Sarah and Lauren break down the second episode of The Golden Girls entitled, 'Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding.' The episode, which originally aired in September of 1985, features the debut of Stan Zbornak, an emotional confrontation where Bea Arthur shows off her acting chops, and a cheese-ball hating holy man. What more could you want?
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 2: Guess Who's Talking About the Second Episode?, analyzing The Golden Girls Season 1 episode, Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding :
Hello and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we make a valiant -- and I would say successful -- attempt to intellectualize everyone's favorite ladies, The Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're tackling the second episode in the series, Guess Who's Coming to the Wedding?, which is of course, a nod to Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? And on the subject of clarifying titles, and being superbly witty in your titles, Sarah, why don't we quickly explain the name of our podcast Enough Wicker?
Yeah, um, you know, we're jumping ahead a bit, I think, you know, we're in the sixth season is where this deep cut reference comes from. Although I did actually talk to my sister in law the other day, and I said 'enough wicker' and she goes, 'Oh, is it about the Golden Girls?' I mean, what else would be about wicker? So, perhaps I'm typecast in my own life, however, it's actually from the Zborn Again episode, and it's a dialogue where Sophia is mad at Dorothy, and I won't say why -- you'll have to watch the episode. But she's like, 'I won't allow it, not while you're living to my house!' and Blanche just says, 'Sophia, this is my house.' And she just goes, 'it is?' in this perfect little old lady voice. And she goes, 'alright, so let me give you two words of advice: Enough Wicker!' And just has this beautiful just like cut to the whole living room in which like, if you didn't realize before, this part, really highlights the fact that every piece of furniture and tables are made of wicker, which is just perfect for Miami in the 80s. And it's wonderful. So it's a, it's words of advice. It's a deep cut reference. And, you know, it is a full sentence, as Lauren pointed out earlier, so we're pretty proud of ourselves.
Yeah. I think it's a classic moment. I think, you know, some people can just hear the delivery in their heads and this is, you know, that's who we're making this for.
Exactly. You mean, you and I?
Well, that's I mean, that's, that's exactly why we are doing this. And, you know, last episode, we covered the pilot -- pilot of a pilot. And what we are going to be doing, you know, just to reiterate, is that we're going to be going down every single Golden Girls episode, which is in order of broadcast, and we're really just going to try to not only talk about like, the really obvious things, like the parts that were really funny, or the parts that strike us differently after watching it incessantly for years and years, but also take a more scholarly viewing, and take notes, etc, you'll probably hear a lot of us or a lot of this conversation between more in my refer to the notes that we took. Just so you know, we're being true scholars writing things down.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And, and also just trying to, you know, to plug it in, of what we what we realize, now, you know, well within in our 30s in our adult lives, and what strikes us about you know, how progressive this show was and also, you know, the things that may or may not, like I said earlier, strike us differently having lived different lives.
Exactly. So that's actually a great intro, because there's a lot of that in this episode. So let's jump in. So what do you think?
Well, I think, you know, it's, it's interesting. This is one that I probably don't rewatch as often. I will say. I also just on that note, you know, there for me specifically, and I think you too, and probably anybody who's a big fan of something, you still have a tiered ranking -- right? -- of like episodes, you know, within the actual series that aren't exactly your favorite or don't rise to the top and for most people, it's probably like, 'this one isn't in reruns' or, or in reruns as often. But, but I do really like this one. There's no real reason why it like doesn't rise to the top, but I hadn't actually seen it quite as recently which is great.
So I thought it was very significant to launch right into covering a lot of topics from the second episode, right? We get introduced to family we get to really get into Dorothy's divorce. And like not only the emotional issues there, but her standing up for herself in this way that she hadn't, you know, coming in as a character into the show We get into a wedding. I mean, we get into more character development process like we were talking about in the pilot, how Betty White we both thought was kind of the only one to really strike the chord immediately with, like, who the character was going to be. But yeah, we get more into Blanche, we get more into Dorothy and like you had mentioned previously, like Bea Arthur just really helps shape this character so much, because she gives it that emotional edge where she's not just -- -- as we talked about in the pilot -- like zing, zing, zing, zing, zing, grumphaluffagus.
