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Continuity Errors: Starts With the House Layout and Just Gets Worse

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I don't know if this counts as a continuity error. But I noticed that when Stan is talking to his psychiatrist about his obsessive need to make things right with Dorothy (which is revealed to really be about Sophia), he casually mentions that his mother never loved him.

That certainly doesn't track with the flashback to his mother, who made a big show of how much she worshipped him. So far as Stan knew, his mother thought he was a saint.

i guess we can fan-wank that at some point, he figured out that she really considered him a yutz?

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Just caught the pilot episode, and Dorothy referred to Stan as 'a 65-year-old man with gout'. Aren't they supposed to be the same age? That would have made Dorothy 65 when the show started, which is highly unlikely. It also means Sophia had her when she was 15, because she's 80! And Dorothy also says she was married 38 years, which would mean they would have been broken up almost a decade by the time of the pilot. 

When the show became a hit, all this stuff evolved over the seven seasons. And, of course, they had no way of knowing that us fans would be here picking it all apart going on 40 years later!

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2 hours ago, DXD526 said:

Just caught the pilot episode, and Dorothy referred to Stan as 'a 65-year-old man with gout'. Aren't they supposed to be the same age? That would have made Dorothy 65 when the show started, which is highly unlikely. It also means Sophia had her when she was 15, because she's 80! And Dorothy also says she was married 38 years, which would mean they would have been broken up almost a decade by the time of the pilot. 

When the show became a hit, all this stuff evolved over the seven seasons. And, of course, they had no way of knowing that us fans would be here picking it all apart going on 40 years later!

That tracks with a theory I've read here (sorry, but I can't remember who came up with it) that the writers considered Dorothy and Rose to be in their sixties in the very early episodes - and then somewhere during the first season, the writers lowered their ages to mid-fifties.

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Yes, ages shift a lot.  For instance, in the Mrs. George Deveraux episode, Dorothy says very specifically, "I'm a woman in her 50s."  Drive you crazy trying to keep track of ages, whether it's the kids or the "girls."

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7 hours ago, DXD526 said:

and Dorothy also says she was married 38 years

Well and since we know she got pregnant in High School, that would make her in her mid-fifties when they got divorced.  In the episode for Kate's wedding, Dorothy is still pretty raw from the divorce, so I assumed she was in her mid to late fifties.   In a later season, when Sofia says she didn't want to tell her about something intimate between her and Sal, Dorothy exclaims "Ma, I'm 60 years old! You can tell me!".  So it seemed appropriate.

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5 hours ago, BigBingerBro said:

Well and since we know she got pregnant in High School, that would make her in her mid-fifties when they got divorced.  In the episode for Kate's wedding, Dorothy is still pretty raw from the divorce, so I assumed she was in her mid to late fifties.   In a later season, when Sofia says she didn't want to tell her about something intimate between her and Sal, Dorothy exclaims "Ma, I'm 60 years old! You can tell me!".  So it seemed appropriate.

When Stan first appeared it had been two years since he left her. So she had married about 40 years earlier. So 57-58 would be an approximate age. But later in the series she says she’s 55, which would be impossible. But by then she’s saying she slept with Stan because he said he was being shipped to Korea which would be 1950 or later. So there goes those 38 years of marriage. 

Charlie being old enough to buy war bonds for him and Rose in 1942 and going off to fight in Normandy around 1944 also make Rose seem older than she claims. (I know Buddy lied about being friends but he must have had the basic details right to fool Rose). Charlie must have been at least 18 in 1944 and Rose was a year younger, making Rose also about 58 when the show started. But something makes me think she claims to be 55 in season 1. 
 

None of it makes sense and that’s before you even bring in the kid’s ages. 

 

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I guess we should be thankful writers never got into how old Blanche was when she and George got married and the ages and order of their kids.

