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Designing Women: Season 1 (2009)

Dixie Carter , Delta Burke , David Trainer  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart
  • Directors: David Trainer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: May 26, 2009
  • Run Time: 535 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O4KBNM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,767 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Designing Women: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The mark of a great sitcom is whether the jokes and tone stand up to time, despite any outdated hairstyles and fashion. Designing Women is a great sitcom. The first season--which aired during 1986-1987--capitalizes on the leading ladies' charm and chemistry. Sure, the clothes may give away the era, but the dialogue is consistently whip-smart and funny. Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) owns an Atlanta interior design firm. She is a proper, well-mannered lady, but if you get on her bad side, watch out: Her words cut through like a knife, as evidenced in an episode where a clueless man thinks Julia and her friends might be flattered by his unwanted attention. Julia's sister Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) is the polar opposite of her feminist sister. A former beauty queen, Suzanne has been married and divorced more than a handful of times. Though shallow and blunt, Suzanne also has a heart of gold when it comes to things that really matter--like friends and family. Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts) is their petite, red-headed colleague. Divorced from a doctor who she put through med school, Mary Jo isn't sure how to navigate life as a single mom. Then there's Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart), whom Suzanne once referred to as a "big old donkey girl." Naïve and hopeful, Charlene sees the good in everyone--even Suzanne. The beauty of Designing Women is that while somes of the plotlines revolve around each character's insecurity, the writers also tap into what the women really want--even if they aren't aware of it. For instance, Suzanne volunteers to foster a child whose adoptive parents can't take her for a month. Never mind that this isn't the way foster parents or adoption works. The way Suzanne fusses over the little girl--even allowing Li Sing to wear one of her prized tiaras to bed--is as touching as it is funny. Meanwhile, Julia has a difficult time watching her 19-year-old son engage in a romance with a woman her own age. This season also tackles sexual harassment, racism, and cancer. There are some ridiculous premises--such as Charlene's being involved with a possible escaped criminal and Suzanne being worried that her maid cast a voodoo spell over her. But overall, Designing Women still manages to make viewers laugh, think, and even cry a bit. --Jae-Ha Kim

Product Description

When four strong, sassy and sexy Southern women running a fledgling interior decorating firm hit the television airwaves as Designing Women in 1986, they brought a new kind of Southern spirit to American television. Smart, ambitious and outspoken they embodied the new Southern woman. The much-married, alimony-rich beauty queen Suzanne Sugarbaker (Delta Burke) uses her feminine wiles to attract business for the firm - and future ex-husbands for herself. Her sophisticated sister, Julia (Dixie Carter), is nobodys fool and runs the operation and her own life with a guarded graciousness. Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts) is the sweet-natured, recently-divorced mother trying to make her own way in the world as a decorator for the first time. Small-town gal Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart) is the naïve, overly-trusting bad-guy magnet who runs the office. They are all devoted to the business. They are each devoted to the other. Designing Women was a gift to American television that ran for seven seasons and continues winning fans to this day in reruns all around the world. All 21 episodes from Season 1 finally arrive on DVD.

Bonus Feature:

* Designing Women: A Reunion sponsored by The Paley Center for Media in 2006.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Designing Women: The Complete First Season June 10, 2009
My Wife would give this show 5 stars. It was one of her all time favorites. As I often watch her shows with her I have to give it 3 stars due to the poor quality of the scan. I'm thinking it was done years ago for VHS release. They just grabbed these scans and ran them through software for DVD and shoved them out the door. If you pause the show you can see signs of compression. If you're watching on a 19" tube, probably not a problem, on a 37" LCD it appears like its out of focus. For a new release this is unacceptable. I/m going to pretend to watch and read my paper.
UPDATED 4/12/11 I have noticed other older shows that were "taped in front of a live audience" having the same problem in sharpness. The tapes were most likely recorded analog at a resolution that is in conflict with a DVD's resolution. If not properly converted in skilled hands these shows will suffer some degrading compared to filmed shows. So I am upping my review to 4 stars.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooray!, Oh Joy!, Oh Rapture!! February 26, 2009
What a treat it will be to at last be able to enjoy a full season set of this clever,witty and wonderful television comedy series!. In particular episode two, "The Beauty Contest" in which Julia delivers her famous "Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia" tirade to Miss Georgia World 1986 in response to offensive comments made regarding her sister Suzanne. Let us hope that we will be able to look forward to further full season releases in the near future!...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We've waited so long! February 25, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Finally we are getting the seasons of this classic late 80's-early 90's sitcom. I hope they will continue with the rest of the seasons! Thanks to Shout!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars these "Designs" never go out of style! September 8, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Fans of DESIGNING WOMEN began to think that Sony had totally dropped the ball when they only released a five episode "Best Of..." DVD of the series back in 2003. As the years ticked by, with no word about complete season sets of the show, independant company Shout! Factory stepped up to the plate and licensed the rights from Sony (who it seems has completely given up on most of it's back-catalogue TV stuff, including "Facts of Life", "Diff'rent Strokes", "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman" and "The Nanny").