Yeah, no, I totally -- actually one of the things when I was sort of like recapping / rewatching, this episode is that a lot of sort of characteristics that last for a long time emerge for the first time and in this episode. One of them is with Sophia, who is, you know, sort of like old and really wise but sort of like off the rocker in her stories and metaphors and things like that. And in this episode, she tells Dorothy that anger is like a piece of shredded wheat under your dentures. And it's sort of the first time that she's not like, sarcastic or, you know, like, it's very maternal. And I think that that lasts, you know, throughout with all of the girls, but also it's the first time Blanche -- which is only the second episode, so it's early -- but it is the first time that we see Blanche sort of, like, acknowledge her past as somebody who's a little loose, and she goes sort of beyond just like a rich Southern belle type. And so that's really nice to see. And then of course, I do think Dorothy is is sort of the main focus and her complex relationship with Stan and also --
Well and it's also i mean, maybe not from the perspective of the child, but it's it's hyper-feminist. I mean it's so -- like Dorothy actually saying how -- she just she comes on board here and says 'I deserve this'. Like she literally cut Stan off, like "like I'm talking right now." Like, this is what I have to say to you and then he tries to interject and she just says, "I said goodbye, Stanley." Like it's it's a it's a really powerful moment from -- to see you know, you as an adult woman and, like, stand up for yourself. And I thought that was like, a super powerful part. Going back to what you were saying about Kate being a weak character...
Oh, my god. 'Mother Dorothy'
My favorite part is like, I love how she was like, I'm gonna have a beach wedding. Like I'm gonna fly abroad, but then like, suddenly it's just like, 'sure, my mom's house with my fighting divorced parents is great,' like WHAT? She didn't even talk to Dennis about it. But also, it's just funny because it's like she also -- I don't know for me, and I am not a child of divorce so I don't know if this struck you differently, but the part where Kate is constantly like, Kate, we know you love your dad, but like come on some female solidarity -- like give a little bit more understanding why your mother is like completely repulsed by him and what he did, you know? And in that in that zone. That's, for me, I'm like, can you get on board? At least like 1%?
I think the biggest unrealistic thing about Kate is that she still wants her parents to get back together when she's like 30, like, most kids give that up by like fourth grade. But you -- it's, it's interesting because like, we've been talking a lot about like how, you know, like the heavier parts of this episode and I definitely think you know, that's that's a huge part of it. But, um, I also don't really rewatch this one very often. I always think of it as more of a heavy sort of sad one. So that's probably why. But there are some really funny lines in this one. And I particularly like the running thread about the cheeseballs. It's a really, really great, it's very Rose. I feel like it's a very Rose repeat joke. And it's you know, it's only the second episode, so good for them for figuring that out early. So Sophia is you know, stealing the cheeseballs...
She's pilfering them!
Rose is very distressed. And then it comes up again, which the show is great about and in particular, like I think at the expense of Rose they do these, because it works because she's just so fluffy and wonderful. But then, you know, the priest eats a cheeseball and says, 'now I know what I'm giving up for Lent!'
Totally. Oh my god, so far though, we like we are two-for-two episodes. And there are two irreverent priests in the fucking episodes, and it reminds me of why I left the Catholic Church. It really does.
They're always around.
I thought it was funny, but it's also, like, that's rude. She made the cheeseballs, dude, you're supposed to be the nice priest.
I'm glad Sophia told you off.
Well, he kept following her around!
Totally. Also I noticed, which I didn't notice before -- It just cracks me up, again, like the 7 million time I've watched this. At the very end, when they throw rice, Rose just yells, "Be happy!" It's so to the point. It's like you can't ever -- like if somebody said that in real life, you can't get mad. Just be happy. All right.
It feels very Minnesota for me.
Straight up. Like, there's nothing else to say. But yes.
One of the other really funny things is when they find out that he's a podiatrist, so not a real doctor, and Rose asks if he's ever met Dr. Scholl. It's just like, so perfect, because all three of the other ladies are so concerned about like what he makes, and the social status of a doctor and she just asked him about his favorite, you know, grocery-store celebrity.
Also the guy plays Dennis -- he's super cute. He nails the like I'm coming into a volatile, like, you know in-law marriage here, like he's playing nice with Stan with the photos of Hawaii; he's being very nice to Dorothy; he's doing a great job. But also, I just love like, 'Is a podiatrist bad? Like don't they ALSO make good money?"
It just cracks me up. Oh my god.
He's really good at -- I noticed particularly the one of the one of the last scenes. They're saying goodbye, basically, and Dorothy and Stan are just standing there with Kate and Dennis. And he just, like, looks, he's closest to the camera and he looks so uncomfortable and it's really it's really good.
You know who I can't wait to talk about is young Dorothy. It's a while off, but talk about somebody who nails it.
Oh my god, absolutely perfect. I thought you were gonna say, 'You know who I can't wait to knock -- is the other Dennis that shows up in a later episode.'
Oh yeah, what a downgrade!
Also, you know, I don't want to run our time out here. But that also just really leads into the fact that there are so many hilarious casting inconsistencies, as well as storylines of family member inconsistencies and like, it's just gonna be so much fun to just rag on how ridiculous it is that they can't keep things straight, and/or just didn't care when when all these different things come up. So. But I you know, I'm all on board for you know, Dennis number one, for sure.
Yeah, definitely -- it's like the two Darrens!
