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The Golden Girls S01 E01 - Pilot


Picture It: Miami 1985-1992
I fucking love Golden Girls. It is a known fact about me. Coworkers, family members, friends, complete strangers are well aware I love this show. It premiered before I was alive. It ended when I was 5, but I loooooove it. When the syndicated episodes began to air on Lifetime I would come home from school and watch the two episodes they aired. Homework was for nerds. Golden Girls was for winners. I had a friend in high school who would marathon this show with me. In college I would watch late at night, because this term paper can wait, Blanche might sell the house! There are better written shows with way less continuity errors out there, but this is my favorite show. Which is why I am going to rewatch the whole series and share the experience through this blog.
And I'm going to make a game out of it. A drinking game, because that's always appropriate. For anyone in the know there are certain repeated aspects of Golden Girls that are pretty well-known, dare I say iconic? (I do, I do) And they are oft times ridiculous, which is why we're going to drink to them.
Shady Pines, Ma: Dorothy’s threat to Sophia. Shady Pines Retirement Home burned down in the pilot and according to Sophia it's hell on earth, so Dorthy uses it to keep her mother in line.
Blanche's Beaus: Blanche is a lady in tune with her body and half of Miami's male population's as well. She's got a lot of stories and if she's notching her bedpost, it's probably a toothpick by now.
Back in St. Olaf: Rose's Minnesota hometown filled with dimwitted Viking descendants. Sometimes the livestock is more colorful than the people...
Picture it: Usually these stories take place in Sicily, but occasionally Sophia does take a vacation. These farfetched stories serve to teach the younger girls a valuable lesson or as Rose says "if you dig deep there's a little kernel of wisdom deep, deep, deep, deep down."
Out on the Lanai: They spend half their lives on the lanai. I was going to name this blog On the Lanai, but apparently there's a podcast I now have to listen to called Out on the Lanai.
Weddings: There are so many weddings on this show. Weddings they go to, weddings they host, weddings for them. I am going to include proposals in this section, because those happen a lot.
Funerals: They're in their 60s-80s, there's gonna be funerals. I'm just curious if there's more funerals than weddings...
Cheesecake: Them ladies love their cheesecake. But the thing is, I remember from early seasons it was more about dessert and it became cheesecake later. Regardless, I'm going to eat a whole cheesecake when this is done...
There's plenty of other things I could include (whenever family comes to stay, flashbacks to episodes that never happened, they go to a fancy gala, and so on) but in the interest of keeping it simple, we'll stick to these main categories.
Without further ado, let's get this rolling. All abroad the Golden Girls Express! 
S1 E1 – Pilot

