Season 3, Episode 6, “Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself”; or Hey I Really Fucked Up

Okay, okay, I’ve been MIA because I wasn’t sure how to recap this one- I actually needed to go back and rewatch it, but I never did. So I became paralyzed by my own fear of getting it done. SO THE TITLE IS FITTING.

Anyway, fuck it because I just want to get this one done so I could get back on track with recapping.

So, the only thing I remember from this episode is that Rose is a high school dropout* and has to pass a random history class or something that Dorothy is conveniently teaching.

*But she worked as a grief counselor? Don’t you need a counseling degree?

The Golden Girls may be pioneering on introducing queer characters on television, but man, they fucking hate Asians.


That’s Dorothy calling roll, and that’s an Asian name, and she’s all “Oh! I get it! Gym Shoe!” and then a gong sounded.


This was likely a comeback for Rose after she was a fucking idiot.


I do remember this part, where Blanche (probs) is talking about the size of someone’s organ, and Rose was like, “what organ?”

Okay, now I can move on. Stay tuned for a whole episode around Gorbachev. Gorbachev! How eighties.


Season 3, Episode 5, “The Housekeeper”; or, Why Don’t They Just Bring Back Coco? Also, where’s Coco?

Let’s talk again about Coco, the elusive gay man who cooked Dorothy’s enchiladas. What happened to him? Did he quit? Did Blanche try to seduce him, and mad that a man rejects her, she stuffed him under the house? Did Rose literally bore him to death with stories about Herring and snow?

So apparently they really really need a housekeeper. They are so busy with all the random classes, starring in plays, and raising farm animals. So the first housekeeper they don’t like because she’s a big fat butch woman. Ugh! How weird to have her! They’d have to look at her all the time!


So finally, a woman in a colorful outfit enters and there’s just something different about her…I can’t quite place it…


Oh you joke! Look at that clever way they pointed out the ironic racism before you claim it’s racist. She is also Jamaican which means she only wears huge jewelry and is thought to cast spells.

But then she’s bad, and they want to fire her? But then their scared? Because…um…racism?

Sure, but Dorothy gets in a crack at Rose AND Gene Shalit.


Sorry everyone. Sometimes there’s just nothing to say about some episodes. You can’t win ’em all.

Season 3, Episode 3: “Bringing Up Baby” as reviewed by the Serial Podcast

Previously on the Golden Girls…..
You are receiving a call from an animal at ….a farm in Minnesota….


What can happen to animals in an instant, especially when they live half across the country? How can we really tell what they are feeling? Especially if they are a nice animal, and everyone says so.

I was first alerted about this story from Dorothy Zbornak, who at first told me a tale that seemed right out of a sitcom. Her roommate, Rose Nyland, got word that an uncle she barely knew from Minnesota, had left her in charge of his baby. Why would this uncle leave his child, his most prized possession, to a lady he barely knew? And that of an elderly woman living in Miami?


I was intrigued. Did the uncle really die? Did he have a baby? Was there really a baby? How were babies made? I searched the phone records, and there so cell towers pinged between Miami and Minnesota. Now, I know there were no cell phone towers then, but I still had my doubts.

I decided to look further. Remember, Rose’s family were Viking people. They were a close-knit community with lots of pride and rules for their children: they weren’t allowed to use modern technology, but they could create their own herring circuses and pageants in the town. Was this uncle just rebelling against his bizarre upbringing? Can I explore this by making large assumptions about a culture that is not mine?


Then….something happened that I couldn’t believe. I tracked down Asia McClain, who insisted on something that no one before had brought up. The “baby” was a prized pig beloved by Rose’s uncle. And I was told that whoever raised baby would get a 100K after he died. The stakes are raised.

Reluctantly, the ladies decided to keep the pig since he was slated to die soon. Were they so desperate for the inheritance money, so frustrated, that they snapped? Most people would say that Sophia Petrillo wanted the pig out of the picture, She was impatient, and weird. She testified that she lost her glasses, and her lack of eyesight made her crazy. In the middle of the night, she thought the kitchen was the bathroom. Can we really trust something like that?


I got a hold of Blanche’s diary. She talked about typical things a horny elderly woman usually talked about: fucking men at random, fucking guys with a clown mask, and shopping for foods that are more easily digestible. In it, she did reveal that Rose was more upset about having the pig then she let on. “I know we agreed to raise the pig for money, but I feel like Rose has become attached. So attached, that she cares more for the pig’s well-being than the actual money. It’s just like that backwoods dingbat.”

Rose, however, cared too much for the pig’s feelings and convinced that it was homesick, sent it back to a farm in Minnesota, when, a day later, he died. His body was found buried in Leakin Park.


Meanwhile, court records show that Blanche went out to buy a Mercedes before the pig was even dead, expecting to have the money. This is what was used against her in court. That, and even when the bank came to repossess the car, she convinced the girls to ride in it even though it was being towed. That seems like a lazy ending for the people who wrote this episode. Unfortunately, Christina Guitierez died two years ago. If I could go dig up her body from her grave and force her to talk about the writing process, I would.


