In what can only be described as a classic, the girls win three tickets to see Mr. Burt Reynolds (who really appears in this episode and apparently wears monogrammed underwear) at a star-studded event. Ever the Tonto of the group, Sophia is left out and while Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose feel bad for a moment, they mostly think 'WHO CARES!" The tables turn, however, when the girls are arrested and need Sophia to bail them out. During their time in the slammer, Rose works through a nonsensical adolescent trauma, Blanche's inherent biases around class are revealed, and Dorothy rags on the public school system. All in all, this one is a real knee-slapper.
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 27: Burt, Butter, and Payback, analyzing The Golden Girls Season 2 episode, Ladies of the Evening:
Hello and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where even if we don't make you giggle, who cares! Because we're still talking about our favorite TV show, The Golden Girls. Yeah, you like that one, huh? I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're on the 27th episode in the series, Ladies of the Evening.
Oh my gosh. The only thing I love more than that intro is this episode. This is one of the absolute classics. A must watch whenever it floats on Lifetime or any other rerun. It's just -- it's just pure funny. It's just such a ridiculous premise, but it works like so many times that they use ridiculous premises on this show. I adore it. It's wonderful.
There are so many funny lines in this one. It is like -- and yeah there's no real serious thru line in this one. I guess you could call the quote unquote mentorship of Meg, but every single thing is funny and I just laugh the whole time, from the beginning with the exterminator. Very, very reminiscent of Lou.
Oh, absolutely. I also really give the exterminator credit for pumping up his job, you know? Like Dorothy says, "Like you mean crawl under the house? Anyone could make it sound stupid."
Yeah, he's good. He -- he, I think, is in that category that we've talked about of guest stars with really, really small roles but who really are great and I think have really great chemistry. And I think he is a less -- he's obviously a less douchey Lou, but he is like you said, like, he takes his job very seriously. And the girls are kind of like, alright get rid of the bugs.
Yeah, exactly. Doesn't matter. Blattaria Andropolis.
The President of Greece lives under our baseboards.
"Maybe he'll be voted out next election." Oh my god. Magnificient.
So I think one of the big themes in this episode but it does, like, carry through the series, is when the girls have -- it's so fucked up. Like, we saw when they're going on vacation, but when there's, like, for some reason a limited number of tickets or seats or whatever that Sophia never gets to go.
I know. "I'm tired of being the Tonto of the group." But yeah, the jumping? Oh my God. When they're giddy and jumping because it happens immediately. We have this hilarious little, you know, termite issue, which gets them out of the house which is -- it's a really good setup. It's very solid, you know? And they organically are like, well, "we have to be out of here anyway. Let's make a weekend out of it." All that stuff. And just --just the giddy thing where they all stop and she's like, "Woo-hoo! Woo-hoo!"
I think she has a watering can. It's so cute.
It's very cute. But yeah, the leaving her out, it's just terrible. But I do like it, because Blanche does say she goes like, "I tried to get another ticket." Like, you know, she's -- it's not like she totally forgot about Sophia. It's just that's what happened, you know? And also, come on. These days it would just be plus one, not plus two. So, what a premise, but I guess that's how Burt rolls.
But her reaction to it is so great. Like, the Tonto line and then it's like, "I don't have to stay here and get gassed with the termites? I get to go."
"Oh, Dorothy is such a good daughter." That one, that's my -- one of my favorite lines. She walks immediately out of the room. It's just so perfect. I assume she was also listening at the door, because she was not in the room at the moment where they were talking about gassing the termites. It was a little iffy, but I'll just -- I'll just play it off like she was eavesdropping,
But it's so -- like, she holds on to that and she tries all of these different methods to be able to go, which I think is great. So she tries that Italian guilt thing, and then, like, so when just the -- the concept of her not being able to go for going's sake doesn't work, then she relapses from a pneumonia she had decades earlier.
She totally tries to play, you know, pick off the weakest link, which is fantastic. But yeah, it's just, you know, like, "Oh, which bed do you want Ma?" "I want the bed next to Burt Reynolds." It's just fantastic. And she, yeah, she -- she's amazing. Also in the hotel room that they're in, which is of course the same of the 12 sets that just circulate on the series which is so great. Just like the psychiatrist office from the last one plays as the office in everything. This is THE hotel room. Same one where Guantanamera happens. But they use the same vase, the same hideous weird vase that is "season two set dressing" that they had from the hallway in the last episode. I just totally noticed it, because I was paying attention to the hallway scene last time. I was like, wow! It's like -- here it is in the hotel. But yeah, I also -- this weird, hilarious, like, tale of Rue, I'm sorry Blanche, talking about how she slept with the president of the Chamber of Commerce. And this whole mocking Nixon thing which is really funny. But I just -- it's just, like, the story takes this bizarre, like, almost like Rose saying a little story turn where it's just like, "He was run over by 10 Shriners on minibikes who just happened to have the exact change." Somebody, like, really wanted to get in a Shriners joke. It's just very funny. It just strikes me as a very bizarre storytelling thing. But hey, writers were having fun with it, so.
