Sunday, August 03, 2008

Celebrating "The Golden Girls"

Twice in the past week, I've made reference to the Golden Girls; both times, the 20ish year old guys that I was talking to seemed utterly confused. The first time, in tutorial, I mentioned that I thought the Golden Girls was probably the funniest program ever shown on TV - the student that I was talking to had never heard of it. (And, additionally, was stunned that it was about a group of old women.) The second, at a Future Shop of all places, I approached one of the guys standing among the media aisles to ask if they had any seasons in stock (there were none in the appropriate section), to which he responded - "It's a TV show?"

So in honor of Estelle Getty's recent passing and because the world clearly needs to be reminded just how alternately (and simultaneously) clever, absurd, and vulgar a show starring four middle-aged and elderly white women could be, I'm tossing in some clips with minimal commentary. The show had a certain formula to its humor - Dorothy's comedy was dry and cynical, Rose was dopey and naive, Blanche was pompous and risque (even now - no, especially now), and Sophia was, to quote the paperboy, "just a mean old lady" - albeit a hilarious one. They also their standard bits: Sophia's related to childhood stories of Sicily, which would often end with a revelation about someone famous. Like in this clip:

It's tough to find a clip that's only a couple minutes long and yet captures a little bit of everything. But maybe this one will work:


Jason said...

Hee, what a fun thing to post about. "Golden Girls" is indeed sinking (or rising?) in status to something resembling "obscure gem." This despite the fact that it was (I assume) one of network TV's highest rated shows back in the day? (Certainly everybody I knew, of any age, watched it.)

Comics tie-in: In a WIZARD Magazine profile of Stan Lee back in the early 1990s, Lee said his favorite TV show was "Golden Girls" (he said it was one of the best-written and best-acted shows he's ever seen).

Other cool thing, which you probably already knew: "Arrested Development" creator Mitchell Hurwitz was a writer on "Golden Girls."

Thing from "Golden Girls" that will always stand out in my memory -- a bit that must've happened at least four or five seasons into the show: Dorothy learns that promiscuous Blanche Devereaux's middle name is Elizabeth and, thus, her initials spell out "B.E.D." I was a young lad at the time, but I remember being somewhat amazed that a joke like that didn't occur until so late in the series. (It'd be awesome if Hurwitz wrote that joke ... he obviously has a love of punning and word-play ...)

neilshyminsky said...

re: B.E.D. - The reason they didn't do it earlier was because Blanche's middle name, as given nearer the start of the series, was Marie. The show was quite good at hitting its marks right from the start and requiring very few retroactive changes, but this was one of them - they introduced Elizabeth as her middle name only when they thought we wouldn't remember Marie.

Jason said...

Aaah, I see! Ret-cons! They're not just for comic books!