A Different World (1987–1993): Season 4, Episode 17 - Ms. Understanding - full transcript

A male student of Hillman college who goes by the name of Shazza Zulu says that the Hillman men are "Dogs". Then, one thing leads to another and the women and men of Hillman are against each other while Shazza Zulu gets a profit o...

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You see, Terrence...

At a school where there are

three women for every one man

there's no excuse
for being dateless.

Somebody took my three.

I'll show you
how to retrieve them.

Take copious notes.

Uh-oh. This could be ugly,

Wait a minute.

She looks pretty beautiful.

Eh, it's a weave.

Oh, look at Ron go.

She got to the weave store
too late.

And go and go and go.

You'll see here

Ron is mostly talk
and very little action.

I'm meeting Debbie for dinner,
Marcy at midnight,

and Bridget for breakfast.

When are you meeting Betty,
the one

that gave you the black eye?

£ I know my parents loved me £

£ stand behind me
come what may £

£ I know now that I'm ready £

£ for I finally heard them say £

£ it's a different world £

£ than where you come from £

£ yes, it is now, yeah £

£ here's our chance to make it £

£ and if we focus on our goal £

£ you can dish it,
we can take it £

£ hey, just remember
that you've been told £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ it's a different world £

£ than where you come from £

£ ooh £

£ than where you come from. £

my people

we are living
in perilous times, my people.

Times when sisters 12 and 13
are having babies.

Times when brothers eight
and nine are selling drugs.

Times when our infants
are lulled to sleep

by the sound of gunshots.

I ask you, why?


Because the nuclear family,

the nucleus of society,

has degenerated.



Because Adam and Eve
no longer respect one another.

Oh, truth.

Especially Adam.

The truth is hard to take
for some people.

The ratio of women to men
on this campus is three to one.

How many of you hillman men
have taken unfair advantage

on this true blessing?


Ron Johnson just did.

He's the king.

Excuse me.

Excuse me.

My sisters, you'll find
all your grievances

carefully detailed in my book,

her guide to understanding
the hillman man.

Well, I got a grievance
with your barber.

Let me out of here.

Yeah, I want one.

Look at all these people
with these books.

You wasted five dollars on that?

Kim, you cannot put a price
on emancipation.

Now read this.

"The hillman man
will remain immature

as long as the hillman woman
caters to his every whim."

That brother speaks the truth.

You girls are not that easy
to get along with either.

According to this, we are.

"The hillman woman
should be confident

"and know her self-worth.

She should be treated
like a queen."

Ooh, well, how nice,
your majesty.

But would you please help me

bus these tables.

Hey, Freddie.

Hey, jaleesa.

When are you returning
my electric blanket?

I can't. I need it
to keep me warm.

Thought about looking
for a boyfriend?

Look no further.

This says I'm one of the few men

who can make
a hillman woman happy.


"I'm unschooled

"in the doggish ways
of upperclassmen...

Innocent, naive,
eager to please..."

He's a virgin.

No, I'm not.

Really... my queen.

That electric blanket
is looking better and better.

I got to give ol' Shazza
some credit.

This is the greatest scam
of all time.

This is not a scam.

This is pure,
unmitigated truth...


Damn! Ooh!

That's it!

Momentito, mister sister.

Surely, my brother.

I'll have you know
that the women on this campus

are perfectly satisfied
with the status quo.

I can vouch
for 300 of them myself.

Impressive record.

I know it is.

But can you vouch

for Kim Reese?

She seems to have turned
away from the hillman man.

Far, far away.

He's lighter than you.

The movie starts
at 8:00.

I'll meet you at 7:45.

You got it.

Is guess who's coming
to dinner playing?

Sidney poitier,
Katharine hepburn.

Spencer Tracy's last movie.

Pauline Kael didn't like it,
but I gave it two thumbs up.

See you later, doc.

Bye, Matt.

So, Kim, another evening
with Matthew?

He's a lot of fun.

You should get
to know him better.

Looks like you're doing
that for all of us.

The brothers are talking.

Good things, I hope.

Well, considering
the tense state of affairs...

Do you think
dating Matthew is wise?

I think it's my business.

I'm looking out for you.

Oh really?
Who looked out for you
when you were dating

Cathy "cream cheese"
from Virginia tech?

No one had to look out for me...

Because nobody saw me.

Then close your eyes.

You won't see me either.

May I help you?

Hey, bunny.

Dwayne, have you read
this hunk of hoghead cheese?

Who's got time to read?

I've been tutoring all morning

and I have
two more sessions tonight.

Is that ugly
engineering department

working my baby too hard?

Mm-hmm, and Lynette Stevens
isn't making it any easier.

She wants to major in math,
but she's hopeless.


I remember her from the pool

with her tube top
around her waist.

Why do you have to tutor her?

Because the department
assigned me to her, whitley.