And now we’ve come to the end. What do I think? Is a pig inheritance a hack idea for a sitcom plot? I want to believe it. But I can’t say for sure. If I had been in that studio audience. I would have laughed at the time.


Season 3, Episode 2: “One For the Money” reviewed by George Orwell


This was early in March. During the next three months there was much secret activity. Rose Nyland’s speech had given to the more intelligent animals on the farm a completely new outlook on life. They did not know when the Rebellion predicted by Rose would take place, they had no reason for thinking that it would be within their own lifetime, but they saw clearly that it was their duty to prepare for it. The work of teaching and organising the others fell naturally upon the Girls, who were generally recognised as being the cleverest of the elderly Miami population. Pre-eminent among the womans were two spitfires named Blanche and Dorothy, whom Sophia Petrillo was breeding up for sale. Dorothy was a large, rather fierce-looking Italian woman, the only Italian in the house, not much of a talker, but with a reputation for getting her own way. Blanche was a more vivacious lady than Dorothy, quicker in speech and more inventive, but was not considered to have the same depth of character. All the other male pigs on in Miami were porkers. The best known among them was a small fat pig named Squealer, with very round cheeks, twinkling eyes, nimble movements, and a shrill voice. He was a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive. The others said of Squealer that he could turn black into white.


These three had elaborated old Rose’s teachings into a complete system of thought, to which they gave the name of Goldenism. Several nights a week, after Sophia was asleep, they held secret meetings on the lanai  and expounded the principles of Goldenism to the others. At the beginning they met with much stupidity and apathy. Some of the ladies talked of the duty of loyalty to Sophia, whom they referred to as “Master,” or made elementary remarks such as “Sophia feeds us. If he were gone, we should starve to death.” Others asked such questions as “Why should we care what happens after we are dead?” or “If this Rebellion is to happen anyway, what difference does it make whether we work for it or not?”, and the ladies had great difficulty in making them see that this was contrary to the spirit of Goldenism.

Cliff’s Notes

The ladies “remember” different times when they tried to make money. One was when they tried to cater a wedding. The bride learned that the groom had cheated, but the ladies convinced her to get back together with the creep so they wouldn’t lose money. How thoughtful.


Dorothy remembers when she asks Sophia, in flashback, if she could watch her kids so she can work part-time to buy her parents a television. Turns out, Sophia had been doing some tailoring to buy a television for Dorothy and Stan. Like the Gift of the Maji, but not really.


Finally, in what seems like the most simple way to make money is by dancing in a dance marathon. Blanche promises men she’ll take it up the ass for them if they continue being her partner. Rose, meanwhile, hires a stunt double for her big solo number.


This episode also contains one of my favorite lines. When Dorothy sees that Rose has entered the dance contest without telling her (as did Blanche), she makes a Julius Caesar joke:


And Rose, the senile woman they continue to be in denial about her condition, answers, “No, it’s me, Rose!”

The moral of the story: capitalism destroys everyone.


Season 3, Episode 1: “Old Friends”, Or The One With the Alternate Dimension

We’re at Season Three already. How time flies! Speaking of time, there’s time travel. Speaking of time travel, something also science-fictiony is alternate dimensions. I learned in the movie Coherence that different versions of reality can still, temporally and spatially, interchange (or interfere) with each other. That means at any given time, there are infinite alternative realities happening at any given time. Think of all the alternate realities that have been created by decisions that are seemingly the result of free will. For instance, there could be another reality where Sophia is a black man.



Maybe this man will also come to a boardwalk that was constructed by a high school theater class. Perhaps he will also like to talk shit about people on the beach.


Meanwhile, there’s a reality somewhere in the time/space continuum where Rose is a Rhodes Scholar. There is another one where her arch-nemesis is a young Jenny Lewis playing an off-brand Girl Scout helping these old ladies with their yard sale, and Blanche accidentally gives away her teddy bear.



However, Rose surprises us all by tricking the child and literally throwing her out of the house.



Oh look, in this alternate reality there’s a black Dorothy! Makes sense I guess.


Meanwhile, Alvin, Sophia’s new friend, goes full r-t-rd and plays an Alzheimer’s patient. We leave the episode learning that Black Dorothy will have to have him move away for treatment, and Sophia doesn’t understand because in this dimension Sophia is cursed with immortality.

Hey surprise! Sophia talks about cocks in this episode, and not Blanche.



And Season Three begins the onslaught of fat jokes. Here lies the infamous exchange between Blanche and Rose where Blanche relays her story of being hit on by a salesperson in the ladies’ petites department. Rose says, “What were you doing in ladies’ petites?”


Blanche does not approve of advanced quantum physics theory.



Season 2, Episode 26; “Empty Nests” or An Abomination of Television


I mean, what else do women want to do?

Well, it’s always nice to see tv writers tryout some new things. Sitcoms can start to feel stagnant, and it’s always nice to take a risk on some new developments. For writers, it’s a creative exercise that is necessary to continue to challenge themselves in the realm of creativity. And ultimately, television is the most prominent artistic expression of the 20th and 21st centuries. With that said,

What fucking imbecile person was responsible for this turd of an episode?