The first season of DESIGNING WOMEN isn't the all-time best, with the actresses still trying to find their feet with the characters. Still, the seeds of greatness are sown and the show only gets better from here on in... You'll meet the staff of Atlanta design firm Sugarbaker & Associates, headed by the staunch, free-thinking Julia Sugarbaker (the late, great Dixie Carter) and her sister, the man-crazed former beauty queen Suzanne (Delta Burke). Sweet-natured secretary Charlene Frazier (Jean Smart) and divorced single mother Mary Jo Shively (Annie Potts) round out the team. Reserve your table at Tokyo Gardens. DESIGNING WOMEN is back!

Includes the following episodes:

"Designing Women" (Pilot) - The girls are horrified when Suzanne starts dating the ex-husband of Mary Jo! Guest starring Scott Bakula.

"The Beauty Contest" - Mary Jo is worried when Charlene and Suzanne secretly enter her daughter Claudia (Priscilla Weems) in the Miss Pre-Teen Atlanta pageant, but the proceedings unleash a whole new competitive side to Mary Jo's personality instead! Julia lets rip with her "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" tirade.

"A Big Affair" - Charlene's new boyfriend Mason Dodd (Walter Olkewicz) is overweight...
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best show ever! March 16, 2009
I just LOVE Designing Women and I am sooo happy that we are finally getting to see releases of this show finally coming to fruition. The fans have waited much too long!!!! I thought I was one of the only ones who loved this show until I began to read other remarks. It is simply one of the best shows ever. I loved watching this show everyweek when it was new, and then eventually the reruns on Lifetime. One of my favorite episodes was Tornado watch. I think I could relate to any of the women on this show at one time or another and I think for women, that was very appealing. Not to mention the funny situations they got themselves into. And Suzanne and Anthony.....what a combination!!! As the seasons went on they got better and better together. Thanks so much for making this happen and please lets get the other seasons released, or how about releasing the complete series? Please consider!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Designing Women" Finally Makes DVD Debut June 6, 2009
Finally, and perhaps fashionably late, the show 'Designing Women' makes a proper, full season, DVD debut. Watching the first full season of this show is both enjoyable if not a bit surprising. Usually, it takes a normal show an entire season to really define itself and find its legs. That is not the case with this show. I was surprised by how many remarkable big moments occurred within the first season. You have the famous Julia Sugarbaker 'The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia' speech, a big episode about women's health and breast cancer, sexual harassment and even issues of race (and of course gender) all packed into one season.

Quality wise, the only video-to-dvd transfer that seemed off was the pilot episode. When I saw it, I was worried how the remainder of the episodes were going to appear. Yet, by the second episode, the transfer and quality are of little concern. Plot/content wise, the episodes do not disappoint. Most left me in tears from laughing or from the sheer honesty/sincere words these characters spoke. What works best with 'Designing Women' is that while it's a comedy and is aimed at making you smile and laugh, it managed to take on big, at times daunting, issues that no one at the time took on. Watching the whole first season will in fact make you wonder what's happened to television because this, like other shows from this era, is a real show that portrayed life-like characters that you can't wait to watch and wish you could have the opportunity to interact with.

I also am more than pleased that Shout Factory chose to include the panel/reunion at the Paley Center for Media from 2006. While some may skip over this feature thinking it's boring and dull, I encourage everyone to actually watch it.
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