Episode 416--"the difference between men and women"

Writer
Winnie Holzman
Director
Timothy Busfield
Air Date
2/26/91
Guest Stars
Chris Mulkey as George; Laura Tate as Michelle, the concierge; David Clennon as Miles Drentell
Synopsis
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are thrown for Billy and Ellyn, with wildly different results
Summary
While Michael and Miles are screening a new orange juice commercial, Melissa blips through the office and is invited by Miles to stay and give a feminine perspective. She hates it and questions why the woman is hardly wearing any clothes but the husband is. That night over wine and pizza, the men and women debate whether or not it was a sexist ad and then move to whether or not there should be a bachelor party. Elliot and Michael decide they definitely have to have a party now that the women are vaguely upset about it. They decide they need help planning since all they know is that there's supposed to be beer and strippers. Ellyn is busy planning the wedding out of books and the matter of changing her name comes up again (somehow this involved an illustration from Dances with Wolves). George, an old friend of Billy, shows up to help plan the party and seems to be a bit of a lout. The "hostess" agency makes a return call and thus Hope discovers some of the plans for that evening which leads to Hope threatening to organize a bachelorette party with Nancy, Ellyn, and Melissa. They gather to plan and this devolves somehow into their being summoned into the other room to see a surprise that Britty has prepared, but they can't open their eyes--Ellyn sounds cracks her shins on the furniture while grumbling that "these aren't my children." The big night arrives and the couples are getting ready simultaneously while trading cryptic remarks about their plans for the night. The guys pick up Michael in a limo, complete with beer and a bad porno film. The women also get a limo, but with champagne and roses. The guys come to realize that they don't know where the women went, which causes them to go into dream sequences about the preparations for the evening which feature the women as brazen hussies and pampering mothers. Ironically, Hope also recalls Michael as having been overly macho in the preparations. The men reach the hotel and Michael picks up their reservations from the female concierge who seems very interested in him. After dinner in the room and many more drinks and cigars, Elliot makes a toast that contains another reference to the fact that Ellyn doesn't want to take Billy's name. The guys seem to keep trying to convince themselves that they're having fun. Meanwhile, the women are at dinner in a very nice Italian restaurant and the waiter comes to tell them that one of his friends (another waiter who doesn't speak English) thinks that they're all very beautiful. Ellyn then realizes that another table of four men alone are watching them. After Hope has a nightmare about what the men are doing at their party, the waiter brings a bottle of champagne from the other table and they accept. In fact, Billy is being entertained by a kind of trashy looking sick (as in she has a cold) stripper. Michael envisions the women at a strip club, getting drunk and throwing dollar bills at the men. After a brief discussion among the women about what they miss about romance and seduction, they invite the table of men over. It turns out they're all married and everyone swaps baby pictures and has a perfectly lovely time. The party in New York breaks up in all its sordid glory and Michael still keeps running into the concierge, Michelle, and she makes an offer that he takes a little while to turn down. Quite tipsy, the women sing "C'mon marry me Bill*" in the limo on the way home. When Michael is dropped off, he thinks he sees Gary jogging by, but it's someone else instead. He tippytoes upstairs and discovers that Hope has beat him home. Billy is feeling rather sick and as Ellyn helps him undress, she tells him she definitely doesn't want to change her name. Elliot and Nancy have a playful fight over putting the lid up or down which results in her demanding that he seduce her in Italian (he doesn't speak Italian, but it doesn't seem to matter). Hope and Michael settle into bed, he tells her that he thought he saw Gary, and he doesn't tell her about Michelle, the concierge.
Notes
Billy has a brother who didn't speak to him for years; some mention of Melissa meeting Lee because they've decided to be friends now; many references are made to the toilet lid being up or down; lots of shots of people either going or preparing to go to the bathroom (the purpose for this has eluded me)
Fashion
Elliot wears that weird combo of an aqua shirt with a wild maroon tie and a beige jacket with patterns on it. Someone attacked Hope with that damn knotted headband agin. The women look really, really nice for their big night out--Ellyn looks very good in the dark blue dress, a good color on her.
Quotes
--"Would you hire me to sell juice in my underwear?" --Hope

 --"Could I pick the underwear?" --Michael

 --"Martha Stewart's Book of Weddings. Who's Martha Stewart?" --Billy

 --"You don't want to know." --Ellyn

Analysis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The dashed line marks the point where Lisa Stevenson Blackwell's original version of this page ended, and where Bob Fahey began adding material.
Bob observation, 2-3-2007:
*Wedding Bell Blues (C'mon Marry Me Bill) in 1969 was a no. 1 hit from The Fifth Dimension's album The Age of Aquarius.

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