Lauren Kelly and Sarah Royal
Longtime Golden Girls superfans Sarah Royal and Lauren Kelly rewatch the series from beginning to end from a "scholarly" perspective, analyzing cultural themes, storylines, and why so many people still love the show decades after its finale originally aired.
Dorothy is battling Stan for Sophia's soul and Blanche & Rose are up all night howlin. In the nosebleed seats of a baseball game, Sophia gets whacked on the head with a ball. Stan comes up with a way for the two of them to join forces and scam some money out of the insurance company, though we think it's a few days too late to be believable. Meanwhile, Rose and Blanche are cast in Cats in the community theater and wholly immerse themselves in the character.
24 min 59 sec
Rose is up for St. Olaf's Woman of the Year! OOOFDAH! There's only one problem, Blanche and Dorothy are back to their Issac Q. Newton/rez-ume ways and they've stretched the truth a bit on her application. Mighty flood, etc. Meanwhile, the AC is out and the girls struggle to keep cool. All in all, this one is incredibly goofy, there's a bunch of funny lines, and it's a pretty revealing picture of Rose's naive all-American nature.
34 min 4 sec
Rose and Dorothy assume the roles of Mulder and Scully after seeing what appears to be a UFO. Meanwhile, Blanche attempts a conquest for Ham Lushbough, the one man--the one--who has ever rejected her advances. The UFO story is A++, especially considering Dorothy's natural skepticism and Rose's naive assumption that the extraterrestrials are here to help us earthlings. The Ham story is a little tough to get through and rife with body-shamey jokes, but the conclusion that his lousy night of sex decades ago was with Virginia, not Blanche, is pretty funny. PS. Check out EnoughWicker.com/contest
35 min 15 sec
The three younger girls sit around the kitchen table lamenting that Sophia is letting the last of her life slip away. Rose's puritanical work ethic, Blanche's overactive sex drive and Dorothy's grounding nature all abound as the rain comes down outside. Meanwhile, Sophia--ironically the only one to leave the house, has a full adventure of a day complete with grocery store advocacy, hospital volunteerism and conducting an old lady jazz band. For more on this episode and the show's relationship to jazz, check out our interview with Elliot H. Powell here. PS. Head to EnoughWicker.com/contest before November 28 to make your scholarly submissions!
33 min 8 sec
Season 4 starts with a bang! Fidel Santiago, a snappy dressing cigar heir and all-around charmer dates both Blanche and Sophia. His long teeth raise questions, particularly around his relationship with Blanche, but his life and death serve to prove that age is just a number. Meanwhile, we learn that Rose started a mono outbreak in St. Olaf that may have actually contributed to the Allied victory in WWII as she enrolls in Ms. Zbornak's history class. For more info and to contribute your contest submission, visit Enoughwicker.com/contest
30 min 51 sec
We've made it to the end of the third season! In this vignette/flashback Mother's Day episode, we see Dorothy play her own grandmother, Rose lie to the police for a friend, Stan's mom acknowledge his yutzdom, and learn Blanche's true age! It's touching, funny, and we have a lot to say about it--the perfect way to close out the season.
27 min 12 sec
In what is the opposite of a fan-favorite, Rose dates Mr. Terrific, Dorothy attempts to fix his show and is sexually harassed by a puppet, and Blanche gets a different bed than the one she ordered. We're here to dunk on the sub-par (for this show) writing, the strange deliveries of lines, and pretty much everything else.
23 min 51 sec
We give all of our thoughts on the controversial Mixed Blessings episode, as well as a lament at how bad this show handles issues of race in general. For a further scholarly take, check out Dr. Stephen Trasher's The Real Mud on the Golden Girls piece for Variety.
39 min 28 sec
Al, Rose's new boyfriend, just retired from a successful career as a deli owner. While he could be content just sleeping late and watching reruns of Moonlighting, Rose compels him to do something better with his time. So, rationally, he decides to purchase a yacht and sail around the world without ever bothering to test his sea legs--bad idea! Meanwhile, Sophia brings in a pervert from the senior center to remodel the Girls' garage into a guestroom.
