Daily Archives: December 12, 2019

The Golden Girls Character Review-Stanley Zbornak

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

This will be the final character review for The Golden Girls. The next group of characters I will be reviewing is…..you will have to come back and find out.

*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.

When we get married, we hope that the person we are marrying is going to be a loyal, communicative and supportive spouse. We also hope that we will be married to this person until we shuffle off this mortal coil. But that is not often the case.

On The Golden Girls, Stanley Zbornak (the late Herb Edelman) is not exactly the ideal spouse. Married to his ex-wife, Dorothy (the late Bea Arthur) for nearly forty years, their marriage ended because of infidelity on his part. The courtship was just as contentious. A first date led to a one night stand, which nearly led to an unwed pregnancy.

After Stan and Dorothy divorced, he re-married twice. But he still popped in and out of Dorothy’s life. The result of these appearances were doors slamming in his face and insults from both Dorothy and her mother, Sophia (the late Estelle Getty).

Stan can also be shifty. Always looking to make a quick buck, he has the tongue of a salesman, but not the business person’s acumen to succeed. He thinks that he is a charmer, but Dorothy, Sophia and their housemates are not always pleased with his presence.

If there is one thing that Stan has going for him underneath the unreliable used car salesman shtick, he loves Dorothy. She also still loves him. There are moments in their post divorce relationship that reflect that love and the nearly four decades they spent as man and wife.

Though Stan is a comic character, there are moments where he shows that he has a heart and emotional depth. It is those moments and the balance of comedy and drama that make him a perfect character. When creating characters, writers often add a surprising quality that is not obvious to the audience at first glance.

That is why Stanley Zbornak is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, Feminism, Television

Why Are There No Best Director Female Golden Globes Nominees?

Art and media have a way of reflecting the world that we live in. In our world, Hollywood is that mirror.

The Golden Globes nominations were announced this week.

The problem with the nominations is that there are no female directors on the list of best director nominees.

Three of my favorite films this year are nominated. They were also directed by women. But their directors were not nominated.

Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Kasi Lemmons (Harriet) are just as good as their male counterparts. But, as usual, they have been overlooked.

I am thoroughly disgusted. According to the press reports, the films and their directors are judged by accomplishment and not by the specific gender of the nominee. However, if one were to look at the list of nominees and winners, past and present, there is a clear pattern. Both in front of the screen and behind the screen, white men are the preference. Women and people of color are tolerated, but only up to a point.

I wish that we lived in a world in which factors such as race and gender meant nothing. I wish that we lived in a world in which we were judged as individuals and not by external factors. But we live in a world in which race and gender play a role in how we live our lives.

Maybe one day we won’t. Until that day, we have no choice but fight for what should be naturally built-in opportunities and rights.

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Filed under Feminism, Movies

Throwback Thursday-An American Girl Adventure (2005)

Stories of boys having adventures and stepping out into the wider world is nothing new. But girls doing the same thing is still, even in 2019, is still not told as often as boy’s adventure stories.

In 2005, An American Girl Adventure aired. Based on the books and the dolls by the American Girl company, Felicity Merriman (Shailene Woodley) is growing up in Revolutionary Era America. Felicity is enamored of a horse who she believes is being mistreated by it’s owner. In addition to her desire to free the horse, Felicity is watching her world being torn apart by politics. Some of those around her support those who would see America as a stand alone nation. Others support the King of England.

Like many young girls, I read and was thoroughly enamored of the American Girl books. As an adult, I enjoyed this television movie. I very much appreciated how independent and strong Felicity was, especially given the time period she is living in. But, I would warn that it would help to have some knowledge of the narrative from the books before watching this movie.

Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward yes.

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Filed under Books, Feminism, History, Politics, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review