Monday, November 30, 2009

What's Right With: The Golden Girls

I rarely ever watch TV that is not sports or the news. I personally don’t find many of the shows on TV to be that interesting. Also I hate committing to tune in and watch a show every week, and then feeling terribly left out if I miss an episode. The one show which I will tune in for on a regular basis is The Golden Girls. The women’s network the W airs the show in four to five hour blocks every weekday evening, and it’s worth checking out if you never bothered looking at it. Trust me there is nothing wrong with a man watching The Golden Girls. Trust me.

What’s Right

The One Liner: I am a big sucker for clever one line jokes. They are quick, clever and memorable when done correctly. Most of my favorite movies such as Caddy Shack and Blazing Saddles are memorable due to their constant one liners. The Golden Girls rely on one line jokes for nearly all of their gags and almost all of them are funny. Most of the jokes come from the characters Dorothy and Sophia, played by Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty respectively. Both characters have a knack for finding a quick and witty quip for any situation, which I don’t seem to find in contemporary shows (not that I have been searching, mind you). The other thing that makes the jokes work is that you simply don’t expect extremely well written gags from a show written about four senior citizens living together.

You never cringe while watching: Let it be known that I cannot stand the US version of The Office. I respect the show greatly and I realize it is a well written show with many fans, but I think it is shit. My issue with The Office is that I cannot help but cringe constantly while watching. Essentially the show is about stupid people being stupid, which I have never enjoyed. The boss character is so stupid and oblivious that I literally cringe at the jokes because they are based on someone doing something tremendously stupid. I have the same issue with Frasier and Seinfeld, although those two shows do manage to make me laugh a bit more frequently. I never experience this while watching The Golden Girls. While two particular characters end up constantly being the butt of the jokes I never have to cringe at their antics. Essentially The Golden Girls approaches the concept of a show about smart people being smart, and I absolutely love that.

It is Unique: I cannot think of another show which is like The Golden Girls. There are plenty of shows about four friends, as well as shows about women, but using four senior citizens is something I have never seen elsewhere. The characters age and gender allow the show to work so well, as each character has a wealth of wisdom to draw upon and a deep (I use that term liberally) back story to explore.

What’s Wrong

It is formulaic: As good as the writing is, and as witty the jokes are there is a definite formula to the show. Every episode is simple, it begins with some sort of conflict then through some sort of course of action everyone arrives at a heartwarming conclusion. That personally is not too much of an issue for me as I don’t mind if a show is a bit generic, if it makes me laugh consistently, which it does. The issue with the writing is the characters who most constantly serve as the butt of the joke. The character of Blanche is constantly the butt of jokes due to her promiscuity. Meanwhile the character Rose is joked on for her naivety and her simple upbringings. Both characters are very likeable and enjoyable to watch but the jokes made usually at their expense wear thin. After watching the show constantly for a month or so I began to develop the urge to shout at my TV: “I get it Blanche is a slut, just fucking drop it.” This issue seems to happen in any media which relies on one liners, as I can only watch Caddy Shack once or twice a year or else the jokes cease to be funny.

The Verdict:

Watch a few episodes of The Golden Girls and see if it is your sort of show. If it is you will be hooked and will find yourself watching the show on a regular basis. My one word of caution is to watch the show only for three or four weeks, any longer and you may start to grow weary. I actually blame this on the network that airs the show more than I do the show. The W likes to air four or five episodes back to back every weekday, which means that you can potentially see a season’s worth of the show over the course of a few weeks. I feel if I watched the show as it was originally aired, with only one or two shows a week I would have not grown tired of it. Right now I have been on a hiatus from watching the show and now feel ready to dive back in on the magic that is The Golden Girls. Until next time I leave you with the intro song which is burned in my brain.


LuvliLadi27 said...

You're the BEST! lol I've loved this show since watching it at my grandma's house after school everyday after the soaps went off. LOVE them!

Wistopher said...

i know the theme song by heart. i enjoy that but... i simply just don't like old ppl...

Anonymous said...

I FREAKIN LOOOOOVE THIS SHOW! My mom and I always used to watch this and Designing Women. If you like this show ... check out Designin Women it has a lot of the same elements you liked here!

Leslie said...

I haven't read this yet, but I freakin LOVE Golden Girls (like if they performed live - and were all still able-bodied - I'd pay good $$ to see it), but I can't wait to read it!!!

ELA Exclusive said...

Great show that kept me entertained when our cable got cut off. Right along with Elf, Coach, and Wings ... good stuff!