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STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Video
RUNNING TIME: 617 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Fashion commentary featurette with Joan and Melissa Rivers
I must admit that I originally took this review as a joke to myself. Yet to my surprise, I actually enjoyed watching this more than I expected to. The Golden Girls is a show I watched on occasion as a child and young adult with my parents. I quickly kept quite about my viewings and pushed each episode far back into my mind to preserve any integrity I had with my friends. So what was I to expect upon receiving this? Well, we’re about to find out. Onward!
"Blanche, I told you not to fuck with The Jesus."
When it comes to characters… Dorothy (Bea Arthur) is the sarcastic schoolteacher searching for a new companion, Rose (Betty White) is the overly dense roommate, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) is the man-hunting broad in heat, and Sophia (Estelle Getty) is the honest and unruly Sicilian mother (of Dorothy). They live together in a Miami, Florida home and a continuous 10.5 hour marathon put me back in touch with these four.
Out of the set, Dorothy is probably my favorite broad. She’s extremely sarcastic and always has those solid one-liners to dish out. (Many of her one-liners are humorously directed at Rose.) She’s very bitter about her recent divorce to the balding and gangly Stan Zbornak (Herb Edelman), and she’s not afraid to show it.
Rose spends most of her time talking about her childhood, and this bugs the hell out of her fellow roommates. I can’t help but to despise Rose’s (Betty White) density. At times I feel that the writers push her ignorance too far, and it makes me wonder if audiences at the time believed White herself was the same way in real life. Rose is the butt of many jokes (especially from Dorothy), but surprisingly she’s the one character that is the most honest and the most revealing about her true emotions and feelings during the course of the season.
The Golden Girls: Enter the Fist
Blache is the character that always seems to come around full circle every episode. When I say “full circle” I mean the character that doesn’t change that much. Blanche is always courting a new man at the beginning of every episode, and her mentality never seems to change. She’s horny and she wants a man. Oh, and she’s always gawking at her “perfect waistline” and beauty. That’s about it in terms of Blanche.
In terms of the story, Sophia was never meant to live in the house. But when her nursing home burns down, the three women welcome her in. Sophia is the spark of the group, considering her old age (80). She continuously recalls her life in Sicily, even though the truth of her stories is stretched at times. Sophia is much like her daughter and is always available to distribute the personal attacks/one-liners and disses anyone that gets in her way.
The show itself deals with serious "adult" issues in a variety of ways. For the most part, plotlines are dealt with in a humorous manner, but occasionally you run into a serious episode to get things back in check. "The Heart Attack" sounds like a cheesy title for an episode but in terms of the big picture the episode works. Granted, there is a level of humor throughout the episode, but the events puts all of the characters lives back into perspective. The show tries to teach us lessons, and these plotlines mean more to me than they did when I saw the occasional episode as a child and teenager.
"This will get those penises out of the wall! They keep popping back in there, I’ll get ‘em out!"
Late in their life, these four women travel “down the road and back again” and continue to learn things about their lives. A variety of "adult" topics are discussed, ranging from having sex after becoming widowed to being ready for death when it comes knocking on your door. Rose seems to take most of the punches in the first season, dealing with topics ranging from her lost husband, Charlie; her newly blinded sister; and revealing to her daughter that her father (Charlie) wasn’t the successful insurance businessman Rose told her he was. Throughout these episodes, all four women are there to support one another.
The shows stars certainly know how comedic timing works and each episode is filled with verbal jokes and physical comedy. By watching the episodes in one long run some of the jokes became redundant but I can see how each new weekly episode pushed this show to the top. (FYI: wThe show won an Emmy in its first year.) An occasional joke or gimmick had me laughing me out loud, which is something I never expected to happen.
The Golden Girls is ultimately about the friendship and bond between these women. I only wish all older ladies were as sarcastic and as fun as these four are.
8.5 out of 10
"Glenn Miller fucking rocks! Don’t you ever say different!"
This transfer isn’t the cleanest picture you’ll find for a television show. The colors do bleed slightly, but it’s somehting you can overlook. The 80s provided for a colorful shooting palette and it definitely shows here.
Some of the camerawork is shaky at first, especially when the camera is moving through a set. The camerawork does get better as the season progresses, so I blame the early “mistakes” on first season jitters.
7.5 out of 10
"But you know what scares me the most? When I can’t fight it anymore, when it takes over, when I totally lose control… I like it."
The mix is your standard stereo soundtrack. It’s a bit muffled and throaty on the bass, but it’s perfectly comprehensible.
7.0 out of 10
"Let’s be reasonable, huh? This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of a half-assed autopsy on a fish… And I’m not going to stand here and see that thing cut open and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock."
This 10-minute featurette is pure shit. If I wanted to listen to the type of sound these two (Joan and Melissa Rivers) make, I’d go outside and antagonize the neighbor’s dog.
I would give this section a perfect 10 if this wasn’t included. It’s completely unnecessary. Therefore…
1.0 out of 10
"If you don’t shut up about St. Olaf, I will stab you again!"
The cover is actually golden foil on the front instead of the yellow you see in the photo above. It’s a nice touch to the packaging, a small homage to the show. The rest of the packaging is wrapped in the yellow color.
When you pull the box from its sleeve, you’re welcomed to a large photo of the main cast on the set. When the box is opened, a listing of the first season of episodes on each disc is on the left side. Two discs share the middle section and a third sits alone on the far right fold.
The packaging is your standard fare, but I can’t help being creped out by it a bit.
8.0 out of 10
A surprising delight, I must say.