And just where will you be doing

all of this tutoring?

Why do we go through this
every time I tutor a woman?

Why do you have to tutor
so many women?

Because I made a special request

that all the topless wonders
be sent my way.

You're saying
I'm being ridiculous?

I said nothing.

It's just
that you're so irresistible

and delectable, delightful
and delicious.

Yes, aren't I, though?

I just want to know

who are you tutoring tonight?

Tonight, Leslie.

Whoa, wait. Hey, hey.

Leslie is the nose guard
on the football team.

Well, why does he have
a girl's name?!


Oh, Dean Hughes.

You look like wet bread.

You are so kind, vern.

Why did you call me down here?

This waste of good trees.

Had to snatch it
from one of my workers.

The girl nearly burned down
my kitchen

trying to do fries
and read at the same time.

Shazza zulu. Who's Shazza?

Oh, he's the one
with the Eddie Murphy entourage.

Oh, Sylvester Simon.

This nonsense
was his honors thesis

rejected by
the sociology department.

And my garbage disposal
didn't take it either.

Excuse me, zulu.

I've read your book

and I believe
I've seen the light.

It's an enlightening
piece of work, brother.

Tell me.

How did you become so...

Well, as a sixth-year

I've had the opportunity
to observe a great many things.

However, my book is not
about that which can be observed

with the naked eye.

It's about those things
that people are afraid to see,

do and think for themselves.

Wow! How can I,
a mere freshman

suppress the negative
inclinations of my manhood?

Practice, practice.

Oh, men are so irritating.

If only they'd live
by zulu's principles.

You might not be so lonely.

Ladies, ladies, I am not lonely.

I am alone.

There is a difference.

What is the difference?

I don't know, but...

We deserve better, all right?

Now remember chapter eight?

"A woman is not a doormat
until she lies down."

I say we don't
lie down anymore.
Ever again.

Ladies, ladies.

What are your complaints?

Talk to papa Ron.

You ain't nobody's papa
around here.

And we are tired

of your arrogance and rudeness.

The only door you guys
rush to open for a lady

is the bedroom door.

And you try to buy
our affections

with expensive meals.

Hush, girl.

That's a benefit.

One we deserve
because they spend

the entire meal
talking about themselves.

I, me, me, me.

Perhaps that's because
you ladies are dull.

Who are you calling dull?

Excuse me, mister.

If you paid attention
long enough to find out

what our needs were,
maybe we wouldn't seem so dull.

Your needs are in the kitchen
and in the laundry room.

Time out! Time out!

Hey! Hey!

Now back
to my dirty underwear...

Come on, brother.

In this situation

you are a negative role model.

So why don't you
just roll on out of here.

Thank you, Walter.

I know this shasta...


Shazza got you worked up.

But there are
righteous brothers on campus.

They're a little unformed.

They're like lumps of Clay
just waiting

for the right sister
to mold them

and make them right.

If I wanted to work with Clay

I'll make an ash tray.
And I don't smoke.


Better yet... no men.

All right. Boycott.

That's what I'm talking about.


That's right.

So, Walter, did you
smooth things over?

Let me put it this way.
I want you to hang on
to your memories

because you're going
to need them.

This Shazza zulu has
the women more confused

than they normally are.

He's got them thinking
they don't need us.

Who's going to help them move
their furniture?

And tell them where
the windshield wiper fluid goes?

They're going to miss us.

As a follower of islam

I'm required to seek
the companionship

of many women
before choosing my queen.

Sit down, you little
microwave Muslim.

This is the work
of a twisted mind.

There's a fungus among us.

Gentlemen, the women
are plotting a boycott.

I propose we counter
with a girlcott.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.

No can do, okay?

For once, think about somebody
other than yourself.

I think about whitley
all the time

and I'm not giving up
none of that, for none of y'all.

You know, this boycott
seems a little extreme to me.

We're only boycotting
until we graduate.

You think it gets better?

Jaleesa knows
of what she speaks.

See, guys are the kind
of merchandise

that you have to buy as is.

And I like what I bought.

Why do I have to boycott?

Dwayne's a one-woman man.

I thought that about Ricardo
till I caught him with Janet.

Well, that's
your sordid history.

No, it's everybody's history.

Dwayne loves me.


"The one he loves
is always the one he lies to."

Mm-hmm. I've been there.


Anyway, we have
an honest relationship.

Who told you that? Him?

Snap out of it, girl.

Somebody told me someone else
told them she heard

someone said he said
he was with Desiree Pierce

at the library
last Friday, tutoring...

But there were no books.

You're full of prunes.

My Dwayne would never
be tutoring

that hussy Desiree Pierce.

This may not mean anything

but I saw him at the library
with her tonight.

What I wouldn't give
to be a sequin on that sweater.

We're boycotting them.

We must maintain our composure
at all costs.