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I caught the Mother's Day flashback episode they other day, where each of the girls recall a past mother's day story.  In the one Sophia tells about getting the grandmother to move in with them, I noticed that it's the same old Brooklyn apartment set but they doorway opens to the outside, with trees and plants visible, but in other episodes the door open into an apartment hallway.  I assume they did it in order to accommodate the wheelchair, but it's still rather annoying.

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I've also noticed that the entry door in the NY apartment changes.  In the Mother's Day episode it's in one spot and the door off the living room is the kitchen where Sal is putting on a shirt with sleeves.  In the episode where Dorothy announces she's pregnant, she and Stan come in that door and the young guy who asked her out leaves by the same door, so it's obviously not the kitchen then.  In Clinton Avenue Memories, Sophia and Dorothy are clearly standing in a hallway.

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In “Ladies of the Evening”, Blanche says she woke up the night of the presidential inauguration in the arms of the 1972 election winner to which Dorothy says “you and Nixon?” And Blanche delivers the punchline that it was the President of the Chamber of Commerce. But in 1972, George would still have been alive. George didn’t die when Blanche was in her early 40’s surely. And we know Blanche never cheated on George. So it was just some dumb story the writers came up with to get in a Nixon zinger. 

Edited by fleurfairy
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On 9/9/2020 at 8:41 PM, fleurfairy said:

In “Ladies of the Evening”, Blanche says she woke up the night of the presidential inauguration in the arms of the 1972 election winner to which Dorothy says “you and Nixon?” And Blanche delivers the punchline that it was the President of the Chamber of Commerce. But in 1972, George would still have been alive. George didn’t die when Blanche was in her early 40’s surely. And we know Blanche never cheated on George. So it was just some dumb story the writers came up with to get in a Nixon zinger. 

Oh it was just flirting, there's nothing wrong with that. It keeps you healthy, keeps you in shape, and keeps your buttocks firm.

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The episode when Clayton comes out, and Blanche finds him in the gay bar. But that bar was visited before even by Blanche herself. Why she would think a bar playing sports on TV  is a gay bar also puzzles me...

 

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On 12/9/2020 at 12:25 AM, MoistestCake said:

The episode when Clayton comes out, and Blanche finds him in the gay bar. But that bar was visited before even by Blanche herself. Why she would think a bar playing sports on TV  is a gay bar also puzzles me...

 

I can't recall a time prior to Season 4 where Blanche visited that bar and it hurts my brain!

I was going to say that Blanche had visited that bar to meet John Quinn and was there during the Valentine's Day flashback but those episodes took place after Clayton came out to Blanche. So perhaps she decided to frequent there after she realized it wasn't a gay bar (and after men started hitting on her lol). Otherwise, prior season writers may have just forgotten she had been there before.

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Little did they know that 35 years later the show would be played in marathon form almost daily.  Had they known that I'm sure they'd have been more consistent with the continuity.

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Hallmark just aired the episode with Blanche's niece Lucy.

In the scene where Blanche talks about how rebellious she was as a teenager, she says the only reason she got through that phase was because her big sister Charmaine looked out for her.

Wasn't Charmaine supposed to be the youngest Hollingsworth daughter - the baby of the family who got all of their parents' attention? Or did I just imagine the "youngest" part?

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7 hours ago, scarynikki12 said:

Virginia is the youngest and Charmaine the oldest.

I thought it was the other way around too. Maybe it's because the actress who played Charmaine looked younger than both Blanche and Virginia.

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Virginia was definitely the baby. She was also the one who missed Big Daddy's birthday because she was away at the boarding school "Our Lady for the Perpetually Knocked Up" (2 4 6 8 All us girls are 2 months late). Chairmain, on the other hand, wrote a novel and was a mutant with a tilted uterus and spastic colon. 😂

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Three daughters with the same personality. What a time their parents must have had.

Mrs. Deveraux: Wasn't Virginia the Slut?

Blanche: No ma'am. That was me!

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2 minutes ago, Snow Apple said:

Three daughters with the same personality. What a time their parents must have had.

Mrs. Deveraux: Wasn't Virginia the Slut?

Blanche: No ma'am. That was me!

