Designing Women Thursday: A look back at an early episode about AIDS: “Killing All The Right People”
This is such a powerful episodes of one of the greatest shows of all time: It’s the 28th episode of Designing Women which originally aired on Oct. 5, 1987.
It was a time in the AIDS crisis when those infected got sick and died fairly quickly – so many young and beautiful people gone forever. They were infected at a time they did not know they were risking their lives with unsafe sex and it breaks my heart.
Tony Goldwyn, who went on to co-star in Ghost and many other films as well as being a respected director, guest starred as a young gay man named Kendell Dobbs in this episode. He is dying of AIDS and he’s come to the Sugarbaker design firm to ask Julia, Mary Jo, Charlene and Suzanne to plan his funeral.
This episode is filled with heart, with information, and with some touches of hate and ignorance that remain today – 23 years later. A design firm client overhears the girls talking about Kendell and goes on an anti-gay rant saying: “As far as I’m concerned, this disease has one thing going for it: it’s killing all the right people.”
Julia really lets her have it in that terminator way of hers: “Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you’re talking to?! I’ve known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time!
Here are some key scenes from the episode written by the brilliant Linda Bloodworth-Thomason: