STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Video
MSRP: $49.99
RUNNING TIME: 644 Minutes
"Go For The Gold Trivia Challenge" – Are you as wise as Sophia or as clueless as Rose?

My name is Jason. And I’m an addict. It all started with my review of the first season of The Golden Girls (read it here). As you may or may not recall I found that first season to be a lot less annoying than I expected it to be and surprisingly entertaining for the most part. I must say that reflecting on that experience helped when accepting the duty to take on the second season when it became available for review.

The Show

The characters are pretty much from the same mold from the first season. Dorothy remains the smart and sarcastic one, Sophia (Dorothy’s mother) is the older and equally sarcastic of the blood set, Rose is still the clueless one, and Blanche is still the horny man-hunting broad. Tons of cheesecake is consumed by the group and many stories are told in order for us to learn more about these ladies.

"Hi, I’m Michael Medved and I’m here to ruin the ending of this episode for you."

The one thing this season does really well is that it digs deeper into the emotional feelings of the characters. In one particular episode we get to see a younger Rose dealing with the recent loss of her husband Charlie, and then we get to see a younger Sophia suddenly having to deal with turning 50. It’s moments like these where we get to see where the characters came from and having knowledge of these moments help us understand why each person responds to a particular event the way they do. Blanche also gets her own emotional-filled episode, which surprisingly works considering the overwhelming nature of the writers to fill her character up to the brink of sexuality throughout the season. Blanche’s forced sexuality is probably the most annoying part of this season, if not having to deal with the overwhelmingly obscure recollections coming out of Sophia’s mouth in order to prove that she grew up harder than the other three characters did.

This all might sound confusing but it’s simply the nature of the beast when it comes to a formulaic series. I actually find it sad to say that this show mops up other and newer formulaic shows like Everybody Loves Raymond which I find incredibly annoying because the same shit happens in every single episode. The Golden Girls is built on moments that seem to happen over and over in each episode but the writers surround the same events with newer material which tends to keep things fresh for the viewer.

"I couldn’t find any Depends so I got the largest baby diapers I could find."

It’s somewhere in between the beginning of the season and the end of the season where a dramatic shift in the emotional focus of the show takes place. The beginning of the season plays off very comically compared to the end of the season. That’s not to say there aren’t any laughs near the end of the season, there is simply a different way of getting those laughs to play out. The beginning of the season has a lot more verbal slapstick compared to the awkwardly funny moments the end of the season presents to us.

The season finale is somewhat of a dud, considering that it’s a buildup for the spin-off series Empty Nest. In the finale we see the four ladies for maybe a total of 5 minutes before we branch into a storyline between two people we’ve never even seen on the show before. This might have worked for the network when shown for the first time, but the entire episode threw me off and actually left me wanting to see more of the group of ladies. After seeing the episode it made me wish that it was included as an extra feature rather than a standard episode.

"It’s alright ’cause I’m Saved By The Bell!"

The guest stars aren’t as important as the back of the box tries to sell. Burt Reynolds is onscreen for MAYBE a good 30 seconds; I personally think I got more excitement out of seeing a young George Clooney playing a cop on the show.

Although more risks were taken and much more variety was displayed throughout this season, I must admit that the quality of the show still seems to wear down a bit. Viewing the episodes in a marathon affair probably didn’t help me make that assessment, so I’m betting that if one spread the episode viewings out the show would really hit the spot with most viewers.

All in all, another good outing from the blue-hairs.

7.0 out of 10

Paul was under the impression that you could substitute any body part to wear on your sleeve.

The Look

I don’t quite recall the first season looking this grainy but the quality is perfectly manageable to watch on a larger television. The colors of the 80’s shine yet I’m sad to report that the quality of the video doesn’t allow one to see through any of the ladies’ evening gowns. (Sorry guys.)

The camerawork is your standard TV fare and same the camera setups from the first season are used which really helped me get back into watching the show.

7.0 out of 10

"Don’t believe anything my partner says. He once thought he was attacked by Killer Tomatoes."

The Noise

I believe that the sound here actually sounds better than what I remember from first season. The music and sound effects are about the same and the ladies voices don’t seem to have changed after hitting menopause.

8.0 out of 10

Rose was pissed when Gary wouldn’t give her a turn on the brand new Atari 9200 machine.

The Goodies

The “Go For The Gold Trivia Challenge” is 10 times better than the fashion featurette with the evil Rivers blood pair from the first season set. The “challenge” plays a lot like the DVD version of Trivia Pursuit and You Don’t Know Jack. I gave the game a shot before I watched any of the episodes in the set and I quickly discovered that it’s best to leave this until you’ve watched all the episodes. It’s actually a little tricky without seeing the material beforehand. The game is voiced by someone whose voice sounds very familiar to that of Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush whose voice alone makes me want to punch the grown man in the groin. I don’t know why I felt the need to share that but there’s no turning back at this point, I figure.

5.0 out of 10

The Artwork

Here is a teal version of the second season artwork that matches the yellow box from the first season. The images are slightly different and I’m pleased to see that Buena Vista decided to keep things simple and the same this time around.

8.0 out of 10

Overall: 7.0 out of 10