The pride on her face as she says this! Rue was such a gem.

I think Charmaine, Blanche, and Virginia were all super close in age too (they had to have been a year apart given the high school and college rivalries that Blanche recounted) so the confusion makes sense.

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Clayton was also close in age to Blanche as she talked about them having a contest to see who's car windows would steam up the most when they double dated.

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This one just dawned on me the other day after the umpteenth viewing of the episode when Rose takes a history class to graduate high school: she shows Dorothy pictures of Mr. Schickelgruber (Hitler) and Eva Braun in the St. Olaf High School yearbook, but when exactly was that supposed to be from? Before the war? After the war? If it's meant to be a joke about Hitler secretly going into hiding after the war, would that line up with the time Rose was in high school? I thought she would've graduated before then, and if so, why would she have a yearbook for a year she wasn't at the school? I know it's just a silly joke, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the alleged timing.

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10 hours ago, Cherpumple said:

This one just dawned on me the other day after the umpteenth viewing of the episode when Rose takes a history class to graduate high school: she shows Dorothy pictures of Mr. Schickelgruber (Hitler) and Eva Braun in the St. Olaf High School yearbook, but when exactly was that supposed to be from? Before the war? After the war? If it's meant to be a joke about Hitler secretly going into hiding after the war, would that line up with the time Rose was in high school? I thought she would've graduated before then, and if so, why would she have a yearbook for a year she wasn't at the school? I know it's just a silly joke, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the alleged timing.

I understand and have thought the same thing, but decided for my sanity I have to let go of the wacky time frames.  

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I'll have to pay closer attention when I see that episode again.  I always thought that Dorothy showed Rose a picture in the history school book and because Rose identified Ava Braun, she gave her a D in order to pass....?!?

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3 hours ago, BigBingerBro said:

I always thought that Dorothy showed Rose a picture in the history school book and because Rose identified Ava Braun, she gave her a D in order to pass....?!?

Right, the book is Rose's textbook from the history class Dorothy was teaching, not Rose's yearbook.

Rose objects that Dorothy incorrectly marked as wrong a question Rose got right on the final exam.  Dorothy says the question was "Who was the leader of the Third Reich?" and Rose wrote down "Fritz Stickelmeyer" (who we earlier learned was her high school history teacher, a Nazi who was "part of a nefarious plot by the Germans to teach misinformation so America's youth would be really stupid when the Germans invaded" [and St. Olaf was the first town chosen for their experiment]).

Rose grabs her textbook, points to a picture of Hitler, and confirms this is the man they're talking about.  She insists Dorothy can call him whatever she wants, but that's Fritz Stickelmeyer.  "I'm as sure of that as I am that's Eva Braun standing next to him."  When Dorothy asks, "You recognize Eva Braun?" Rose says she was her high school PE teacher, and it was rumored she used to date Mr. Stickelmeyer.

Dorothy says she can't take it anymore, and by marking that question right, it gives Rose a D- in the course, which means she passed all her classes and is now a high school graduate.

Edited by Bastet
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I don’t know for sure if that was really Hitler or a guy named Stickelmeyer...but whoever he was, that nefarious plot was obviously beta tested in St. Olaf. And it worked.  

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7 hours ago, Bastet said:

Right, the book is Rose's textbook from the history class Dorothy was teaching, not Rose's yearbook.

Rose objects that Dorothy incorrectly marked as wrong a question Rose got right on the final exam.  Dorothy says the question was "Who was the leader of the Third Reich?" and Rose wrote down "Fritz Stickelmeyer" (who we earlier learned was her high school history teacher, a Nazi who was "part of a nefarious plot by the Germans to teach misinformation so America's youth would be really stupid when the Germans invaded" [and St. Olaf was the first town chosen for their experiment]).