Yeah, it is -- it's very -- it is very St. Elmo story-esque, but I think that also Blanche does that too when she goes off on her, like, you know, wild tales of the South and, like, the mint juleps and things like that. So it was definitely in line. And I loved it because there was -- there was a lot of Nixon shade and there are so many dated references in this one that I kind of get, because I used to watch a lot of Match Game on the Game Show Network. So like, I know Charles Nelson Reilly, you know, like, you know, these names. And John Fo -- Forsyth, like, the other big one they're super excited about.
Oh, yeah, which is the second time I'm pretty sure that they've mentioned both of them in tandem together.
Yeah! It's a big moment at the time.
Exactly. Exactly. Wasn't -- isn't Loni Anderson Burt Reynolds wife or girlfriend or something like that?
I think so. "Loni Anderson!" Yeah, and I mean, we alluded to this before, but the -- in the hotel room -- the hotel room overall, it's just so funny, right? Because Sophia is still pissed off. She's not over it, which is fair. But the Publishers Clearing House call is amazing. Because I think, like, it was so smart to have Betty White, err, Rose, I guess figure it out, but, you know, minutes after everybody else in the world has figured out that it's Sophia on the other line, like it's -- it's so -- it's so good.
Yeah, no. It's -- it's, like, it's such a -- like you said, it's such an "of the moment" fucking issue. When they go downstairs, right? Like, so, we then -- they're so dressed up. It's just fantastic. Which of course is part of the whole, like, you know, reason they're mistaken for prostitutes. Just like these ballgowns! But I love the establishment of the kind of establishment it really is. Like, when the cameras panning for them walking downstairs and the hotel room -- the hotel guys like, "I'm not running a hotel here." The young lady's $100. I was like, man, just $100, huh? I mean, I'm not really sure what the going rate is for a prostitute these days, but in a place like that for Miami near the beach, would have thought it'd be a little bit more. But I guess I don't know. I'm not -- I'm not familiar with this industry.
The 80s economy, man.
Yeah, I guess -- I guess so. It's crazy. And also, you know -- so they go to the bar and Blanche, you know, they're almost home free and Dorothy must be extra pissed that, you know, Blanche wanted to have a drink at the bar, because she was ready to rock and roll, but her snapping to the waitress?
Ohhhh my god.
This always rubbed me the wrong way. Like, even back then, I hate it so much.
Yeah, I hate that. It is also -- when I was watching it, too, I was like, this is -- that is horrible. I don't like it at all. And it -- I can't decide if I think it's out of character or not. Because I imagine that Dorothy would be respectful of service people, but also she's in a hurry. She's like, "nah." I don't know. I didn't like it either. And then when the men come over, those, like, the "excusamente" men, like, those guys, it is -- it reminds me of -- because probably it's the same exact set -- of when they're on vacation and those young guys come over to sail their boat, you know? Like it's...
Oh my god. Like, the three young guys who would never be friends with each other in real life? These guys are a little -- the premise is a little bit better for this one, because they're at a clothing convention. So you're work friends, you know? Like, you're kind of weird. I actually think the John from Kenosha is a very good extra actor. Like, he's one -- he's one of the ones that like sort of stands out for me, because when he goes "Excuse a mentee?" Like, it actually -- he delivers it really well. And he turns on a dime and that -- that obviously, like, you know, clicks it into Dorothy and Blanche's minds of like, what's going on. "Does he think we're waitresses?" I actually really like that. You know, it's such a goofy scene, but it's well written because they have the, you know, "Dorothy's a very good teacher. Everyone who's had her says she's great. Like, it's pretty risqué for the show.
It's so -- yeah.
It's really great. And it plays off very well. So, it's just such a silly premise. I don't know of any other show that I watched, you know, in the 80s and 90s that had something like this, because it's so over the top. But it just, again, it just delivers because these women sell this so well.
Oh, my God. Yeah. And I mean, especially I feel like they're able to really take it to another level with Rose, because she's so innocent. And she's so, you know, naive and when she's talking -- when they -- after they get -- she's booked and she's talking about, you know, her destiny in prison and it's like, "The others will taunt me for excelling at my work in the laundry." She has this whole, like, long...