26 min 59 sec
In the ultimate role reversal, Sophia has a new boyfriend that Dorothy can't stand. Rocco, played by Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney, adores Sophia, but his disrespectful attitude, cigar habit, and shady past all give Dorothy pause. She tries to impose rules like leaving the bedroom door open, but it's hard to parent an 80-year-old. Meanwhile, Blanche and Dorothy break into Rose's 4-H Pig Diary (YOU KNOW A BETTER WAY TO GET A 4-H PIG DIARY BADGE?) massively invading her privacy.
29 min 21 sec
Sophia is feeling bummed as all of her friends her own age have either moved out of town, died, or assumed new identities as Pinky Lee. Dorothy, thinking only of her mother's happiness, starts bringing her along on dates with her boyfriend Raymond. Eventually, Raymond (understandably) grows tired of this, and Dorothy decides it's more important to preserve Sophia's happiness than have an awkward conversation. Meanwhile, Blanche and Rose run against each other for the prestigious position of Fashion Show Chairman of the Tinkerbelles.
36 min 21 sec
Golden Girls Fashion Corner is the place on the web for the clothes of our beloved Golden Girls. The woman behind the blog, Claire Sewell, joins us to talk about what inspired her to start the site, the thought behind the wardrobe choices, and how sometimes fashion has a scholarly element to it, but sometimes it's just plain fun. Check out GoldenGirlsFashion.com for more insight and enjoy!
1 hr 9 min
Golden Moments Parts 1 and 2 aired on the same night, so audiences were treated to a full hour of clips they'd already seen before. Through flashbacks, this 2-parter revisits classic scenes, such as Sophia's arrival, Blanche's discovery that Danny Thomas was not a lesbian, and Rose nearly blowing poor Lestser's head off. In the meantime, Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose work on convincing Sophia to stay in Miami as she considers a move to help Phil with his indistinct number of children.
36 min 2 sec
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to tell a fib. Angelo, Sophia's priest brother, is visiting for the first time in 40 years and Sophia can't bear to tell him Dorothy and Stan are divorced. Using the power of pasta and cheese, she convinces the two to masquerade as though they're still married (spoiler: they're not that convincing). Meanwhile, Rose and Blanche are rehearsing for their roles as two nuns in the community theater production of The Sound of Music.
28 min 59 sec
In an absolute classic, the Girls head to Hollywood to appear on polyester and teeth-clad Guy Corbin's epic game show, Grab that Dough. This one features the return of the Horse Statue™, original hustler Nancy, soup, soup, and more soup AND happens to be the all-time favorite of another artist with an incredible body, the genius behind Oh Shut Up Rose and Golden Girls Posters!
32 min 12 sec
Dorothy is in a rut. Between Blanche's celebrity rags and Rose's...well, Rose in general, the Brightest Kid in Brooklyn™ is feeling a little unstimulated, intellectually. At the behest of her friends and mother, Dorothy decides to get out and do something for herself, and so she attends a lecture by celebrated author and metaphor-user Barbara Thorndyke. The two become friends, and even though it's clear to Rose and Madge that Barbara totally sucks, it takes Dorothy some time to see it, but boy is it worth the wait. Dorothy confronts Barbara when she reveals that she's a member of a club with antisemitic policies in a way that is still so relevant today; standing up to intolerance is always the right thing to do, even if there's a great breakfast and the parking is free. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
32 min 3 sec
Dr. Wendy Burns-Ardolino joins us for a very special episode in which we discuss her book, TV Female Foursomes and Their Fans. We talk about the devotion surrounding The Golden Girls and other shows like Designing Women that relied on an all-women ensemble cast to move society forward and make us laugh. This is one for you fan-scholars!
1 hr 6 min
In what is perhaps the worst episode of the entire Golden Girls series as it relates to body-shaming and fat-phobia, we meet Rebecca, Blanche's formerly estranged daughter, and her douchebag boyfriend, Jeremy. Jeremy--who ranked #2 on our list of Golden Girls villains-- is verbally abusive to Becky and every other line from all the characters except for Dorothy (the hero we need) seems to be a crack about Rebecca's body. It is not good. The B-story, however, has Sophia essentially unionizing Pecos Pete's Chow Wagon, and that, we can get into. PS. Listen until the very end to hear Lauren try and do Becky's accent--it's not great! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
40 min 7 sec
Hold onto your chisels, Laszlo's in town! The Hungarian Hunk initially plans to use Blanche as a nude model for his sculpture, but eventually, he asks Rose and Dorothy as well, seeing that they each bring a different set of qualities that he wishes to capture. This creates a rift in the household because all three women are interested in helping Laszlo buff his marble, if you catch our drift, but his heart (and marble) belong to someone else. Meanwhile, Sophia gets into practical jokes but for some reason, doesn't exploit her ex-son-in-law's connection to novelties at all! PS. Click here for a list of more than 2 Hungarian sculptures of any time. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
25 min 31 sec
Buddy Rourke, an alleged friend of Charlie's is in town and he (like Jean) has the hots for Rose. The two strike up what seems like a relatively mild romance, but then all of a sudden Rose is packing up and moving to Boston with him! Obviously, that doesn't happen, but the Girls decide to let Rose have the sweet little memory, even if it's a lie. Meanwhile, Blanche and Dorothy agonize over what to wear to the museum banquet--we've all been there! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
25 min 11 sec
The Girls have been living together for five years and they have HAD it. From Blanche's Designing Women accent to Rose's seemingly incessant need to sprinkle everyday conversation with Norwegian words, to Dorothy's holier-than-thou attitude, they need a headshrinker STAT! This one is a little weak in the writing of the main story, but there are a couple of real gems in the vignettes ($8/an hour). --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
21 min 56 sec
Babe, I'm afraid we're being audited. Stan's back and this time he's bringing Dorothy down financially. He reveals he's being audited, and because Uncle Sam is going back so many years, that means Aunt Dorothy is too. Meanwhile, Rose and Blanche take a Spanish class down at the local community college, and in their typical fashions, Blanche promises to sleep with the teacher for the answers while Rose refuses to habla ingles (that means speak English). A lot of laughs, a couple of really, really offensive jokes, and a middle-aged guy doing the bare minimum and being praised mean this is the quintessential 80s sitcom formula! --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
27 min 58 sec
Friends, welcome to the VERY FIRST in-person recording of Enough Wicker. Yes, Lauren and Sarah sit together in the same space to talk about the perils of Little Sven (not to be confused with Big Sven or Big Sven 2). Blanche tries to get back at Floyd by cozying up to Rose's nordic cousin, who mistakes it for love--that is until he sees the dime piece he's been promised to. Meanwhile, Sophia begs Dorothy to let her drive again & the two try to navigate road safety for an 80+-year-old.
32 min 53 sec
What better way to close out Pride Month than with the author of some of the most dynamic, queer-focused Golden Girls content out there! Dr. Thomas J. West III, TJ to his pals and confidantes, wrote a paper called “Thank You for Being a Friend:” The Politics, History, and Fandom of The Golden Girls and Its Feminist Message for the Coming Decade," and has since written extensively about The Golden Girls, television, politics, and more. He is the co-host of the Queens of the B's podcast and was kind enough to talk to us about queerness of Phil Petrillo, the controversy surrounding Mixed Blessings, and the underrated genius of Susan Harris. Find TJ on Twitter @TJWest3 and check out his Medium page here: https://tjwest3.medium.com/
57 min 11 sec
Stan's brother is in town and spoiler: he really sucks! Initially, he goes out with Blanche but he's not into it, and the next thing we know he and Dorothy are aggressively hugging on the front step in the morning. Turns out he's impotent and wanted a babysitter, unrelated to each other, but important. Meanwhile, Rose is downing caffeinated tea, which she thinks is making her bones strong but is actually keeping her up all hours of the night and Sophia wonders where Ted was her to waltz her down the aisle after Dorothy and Stan got divorced.
