into the Blanche, you know, monologue and talking about Twin Oaks and where Dorothy --
"That's the name of our house."
Right!? "I can't believe I know anyone who calls her father Big Daddy." Which, like, let's sit with that for a moment. Yeah, what?
Yeah. It's so like -- Blanche's background is so, you know, just wild and so, like, Designing Women meets Dynasty, like, she wants to be Gone with the Wind, right? Like, that's who she wants them to think of her as.
Oh! It's toooootal antebellum type of nonsense.
And like, you and I are from Jersey, right? So like, I think we're predisposed to already think, like, a lot of this shit is ridiculous, but like it is objectively ridiculous. This is the 1980s and like -- this is not the 1880s or even the 1840s which is really what we're leaning towards.
And Dorothy kind of has that same attitude, which makes sense because she's a New Yorker.
Like, she's just like, "What?? Like, what -- what kind of" --
"Did you break into 'dem ol' cotton fields back home?"
Yeah! Exactly. Like, it's so like -- God, it's so bizarre.
There's just the subtext of this -- you know, it's so American to have this like North versus South and I'm not disparaging the entire blanket self, but also, these types of parodies and there are these white people in the South that do exist still --
That are still, like, very, very, very like, "This is the history. This is -- we have the Confederate flag for heritage." Like shit like that, you know? And it's, like, growing -- growing up where we grew up, it's also just, like, I can't believe this is, like, this is -- this is comedic and this is so over the top that it's real and, you know, they -- they do this with the Blanche character, because there is that absolute subtext always with it's -- it's ridiculous right? It's not played to be totally serious, but you need to have the Sophia's and the Dorothy's in the screen being like, "No, no, no. This is ridiculous." Just to make sure everyone knows. That's why I think the last episode I was talking about where Blanche has this, like, "They used to get the little butter that dripped off my chin" and they treat it totally normally and you're, like, this feels awkward, because somebody needs to jump into the screen and talk about how stupid this is.
Fatal DD. That is like --
That's one of my all time favorite exchanges. It just, like, -- from the minute he arrives, I'm laughing and that whole, like -- when he gets there and Sophia is just blinking and, you know -- it's so good.
Ohhh yeah. Was that -- when he goes, "I'm sorry for -- pardon me for staring, ma'am." This XX. Like, you need boots to listen to this guy.
But like, the absolute correct response that she has. Like, this is so stupid. Give me a break.
Oh yeah, oh my God. It's so good. But speaking of sort of the Rose -- the Rose and Sophia dynamic which is, like, it's been one of the -- they have their ventures together, right? Like, it's understated but it's a long running one. It's so funny and it's so overshadowed because of all of the other funny things, I think, that are happening, but when Sophia -- Rose is gonna go outside and Sophia's like, "Why don't you pull some weeds?" It reminds me of the way that I as an older sibling would, like, trick my brother into doing chores that I was supposed to do. Like I love it.
Oh yeah, and you're right. There are tons of, like, business ventures they go into and it -- it's like their -- their main team ups are absolutely Sophia taking advantage of Rose for the majority of it. "Boy I wish I had a car to sell."
Like the night hostess at Denny's.
Exactly. Oh my God. It's unreal. But yeah. But Sophia is amazing in this one. She's such a powerhouse and she is the one that like, I think -- I don't think Big Daddy and her are ever in the room, or like Blanche is saying something in the room, where Sophia isn't just like constantly undercutting. Like, even before he arrives where she's like, "I want to make him feel welcome." And she's like, "Get the Millers across the street that tar and feather their lawn jockey." Like, what a line, but holy shit! Like, it's so funny because she is literally in this moment being like, "Are you fucking kidding? Like, the war's over. You lost."
Yeah, it's -- it's great. And it's nice, because, like, so she's doing that, her -- Sophia's like leading the charge on that, but she's also, with the B-story, which -- and this is an episode where I think both the A and B-stories are 100. Like, they're both so good and they work so well together. But, in addition to like criticizing Blanche's identity, which I think we can all agree is fair and welcome, Sophia is really leaning into her own sort of, like, ethnic background, right? With the Sicilian Curse.
Totally. Oh my gosh. And it's like -- it's funny, because who knows if it was set off this way. I'm just, like, curious about the writers too, because he goes like, "You Italians," right? And that, like, kicks it off. And it's just like, "Alright, well, I'm gonna one up you," and just play completely into the stereotype of Italians with the "evil eye." And also, let's talk about the look of her Evil Eye.
I love it. Yeah.