God, that literally just ran through my head. I was like, should I quote Bewitched? Oh my god, we're the same person.
Don't worry. I'll do it. Yeah, so it is interesting to the family inconsistencies and also sort of just like the total disregard for reality that somehow doesn't bother me. Um, I noticed that actually like, in this episode -- well, I mean, it does definitely come up in this episode. Like there's no way these women could throw a wedding in three days. Kate doesn't know anyone in Miami -- who's there? Like you said, like everybody's just hopping on a plane and going to the Bahamas. Like I know, it was a different time, but I still don't think it was that easy. So it's just like a total disregard for anything that could be realistic that usually I feel like does put me off of a show. But it doesn't. And I noticed that today, and just the same thing with the families. It's like, Rose's kids are here and there and like, this one has a grandchild, and who's Skippy?
Gunilla? Um, anyway. No, but honestly, it's so funny. You're just like, you know, it's complete suspension of disbelief and I -- until you said that I was like, yeah, that's ridiculous. I didn't even think about that because the show is full of these, like, last-minute weddings, all that kind of stuff. I was speaking from the point of view of like, in a relationship where she was like, "isn't it gonna be great to be just us on this island?" And no, actually, I'm getting married in my mom's living room, with a snarky ass priest who follows my grandmother around. But no, I mean, the writing is so good. And it just flows so naturally that this could be a thing that they would do that I -- I fell for it. I've fallen for it this entire time.
Yeah, no, it definitely works.
Oh, one other thing that I was thinking of, too. Speaking of the wedding, is that there is -- just again, in this early on kind of working the kinks out of something that's unfamiliar -- there's like this waaaaaaay long music intro that transitions, like, as they kind of pan out into their wedding reception, and it ends on the classic notes which I will not hum here. People understand.
Yeah, you gotta pay for that content.
Ask us about subscription! But it's hysterical because it's just like very like -- it's, you know, the music in the show is very instrumental and very like 'orchestral' in a way and it's just like it plays -- it's just very goofy. It definitely strikes a weird tone when you're like, okay like this is like a 20-second musical intro to like this situation comedy wedding reception, with cheese balls and irreverent priests.
What a tagline.
And this is also the this is the first, you know, obviously the first appearance of Stan but -- just again to count you know different markings here -- like this is the first door slammed in Stan's face as soon as he appears.
Oh my god, I wrote that down! That's crazy that you -- I mean, it's not... of course you did. But yeah, actually, thank you for bringing up Stan because I did want to talk about it. Because I actually, I feel like his evolution is really interesting because he's always a yutz, right? But I do feel like for most of the times when he's on the show, he's sort of likable and they havemore of a friendship, but this was -- there's nothing redeeming this guy to me in this episode. Yeah, he's just like, gross. He's completely disrespectful. He's, there's nothing like goofy or even charming. You know? He's no Zbornee yet.
Exactly. Although I will say that he did -- you know, while he was so taken with Dorothy's speech at the end of standing up for herself, he actually says that Dorothy was 'absolutely awesome.'
That takes a bit of, sort of, like inner life for like, a shitty guy like that, who shows up wearing a lei from his Hawaiian flight alll the way --
You don't get those on the way OUT!
-- to the front door, that's why she slammed the door in your face among other reasons. But he, he still is able to sort of acknowledge his fuckup. This is before Dorothy calls him on it, right? Like she's like, not every woman would do that, basically. So it's, it's funny because, you know, reading as a scholar of the show, you know, the actor who played Stan, Herbert Edelman, was you know -- well, one he was super tall. So that was like a prerequisite to be, you know, part and parcel of a Bea Arthur relationship. But they actually got along, like, as actors and everybody really liked him because he did have this likeability even though he was a total scumbag yutz, you know? So I think that's interesting. Like, he just does a really good job. Like you said, you're struck immediately of like, he's -- it's not quite there, but he definitely has a charm about him.
Yeah, yeah. And I like that. I like that whole relationshi, actually, it's one of the -- you know, it's obviously one of the sides to the main four women, but I think it's really -- and he and Sophia I think is really nice --but he's, you know.
He's the fifth Golden Girl, you know.
As you said, last episode, Coco's okay. He's doing okay.
Yeah. All right. Um, I don't really have anything else for this one.
No, I think it's a as you said, just to reiterate earlier, I don't watch it very often, I think -- because I think it's very heavy. But you know, I think it's because it skews heavy towards the end, of course, but like you said, there's a lot of really funny lines and they're doing a bang-up job for Episode Two.
Yeah. Speaking of bang-up jobs, that leads us intoa perfect teaser for next episode!
Exactly. Hopefully you'll join us next time when we are going to discuss Rose boning a dude for the first time since she, you know, supposedly killed her husband during sex.