TV shows come and go, but only a select few leave a legacy. This week marks the 30th Anniversary of one of TV's finest sitcoms, "The Golden Girls."
"The Golden Girls" made its NBC debut this week in 1985. It wasn't a typical sitcom for the times, since it didn't quite fit the demographic other popular sitcoms were attracting. But that didn't stop it from becoming golden.
The award-winning series, starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty as four women living together in a Miami home, was a smash right out of the gate.
I'm a firm believer that no show is as good as its actors. However, the chemistry created among these four women was magnetic.
Even as a kid, I loved Betty White. Her work always stood out to me as hilarious. I had had been a fan, having gotten to know her on "Mama's Family." I somehow understand her wit. Even today, on "Hot In Cleveland," she has me in stitches.
Rose was the perfect character for White, although she was originally signed on to play Blanche" And, aren't we glad? McClanahan, who played Blanche, also was in the cast of "Mama's House." Again, I loved her work then. And, what was I, all of 10?
The icing on the cake had to be Dorothy, played by Bea Arthur. Talk about a scene stealer -- Dorothy was the best!
Rounding out the group was Sophia, played by Getty. Rumor has it she went to auditions dressed exactly a we came to know and love and with just as much spunk. She portrayed Dorothy's mother.
In hindsight, "The Golden Girls" was ahead of its time. I say that now because the show often touched on many controversial topics, including AIDS, same-sex marriage, homosexuality, female empowerment, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, elder care and sex. But even more so than these topics was perhaps the most obvious: Four aged women who shared one home. Simple, right? Did you ever think of it like this? They happened to share one home, which allowed them the ability to have companionship, stability, emotional support, financial freedom, and a little thing called motherly advice, thanks to Sophia. "Picture it -- Sicily, 1923 ..."
There was a lot to be learned, too, watching these women go about life and taking on Miami. And will you ever forget Rose's St. Olaf stories? I'm guessing no.
Most of the time, life's biggest issues were resolved over a piece of cheesecake. We all know the real truth was the power of their friendship.
"The Golden Girls" is still a major hit in syndication. I can still tune into a marathon and bust a gut laughing just as hard today as I did back then. That's what having a legacy is all about.
Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia, thank you for being a friend after all these years.
Contact David T. Farr at email@example.com.