Original Airdate September 14th, 1985
Picture it, Miami, 1985.
We open with Dorothy as the first girl we meet. And she is super judgmental.
“…the finest school in Dade County. Two girls had a shaved heads  and three boys had green hair…I told them they had to leave, they were too ugly to look at.”
She is aghast! AGHAST! Dorothy is not going to like goth kids when they roll up into Dade County. Notice, she never mentions how good their grades are. Dorothy only sees the exterior. I bet she didn't win any teacher of the year awards with that attitude. 
And then we meet Coco. Coco, the second character introduced on this show. Coco, the gay cook who is never heard from again. I’m glad he made it as the second character. Also, two women on fixed incomes and one woman who had to rent her house for extra cash could afford a cook? I always thought he was the fourth roommate, but according to Wikipedia he’s their houseboy.
At least Coco gets self expression. He better with that Hawaiian shirt.
I know it was the 80s, but ugh
In comes Rose. Complaining about sad people at her grief counseling job. I still don’t understand how the hell Rose is a grief counselor. Sure, she’s sweet, sympathetic, and comforting, but she is so stupid. Half the time when she’s told what’s wrong, she follows it up with a stupid question. Like, the stupidest question uttered by a human ever. While her nature does lean toward caring and understanding, it's also frustrating to have to explain simple concepts when you're seeking help.
Her comes Blanche! In fur. In Miami…
Dorothy: It's Miami in June, only cats are wearing fur.
Thanks Dorothy, you’re saying what we’re all thinking.
We learn from Coco Blanche is going out on a date with Harry again. *drink for Blanche’s beau* This is cause for concern for Dorothy and Rose apparently. Blanche has been out with Harry quite often. But enough about Harry, fuck that guy. Let’s talk about age!
Dorothy says she’d kill to be forty again and goes into a spiel about laughing with some twenty-somethings, like she’s just one of the girls. Then when she looks in the rear view mirror later she’s shocked at “this old woman in the mirror. I didn’t even recognize her.” Which Rose responds with “Who was it?” Once, again, this is a grief counselor. Dorothy has to spell it out that she was looking at herself.
Then we’re back to Harry, because we needed an age interlude to remind the audience these woman are old. Practically fossil fuel at this point. Anyway Blanche gushes about Harry. How great he is and how he’s not just another old man in Miami. Then we find out he proposed. To the shock of Rose and Dorothy. Blanche is all girlish and “oh lala, what is a girl to do,” before rushing off to leave Dorothy and Rose to wring their hands in worry. This is also where we learn the house does in fact belong to Blanche.
Obviously this is a clear cause for concern. Dorothy and Rose are still employed, in jobs that don’t make too much money (substitute teacher and grief counselor). If they’re like me, they found a good rent situation and have put down roots of steel. I would kill Blanche and turn this into Weekend at Bernie’s and keep living as I had been.
And of course Rose delivers this line “What do we have for collateral? A gay cook?” I bet Coco isn’t going to be super happy to here he’s considered collateral by Rose. She's a grief counselor and she is listing Coco, a person, as something that is pledged in case they default on a loan payment. 
The conversation continues in Blanche’s room, who doesn’t know what she’ll say. And we learn Blanche is a widow. Which opens up some jokes about George not minding that Blanche is dating because he’s dead. Height of comedy that is.
I did a search for portrayals of widows on TV shows and Google kept trying to get me to watch a BBC show called Widows from the 80s. 
I was trying to get an idea of how widows were treated or even name just one on TV that had a place of prominence. All I can think is the grieving widow from romance novels, who has to learn to love again, blah, blah, blah. Since Google failed me, we’ll go with that portrayal. Not necessarily, that life is over, but that the widow must wait until the right penis comes along for her to live again. But here, George is dead and buried and Blanche is cracking jokes about having sex with Harry and Dorothy is poking fun at a dead man not really caring about the aforementioned sex. It’s like, this show wanted to show older, widowed women as humans and not black dressed human shells.
Back to our show. Blanche does say she can’t love Harry like she loved George and there is a sweet moment about remembrance from Rose “your thoughts and feelings go right to him.” But who cares about that when we are about to meet Sophia. Shady Pines burned down and Sophia burrows into our hearts like a naked molerat.
As I write this, I keep pausing to write down one liners and hot damn, there are a lot. More than I realized just watching. In Sophia’s first minute on screen we get three. Maybe I should have made her one liners a drinking game, but I fear my liver will jump out of my body and leave me.

Then the first of many slut shames from Sophia.
Sophia: Who are you?
Blanche: It’s me, Blanche.
Sophia: You look like a prostitute. 
In case you’re wondering this is what Blanche is wearing.
 
