by Dr. H. Weston
Normally, Chickipedia is about all of the chicks that young men want; rarely do we take time to recognize the beautiful, talented women that the young men of today need. Megan Fox, Hayden Panettiere, Jenna Jameson, Beyonce…they’re all hot right now, sure, but they’ll never play the integral part in the beautiful, cosmic interplay of gender that the four women I want to talk about play.
These women are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the old and the…well, also old. But their sage, comical, and vivacious camaraderie defined the female-driven sitcom genre. They also, not-so secretly, fired the loins of a generation of male TV viewers.
Screw Sex and the City; Sarah Jessica Parker and the rest of her Coach-toting cadre are a transparent copy of the original foursome that stole America’s heart. Meet The Golden Girls, four previously married ladies who end up living together in Miami, and understand that they represent four equal parts of the perfect woman.
Estelle Getty as Sophia Petrillo
A brash and consistently quick-witted matron, Sophia’s a woman who has seen it all. She describes her experience effortlessly when she says that she is a woman that has survived "two world wars, 15 vendettas, 4 operations and two Darrins on Bewitched." Adorable. She’s the kind of gal that can keep up with guys and cut it up with the girls, which allowed her privileged knowledge such as the true story by Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance.
Ms. Getty was a consummate actress on the screen and on stage. She got her start in Yiddish theater and was the daughter of Polish immigrants, even though her most famous character was Sicilian.
Estelle represents the emotionally strong, fiercely intelligent side of women–a sort of sitcom femme fatale. She’s also outrageously funny, and a good sense of humor is something that the smartest women are not always recognized for.
Rue McClanahan as Blanche Devereaux
Blanche is a classic Southern belle that actually grew up very wealthy and on a plantation named Twin Oaks in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s the group’s man-killer, a debutante who’s always beset by admirers.Her ravenous interest in romantic exploits seems to stem from sadness, however, as she’s a widow with a big and somewhat dysfunctional family. She’s a dignified, but fragile woman, who also elicits some of Sophia’s best lines in regard to her promiscuity. The author’s personal favorite Blanche moniker: “the human mattress.”
Mrs. McClanahan was a country girl in real life as well, being born in Oklahoma and receiving her education at the University of Tulsa. She was a very popular soap opera star, known for her role as a sadistic nanny who tries to poison her lover’s wife on Another World.
No man can resist the allure of a sexy Southern belle, and Blanche’s ability and alacrity to satisfy men while remaining dignified epitomizes the “lady in the street, freak in the bed” aesthetic that rappers and men everywhere crave. At the same time, Blanche is also vulnerable and appeals to ageless understandings of male chivalry. Look at the picture below; think you’re man enough to be her knight in shining armor?
Betty White as Rose Nylund
Rose is another loving widow who is consistently the most naïve and sweetest of the four ladies. She grew up in St. Olaf, Minnesota, and the rest of the girls take plenty of potshots at her throughout the series for being slow-witted. Even though she’s mostly unassuming, however, she has streaks of brilliant competency and experiences a good deal of drama herself, especially when she finds out that her boyfriend is a former gangster in the witness protection program.
Betty White is a multi-Emmy-winning actress who gained a huge deal of fame originally by being on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She’s a TV icon who has starred in many productions over her 40 years as an actress. After her famous portrayal of Rose ended, the real St. Olaf, Minnesota named a civic award for the character.
Rose is the kind, nurturing side of the female sex; she might seem like she’s slower at times, but she has the potential for great things and her genuine attitude is something that is supremely appealing. She’s got a real woman’s touch, and men appreciate that just as much as or more than wit or sexuality (well, more than wit at least).
Beatrice Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak
Dorothy is the leader of the Golden Girl gang and she’s the emotional rock of the group. She’s been through tough times in the world of love, as she was cheated on and divorced by her itinerant, yet successful ex-husband Stan. She’s the voice of reason in the group, and when things start to get tough, she’s able to rally the semi-family that the Girls have formed to solve their problems, often in hilarious ways.
Ms. Arthur was, like the other cast members, a veteran actress by the time that she made it to Golden girls. Her most famous turn before Dorothy was a lead part in the show Maude, a spinoff of All in the Family. She also had a badass role in the much lauded and heartfelt Star Wars Holiday Special, for which she won the Screen Actor’s Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement award. (Not really, but she was robbed. No one could’ve been a better dance partner for Greedo.)
Dorothy is the practical, down-to-earth component of the magnificent women that keep men rooted in reality. She also a little bit of every other Golden Girl: sharp-witted and sarcastic like Sophia, worldly like Blanche, and sometimes even dreamy as Rose. She’s the all-around woman, the one we can depend on. She also had the best bouffant of the whole cast. Clearly.
All that glitters is Gold, and these Girls will glitter forever in our hearts. And if you actually read this far…
HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY