Gold is Better Than Sex
I have had this debate with countless women from time to time and it is a topic of great passion for me: Which Show is Better, Golden Girls or Sex and The City? Most guys I know vote overwhelmingly for Golden Girls, although I think this is more in backlash to the latter program’s overwhelming popularity with women they date rather than an affinity for quippy old women. After all, no girl is going to make you have some sort of complex “relationship” discussion after hearing a story that begins "Back in St. Olaf….” This, along with many other reasons, is why I too am squarely in the Golden Girls camp.
Don’t get me wrong. I like “Sex and the City.” It is smart, subtly funny and certainly much raunchier than any other sitcom I’ve seen. That being said, it would never have existed if it weren’t for the Golden Girls. Most young women I know, at least ones who are too young to know who Brandon Tartakoff is, can’t comprehend how ahead of it’s time the show was, and therefore discount it as antiquated and corny. So being the extremely amateur pop-culture critic that I am, I will take this one step further and break down, category-by-category, why Golden Girls is better. Kind of like before the Super Bowl where they compare each team’s attributes side by side and give one the advantage, but instead of Matt Hasselbeck vs. Ben Roethlisberger, we will be discussing Carrie Bradshaw vs. Dorothy Zbornak.
PROMISCUOUS GIRL – Samantha Jones vs. Blanche Devereaux
Yes, Kim Cattrall is much better looking than Rue McClanahan . But we are not talking about physical appearance here, are we? No, otherwise this would be a stupid discussion. Anybody who wouldn’t prefer the least-attractive “Sex” girl (Miranda) ahead of the hottest Golden Girl (I’m not even touching this one) is probably a sick, sick individual. Or 90. No, we are talking about quality of characters. And as far as that goes, Blanche is a much more accurate depiction of a promiscuous female than Samantha. Blanche’s character is outwardly confident with men, but her underlying insecurities and low-self esteem are displayed on many occasions. Most overly promiscuous women I know have these attributes in spades. Samantha, on the other hand, rarely shows an ounce of motivation for her behavior, and never has to suffer any of the social ramifications of being promiscuous. And while in a perfect world she wouldn’t have to, the sad fact is that women who are notoriously promiscuous are not taken seriously in many real-world professional situations. That is why Samantha is an unrealistic character, while Blanche captures the true essence of what a woman who is in need of constant male attention is like. ADVANTAGE: BLANCHE, GOLDEN GIRLS
NAÏVE GIRL – Charlotte York vs. Rose Nylund
This one is way too easy. Have you ever fallen down laughing at anything Charlotte had to say? Of course not. Can Charlotte tap dance? Does she have an inexplicable competitive steak? Would she steal a teddy bear from a little girl? No. Charlotte tries to come off classy but is really more of a closet harlet. But unlike Samantha, she won't own up to it. She slept with a movie star and has the #2 man count on the show, if you pay attention. You never see Rose hooking up with Bob Hope, do you? And Charlotte is wholly unable to come up with any amusing anecdotes from her childhood on a farm in Minnesota. ADVANTAGE: ROSE, GOLDEN GIRLS
PROTAGONIST – Dorothy Zbornak vs. Carrie Bradshaw
Dorothy is smart, graceful and funny. But she is played by Bea Arthur. Carrie is annoying, does stupid, senseless things and can’t stay away from her ex. Both characters sometimes do things that absolutely make me cringe, but they also hold their shows together. I think Dorothy being smart and finally dumping Stan (and marrying Leslie Neilson – how much did they have to pay him to kiss Bea Arthur on camera?) gets her the nod. ADVANTAGE: DOROTHY, GOLDEN GIRLS
LEFT OVER CHARACTER- Miranda Hobbs vs. Sophia Patrillo
Hmmmmm….Questionably lesbian redhead who’s only comedic scenes came when she was pregnant, or bitingly sarcastic mean old lady who provides half the punchlines to the entire show. This is the easiest one of all. ADVANTAGE: SOPHIA, GOLDEN GIRLS
PERPETUAL EX – Mr. Big vs. Stan Zbornak
Stan is a lying, cheating, balding, desparate middle aged man exhibiting signs of his midlife crisis like they were billboards on the side of the interstate. Mr. Big is rich, arrogant, and, more often than not, just plain pathetic. She doesn’t want you anymore, get the hint, you idiot. Yes, I know they ended up together at the end of the show, but only after he pathetically chased her half way around the world. Stan, on the other hand, drives Dorothy to her wedding on the series finale, gives her his blessing, and rides off into the sunset with his dignity in tact. Admitting defeat like a man, and finally showing some class after seven seasons. And, really, can you argue with the guy who invented the “Zborney?’ ADVANTAGE: STAN, GOLDEN GIRLS
CREATOR: SUSAN HARRIS VS. CANDACE BUSHNELL
Susan Harris was one of the most prolific champions for breast cancer in the 1980’s, raising millions of dollars for research. Candace Bushnell? I think she may have written a book or something after “Sex” became popular. Great contribution to society. ADVANTAGE: SUSAN HARRIS, GOLDEN GIRLS
LOCATION: New York vs. Miami
“Sex” would have you believe New York is the most fabulous place in the world to live. Eh. I felt it was sort of like Jacksonville with taller buildings and no beach. There's nothing particualry awful about New York, but nothing all that impressive either. Miami, on the other hand, is a sunny tropical paradise with world class restaurants, nightlife and beaches. And despite the fact that Golden Girls is set in such a wonderful city, they don’t make a big deal of it save for one memorable song. They left the over-Miamifying to Crockett and Tubbs. ADVANTAGE: MIAMI, GOLDEN GIRLS
Well, looks like that’s a clean sweep for the girls from South Florida, doesn’t it?. Was there ever even a doubt? And they didn’t have to use profanity or nudity to get ratings (because I know a Bea Arthur nude scene would have done wonders during sweeps week). If I’ve offended any of you, I apologize. But you’ll get over it. And if you don’t, WHO CARES! WE’RE GONNA MEET BURT REYNOLDS!!!!!!!