Thankfully there is no recent news of yet another one of my Golden Girls passing away, as the title of this article may suggest. The update is simply that I have finally wrapped up my year-long viewing of all seven seasons of the Golden Girls, starting with the very first episode and gradually making my way through to the series finale. The only reason I took as long is I did was the effort that I needed to endure in order to find both seasons four and seven on DVD.
I have to admit that the final episode definitely brought me to tears, as the actresses spoke ad lib, although still in character, about the other three women they had spent the last seven years working alongside. I won’t ruin the ending for those of you who are also venturing through each of the seasons, but I always feel a pull on my heartstrings when I see anyone genuinely crying over an amazing achievement coming to an end. The Golden Girls were no exception.
Over the seven seasons, much like the more recent Sex and the City franchise, Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia explored the intricacies of life that affect all women (and some men), applicable to both the young and old. Dealings with sexuality, disease, family matters and friendships always shaped each episode, tackling some of the most difficult topics ever to be discussed on television during the 1980s and 1990s. One particular episode where Rose had potentially contracted HIV through a tainted blood transfusion was excessively dark in its execution, but the importance of the issue at the time was so relevant that I truly believe this episode (when originally aired) would have helped a lot of people cope with a similar situation.
My two favourite episodes include the hurricane hitting Miami (with the McKinley Lighthouse Telethon), and the episode surrounding Blanche’s gay brother, when he brings his ‘life partner’ to meet Blanche for the first time. This latter episode in particular was so forward-thinking in the 1990s, addressing the issues of gay marriage and the rights given to gay couples. The humour added by Rose’s misunderstanding of the whole situation, and the difficult family struggles that Blanche endured to understand and respect her brother’s decisions truly opened doors.
One thing I found most interesting while watching this series is the way television was fashioned in the 1990s and in decades prior. There were no cliff hangers at the end of each episode, nor were there any devastating catastrophes in the season finales to make viewers yearn for more and rush back to their television sets for the next season opener. The Golden Girls in particular were about good story lines combined with the comedy of the times to make an overall brilliant, award-winning series.
I may be one of the biggest nerds for writing this, but seriously, check out the Golden Girls if you get a chance. I can personally say, you won’t be disappointed.