- The Current UMSL
The Best of The Golden Girls
One of the most popular television shows in the 80s and 90s was The Golden Girls. This show was about four older women who lived together in Miami experiencing many different challenges. While this is one of my favorite shows today, I can only imagine how people felt about it when it came out. According to BBC.com, “The Golden Girls was fiercely funny, unashamedly soppy, brazenly glamorous (with an abundance of 80s shoulder pads and hairspray), and bravely outspoken- and there’s never been a better time to treasure its legacy.” In my opinion, what made the show so popular was the characters and how they interacted with each other.
The first character that I believe brought sass sprinkled in with every joke was Sophia Petrillo. Sophia was the mother of Dorothy Zbornak. She was also the oldest in the group and I think that’s why she was very spunky. She never minded saying exactly what was on her mind and if you’ve watched the show, you know a story follows when she says, “Picture it!” Another reason why I think Sophia was a reason why the show was so popular was that she was sarcastic and blunt. In the 80s and 90s, it was unheard of for a woman to be as bold as she was. Sophia Petrillo was played by Estelle Getty. Estelle was the first golden girl to pass away in 2008 at the age of 84 from dementia.
The second golden girl who made the show a hit was Dorothy Zbornak. Dorothy was a divorced substitute teacher. Just like Sophia, Dorothy also said what was on her mind and her sarcasm was as skilled as her mother’s. She also didn’t mind telling off anyone who was out of line. Dorothy was also known for her infamous facial expressions that went how she was feeling in that moment. Dorothy was the logical one and when the other characters were in their fairytale land, she would try to pull them back to reality. Dorothy Zbornak was played by Bea Authur. Bea was the second golden girl to pass away in 2009 at the age of 86 from cancer.
The third character who also made the show memorable was Blanche Devereaux. Blanche was a widow from the south who was an unorthodox woman. She went out with many men and the other characters (especially Sophia) would joke about how many men she’s been with. In a time period where it was a sin to be unladylike, Blanche was a character that many people raised their eyebrows at. Blanche Devereaux was played by Rue McClanahan. Rue was the last character of The Golden Girls to pass away in 2010 at the age of 76 from a stroke.
The last and final golden girl is Rose Nylund. Rose was also a widow, and she was from St. Olaf, Minnesota. She was the slow one of the four and the other characters would kid her about it. Most of the time, Dorothy and Sophia’s sarcasm came from Rose being d
I believe this show rose to the height of popularity because of the personality of the characters. They were older, outspoken, and bold women who paved the way for many other actresses to come.
Haider, A. (2020). The Golden Girls: The most treasured TV show ever. https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200401-the-golden-girls-the-most-treasured-tv-show-ever