The Golden Girls Character Review: Blanche Devereaux

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series The Golden GirlsRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

In this series of weekly blog posts, I will examine character using the characters from The Golden Girls.  to explore how writers can create fully dimensional, human characters that audiences and readers can relate to.

In our world, there are certain ideas about women and sex. When we get to our golden years, we are not interested in sex and/or romantic relationships. On The Golden Girls, Blanche Devereaux (the late Rue McClanahan) was the exact opposite of the stereotype. A modern version of Scarlett O’Hara, Blanche had her fair share of dates. Widowed for a few years, Blanche often waxed poetically about the South of her childhood and the many young men who came calling.

But Blanche is more than just an old Southern debutante. She was devoted to her late husband and her late parents. Though her parenting skills were not as strong, she tried, as many parents do. She also attempted to accept that her brother was gay, though it took some help from her roommates to finally respect who he really was. She is also equally devoted to her roommates, who pay rent to her as the owner of the house they share.

To sum it up: Blanche is a great character because she is vibrant, she is full of life and is complicated like the rest of us. As both a fan and a writer, I love how complicated Blanche is. I also love that she represents that a woman’s sexuality does not diminish once she gets to a certain age. That is why Blanche Devereaux is a character that television viewers will not forget anytime soon.


What She Lost Book Review

From my perspective, the Holocaust is a personal story because it happened to my family and my co-religionists. But for someone who is looking at it from the perspective of history without a personal connection, it’s difficult to contemplate the facts of this time in history. That is where the stories of the survivors and the victims come into play.

The new book, What She Lost, by Melissa W. Hunter, is part fiction novel and part memoir. Based on the story of how the author’s grandmother survived the Holocaust, Sarah Waldman is growing up in a small town in Poland in the 1930s. Her Jewish family is large, tight-knit and devoted to their faith. Then the Nazis roll into town and everything changes. Can she survive, and if she does, will she be able to live a full life again?

This book is fantastic. It is a deeply personal, hard-hitting story of an ordinary young girl who survives an extraordinary time in history. I applaud Ms. Hunter for being brave as a writer jumping from time period to time period. Regardless of the experience level of the writer, it takes skill and consistent effort to create a narrative that is easy to follow for the reader. Ms. Hunter is able to do so while telling a compelling story that in our time, still needs to be told.

I recommend it.

Flashback Friday-George to the Rescue (2010-Present)

These days, home renovation shows are the rage.

George to the Rescue (2010-Present), has aired on NBC for nearly a decade. Hosted by contractor George Oliphant, the show follows George and his team as they renovate the homes of deserving families.

What I like about this program is that the renovations are more than vanity projects or the homeowners looking to add value to their house in order to sell it. It’s about giving back to a family who is going through hard times and desperately needs a leg up of some sort. I don’t know if one might classify it as reality television. But if it does fall under that category, it certainly makes up for some of the brainless programs that also fall into the category of “reality television”.

I recommend it.

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