It's really great. It's really great. But -- but yeah. But it's, like, and then, you know, of course, he buys it hook, line, and sinker, which of course -- at first he, you know, he just thinks that they fuck up his tires, like a regular neighborly fight, but -- but he obviously believes the whole thing. And I just, I really love -- I mean, he's the perfect -- Mr. Barton is the best, like, quirky next door neighbor. And his wife, Gladys, I mean, she -- she reminds me of, kind of, like, not as weird, but kind of Gladys Kravitz, the neighbor from Bewitched, just because she's got this wacky thing where she's -- just in a situation, "Abner!" Like, she has this whole, "Oh, my goodness, our tree fell into your yard!"
Wow, that is really good.
Thank you, thank you. I just really -- I really love that whole exchange. Like, it plays really perfectly where it's like, the, the wife has to chase after her shitty husband and completely is just like, "Why are we being dickholes to them?" But of course, like, you know, spoiler alert, at the end she has to clean up his mess. She's like, "That's why I did all the things to him," which is really great. And the audience is like, "Oh, man!" It's actually a really good review.
It is. It's great. "Coincidence my eye!"
It's fantastic. Also, I love, like, the -- the dispute is very, like, you know, Dorothy is very civic minded, like, she goes to get a map of their property, you know, just -- you can clearly see all this kind of stuff and it's actually funny, because I feel like that's absolutely something you would do.
All the proper channels of local government and then you're just like -- then he just fucking rips it up. And you're like, wait, what am I supposed to do?
Yeah. We have no idea. Play it safe. Stick with a curse. It's so great. That whole story is like, so funny and their interactions because like, Dorothy allows it, but it's also like, you're really stiring the pot here, which, like, you know, I feel like it's very true to life. Somebody's trying to, like, get to the thing with somebody so irritated. It's very true of a neighborly conflict, I think.
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. Also, "You looking for me, Mouth?"
Love that. Oh, my God. We have to start -- we have to go in because, like...
We really have to use that.
Yeah, so first of all, like, when Sophia -- it's really funny -- calls him back and then that, like, from the moment that he walks in, it is one funny line after another. When -- when he's like, "I want you to promise that you won't fret none." And she's like, "I don't really know what fretting none is." Like, 1, 2, 3. It's so -- it's so perfect.
Yeah, right. Where you're talking about our, like, extra beat after the joke? It's, it's just unbelievable. Um, okay, so let's -- let's go back into the B-story here. So, Blanche is against -- at first, right? She's against her dad sinking? Like, that's kind of -- it's really a thin line where she's just like, "This isn't like him," but you're just like, so you haven't even heard him sing yet and you don't really talk to him all the time and your memories are like, "when everybody from the county would come" and like all these childhood memories. Like, he very well could have been teaching himself to play guitar very well. I'm saying, like, it's possible. And especially if he was such a revered character in your town, where he could sort of do no wrong and like, you know, he "truly was a father to everyone in town." Like, I feel like you would still have -- you know, it's interesting the caretaking thing. I just -- I just think it's funny rewatching this. She's just like, "At first," right? This is before you hear about...
Oh yeah, I agree.
The big news. You're just, like, Blanche give the guy a chance. Jesus. Like, aren't you supposed to have respect for your father in this very awkward patriarchal antebellum society that you all are coming from?
I had that down too. So he's retired. He wants to pick up a new hobby and try it out. Who cares? Like, it is really...
It is so -- her reaction is like wildly misplaced until we find out, obviously, that he sold their entire estate and like, no one knew.
She has sisters and a brother we haven't heard about yet, but still.
And also, I love when she's like, "I forbid you to do this," and he's like, "You forbid Big Daddy!?" So, like...
Oh my god. Seriously. "Don't you sass me, missy." And you're just like, get the hell out of here. Again, this is my New Jersey, hard, northern Yankee coming out and I'm just like, this is not my particular family arrangement with this whole respect and revering for my parents. Like, yes respect for my parents, but not in this, like, "don't you sass" -- I don't know. It's just like -- it's a very odd structure and it's again, like, they're playing it for comedy, but then when they get into these arguments it is actually turns more real of, like, that this is their dynamic. It is -- it's really bizarre.
Yeah, I mean, maybe you don't have the same respect because you never saw your father carrying a giant tuna down the street.
"That's what I think of every time I think of my father." Oh my God.
