I watched The Golden Girls in high school. I have no shame in admitting that, even though I distinctly remember only admitting to taping it so that I could watch it at my leisure. This was mostly so that people didn’t know that, for the first couple years of high school at least, I usually didn’t have Saturday night plans. My friend Mary once uttered the classic line “yeah, while everyone else was out getting laid, I was at home watching The Golden Girls.” Well, that would definitely make two of us, Mary. Although I do remember reading somewhere that they gay bars in New York turned off the club music on Saturday nights for 30 minutes to turn on the tube for The Golden Girls, so maybe we weren’t so pathetic after all! We were actually fabulous for watching it!
You can’t deny that the show really is comedy gold, even though it has been rerun to death in the last decade. And to think that Betty White was originally supposed to be the sexpot Blanche and Rue McClanahan clueless Minnesotan Rose. I just can’t imagine it! Bea Arthur basically played Maude 2.0, but to a generation of us too young to really remember Maude in it’s original run, we hardly cared. She was biting and sarcastic and could kill with a look. And then there was Estelle Getty, who I always thought would probably kick off during the show’s run, only to find out she was the youngest of all of them.
Sadly, only one Golden Girl remains – the irrepressible Betty White – the others having shuffled off the mortal coil in rather rapid succession over the last few years. At least there will always be reruns. I always say that Real Men watch The Golden Girls, and the best of the best admit to loving it without embarrassment or apology.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t post one of my favorite Golden Girls bits – from the first season, if you can believe it. Happy birthday Golden Girls! We’ll still be quoting you when we’re in the nursing home – just hope it isn’t Shady Pines.