Ah, yes, it was the history book. Thanks! But that still doesn't clarify the timeline for me. That nefarious plot about an invasion sounds like it would a pre-war plan, which would make more sense with Rose's age, but doesn't make sense in the larger context. I think I'm with Dorothy on this one- throw up my hands in exasperation and continue to think St. Olaf is bonkers. : )

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throw up my hands in exasperation and continue to think St. Olaf is bonkers

Sounds like the end of an average conversation with Rose about St. Olaf...

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16 hours ago, Hiyo said:

I don’t know for sure if that was really Hitler or a guy named Stickelmeyer...but whoever he was, that nefarious plot was obviously beta tested in St. Olaf. And it worked.  

That must be it because who the heck lived though WWII, taken a history class, or watch tv don't know who Hitler was or what he looked like?

I feel sorry for the residents of the real St. Olaf.

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And if Rose thought Mr. Stickelmeyer was just her history teacher, why would she list him as the leader of the Third Reich?

I guess the only possible answer is, "Because she doesn't wash fruit before she eats it."

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This conversation has made me realize that I don't actually know what Eva Braun looks like.   I mean, I know of her and if I saw a photo of Hitler with a woman I'd guess it was Eva Braun, but if she was on her own I wouldn't be able to pick her out of a lineup.  Off to read some history so I don't get accused of being a St. Olafian...

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Has anyone mentioned this yet?

There are only three chairs around their dinner table, and when all four of them want to eat and speak together, the fourth woman has to pull up a stool!

These women are crazy.

It's obviously done for camera angles, like the fourth person would be sitting where the camera was, but why couldn't they angle the chairs to have it be side diagonal, diagonal, side?   And all four chairs would be on camera.  (That's that they do when the fourth pulls up a stool, anyway.)

There's even a mention in one episode where Sophia screws up her back sitting on that stool.

And then Dorothy says something like "You know the rule.  When we eat Mexican food, you sit over there at the island."

 

This is how I'm picturing the ideal table.  Instead of "Chair 3", the fourth woman will pull up a stool and speak to the rest of them, sitting way higher than everyone else!

 

      chair 1           chair 2                chair 3                   chair 4

 

                                  Camera

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Given that many of the kitchen scenes didn't involve Sophia, the straight on camera angle worked since they usually had Dorothy in the middle, what with her being the tallest.

If they had a diagonal set-up, it would probably play like this, and given the kitchen set was much smaller than the set used here, it might have been trickier to set up all the camera angles needed.

(Also, not sure if this is a continuity error per se)

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20 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Has anyone mentioned this yet?

There are only three chairs around their dinner table, and when all four of them want to eat and speak together, the fourth woman has to pull up a stool!

These women are crazy.

It's obviously done for camera angles, like the fourth person would be sitting where the camera was, but why couldn't they angle the chairs to have it be side diagonal, diagonal, side?   And all four chairs would be on camera.  (That's that they do when the fourth pulls up a stool, anyway.)

There's even a mention in one episode where Sophia screws up her back sitting on that stool.

And then Dorothy says something like "You know the rule.  When we eat Mexican food, you sit over there at the island."

 

This is how I'm picturing the ideal table.  Instead of "Chair 3", the fourth woman will pull up a stool and speak to the rest of them, sitting way higher than everyone else!

 

      chair 1           chair 2                chair 3                   chair 4

 

                                  Camera

I’ve always through the three chairs and round table was an odd choice. TV shows have been showing groups of 4 or more eating dinner at a table since the ‘50s. 

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Being a huge GG nerd I did some research - my understanding on some of the backstory was that the kitchen was not meant to be part of the original layout at all, the model set was only for 3 rooms (lanai, living room, bedroom). When the script for the pilot episode was revised, they had to improvise and chose the "kitchen" from another sitcom in the studio and added it to the living room. Since, that set only came with a 3 person table and they never bothered to fix the issue after the pilot, the producers made the conscious decision to keep it that way and invented the "stool" situation in the belief that having the fourth person sit on a stool—or cooking at the island nearby—gave viewers the feeling that they were seeing a play, making the experience more appealing. 

