Tag Archives: The Golden Girls

Character Review Preview: Roseanne and The Conners

Dear Reader,

After completing my final character review for The Golden Girls, I decided to take a couple of weeks off from my character review posts.

The new group of characters that I will be reviewing in the new year is from…Roseanne and The Conners.

I look forward to your comments and likes in the weeks to come.

Sincerely, Writergurlny

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*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.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

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Rose Nylund

*I apologize about the delay in posting. 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.

The dumb blonde has been a reliable character trope for generations. But it takes a smart writer and a smarter actress to take that character trope into new directions. On The Golden Girls, Rose Nylund (Betty White) appears to be the stereotypical dumb blonde. But she is much more than that.

At first glance, Rose appears to be far from the brightest bulb in the box. She says and does things that only a naif would say and do. The stories of her youth often reference her hometown, St. Olaf and the Scandinavian-American family that she was raised in. While she may appear to be a dumb blonde, Rose is much more than the archetype.

A widow whose husband died while they were making love, it takes Rose a few years to get back into the dating world. She is employed in a series of jobs after losing her late husband’s pension. Though she did have a long term relationship with Miles Webber (Harold Gould), the relationship ended after they broke up and Miles married another woman.

To sum it up: It would be easy to characterize Rose as a dumb blonde. But she is so much deeper than the innocent that she appears to be. Rose is empathetic, kind, loving, sensitive and sometimes, not all there. But we love her still, regardless of her lack of intellectual abilities.

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The Golden Girls Character Review: Dorothy Zbornak

The next group of characters I will be writing about are….characters from The Golden Girls.

*-I apologize about the delay in posting. Life as it does got in the way.

*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.

No one goes through life without challenges. The question is, is this person destroyed by these challenges or can they rise above them? On The Golden Girls, Dorothy Zbornak (the late Bea Arthur) has been through a lot in her 60ish years. Born to Italian immigrants in New York City, Dorothy grew up in a loud and complicated family. The oldest of three children, she has often been pushed aside for her younger siblings. In her late teens, after getting pregnant, she married Stanley Zbornak (the late Herb Edelman). After nearly 40 years of marriage, he left her for another woman.

Dorothy is known for her bookish ways, her sharp tongue and her grounded view of the world. She also has a soft side for her mother, Sophia Petrillo (the late Estelle Getty), who can also be a thorn on her side. Their verbal confrontations often end with the following statement: “Shady Pines ma”.

To sum it up: Though Dorothy has been through a lot in her life, she is able to rise above what has stood in her way. She may have her ups and downs, but the fact that she can rise above those downs is a testament to her strength and her courage. It is a lesson that we all can learn.

That is why Dorothy is a memorable and beloved character.

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Happy Birthday, Betty White

There is an old Jewish saying:

“May you live until 120”

Betty White may not be 120, but she comes pretty close today, on her 95th birthday. Her career has lasted nearly a century. Starting her career in radio in the 1940’s, she made the transition to television in the 1950’s. Generations of television fans have grown up with her, laughed with her and adored her.

For my part, I remember watching The Golden Girls as a kid. Rose Nylund was not the sharpest tack in the box, but there was something endearing about. Maybe it was those crazy St. Olaf stories.

Before Golden Girls, there was Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Sue Ann was sweet as apple pie, when she needed or wanted to be. But behind the sweetness was the barbs.

Someone once said that age is nothing but number. Betty White proved that when she hosted Saturday Night Live in 2010, holding her own against performers decades younger than she.

She continues to inspire fans and fellow performers with her humor, her commitments to animals rights causes and proof that old age, especially in women is not a reason to sit back and let someone else enjoy life.

Happy Birthday, Betty White. May you actually live to 120.

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Flashback Friday- TV Edition-The Golden Girls

This past Sunday marks the 29th anniversary of The Golden Girls.

Premiering on September 14th, 1985, The Golden Girls centered on four post menopausal  sixty something women sharing a house in Miami.

Substitute teacher Dorothy (Bea Arthur), her nursing home refugee mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty), Minnesota raised Rose (Betty White) all lived with their friend and landlady, Southern Belle Blanche (Rue McClanahan). Staying on the air until 1992, The Golden Girls was the first show that I remember where the protagonists were women of a certain age. It was honest, poignant and just plain funny. There was a truth about being a woman, whether she was 16 or 60. It was Sex and And City well before Sex and City.

I love this show and the reruns never fail to entertain me.

 

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