This is one of my reruns that I watched during its first run. I was a kid then, of course, but I found those four old women really funny. Now that I’m older, I find them funnier since I get all of the innuendo and adult humor. And the theme song is still catchy.
I shouldn’t have to go into the details of this show, but I’m going to for my own amusement.
The premise is simple and something that probably wouldn’t have gotten the greenlight from NBC today: four women over 50 live together and eat cheesecake. The women possessed four distinct personalities designed to give viewers a favorite, if they could possibly settle on a favorite. Blanche (Rue Mc was the saucy sexpot. Dorothy was the sarcastic intellectual. Rose was the naive-to-the-point-of-nearly-stupid sweetheart. And Sophia was the wise-cracking old woman with no filter between her mouth and her brain.
The women as a group were lively, fun, caring, kind, and a little naughty. Together they faced the perils of aging while maintaining a mature, but youthful outlook. It wasn’t four old women sitting around talking about grandchildren and knitting things. It was four older women living life. They dated, they worked, they vactioned, they struggled, they laughed, they solved problems, they dealt with family, they ate a lot, and they dressed liek it was October in Wisconsin instead of any time in Miami.
The show had its share of recurring characters and guest stars. Stan was my favorite. Herb Edleman was both fun and fantastic as Dorothy’s ex. Nancy Walker and Bill Dana as Sophia’s siblings, Sid Melton as Sophia’s husband, Debra Engle as Blanche’s daughter Rebecca, Scott Jacoby as Dorothy’s son, and Monte Markham as Blanche’s gay brother were also great. And, of course, who didn’t love Harold Gould as Miles Webber? (Side note: Harold Gould played a member of a mob family on Hawaii 5-0, which made his revelation that he was a mob informant on The Golden Girls that much better for me.)
Other notable guest stars included Leslie Nielsen, Robert Culp, Anne Francis, Debbie Reynolds, Steve Landesberg, Phil Leeds, George Clooney, Rita Moreno, and of course the cast of their spin-off, Empty Nest.
The plots were sometimes questionable (like Miles being in the witness protection program), but hey, it’s a sitcom. They’re supposed to be wacky. They did a decent enough job with continuity, which is more than you can say for most shows.
Besides, most of the time the show was too funny to notice any mistakes. The dialogue was always snappy and well done with some really memorable deliveries. It’s what makes watching the episodes over and over again so worth it.
Yes, I can quote large chunks of dialogue. Why do you ask?