@Hiyo is correct - the seating arrangements were strategically placed and depended on two things: the particular situation and who needed to exit the kitchen during the scene. Dorothy was always given the middle chair because of her height, and it was also the perfect spot for the camera to catch her unique facial expressions.

On a minor note and fun fact, the show also used a TON of table cloths! The table was changed after the pilot (it was originally a glass top table) and the producers would often note that the tablecloth clashed with someone’s dress, so they started collecting different options and ended up with racks of various tablecloths they kept right behind the refrigerator lol.

 

Edited by Eri
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1 hour ago, Eri said:

When the script for the pilot episode was revised, they had to improvise and chose the "kitchen" from another sitcom in the studio and added it to the living room.

Wow...that could actually explain why the layout of the kitchen is completely incongruous with the living room set, what with the back/garage door seemingly leading back into the bedroom hallway, and Sophia and Dorothy's bedrooms appearing to exist in some weird 4th dimensional space between the hallway and the kitchen. I wonder what sitcom the kitchen set came from.

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2 hours ago, Giuseppe said:

I wonder what sitcom the kitchen set came from.

It was from a short-lived (1 season) sitcom called It Takes Two, also created by Susan Harris.

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that could actually explain why the layout of the kitchen is completely incongruous with the living room set, what with the back/garage door seemingly leading back into the bedroom hallway, and Sophia and Dorothy's bedrooms appearing to exist in some weird 4th dimensional space between the hallway and the kitchen

Probably designed by the same architects who designed the original apartment complex on Melrose Place lol

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The episode where Rose and Miles get together after meeting at dancing and she goes to his party with the other college professors. When he tells her that he's a college professor she's surprised, and he says "What did you think I meant when I said I taught Hemingway?" And she says "I thought you were old". I like the joke but it doesn't make sense really. Miles would have said "I'm Miles, I teach Hemingway", which spoils the joke because there's no way to misunderstand it...

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12 minutes ago, MoistestCake said:

The episode where Rose and Miles get together after meeting at dancing and she goes to his party with the other college professors. When he tells her that he's a college professor she's surprised, and he says "What did you think I meant when I said I taught Hemingway?" And she says "I thought you were old". I like the joke but it doesn't make sense really. Miles would have said "I'm Miles, I teach Hemingway", which spoils the joke because there's no way to misunderstand it...

Ah, yes, the Mob bookkeeper in the Witness Protection Program who is suddenly teaching English at the university level.  

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On 2/15/2021 at 7:05 AM, Cherpumple said:

If it's meant to be a joke about Hitler secretly going into hiding after the war...but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the alleged timing.

Actually that could work I think. In season 1 rose is 55, means she was born in 1930 and graduated (or not) in 1948, giving Hitler 3 years to get to St Olaf and change his name. However the nefarious plot only makes sense before the war.

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:27 PM, Ria said:

(I know Buddy lied about being friends but he must have had the basic details right to fool Rose).

 

That episode has one of my favorite exchanges between Dorothy and Blanche, because they were talking about how Buddy was trying to con Rose out of a bunch of money, and Blanche asks how he knew all of that stuff about Rose and her life with Charlie.

Dorothy: "He only knew that she was from St. Olaf, she probably told him the rest on her own. You know how Rose is, a stranger says hello, and suddenly they're hearing the story of Uncle Fingerbinger and his twelve pound rutabaga."

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This one is not too major, but in robbery episode Dorothy said her fur stole was the only gift Stan gave her without an extension cord. But in the IRS audit episode, she sold the expensive ring Stan gave.

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Ah, yes, the Mob bookkeeper in the Witness Protection Program who is suddenly teaching English at the university level. 

I don't know why the writers suddenly threw in that monkey wrench. It made so sense. Was his daughter Caroline's last name Webber or Carbone?

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Maybe Caroline was never his daughter to begin with; maybe she was an informant from the program who was paid to go along with his story (and keep tabs on him without his knowledge). It *could* explain why we she was discouraging Rose from seeing him anymore and why we never hear from/ see her again 😉 

Edited by Eri
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