The Southern belles of Atlanta-based interior design firm Sugarbaker & Associates are now making themselves at home on Hulu.
Designing Women, CBS's unapologetically feminist and irrefutably funny 1986–93 comedy — starring Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Dixie Carter and Jean Smart — has so many classic episodes, you can't go wrong. But these installments do it oh so right.
"The Beauty Contest"
(Season 1, Episode 2)
The one with the infamous "the night the lights went out in Georgia" speech. Sophisticated, sharp-tongued Julia (Carter) overhears a reigning beauty queen trash-talking her sister, former titleholder Suzanne (Burke). In Suzanne's defense, Julia delivers a monologue so fierce, it's still ringing in our ears 33 years later.
"Killing All the Right People"
(Season 2, Episode 4)
Single mom Mary Jo (Potts) finds herself at the center of a PTA debate about distributing condoms in school, just as a young friend (guest star Tony Goldwyn, Scandal) asks the women to design a room for his funeral because he's dying of AIDS. Creator Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, who lost her mother to the disease in 1986, earned an Emmy nomination for penning the stirring half hour.
"The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century"
(Season 4, Episodes 13 & 14)
On New Year's Eve 1989, pregnant Charlene (Smart), the show's hopeful romantic, awaits the birth of her child. But first, she receives a visit from her "guardian movie star" (guest star Dolly Parton) in her dreams: "You'll be meeting the person that'll be holding your hand when it's your time to go," Parton says. It's the episode fans mention to Bloodworth-Thomason the most.
Designing Women, Seasons 1–7 Available Now, Hulu