27 min 20 sec
What is there to say about Gil Kessler that hasn't already been said? This episode hits on a plethora of big issues including sensationalized politics, trans representation, why it's so hard to believe women, toxic masculinity, and of course the challenges of picking out the perfect tie/sock/hanky combo. We talk about what works here, what doesn't, and speculate as to why this one isn't as celebrated in the Golden Girls queer canon as some others. PS. Run, don't walk, to watch Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen on Netflix.
33 min 1 sec
Rose is leading another pseduo-Girl Scout troop and this time she's concerned about nuclear war. In one of the most bizzare episodes, Rose writes to both the American and Soviet governments calling for peace, but only the Soviets respond. There's a Coca-Cola shower, a bangin' jingle about Medicare and of course a dream sequence that features all four Girls speaking at Red Square. Off the wall, but that's why The Golden Girls is the second best thing about America (after Slurpee, of course)
44 min 58 sec
From public speaking at Aunt Gretchen's funeral, to a totally unheard-of fear of flying, to a completely ridiculous phobia of being surrounded by bald men in an enclosed space, Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche each face their biggest fears in this episode. It's also the first of four appearances by Meg Wyllie, who delivers the best line of the entire episode with "yes, that's it -- the beverage cart." Real ones know.
30 min 6 sec
In this very special episode, we talk to popular culture scholar Jarden Clayton Brown about his paper Sex and the City, Platinum Edition: How The Golden Girls Altered American Situation Comedy. We talk about the popularity and the cultural impact of the show, and how the Golden Girls used the Norman Lear style of gently and indirectly presenting audiences with heavy subject-matter.
1 hr 9 min
Peak Golden Girls scholarship here! In this episode on The Housekeeper, we praise Paula Kelly's performance as Marguerite, call out a couple of the laugh-out-lines, and spend some time critiquing the use of a racist trope here. On the flip side, the writer of this episode, Winifred Hervey, deserves a nod for recognizing that the Girls' stereotyping of Marguerite could be used against them, and boy was it ever. Morgan Parker's Magical Negro book of poems: https://tinhouse.com/book/magical-negro/
35 min 28 sec
WELCOME BAABYY! This is an off-the-wall episode wherein Rose inherits responsibility for her dear old uncle's pet pig (although, not that dear, since she's unclear on his offspring). The rest of the girls are initially definitive "no"s but when Baby's escort/attorney reveals that care of the pig comes with a $100K bonus, they change their tune, at least temporarily.
28 min 59 sec
In this Very Special Episode, we are joined by Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, an award-winning journalist and an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham University. We found Elizabeth through her 2016 Ted Talk called “Everything I Know About Bioethics I Learned from The Golden Girls," which, as we continue to navigate a global pandemic, has never been more relevant. Elizabeth shares specific examples of how the Golden Girls tackled topics like generalized health, ethics of physicians, sexual health, and shares how she recently referenced Dorothy's world-famous takedown of Dr. Budd in her own real-life struggles to convince medical professionals to take her seriously.
1 hr 4 min
Ah, yes a clip show. The first of Season 3! This is just pure, old-fashioned fun. Plot holes abound as we see the short-lived Miami Mom's Catering, which may have gone under due to their first gig being canceled or a total disregard for food safety. There's a Brooklyn flashback featuring the incomparable Lynnie Greene nailing those DZ mannerisms as always, and perhaps most famously, a dance marathon that has given us some of the greatest Golden Girls gifs of all time.
22 min 32 sec
In this first episode of the third season, we discuss the adorable relationship between Sophia and Alvin, and reflect on what makes the diagnosis of Alzheimer's--for Alvin and anyone else affected by this awful disease--so devastating. Because the A-story is so heavy, the B-story has to be equal parts ridiculous and hilarious, and that is exactly what we get when little Daisy (aka Jenny Lewis) bearnaps Rose's beloved Fernando and holds him for ransom.
43 min 15 sec
We've made it to the dreaded Season 2 finale--Empty Nests! We're joined by a very special guest Mr. Matt Browning, a writer and the site runner of EmptyNestTV.com. Matt shares with us some behind-the-scenes info that might explain why this backdoor pilot was such a flop, and makes a compelling case to give the real Empty Nest series a chance. Plus, we talk about Matt's forthcoming book The Definitive Golden Girls Cultural Reference Guide, a guide to every single pop culture reference in the Golden Girls (there's a lot of them).
