Famous Friendships: The Golden Girls

A discussion about The Golden Girls is long overdue on this blog, and not just because of Betty White’s incredible career resurgence or Rue McClanahan’s death last week. Aside from being a work of comic genius, it’s a fabulous reminder of why friendship is important at any—and every—age.

Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia are the kind of friends I hope to have one day. They don’t always get along. They call each other out on pretty much everything. But they’ve got each other’s backs, and they’re fiercely loyal. If Blossom and Six had the kind of BFFship I wish I’d had as a kid (I even bought one of those hats!) then the Golden Girls are who I want to be when I grow up.

I didn’t know until tonight—thanks Wikipedia—that Blanche, Rose and Dorothy weren’t lifelong friends. They met when each responded to a room-for-rent ad—Blanch and Rose were widows, Dorothy was divorced. It certainly got me thinking about what life can throw at you. And how much easier it gets when friends—new or old—are in the trenches by your side.

So to honor the show, and also the brilliant women who made up the cast (only Betty White survives) I spent the last hour on youtube watching clips. This is not an endeavor I recommend if you’re trying to get any work done today. They’re addicting. And amazing.

The final scene (if you’re reading this in an email or feed, you’ll have to click through to see the video) is pretty much perfect. A real thank you for being a friend moment. Makes me want to buy  a condo in Miami solely for group hugs.

Think it’d be possible to have a real life Golden Girls gang? And, if not, who do you think are the most realistic TV BFFs?

16 Comments

Filed under Everything I Know I Learned on TV, Famous Friendships

16 responses to “Famous Friendships: The Golden Girls

  1. “Picture it: Sicily, 1930…” I love those ladies!!

    I remember watching with my parents when I was in my early teens. If you aren’t familiar with the show, it might sound odd that a teenager liked a show about widowed, divorced, and in one case – over-sexed – old women! Truth is, they were funny. Period. The theme of the show transcends age. (And now that I’m in my 30’s, they don’t seem so old anymore…)

    During both of my pregnancies I watched a lot – A LOT – of Golden Girls when I couldn’t sleep. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to pass up a rerun.

    I don’t know if that situation can truly exist, but if – God forbid – I find myself widowed or divorced, I pray I have relationships like that to see me through.

  2. I know it’s just a tv show…but I find it hopeful that they were able to develop their friendship so late in life!

    It truly was a great show to watch. I remember watching it as a kid and always having a lot of giggles.

    XO
    Lenore

  3. I think the reason that they were such great friends is because they were all so different. They had different upbringings, different values, and different personalities. But despite all the differences, they did always stick by each other.

    I also wonder how their friendship would’ve worked if they were in a different stage in life. We’re at the age now where friends are often relegated to the back burner in favor of careers, boyfriends/husbands and kids. By the time the Golden Girls all met, they had already experienced all of that, and in some cases lost it, so they were able to just focus on their female friendships.

    My all-time personal favorite TV BFFs are Meredith and Christina from the earlier seasons of Grey’s Anatomy (I haven’t watched it in a couple years, so I don’t know what the relationship looks like now). They just get each other, are always there for each other, and are brutally honest when they feel that the other is making a bad choice. And when said bad choice inevitably blows up in their face, they’re still there to help pick up the pieces.

  4. katieleigh

    I love the Golden Girls – so fun and sassy, and yes, fiercely loyal. I have to say, my all-time favorite TV BFFs are the six main characters on Friends. Their friendships are messy and crazy, but they stick together through all the hard, exciting, joyful, difficult and just plain weird stuff as they “grow up.”

  5. I have mulitple good friends but we are not all good friends. I wish I had a group like the golden girls.

  6. Callie

    Best theme song ever…

  7. Ris

    The group hug kills me.

  8. Ana

    Love the GG! My sister and I used to watch way back when, we probably didn’t even get all the sex jokes, but it was just such a feel-good hilarious show! When I first started watching SATC I thought it was the GG 30 years previously—the over-sexed one, the innocent one, the smart tough one…
    I can only hope & pray that should I find myself alone in my golden years, I’d have such a great group to live my life with! Maybe its easier at that age(as long as you are healthy & financially secure), without the conflicting pulls of career, children, family….more like childhood, when friendship is the priority.

  9. Oh, I hope to have a group like that too someday (um, now please? Ok, I’ll be patient). I LOVED the GG growing up, though my parents weren’t always pleased with me watching. Now I see it as an amazing show about friendship–and I second Ana, I always thought SATC was trying to recreate GG for the younger set. The ladies weren’t perfect, they fought, they got annoyed with each other, but at the end of the day, they were there for each other. Ah to have that.

  10. Love the Golden Girls! Makes me hope to have friends like that when I am old and gray.

  11. I hope that my retirement years are full of friendships like the one between the GG. How fantastic.

    It’s hard to think of a truly realistic friendship on tv. I mean, I just don’t think people see as much of each other as friends on tv shows do.

  12. AmyK

    I don’t think it’s possible for four women to live in quarters that close and remain friends🙂 I work in a retirement community and older people are very set in their ways and not super flexible or considerate of others’ feelings. But I’ve seen some terrific long-term friendships.

    Most realistic TV friends? Gonna hafta go with the gang on Saving Grace.

  13. Lilu

    I stumbled upon this article today

    “What do you do when you realize that although you many have years of history, and found real value in each other in times past, that you kind of don’t like a friend anymore? That, after time spent with this person, you feel drained, empty, belittled or insulted. My father always used to tell me that, ‘you can’t make new old friends.’ How do you distinguish if someone in your life makes you change for the better of if you are better off without them?”

    Gwyneth Paltrow

    And I really feel I’m in that kind of situation with my best friend, this is not the 1st time that thought crossed my mind but every time I’m about to pull away from this friendship there is always something else she needs me to help her with either her breaking up with a boyfriend or needing me to help her choosing what to wear every time she goes out or needing me to tell her what to do but saying it in a way that makes her think she resolved the issue on her own because she is someone who doesn’t need to be directed and how dare I can point out I do things for her because friends don’t do that and…. I can go on and on and on but I’m getting a headache as I write all these, so my question is am I a horrible friend for thinking of leaving my best friend ?, Am I making the right decision? if so how can I do it without feeling like a jerk?

    • Lisa Z

      I think that there are warning signs from your description of your friend of a possible personality disorder of sorts, not that I have any training or skill in this area, please note. You have indicated that the relationship is making you ill. If I was in a similar situation, I would get to steppin’ asap.

  14. Pingback: The Hard Facts: Getting Better With Age « MWF Seeking BFF

  15. Ashley

    I have always loved the GGs! I know I drove my parents nuts!! 10 years ago I had brain surgery and was in the hospital for quite a while. The GG were on 6 times a day back then..I watched every single one! I never get sick of them. I have it DVRd today! I know every single episode and can mouth them all! I’m married now and I think I drew my husband in as a fan! If I was to ever lose my incredible husband I hope I would have a group of girlfriends to run to! And know they always had my back. Wishful thinking??

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