With the possible exception of “The Golden Girls,” no 1980’s sitcom was as smartly written as “Designing Women,” a veritable festival of sass and mischief. Delta Burke, Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart are fizzy fun as Atlanta interior decorators who trade one-liners in between keeping their business buzzing along.
The Eighties fashions and moussed-up hairstyles date the series but the progressive politics make it more timely than ever before. Credit creator – and chief writer – Linda Bloodworth Thomason with making forceful feminist Julia Sugarbaker (Carter) the voice of reason on the series. It’s a blast to watch the silver-tongued Southerner eviscerate chauvinist pigs and preening beauty queens alike.
The DVD comes with a terrific special feature – a 2006 panel discussion with Thomason and the reunited quartet, taped before an audience at the Paley Center for Media. The chat is as lively as you’d expect from these fearsome firecrackers. Among the trivia tidbits unearthed: Burke and Smart reveal they met their future husbands Gerald McRaney and Richard Gilliland on the show. And Burke admits she dated Gilliland before Smart got to him. Yee-haw.
Official Site: www.shoutfactory.com
[Amy Longsdorf’s entertainment coverage has appeared in “Blender,” “People,” the “Chicago Tribune,” the “Toronto Star,” and “Newsday.” She doesn’t want to imagine a world without Preston Sturges movies, Stax singles, and the music of Bob Marley.]