And it hangs below the knee. She is like, some high class prostitute then, like in Reba’s song Fancy
But Blanche is not insulted, she just giggles. Then Sophia goes on to be offense to Coco. Blanche is like “she’s a kooky stroke survivor.” Rose is insulted and states that other stroke survivors are not so crude. Blanche points out the part of Sophia’s brain that censors what she says was destroyed. I looked up what happens after a stroke, specifically, will a stroke randomly target the part of your brain that censors what you say. Yes, personalities can and do change in stroke survivors, but I call BS on Sophia. In flashbacks to the 1950s later in this show, she is just as saucy and insulting. Sophia didn’t have a stroke, she just wanted to be a dick.
And we finally meet Harry. I am unimpressed by his white pants. Sophia calls him a scuzzball and I am inclined to agree.
Rose says it’s a miracle they all found each other and we learn Rose and Dorothy answered an ad they found at the grocery store. Dorothy poo-poos the miracle idea, but Rose points out they’re happy together after all the things that happen in the process of aging. Which, she paints a really depressing picture of life in your 50s and 60s. And yet, she’s a grief counselor.
And BAM we’re out on the lanai! *drink for being out on the lanai* And Coco has rejoined us! He’s in a bathrobe. Is he a live-in cook? He’s more than a cook right? I know I said Wikipedia refers to him as a houseboy, but no one else does, Wikipedia. I honestly think he’s just the roommate that does all the cooking.
We learn that Blanche made a date at her husband’s funeral. *drink for a funeral and for Blanche’s beaus*
We learn that Rose’s dead husband is Charlie, but more importantly Blanche comes home to say she said yes. Well she gets to the point after an argument about how oysters move very slowly. I’m with Dorothy, GET TO THE END OF YOUR STORY! And Blanche is getting married in a week because “long engagements don’t make sense at our age.” But a week. Damn.
Blanche says she will live in the house with Harry. Where does Harry live now? Seriously. He knows Blanche a week, proposes, then wants to get married in a week, and then wants to move into her place. I think he got evicted and had two weeks to vacate the property.
Anyway Blanche tells Rose and Dorothy they can stay until they find a place. That won’t be awkward at all.
Dorothy reveals she had a shotgun wedding because she was pregnant. And Rose says that’s why Stanley left, because he was forced into it. Screw you, Rose. Society forced them into it by refusing to allow an unmarried pregnant woman to flourish. Also, Stanley left after 40 years, as Dorothy points out. Don’t worry, Dorothy isn’t bitter about Stan at all.
Let’s have a conversation about having to pee in the middle of the night. Because, remember, they’re old. It’s not like their friend is rushing into a marriage or anything.
It’s the day of the wedding. *drink for a wedding* Rose is on the “Harry is a scuzzball” train with Sophia. Rose wants to stop Blanche, Dorothy does not because Blanche is happy. Dorothy physically restrains Rose, putting her in a choke hold, like you do when your friend is showing concern for another friend.
But on this beautiful wedding day the groom never shows up. And the priest has to run because he has a funeral to get to, to bury Mr. Pinkus. *drink for a funeral*
Then the police come in to notify Blanche Harry has been arrested for bigamy. Wanted in four states even! The police officer is none other than Meshach Taylor, who played Anthony on Designing Women.
You know, if Blanche’s last name was Sugarbaker, this never would have happened. You do not cross a Sugarbaker woman! 
I'm sorry about this...No I'm not
Blanche just wants to die from embarrassment. “I feel like an old fool. Not just a fool, but an old fool.” Because, they’re old ladies, in case you didn’t know it already or maybe you forgot.
She only knew Harry two weeks. I feel pretty confident in saying 90% of her friends and family didn't even know she was seeing him. She can simply pretend this never happened. Meshach will remember though. Meshach will never forget. 
Then Rose tries to comfort her and I can see why she is a grief counselor. But then this...
Blanche: I just keep hoping the shock will be too much for my heart and I’ll just drop dead right here. And the minister can bury me with Mr. Pinkus. I won’t have to look anyone in the eye ever again.
Rose: Except maybe Mr. Pinkus.
And then I’m right back to “who lets you counsel people?”
*Drink for being on the lanai*
Blanche spends three weeks being depressed and not going to work. Must be nice. And Dorothy, in her true sensitive nature, breaks down how various ethnic groups grieve. Because, relevant? Classy? Ethnocentric? Casually offensive. 
But Blanche bounces back and we have a heartfelt message about sticking together and having friends get us through the tough times. And how these ladies will always be there for each other. It’s really very sweet, pretty sure it gave me a cavity.
Sophia says she's going to the dog track with Coco and obviously she left him there because no one ever speaks of him again. It's my sincerest hope he went to a house that didn't view him as collateral.
That’s the end of the first episode. Good-bye Coco, I’ll miss your sass and Hawaiian shirt.  
RIP Coco September 14th, 1985-September 14, 1985
He shuffled off this mortal coil
Drinks Counter -
Blanche's Beaus: 2
Out on the Lanai: 2
Weddings: 1
Funerals: 1 

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