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Designing Women S6

 Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 44.99
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Designing Women S6 + Designing Women - Season 5 + Designing Women S7
Price For All Three: CDN$ 99.08

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Sugarbakers Gets a Personnel Makeover

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sugarbakers Gets a Personnel Makeover Jan. 12 2012
By Kasey G TOP 500 REVIEWER
During the summer of 1991, "Designing Women" was riding high in the Nielsens with its biggest ratings ever due to all the publicity the show was receiving in the tabloids after the dismissal of Delta Burke. After much speculation about her successor, it was revealed that Julia Duffy (having recently come off a 7-season stint as spoiled Stephanie on "Newhart") would be her replacement. At the time the producers were quoted as saying "There are very few actresses who can play spoiled, stuffy characters without making you hate them...and Julia Duffy is one of those few". That statement was spot-on and viewers had their hopes as high as the Thomasons that the show would continue to enchant audiences. "Saturday Night Live" alumna Jan Hooks would be taking over for Jean Smart, who's departure was so overshadowed by Delta's, it practically slipped under everyone's radar and was hardly mentioned.

The hour-long season-premiere on September 16, 1991 titled "The Big Desk" generated such buzz it brought in viewers by the millions and was only bested by the season-premiere of lead-in "Murphy Brown". The episode was brilliantly-written to introduce the two new characters as well as send-off Jean Smart, whose promises to return for guest spots never materialized.

Thank God for Shout Factory! I was worried they would stop after Season 5 but bless their little hearts, they have come through with the Season I have been waiting for most of all. With Pam Norris still producing, the vibe is very similar to Season 5 despite the cast changes. Although some of the writing is a little weaker in spots, the delivery and comic timing of all the actresses is impeccable, and I found myself laughing out loud many times over the course of these 23 episodes.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sugarbakers Gets a Personnel Makeover Jan. 10 2012
By Kasey G - Published on Amazon.com
During the summer of 1991, "Designing Women" was riding high in the Nielsens with its biggest ratings ever due to all the publicity the show was receiving in the tabloids after the dismissal of Delta Burke. After much speculation about her successor, it was revealed that Julia Duffy (having recently come off a 7-season stint as spoiled Stephanie on "Newhart") would be her replacement. At the time the producers were quoted as saying "There are very few actresses who can play spoiled, stuffy characters without making you hate them...and Julia Duffy is one of those few". That statement was spot-on and viewers had their hopes as high as the Thomasons that the show would continue to enchant audiences. "Saturday Night Live" alumna Jan Hooks would be taking over for Jean Smart, who's departure was so overshadowed by Delta's, it practically slipped under everyone's radar and was hardly mentioned.

The hour-long season-premiere on September 16, 1991 titled "The Big Desk" generated such buzz it brought in viewers by the millions and was only bested by the season-premiere of lead-in "Murphy Brown". The episode was brilliantly-written to introduce the two new characters as well as send-off Jean Smart, whose promises to return for guest spots never materialized.

Thank God for Shout Factory! I was worried they would stop after Season 5 but bless their little hearts, they have come through with the Season I have been waiting for most of all. With Pam Norris still producing, the vibe is very similar to Season 5 despite the cast changes. Although some of the writing is a little weaker in spots, the delivery and comic timing of all the actresses is impeccable, and I found myself laughing out loud many times over the course of these 23 episodes.

Julia Duffy does her best with a difficult role. The writers basically painted themselves into a corner by giving cousin Allison Sugarbaker the dreaded Obnoxious Personality Disorder then expecting Duffy to win over audiences. Jan Hooks had a much easier time of it as the naive, sometimes unknowingly tactless Carlene. But if nothing else, Bernice (Alice Ghostley) gets more screen time than ever this season and begins bellowing her signature song at Anthony every opportunity she gets ("Black Man, Black Man...Wherrrrre did you come from?").

Some of the best episodes this season include "All About Odes to Atlanta" where Carlene enters a singing contest and acquires a needy groupie named Heather; "Mamed" has Anthony casting Julia as Auntie Mame in a community theatre production that features a hilarious guest spot by Gretchen Wyler; Anthony's infamous former cellmate T. Tommy Reed takes a shine to Allison when the ladies partake in a prison outreach program in "Last Tango In Atlanta"; Jackee appears as Anthony's new squeeze, sassy Vanessa Chamberlain in "Shades of Vanessa"; and "The Strange Case of Clarence (Thomas) and Anita (Hill)" though now dated--features what may be the fastest reaction to current events a scripted TV show ever managed to pull off.

I'm nitpicking and don't mean to sound like an ingrate, but to die-hard fans, the cover art looks a little odd since it features Season 1 shots of Carter and Potts mixed in with Sixth Season shots of Duffy and Hooks. But I'm so glad Shout is delivering the goods with one of my favorite seasons, I'll forgive them!

