The Golden Girls (TV Milestones Series)

November 28, 2020
The Golden Girls (TV Milestones Series)

The Golden Girls made its prime-time debut in 1985 onNBC, and the critically acclaimed show has been a constanttelevision companion through cable reruns and streaming mediaservices ever since. Most people know that The GoldenGirls is a sitcom about four feisty, older women livingtogether in Miami who love to eat cheesecake, but Kate Browneargues that The Golden Girls is about so much more.Drawing on feminist literary studies and television studies, Brownemakes a case for The Golden Girls as a TV milestone notonly because it remains one of the most popular sitcoms intelevision history but also because its characters reflect shiftingcomplexities of gender, age, and economic status for women in thelate twentieth century and beyond.Each chapter is dedicated to exploring what makes theseremarkable characters defy expectations of how older women shouldlook, act, and love. Chapter 1 focuses on Dorothy Zbornak'sintriguing gender performance and shifting desirability. Chapter 2digs into Blanche Devereux's difficult relationship with motherhoodand aging. Chapter 3 highlights how Rose Nylund made all the"right" choices in life but consistently finds herselfdisenfranchised by the same social and economic institutions thatpromised to protect her at midlife. Chapter 4 centers on how SophiaPetrillo drives the action of the show as a trickster-bending plotsto her own desires and offering moral lessons to the othercharacters. The book offers an important analysis of a hugelypopular sitcom that extends the boundary of what makes TVgroundbreaking and worthy of study.Browne argues that The Golden Girls is a "classic"sitcom in almost every way, which keeps audiences engaged andallows the show to make subversive moves when it matters most.Written with both superfans and scholars in mind, the book invitesnew, diverse ways of thinking about the show to spark futurescholarship and conversation about four of the most belovedcharacters in sitcom history.