Despite the fixation on youth culture, 1980s tv featured four women who were seniors – and certainly unabashedly living their lives to their fullest: The Golden Girls.
Created by Susan Harris in 1985, the girls were Dorothy (Bea Arthur), an outspoken divorcee with two children; Sophia (Estelle Getty), who is Dorothy’s mother and a opinionated widow who had lived in a retirement home but moves in with the girls; Blanche (Rue McClanahan) a widow with six children and sex on the brain; and Rose (Betty White) a soft-spoken widow with five children who works as a grief counsellor.
The girls share a house in Miami, Florida and their lives, with episodes revealing the reality of aging, women’s issues, dating, health, children, money as well as the hilarity of how all these issues intersect.
The girls also deal with one another personalities, each one offering their own perspective of the world and how society has changed. There’s plenty of poking fun at each other’s stereotypes, much to the delight of viewers.
This show was an immediate hit after its debut in September 1985. For seven seasons, the girls were bound by love and death and laughs, and were rewarded with 68 Emmy nominations, including 11 Emmy wins, as well as each actress winning an Emmy for their acting. It is one of three television shows in history to have awarded every lead actor an Emmy Award.
In the time on air, The Golden Girls was ranked in the top 10 for tv series each year until their final seventh season.
And despite not being young actresses or those involved in a dramatic evening soap opera style series, The Golden Girls was everyone’s favourite way to spend a half hour in front of the television.