When I originally thought about doing a FFC post about Designing Women, I was only going to talk about Julia Sugarbaker, who was my absolute favorite character on the show. Then I realized that without the other 3 original characters Julia wouldn't have been the same. So here I am talking about 4 of the funniest female characters to ever come across TV into our living rooms.
Now I know that some of you are going to realize that I'm leaving out some main characters from the show but I wanted to focus on the original cast. I was never a big fan of the replacement characters or of Anthony Bouvier, played by Meshach Taylor. I never felt that they added all that much to the show. This was one of my favorite sitcoms and I wish it was still in syndication.
So to start we have Julia Sugarbaker, played by the brilliant Dixie Carter. A true Southern Belle with all the grace and dignity that the term implies. She is the owner, along with the other three characters, of Sugarbaker Design, a small interior design firm. She is a fantastic character who never keeps her opinions to herself and is know for magnificent speeches that get her point across. The character is about as liberal as I am but Dixie Carter was a registered Republican so she made a deal with the producers that anytime she made a liberally minded speech on the show, she would be allowed to sing in a future episode. Julia is the brain of the show and without her I don't think it would have lasted for as long as it did.
Next up is Suzanne Sugarbaker, Julia's sister and a former beauty queen. She is played by the sassy and beautiful Delta Burke. Suzanne is vain, petty, and a little ditsy. She will always try to put herself first, but will always end up doing the right thing. She has a big heart which always steers her through to the right decision.
Annie Potts plays Mary Jo Shively. Mary Jo is a divorced mother of two with a sarcastic wit and a generous spirit. She is the everyday woman who is juggling a career and family. She is the down to Earth character that can always be counted on to ground the situation and make everyone see what needs to be done.
And last but not least we have the comic relief of the show. Charlene Stillfield, played by the fantastic Jean Smart, is the typical country girl who still loved Elvis and never thinks a mean thing about anyone. She can always be counted on to lighten the mood just by being herself. She is wonderfully naive about the world and looking through her eyes makes most of us feel better about the world.