But yeah. It's, yeah, -- but obviously the reveal of the selling the entire state and then like at the end, you know, he's like "Oh, it's because your mother. And you know, we were gonna chase rainbows together," and, like, all this, -- this whole speech where you need boots to listen to it again. And you're supposed to kind of forget that he just couldn't give a little telegram. A heads up Blanche, Charmaine, Virginia, Clayton. Like I'm gonna sell the house. Like, there. There it is. Yeah, thinking about selling it and chasin' rainbows. So then, you know, they go and -- free tickets! -- to support him and all that kind of stuff, and you know, he's -- Dorothy's like, "Oh, wow. A real cowboy." I mean, like real cowboy barn. Dorothy, she's like, "You could tell they were because they wore cowboy hats and drink wine spritzers and drive Volvos." So I think -- is this, like, the only cowboy bar in Miami? I love that, you know, Blanche is like, "Oh, have I been here before? I don't even know." What I also appreciate about it is that it's, like, it -- this only Honky Tonk, is it really this reservation based kind of system? Like, I guess -- I guess, yes. In a Honky Tonk you get a table for like the show, you know, the Early Show, the Late Show, but it just seems like the kind of bar where you're carving your name into a table in the back, not that you have to ask the guy for your reservations. All "Big Daddy had 'em reserved," you know?
Yeah, there's no maitre d there.
Exactly. That guy does -- that guy does a bang up job trying to be the maitre d. But also one of the absolute best lines in this entire episode is Rusty. We have to talk about Rusty the Cowboy.
Oh my God. Rusty. The harasser.
Rusty the harasser, exactly. Like how many women have -- everybody -- every woman who has been in a bar has like dealt with a guy like this. Like, it's hysterical because he just comes right over, launches right into it, does not care, and the best is that he is still talking when Dorothy just brilliantly goes, "Give us a break, would ya Mac," and it's -- oh my God. I sometimes rewind the episode to see -- to see that part again. It's incredible.
It so good. And also it's similar to how they respond to Big Daddy when he's like, you know, this guy's like a saddlebag and around your kit, and it's so over the top and it's the only way to respond. It's the only appropriate way to respond. It's amazing.
Exactly. It's perfect. I say -- I say that line and "mouth" is probably the absolute best two lines in this entire thing. And the best part about, you know, serial harasser Rusty is that after that deflection from Dorothy, which is very intense, he literally just siddles up to the next woman he sees. Like, that's it. That's the guy.
But that's totally ture. That's totally real. That's exactly - like what you were saying, like, we've all been hit on by that guy. And it's like, all right, so it never was about me.
Yeah, exactly. I am a piece of meat. Move on down the line. The other thing I wanted to say is, like, you know, Big Daddy's speech at the end, as you know, insane and "chasing rainbows" as it gets, I really -- I really like it for for two reasons, actually. One is that I -- it's relatable, his story about how, you know, he wanted to hop on a "tramp steama" and traveling the world. But, you know, having that sort of sense of adventure, but then when you find a partner and you find you -- it kind of changes your outlook. It's not that you, you know, you still want to go on adventures. You want to go adventures with them, of course, but you -- you get the nesting instinct. It just comes and I think that I never understood when I was younger people being like, we're just gonna stay right here and have a house and do a thing. Like, nah. I was like, there's like the world to see people. Like, what are you doing? And then of course, you know, I meet my future husband, and I was like, oh, yeah, I get it now. Damn. I do want a house and just to hang out with you here. I mean, I still want to go to Antarctica and stuff. But, you know, but anyway. I thought that was pretty cool. But also, more importantly, my second point, which I really like, because I think it really plays into the character and this entire, like, reason that Blanche is embarrassed for him, is that he freely admits that he is bad at music. But that he's just doing it anyway and he doesn't care. And I think that that -- that's so freeing for anybody, but especially because he's older, you know?
Yeah, totally. And he's also giving -- he's taking the opportunity to make a hobby into a career, if you except that a career doesn't always have to earn money, right? Like it's nice to see him doing something. Yeah. And I...
Well, he has money. He sold the...
I guess that's true. That's how he's financing his music career. But yeah, you know, your points, both I think are very relatable. You know, everybody has that moment where they -- you know, has a moment where they kind of have questioned the things that they previously thought and I think a lot of that comes when you meet a partner, and it's like, oh, yeah, it would be nice to settle down. And it's understandable that he would put off his dreams for a little bit. And also, I wanted to say when you did his accent, it had a little tinge of Mae West, which I really liked.
Good. I'm glad. You know me from New Jersey. I'm not exactly the best at these, but the mocking is there. Yes. So, but yeah. Well, what do you say?
I think we can wrap it up cowboy partner. I don't know. I'm trying to be like -- I just can't it's not in me.
I know. The Jersey-ness is just too strong, right? Oh my gosh. Well, well -- well, anyway, partner. Join us next time when we discuss familial origins and arguing over pepperoni and oysters. Buh-bye!