*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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