Who are you calling “old?”
People think of The Golden Girls as four “old ladies.” But do you know how old Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose were supposed to be? Fifty-six. FIFTY-SIX! That’s the age of a lot of moms are at high school graduations nowadays. Before the Golden Girls, that age meant you were a grandma.
Today, there are chlamydia outbreaks in retirement communities. There are entire dating sites for people over 55, mid-to-late life divorce is normal, and people don’t stay in loveless marriages (as much) out of fear. They find exciting, single lives when they’re older, and have sex until they’re dead. And, yeah, you can thank Pfizer for a lot of that. But you can thank The Golden Girls too.
So, can we give The Golden Girls ALL the credit for molding culture over the past 30 years? Of course, not. But it was the first show many of us saw that offered some alternate messages, and the attitudes it portrayed were way ahead of its time. And today, in an era when an all-female ensemble cast means you either have to be “real” housewives or inmates, we can only hope that future TV shows take more cues from Bea Arthur and Betty White.
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Matt Meltzer once asked his mom "what's 'impotent' mean?" during a 1989 episode of The Golden Girls. Learn the answer and follow him @mmeltrez.