Here comes Debbie trying to beg.

Definitely weakening.

Freddie, what's up
with the rollers?

It's a statement.

We want the men to give in

not give up.

Excuse me, dude brother,
is that seat taken?

No, man.

I'm a lonely man.

Come on in.

As you should be...

I mean, thank you.


Look at that Desiree Pierce.

Ooh, yeah, I hear she's
pretty well endowed.

Hear she's wealthy too.

I'm her tutor.

Look at the caboose!



I hear you're going out

with the finest caboose
on campus.

She's all right.

O, amore,
ti voglio tanto.

Piano, piano, si va lontano
coniglio mio.

is an excellent film maker.

Psst, yo, Avery.

You're blocking my view
of the gondola.

Sorry, I'll take off my hat.

That won't solve his problem.

I'm tired of people
staring at us

like we're lab specimen.

As long as
they don't cut us open

and play scrabble with our guts.

That mulu zulu
got these folks acting stupid.

Men on one side,
women on the other?

You ever seen a brother

who hasn't had a woman
talk to him for a month?

I ain't either, but I
don't want to see it.

These students have
a stupid activity quota to fill.

It will blow over.

Stai qui, amore.
Non te ne vai.

Cut her loose, Giovanni.

She's a skeezer!


Ti amo, Giovanni.

Devo tornare alla Mia moglie.


Sophia, you don't need him!

None of us do!

What you need to do is shut up!

What you need to do is cool off!

Hey, wait a minute!

No! No! No!


I caught you big time, big boy.

What did I do?


I knew it was you.

You're neck-high
in a swamp, buddy.

Mr. I'm-out-

You're tutoring Desiree.

No telling what
you're schooling her.

I tutored Desiree
after the nose guard.

Why didn't you tell me?

I was trying to avoid
this conversation.

I'm tired of defending myself
for doing nothing.

Monogamy is not
a salient feature

of the male species,

and that's because you have not
truthed with yourselves...

Faced the ambivalence...

You are in my suit
quoting zulu in my face?

Why do I put up with you?

Because you love me?

And you got to trust me.

I'm doing right by you, baby.

I do.

Let me help you

out of this suit.


I want to get it cleaned.


What are you doing with him?

He's my man.

And I'm standing by him.

And all you canned goods

can get dusty on the shelf.

Dean Hughes:
I called you here

so you could discuss
your problems

in a post-kindergarten fashion.

Couldn't agree with you more.

Disharmony was my impetus
for penning this slim volume.

It's dog food.


Shazza, I want to thank you
for having the courage

to admit that the hillman man
has canine instincts.

There's a correction.

The hillman man is not a dog
in the literal sense

but his insecurities
manifest themselves

through exercises in excess.

Thus working against
the positiveness

of his innate positivity.

What in the hell
are you talking about?

That's my point exactly.

Your views are divisive,

and overflowing with rhetoric.

If my views had no merit

all these people
wouldn't be here.

If you could pass a few classes

neither would you.


Dean Hughes,

some of us women
will never get married

if these men don't change.

That's the problem.

You women are always trying
to snag husbands.

Ron personifies the paralysis
men experience

at the mere mention
of commitment.

All right.

Page 30 of my book.

I don't understand
why you young people need a book

to understand what you knew

before you read the book
of miss understanding

or whoever she is.

I would like to know
what inspired Shazza

to write such a timely
and insightful book.


Love of people.

Love of women.

Love of money.


Dollars never entered my mind,

No. Just your pocket.

How much money have you made
from this book?

How much moolah, buddy?


Well, let's just say

if my book was a record
it would be solid gold!

Oh, but no, see...

Oh, but no, see...

What I'm saying

is you can only sell
that which is in demand.

I demand my money back.

We've been zulued!



Hillman has a problem

and this is the answer.

Look, if we as hillman men
don't treat our women right

they'll go to somebody white.

Kim Reese did.

You pseudo-intellectual
with a pseudo-African name

spouting pseudo-philosophy
about a whole lot of nothing.

In fact...

The only thing
that's real about you

is your green eyes, my brother.



You again?

Here to second zulu's emotion?

No. I didn't like
the brother's approach.

He lacks discretion.

You told me
I shouldn't date Matthew

because he's white.

That's how I felt.

That's just too bad, Ron.

This is not South Africa.

Point taken.

Can you blame me
for wanting to keep

one of hillman's
finest sisters to myself?

Or some equally
deserving brother?

I didn't know you cared.

Well, neither did I
until you started dating opie.

How would you feel
if I dated aunt bea?

I might not like it

but if you want to go out
with some old lady

I respect your right to do it.

Go ahead, Dr. Deep.

You do know how to be a friend.

One of my many talents.

May a friend walk you home?

Oh, a rain check?

I'm meeting opie
at the coffee house.

See you.

I hope he's paying.