But it's so true to what she'd do, right? She would do a very good job at the laundry. It's really -- it's really awkward. "You're not very good in a crisis, are you Rose?"
Amazing. What a dry response.
She's so pissed off and that's like really the best way to deliver that line for Dorothy. So good. Also when she's doing that whole shtick, you know, this is even before they get booked, this is just when they're being held basically hostage by the very, like, sweaty and disheveled Chief of police. He looks very out of sorts. I was like, put your tie on man you weren't doing any of the hard work. But she goes -- she goes, "I'd have to," you know, "be a fugitive taking jobs that people who have who got bad grades in school." Like, there's a lot in that statement. And we've talked about before where Dorothy is the liberal check in the, you know, 80s Reagan-Bush era conservatism to Rose's very sheltered upbringing. But like, man, that line just stood out for me so hard today Like, even today just dealing with people's perception of this -- this ridiculous American idea of like, well, if you aren't doing well at a job, or you don't have this type of job, or this type of life, or this type of economic scenario, that it's your fault, right? It's -- it is such a poisonous idea in our culture. That is the fakest piece of shit. And it's -- it's just so interesting, because this is a little fantasy thing. But like, it's so telling that Rose says something like that. I don't know, Just that -- that was not meant to at all be any sort of political comment when it was listed here. Or maybe it was. I don't know, but it was -- it's just, like, snuck in there, but it stood out to me so intensely.
Yeah, no, I hear that. I mean, it's -- there's no hospital administrator that I know who got bad grades in school.
Yes, exactly. Exactly. But yeah. So that -- that I don't know, maybe actually that's funny. That's almost the heaviest part of the episode for me.
That part stood out, of like, come on Rose. Like, this is real life.
And I mean, I think the girls' reaction to the women who are actual -- who are actually working as prostitutes is very, you know, like, I don't think that it was set up to be unpacked and examined, but I do think, you know, looking at it in a scholarly way, it's kind of impossible not to, because Blanche's whole thing is like, you know, "Quiet you trash." Like, she just can't. And I think, you know, the -- she gets confronted and there's this very weird fight scene and then Dorothy goes back to her, like, Dirty Harry impression.
And actually -- oh, man. See, I'm just now realizing this. This is actually heavy and you're exactly, what you just said, not really meant to be. But we're unpacking it of Dorothy's commentary on the public school system.
It's not much different than this.
Yeah, that's very funny.
I mean, it's very hilarious, but it's also like, damn. That's -- what kind of fucking society do we live in? Yeah, and it's interesting because, other than Meg, which in still, you know, the way that Rose is talking with her is this whole pitiable creature and she also says, like, "nothing could be bad enough at home for you to be doing what you're doing," and I'm like, Rose! There could be a lot of fucking things bad at home. You don't even know. So anyway, yeah. That strikes me very odd. But besides that, they don't really bond with any of them, right? Like, where you'd think that that would be -- there's really not enough time in the episode to have any other moment of understanding and that's also not the point. The point is that, you know, Sophia kind of screws them or rather they screwed themselves out of seeing Burt. But yeah, it's kind of interesting to think about this whole commentary of their viewpoint on these women.
Yeah, and actually, on that, I think it's -- it's another thing that maybe we're reading too much into, but that is the whole point of this podcast, right? Is when...
We're doing a great job.
Is when Rose is telling the butter Queen story, which is amazing. Like, the whole thing is "butter was spelt R-O-S-E." It's so great. But Dorothy's reaction is, "Bro stop. You're embarrassing yourself." And it's funny and Rose is like, "No, I have to keep going. I had to get this off my chest." But I think that if Dorothy, you know, in opposition to Blanche, would humanize the people they're in the cell with and be like, "yeah, you -- you're embarrassing yourself. All these people are seeing it." Whereas I think Blanche just wouldn't be concerned, because she doesn't, you know, view them as her peers or whatever. And I think that that is something that is translatable on a lot of different unfortunate levels. I think people dehumanize people of different races and, you know, all these things, so it's so indicative of that progressive liberal -- although, you know, there's some flaws in it, but that stance that, like, "you're embarrassing yourself in front of all of these people,'' and not like, "who cares what they think they're prostitutes." You know, it's very...
So, it's so nice to have her there as the liberal check that you're talking about.
Yeah, exactly. You're right. I didn't even think about that. Because also Blanche just goes -- after her, you know, near fight, Dorothy bails her out. She just sort of fades out, right? Like Rose is telling her butter Queen story. And she goes -- she goes "I wanted to be butter queen." She goes, "Oh, yeah. What an actress. She was so good in Gone with the Wind."
