For today’s installment of the ongoing marathon of The Golden Girls, we come to another of those episodes that has become iconic. In the episode, Blanche has to contend with her father’s decision to marry a much younger woman, while Dorothy and Rose decide to enter a songwriting contest and, in the process, create one of the most iconic moments in the entire series.
This episode has some of the most memorable (and quotable) moments in the entire series. Whether this is Rose and Dorothy’s banter about whether “thrice” should be used in a word, or their attempts to find a word that rhymes with Miami (Rose suggestions include a skewed pronunciations of salami, hootenanny, and mammy). To my mind, this is some of the most brilliant writing in the entire series. Just as importantly, it also allows Betty White and Bea Arthur, so opposite in temperament and personality, to really spark off of each other. The result is pure comedy gold.
In the end, of course, the two of them do end up producing a song, one arguably as memorable as the theme itself. And, though they don’t ultimately get win the contest (coming in second place and, as Dorothy says, treated badly), they do get to perform it for our pleasure and their own. Indeed, the resulting number–which features all four of the women singing together–is one of those moments of pure, unadulterated joy that The Golden Girls seems to have had a particular knack for creating. If you don’t emerge from that finale with a smile on your face, then I think you might want to confirm that you are actually human.
On the more serious side of things, Blanche’s grappling with her father’s marriage to a younger woman reveals a great deal about her relationship with her father. This Big Daddy is a very different iteration than his appearance in the first season, in which he was much more the rascally old man that is such a key part of many of Blanche’s stories about him. David Wayne’s portrayal gives Big Daddy a certain gravitas that he lacked, and this makes him a perfect incarnation of the southern gentleman. It’s clear from the outset that he dotes on Blanche and that she, likewise, idolizes him. At least, she does until his new bride-to-be shows up, after which she (once again) tries to reign in her father’s behavior.
Of course, Blanche’s response to her father’s amorous adventures make sense, even if she does go about expressing it in a very abrasive and disrespectful way. Who wouldn’t feel at least a little bit suspicious if their elderly parent was marrying a much younger person? As always, I find it striking that it is Blanche of all people who takes it upon herself to judge what other people do sexually. It’s a big part of what makes her such a rich, complex, and compelling character.
This is one of those episodes of The Golden Girls that stands the test of time, one of those that you can watch again and again and have it be just as funny as the first time that you watched it. Next up, we get to meet Dorothy’s son Michael, as well as Rose’s daughter Bridget.