They don’t make TV shows like The Golden Girls anymore. Really, they don’t. If they did today, it would most likely be a reality show walking the line of scripted drama with borderline Cable TV content. And like most of these shows – it would be awful.
The Golden Girls was so great of a show that it gave wonderful second acts to all of the main actresses’ careers. Golden Girls went on to eclipse Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan’s previous success with Maude. In fact, most people don’t realize McClanahan was on Maude! It would turn out to be Estelle Getty’s best known role, and make a cult-hero phenomenon out of sole surviving cast member Betty White. Fun Fact – Estelle Getty, who played Bea Arthur’s Mother on the show was actually a year younger than her on-screen daughter.
My Grandmother Could Have Been a Golden Girl
Some of my best memories of my Grandmother, who sadly passed away last Spring, revolve around watching Golden Girls together. I was fortunate enough to spend a great deal of time with her when the episodes originally aired and also when they came back around on TV through syndication.
While my Grandma didn’t live with 3 other retired women, she was quirky enough that a show about her in her golden years would have been a great watch. And she was also very special to me. Spending time with her was definitely a great companion piece to the viewing experience of the TV show. She also spent a lot of time in Florida, which I had accompanied her to a few times. I imagine a lot of grandchildren were able to identify their grandparents with the characters.
My Grandmother had movie star looks and a radiant spirit. Her spirit was so vibrant that I knew her to have all the best qualities of the main characters. She had the leadership and independence of Dorothy, the sharp and quick wit of Sophia, the quirkiness and whacky humor of Rose, and the free spirit of Blanche. Fortunately she didn’t share too many similarities with Blanche – she was married after all!
Another great part of the show Golden Girls was that it mixed humor with real aging scenarios while highlighting the vibrancy of being a senior like no other TV show had done before. Just how shows today like Big Bang Theory make being Geek, “cool”, Golden Girls brought the same kind of attention and hipness to older adults. I saw my Grandma for the independent adult she was. We had many laughs together as she would relate stories in the show to her friends.
Not only was my Grandma a mother figure, spiritual inspiration and a great cook, she was also one of the best friends I ever had. So in tribute to the Golden Girls, I say “Thank You for being a friend” to my Grandmother, Helga Perez.