52 min 54 sec
A young and hunky George Clooney and his gruff but handsome partner Al are a couple of unconventional (and unethical, seemingly untrained) detectives using the Girls' house for a stakeout location, just like real cops on TV. You could cut the tension between Al and Dorothy with a knife from the very beginning, and this episode invites discussions of love/hate romances, knowing yourself enough to know what you want, and how much information you can get by tailing a criminal around the grocery store.
31 min 2 sec
What do Cheryl Strayed, Señor Frogs, and DZ Discovery Zone have in common? They’re all mentioned in this episode! This clip show is the penultimate episode of the second season and includes Dorothy’s birthday party at Mr. Ha-Ha’s Hotdog Hacienda, a flashback to the Petrillo home in Brooklyn, an utterly heartbreaking monologue from Betty White as a recent widow back in St. Olaf, and culminates in a conga line and finally, a successful surprise birthday party for Blanche. What a load of fun!
27 min 38 sec
Hello Mother Dorothy. Kate and Dennis come back to Richmond Street amid marital discord. Dennis cheated, and Dorothy, still reeling from Stan's habitual infidelity, is heartbroken at first, but that quickly turns to anger, confusion, and disappointment when Kate decides to stay with Dennis. Someone is projecting, hence the title of this episode. Plus, Rose and Blanche stay up all night watching I L̶i̶k̶e̶ Love Lucy, a show that Rose has never seen due to her inexplicably active sex life.
28 min 17 sec
The girls are putting together a charity banquet for a local hospital and Blanche falls for the hunky, yet unrefined caterer. Why we need to hold fundraisers for medical expenses in America is a topic for another time, but this episode is not without critical discourse. The class divide between Blanche and Jake, who pushes his food with his fingers and wears white after labor day, seems to be the major problem here, but actually, when we dig a little deeper, it's really just a matter of the SPARK. Plus, this one features a jazz band made up entirely of drag queens. What a load of fun!
37 min 32 sec
The Golden Girls had a ton of celebrity guest stars, pop-cultural references, repeat guest appearances and more. To help us recall all those who are so famous they need not be mentioned in this description, we called in some help. Our friends George and Kristin who host Meanwhile at the Podcast are experts on pop culture, fandom, and comics (you'll be surprised how much Batman 66 comes up!) and they were kind enough to come on our show and go down the very long list of famous faces who made appearances on our beloved Golden Girls. Check out their show here: https://meanwhileatthepodcast.libsyn.com/
1 hr 13 min
Mario Lopez guest stars in this wildly problematic episode, which has not one, but two offensive and outdated storylines! The A-story features Dorothy tutoring Mario, played by Mario Lopez, a gifted young writer (despite his trouble spelling 'February'). Eventually, we learn that Mario is undocumented and facing deportation, and that's where the 'rah-rah America' of the Reagan-era seeps through, with Dorothy encouraging him to "come back and do it the right way." Yuck! In the B story, Rose attempts to reconcile with Blanche by serving as her vedenfreugen, or PERSONAL SLAVE, so yeah, there are some issues in this one.
31 min 2 sec
Rose is a burgeoning filmmaker in this one and decides her first (and to our knowledge) the only documentary will be a day in the life of her roommates. Sophia sees it as a great opportunity for free publicity (for only $5.99 the recipe can be yours) and Dorothy, who receives crueler treatment in this one than usual, is hesitant at first but eventually comes around. But Blanche provides the focus here--after a reunion with her sorority sisters, Blanche returns home upset because she 'wasn't the center of attention and no one said she was the prettiest.' Seeing herself on camera only makes it worse and she vows to pursue a perfect body through drastic plastic surgery. This one has us in its corner right up until the end when Blanche's entire self-worth is reinvigorated by a man!