Like, totally not paying attention to bits and pieces. Also, by the way, I never actually got that joke. But I looked it up, because, you know, I'm not a Gone with the Wind fan. Big shocker.
Yeah. Why not??
Why? Sorry, we're 18 minutes into this podcast, so we have to do another one. No, but there was an actress, actually a Black actress named Butterfly McQueen.
And that's what she's referring to. So I was like, ohhh, okay, here. So this makes a lot of sense.
That works so good.
It really is so good. It's so great. But yeah, but so Blanche is fading out and you're right, that's not -- she's -- she doesn't think of them as people. And it's, like, yeah. It's just -- it's just such an interesting topic to explore of, like, of how Dorothy feels about this and also she's still scared, right? It's still different people. These women are not relatable in any sense of just being, like, just again, Dorothy being like, "We're in prison. I know you have to be tough." And then getting into a fist fight. But also, I love, like, what -- I don't know, again, as I mentioned before, not sure about what the prostitution industry looked like in Miami in the 80s, but just the outfits that these girls are wearing, oh my God. Like, just the jewelry and the makeup of just, you know, the teased out hair, which probably was all true, but it's just -- it's just funny here, where it's played up as the exaggerated features of what these women would be wearing. "Oh, what cute earrings."
I know. I've been watching a lot of RuPaul's Drag Race and I feel like some of these outfits are exactly the same.
Inspiration. Oh, man, somebody should do inspiration from this particular episode of The Golden Girls.
I honestly think they might have.
I mean, seriously, yeah. It's perfect.
But, of course, okay. So you know, these girls are having this experience in a jail cell. There's so many crazy things about that. But then Sophia comes to bail them out and she's like, "okay, so which one of you isn't going if I do this?" And also like, yeah. She didn't get to go, she was pissed off in the beginning and now she's coming down and she's like, "I'm doing all this and you're still not gonna let me go?" And they're all, you know, trading reasons why they should go and like, they all kind of make a good case for themselves. I mean, the butter Queen incident is a little, you know.
A little off, but also Rose is definitely the most emotionally torn at that present moment.
She needs a win.
But it's so -- it's such a great and funny moment to see Sophia grab the tickets and then, you know, do that victory hands to the sky lik e, ha-ha!!
Yeah, exactly. "They're not here!" Oh my God.
And then she, you know, when they're all like back at the house when they got bailed out or whatever and Sophia's telling these stories that just seemed like so insane. Because, you know, you've been -- you know, whenever you're at an event where there's like a celebrity, I think when you're recounting the story, sometimes you try to inflate your interactions with them and whatever. And they're all like, "You didn't do that. None of that happened. Whatever." And Sophia's like, "I think that was just about the time that I was"...
"Nibbling a giant shrimp from Jerry Reed's hand." It's so amazing. But she gets that, you know, the power is back in her corner and she just relishes it. It's fantastic. She does it so well. And I love the "three wicked roommates are jealous." So great. The also, you know, of course, Burt Reynolds appearance himself, which of course, you know, solidifies the fact that her stories were not made up and in fact Burt Reynolds is going to take her out to lunch today.
And I love so much when he shows up because I feel the audience reacts in a way that is very unreplaceable, because you would -- there's no way you wouldn't know that he was going to be on the show obviously, right? But in the studio audience they see him and then they take a minute to be like, oh my God. That's Burt Reynolds.
That's actually him!
He is so good. I mean, you know, I don't -- I have never seen, I don't think, a single Burt Reynolds movie, but I do get it. Because first of all, he's so charismatic, but also he's so good in this scene. He's so like, "Sophia here?" Like, "my friend Sophia."
Yeah! And he leans in to say hi -- like, wave to her with a look of recognition. It's very cute. Also his collar is appropriately 1980s 16 sizes too big. Just everything about it is fantastic. And yeah, and just like, "which ones the slut." That's funny too. That might be -- you know, Sophia's definitely thrown that word around about Blanche before, but the fact that it's already sort of the type cast. This is her personality that Sophia would describe to someone else. I don't know if we've really seen that as much. So to have somebody else say it, like, a different character say it to reflect back is just fantastic. And it's also, of course, the -- you know, the funny end line where they're all like, "That's it! I want to sleep with Burt Reynolds."
It's a great one.
Horn -- horned up old ladies. Again, it's just so fantastic. Yeah, wow. I think we really pulled way more intense depth and conversation about the current state of the United States from that one more than I thought. But bottom line is, it really is just too fucking amazing. And too fucking funny. All right, are we ready?
Yeah, I think that's it.
Think we're gonna wrap it up, yeah. So next time we're going to discuss the strange complications of your friend dating your ex, but also getting wrapped up in a Mafia dispute. Bye!