Monday, June 24, 2013

Classic TV: The Golden Girls (1985)

These days, you can't escape reruns of The Golden Girls.

The series aired on NBC from 1985-92, and then shifted to CBS, where it underwent a title change to The Golden Palace, but bombed out after less than a year.

Set in Miami, the series was built around four seniors, including a mother-daughter tandem, facing typical sitcom situations, with equally typical results. The odd thing was, the mother figure, Sophia, was played by a relative newcomer, Estelle Getty, whie everyone else was, in truth, an old friend. Betty White (Rose) has been a TV staple seemingly forever, rapidly becoming the female equivalent of George Burns, as she looks like she could work until she reaches 100. Beatrice Arthur (Dorothy) & Rue McClanahan (Blanche) had previously teamed on Maude more than a decade earlier, so there was some chemistry there.

Currently, reruns air on TV Land, which means it might be cross-promoted on sister network Nick at Nite in due course, after stops at Lifetime, Hallmark, WE, & INSP. TV Land seems appropriate, largely because the venerable Miss White now stars in Hot in Cleveland, which just started its 3rd season last week.

Here's the open:

Betty White is the only one left out of the core cast, and, as noted, shows no signs of slowing down.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

We used to watch this show quite regularly back in the day - even dad!

At the time it was considered a bit of a risk since people wondered if a show about a bunch of older ladies would be good TV - boy was it ever!

Estelle Getty and Bea Arthur had the best lines, although everyone did a great job with their roles. I had heard however that when the show was still being cast - it was suggested Betty White take the role of Blanche Deveraux, and Rue McClanahan take the role of Rose Nyland. I think it was because Betty was so good at being a [w]itch in roles like Sue Ann Nivens from MTM. She asked to switch with Rue at the last minute, perhaps to prevent being typecast. As we all know, the rest is TV history.

A co-worker of mine met Betty not too long ago to film a promo. He told me she was the classiest lady he'd ever met! Very nice, polite, and old school professional!

I'll definitely miss her when she's gone.

hobbyfan said...

I don't think Betty has remarried since Allen Ludden passed away some 30-odd years ago, and working is what keeps her going, even with her tireless charity work.

This is one of those shows that Mom would watch in repeats ad nauseum until even she got tired of it. These days, it's The Waltons & Matlock & Perry Mason. Well, there's no faulting good taste.