Buena Vista // 1985 // 625 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Cynthia Boris (Retired) // February 21st, 2007
Dorothy: "It's so hard to dress for a psychiatrist. If you wear black,
they think you're depressed. If you wear red, they think you're
Blanche: "If you wear a negligee, they think you want to sleep with them..."
Dorothy: "Why aren't you arrested more?"
It was something that had never been done before on television. A TV series that not only revolved around the lives of four older women, but actually showed them as sexy, dominant, well-groomed, intelligent human beings. A series that proved there was life after forty, and not just any life, but a really good one. It's the seventh and final season. Your last chance to visit with Blanche, Rose, Sophia and Dorothy; The Golden Girls
Four women discover that family doesn't have to mean "related by blood." Divorced or widowed, they band together as roommates, each caught up in the comedy and drama that comes with later life. There's strong, almost masculine Dorothy (Beatrice Arthur, Maude), her frail but feisty mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty), sweet and naïve Rose (Betty White, The Mary Tyler Moore Show) and the sexually driven southern belle, Blanche (Rue McClanahan, Maude). As different as can be, each women provides support and balance for the other three as they deal with retirement, money issues, loneliness, death, and sex -- lots and lots of sex.
This box set includes:
* "Hey, Look Me Over"
* "The Case of the Libertine Belle"
* "Beauty and the Beast"
* "That's For Me to Know"
* "Where's Charlie"
* "Mother Load"
* "Dateline: Miami"
* "The Monkey Show I & II"
* "Rose Loves Miles"
* "Room 7"
* "From Here to the Pharmacy"
* "The Pope's Ring"
* "Old Boyfriends"
* "Goodbye, Mr. Gordon"
* "The Commitments"
* "Questions and Answers"
* "Ebbtide VI: The Wrath of Stan"
* "Journey to the Center of Attention"
* "A Midwinter Night's Dream I & II"
* "Rose: Portrait of a Woman"
* "Home Again, Rose I & II"
* "One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest I & II"
When I first received this box set, my teenage son took a look at the black cover and the four older women's faces and proclaimed, "wow, that looks depressing!" I must admit I thought the same thing about this series; a show about four women who have no significant others, who are dealing with nursing homes and social security payments, loneliness and death. I was wrong. Not that the show doesn't cover those topics, it does! I was wrong about it being depressing.
The Golden Girls manages to take topics rarely covered on TV and turn them into comedic, and thought provoking, fodder. Maybe it's because these four women aren't victims in any way shape or form. These women are survivors, determined to do whatever they want to do, societies rules be damned. There's Dorothy dating a Beatles impersonator, Sophia looking for a man in the personals, Rose having naughty pictures taken of herself to spice up her sex life, and Blanche -- well Blanche doesn't need any help in that department at all.
Though the writing is top notch, it's really the combined talents of the four leads that makes this series a winner. Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, and Betty White each had impressive acting resumes before they took on this series. Arthur in particular can't be beat when it comes to responding with nothing more than a facial expression. Without even speaking, she gets some of the series' longest laughs. Estelle Getty is less well-known than her co-stars, but she holds her own quite well in this court of comedy queens. And did you know that in real life, Getty was born the same year as her on-screen daughter?
Finally, how can you talk about The Golden Girls without mentioning their wardrobe! For ladies on a fixed income, these women have more changes of clothing than Cher. I don't think they ever wear the same item twice, and that includes nightgowns and robes. Bea Arthur's clothing in particular always wowed me with the level of style and sophistication. Even though this series is now twenty years old, the clothing still works -- it's like watching a fashion show in every episode.
For such a long-running, well-loved and highly-awarded TV series, this final season box set goes out with a whimper and not a bang. There is only one special feature, and that seems more suited to the first season than the last since it's an introduction to the characters. The packaging is pretty, but the inner pouch holds only an advertisement -- where's the final, farewell booklet?
Also, some fans have reported a problem with black bands cutting off the heads on several episodes, but I didn't experience this issue with my copy.
Created by Susan Harris (Soap), the series got away with saying and doing things on TV that no one else could get away with in the mid-Eighties. The actors on the series believe that it was their age that made nothing off-limits as far as the censors were concerned. What I find truly ironic is the 1985 TV schedule that shows The Facts of Life airing on NBC just before The Golden Girls! To go from teenagers discovering love for the first time to a fifty-year-old woman with multiple sex partners -- yeah, that's groundbreaking TV.
If you're over forty and tired of seeing skinny-little twenty-somethings ruling TV, buy The Golden Girls box set and enjoy.
This court finds The Golden Girls -- The Complete Seventh and Final Season to be guilty of smashing senior lady stereotypes, and for that, we say thank you.
Review content copyright © 2007 Cynthia Boris; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Buena Vista
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 625 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Thank You for Being a Friend: A Look Back with the Golden Girls
* Golden Girls Central
* Acess the Golden Girls