Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Picture it, Heaven…2008"

Estelle Getty passed away today.

Longtime readers of mine know my affinity for The Golden Girls – one of the seminal sitcoms of the 1980s. I watched it during its initial run on NBC, and then followed the reruns into syndication. Some of my fondest memories in the early stages of my relationship with then Girlfriend Bootleg were watching the 6:00PM – 7:00PM back-to-back episodes on Lifetime over whatever takeout eats two college kids could afford.

Like most long-running (1984-1992) sitcoms, the show gets a little too much credit for its peak and not enough for its decline. The writing and acting didn't find a concurrent footing until its second season, but managed to sustain its strength until around 1988-89. By then, commercial television was getting bawdier and the show's writing reflected a sad attempt to lemming along. The jokes were dirtier and more mean-spirited. The plots became recycled and, occasionally, ridiculous (remember the "full moon" crossover episode with Empty Nest?).

And, then it ended.

Getty's fascinating life story of perseverance and belated success (to say nothing of her admirable stances on AIDS research and gay rights) is an endangered species in this era of inexplicable celebrity and manufactured stardom.

Godspeed, Sophia.


Joe Reid said...

Hey, way to steal the post title I was gonna use. Ass.

That Bootleg Guy said...

Dude, I *know*! I actually checked Low Res. to see if you'd put something up, then frantically pounded this out at the end of my lunch hour. Whew.

daknowledgegod said...

it's so bizarre. I don't get it. LBC and Estelle Getty?

I still have to question your blackness

That Bootleg Guy said...

Nicka, please. Ruby Dee appeared on Golden Girls and Don Cheadle was a regular on the short-lived follow-up "Golden Palace".

Oh, and Dorothy's son married a middle-aged Black woman and hilarity ensued.

daknowledgegod said...

That's a stretch.

BY the way were you locked in a room with only network television for 10 years straight?

NY Jon said...

You mentioned "Golden Palace" above and, believe it or not, I thought that show wasn't half bad. A little formulaic, but Don Cheadle had(has) an excellent sense of comedic timing.

And, I loves me some Bea Arthur, but her disinterest in the show became readily evident towards the end. I daresay GP's single season was better than the last two or three of GG.