32 min 39 sec
Guest star Nancy Walker returns as Angela, Sophia's sister, who has decided to move from Sicily to Miami (with only a single piece of luggage). Angela overstays her welcome with the girls as her apartment search becomes more and more complicated; none of these places have enough room for a goat! Sophia grows impatient and everything boils over when it looks like Angela has slaughtered and deep-fried the show biz chicken Rose is caring for.
19 min 36 sec
Lauren and Sarah are joined by Dr. Kate Browne, a culture writer and essayist who wrote The Golden Girls edition of the TV Milestone Series. Kate holds a PhD in English studies from Illinois State University and researches pop culture and body-based autobiography. In this episode, we go chapter by chapter with an in-depth look at Kate's book. First, we look at Dorothy's sometimes unconventional gender performance and shifting desirability; next, we dig into Blanche's complicated relationship with motherhood & aging; Rose's chapter, perhaps the most intriguing, paints a failed picture of the American Dream, with Rose embodying the role of someone who did everything 'right' but still struggles; lastly, we talk about how Sophia drives the action as a trickster--bending plots to her own desires and offering moral lessons. You'll laugh, you'll learn, you might even slam down a few boilermakers during this one. Buy Kate's book here: https://bit.ly/3b4wOlW
1 hr 30 min
Enough Wicker takes a scholarly perspective when it comes to dissecting and discussing the greatest TV show of all time: The Golden Girls. New episodes Saturday’s at 9pm
1 min 6 sec
Dorothy's romantic escapades are the center of this one. She really should have made that pamphlet. Laying the groundwork for Fleabag, Dorothy develops a crush on a hip teacher she hopes is wearing a Nehru jacket, but he turns out to be a priest. Blanche insists she go for it anyway, Rose is distracted by the tushie of love, and Sophia, in between writing letters to Hugh Downs about her corrupt Bingo game, warns of hellfire. This one is full of laughs and particularly amazing outfits. Golden Girls Fashion Corner: https://goldengirlsfashion.com/
35 min 15 sec
If nothing else, this episode offers shoutouts to Lauren's stepdad, a long-time fan of chipped beef, and our rad friend and unofficial Sicily researcher Gina. Bedtime Story is a flashback episode of the Golden Girls; it's pretty out there, but there are a couple of LOL moments. We're laughing WITH the writers, not AT them as we take a look back at this Season 2 clip show.
25 min 33 sec
On the Eve of our Dear Betty White's Birthday, we bring you this LOLfest. Sophia enters a walkathon and while she initially shows a strong performance in the 80+ category, she experiences every runner's worst nightmare and hits the wall. Meanwhile, the other girls decide to babysit the children of the race participants and have two notable guests: a little punk named Norman (whose father is played by Family Feud's Ray Combs!) and baby Emily. Emily takes to Blanche right away, and soon the feeling is mutual. Emily serves as a way for the audience to really get to hear about Blanche's regrets around motherhood and wow is it a heartbreaker. Despite the heavy throughline of Blache's regret and a lowkey neglectful child services agency, this one is full of laugh out loud lines.
27 min 48 sec
Anyone who knows the kind and gentle Rose Nylund knows she would do anything for a friend or a neighbor, even if that included making two wedding cakes. This attitude gets the best of Rose and she ends up in the hospital with what thankfully turns out to just be an esophageal spasm (try to say that three times fast). After what she interprets as a near-death experience, Rhonda (oops, we mean Rose!) embraces a lifestyle that would seemingly go against the doctor's orders of staying out all night and partying with her new beach friends. As is often the case with minor tifts on Richmond Street, Rose packs up and moves out. The girls thankfully reconcile and all ends well, but wow what a ride!
21 min 44 sec
Merry Christmas waterliles! Our gift to you is this LOL-filled episode featuring Mr. Patrick Vaughn, the hunkiest hunk that ever hunked! The Actor is in town to join the cast of what we always thought was a local production of Our Town, but is actually a parody of the Paul Newman show, Picnic. The girls each vie for his affection, though Blanche inflates her efforts (da-da-ching). Meanwhile, Sophia gets a job at a pirate-themed restaurant.