If you look at Season 6 as a whole new show and forget what Delta and Jean Smart brought to the table, you'll be surprised how much fun these episodes are. Anyone who was turned off by the topical women's issues this show preached during its earlier seasons will probably like this incarnation better since the comedy is front and center. Also, for all the hate spewed towards this season, it should be noted that more people watched these episodes of "Designing Women" than any of the ones with the original cast. The series reached at an all-time peak in the ratings during 1991-92, coming in at #6 among all programs on the air--ironic!

Kudos to Shout Factory because "The Big Desk" is presented in its original hour-long format, not split into two parts as it was in syndication. Also, some episodes featured original classic '60s songs such as "It's My Party" and "When Will I Be Loved" over the closing credits and they appear intact here. Thank you Shout Factory, you've made this DW fan VERY happy!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Season 6 Outshines both 5 and 7 Jan. 15 2012
By Elastic Master - Published on Amazon.com
I'm going to have to strongly disagree with the last reviewer (Wolfgang731). Some fans' dislike of the cast changes really skewed their view of this season, but it actually had far better writing than either Five or Seven. Season Five had great moments and rode high on the coattails of the fabulous Season 4, but because of everything going on behind the scenes, the writing was very off-balance and the ensemble was very fractured. Watch Season 2 again if you really want to see what this show is supposed to feel like. The show was really at its best when it raised the audience to it's intelligent, though-provoking level than when it tried to be traditional and slapstick funny.

Let's face it, nothing compares to Seasons 1-4, but Season 6 had characterization that was spot-on and strong ensemble work that was seriously lacking in Season 5 with Delta written down to barely a walk-on in half the episodes. And as much as B.J. was a very welcome addition (particularly to those who weren't happy with the Allison character), the writing in Season 7 made the core characters of Julia and Mary Jo so silly and cartoonish that they were almost unrecognizable. Season 7 was still cute, but it also had almost entirely new writers who had no idea how to write this show.

I'll be thrilled to eventually get every episode of this series, but most of Season 6 way outshines both 5 and 7 in terms of ensemble work and writing, and it's freakin off-the-hook funny! The first dozen episodes were particularly fantastic. Now if only the same could be said of the box art! I highly recommend this season.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will laugh out loud!!! Love these shows!!! April 14 2012
By Merritt Andrews - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Having just received this last week and viewed only half of the episodes, I am still amazed that, in the 6th Season, the cast could change a bit and still remain as funny as ever! I just watched the "Under The Bed" episode, it's my new favorite. In these days of stress and worry, I can always put in one of these DVDs and forget, for a while, the mess our country and workplace is in. I thought the Sixth Season may not be as funny and entertaining without Delta Burke and Jean Smart, I do love their comedy, but the writing is just as hilarious and crisp as ever and delivered with perfect timing by the whole cast.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worth it -- Jan Hooks is hysterical! March 13 2012
By Mr. Richard Ian Tracy - Published on Amazon.com
A massive thank you to Shout Factory for carrying on and releasing Seasons 6 & 7. Sure, maybe Julia Duffy didn't really work out quite as they expected but the writing about she & Anthony fighting over Suzanne's house certainly was hilarious -- running gags that never got old!

Jan Hooks brought so much to these last two seasons. I think people forget just how funny she is! I still quote the "Good Old Days" song and her story about being asked to leave the laundromat whilst using her ThighMaster! :-) She was hysterical and was absolutely believable as Charlene's naive little sister evolving in the big city.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For die-hard fans only May 14 2012
By Chelle - Published on Amazon.com
DW is my all-time favorite show, but I believe it should have ended when Delta Burke and Jean Smart left. I remember not liking the last two seasons when they originally aired, but I was still a kid then. After not seeing the final two seasons since, I was hoping that as an adult, I would be able to judge them on their own merits and appreciate them apart from the show's glory days. Unfortunately, my opinion has not changed. I give season 6 two stars because there are a few funny or touching moments here and there, but mostly, it's painful to watch. Without Burke and Smart, the chemistry that was so important to the series totally vanished. To me, even Dixie Carter and Annie Potts seem off. Most of the episodes I don't find funny at all. The character of Carlene is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Charlene was simple and naive, but she was never stupid. Carlene is just plain annoying and dumb. There is nothing funny about this idiotic character. As for Allison, Julia Duffy's talent shines through the hateful character she was given to play, and maybe she could have pulled it off if Allison had not been made a partner in the business. One has to completely suspend disbelief to accept that Julia would put up with Allison for more than 5 minutes even if she was a long lost cousin. Suzanne was thoughtless and catty, but her love for the others, especially Julia and as much as Suzanne would hate to admit it, Anthony, redeems her flaws. Allison is shrew and too abrasive to fit in. Buy this if you want to complete your DW collection, but don't buy it if you are expecting the same quality of the previous seasons.
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