Yes, yes, I can read Wikipedia. I know that this was supposed to be the spin-off for Empty Nest. But someone actually thought this one-off episode would be compelling enough. An episode in which a brother with multiple personality disorder and a creepy rapey neighbor make appearances for no good reason. An episode in which suddenly the fab four are bffs with a neighbor we have never met before and is helping her with marital problems.

Really, I don’t blame (some) of the actors here. Paul Mooney is a great underrated actor. Rita Moreno is one of the nations only EGOTs. David Leisure is…..unbearable. Unbearable. How did this man audition for anything without a casting director shooting themselves in the face?

Let me break it down for you. Please take some tylenol in advance to ward off the pain from such a piece of shitty television writing. I’m surprised Don Barnhard, famed director of Saved By The Bell, didn’t have his hand in this. THe opening is just like any other episode: the four gals are all home at the same time, Rose is stupid, Blanche has her legs open, you know, the usual. Rene, from next door (Ms, Moreno, obviously being blackmailed into doing this guest spot) stops by. There’s some banter about Palestine getting Greenland as  a consolation prize (TOO SOON) and Rene called in a radio show nor some outdated reference. Rene thinks it’s hilarious, so she makes this face:


And Dorothy isn’t pleased either.


“Did you tell him yet?” they pry. Maybe Rose turned another friend into a lesbian, and she has to tell her husband. No, Rene’s big plan is to tell her doctor husband to work less hours because she is lonely since their daughter left for college. WOMEN, AM I RIGHT? It’s a fair request, but Rene wants it because she’s lonely at home and has nothing to do. Get a fucking hobby! Go develop a gambling problem with Sophia!

In the only moment of joy in this awful, offensive, vile episode is when Rose laments that cutting down on his hours may cause her to have to go to another doctor. “[Your husband] is the only one that’s seen me naked.” Also, not true, since she’s had several boyfriends. Blanche, with perfect timing, replies:


And this is why Rue McClanahan is a fucking comedic genius. In one line she gives us a spot of sunshine in a dreary episode that makes us all want to die. Although, Blanche reminds us that she’s also kind of a sociopath and couldn’t fucking wait for her kids to get out of her house.


Thus the transition to the house next door is complete. It’s actually a bit more stylish than our gals. Except the kitchen is all glass walls and shelves, and it’s creepy. One hurricane and you’ll be pulling glass shards from your jugular. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen. What does happen is a Laurel and Hardy farce that is so unbelievable it makes Out of This World seem like a documentary.


Rene keeps trying to talk to George, but he keeps getting zany calls from his patients. Oh they don’t let up! It’s almost like George is supposed to…care about his patients. This one guy needs to be on diet but he keeps eating creamed beef! Someone peed!


In between all that, George’s brother Chuck knocks at the door. “How do you know who I am! I have multiple personalities!” exclaims Chuck, in the worst excuse for exposition and ridiculous, dare I say offensive, plot device . Meanwhile, they let him roam the streets instead of being, ah, uh, institutionalized? “My doctor says I can get my own place…but who can afford three bedrooms?” Oh yea. Sophia stops by looking for Mr.Fix-It, one of his personalities. After taking a dump in the shitter, crazy brother emerges as Mr. Fix-It, so Sophia leads him to their house, a perfect exit for an introduction we did not need.  “This is like Vaudeville!” Sophia exclaims. Good to know the gals still have the funny lines.


The door opens again and it’s Jenny, who has dropped out of Columbia U because her boyfriend dumped her. She followed him to college. You know, because getting into Columbia is super easy.  Also, she hopped on a plane? And got a taxi home? In the middle of the semester? Rene doesn’t seem so mad. Blanche, who has arrived, starts touching herself while talking about professors at southern colleges fucking her as a student. Real appropriate.

Blanche makes things worse by telling her she’s never been rejected. Well, once:


And then…ugh….I cant even…David Liesure, as neighbor Oliver comes in. This man is so unappealing, with his whiny voice and greasy hair. Oliver immediately tells Rene, George and Jenny that he fucked a bunch of stewardesses. Oliver forces George to look at something that may be skin cancer. It’s a liver spot and his whiny reaction made me run around my house and scream for five minutes.  Of all the things that were not changed once Empty Nest became a show, I can’t believe David Liesure was the one character they kept. Dorothy makes an appearance only to glare at neighbor Oliver and tell the audience that last New Year’s Eve he showed up with naked women and urinated in the linen closet. What sort of ragers are they having?


Rene decides to go with Jenny back to New York and gets an agent to star in commercials. She used to be in show biz! Oliver keeps George company. George, a man who has a medical degree suddenly has the realization that this is what Rene was feeling – loneliness!



Wow, what a realization! He arrives at Rene’s hotel professing his love and devotion to her. He’s going to move his office home, to be like Dr. Huxtable. Minus the rape.


They bang (offscreen) and lay in bed professing their love for each other. George somehow insults her looks and they end with Rene asking, “promise me you’ll never die.” Credits. BLEAK!


My dislike of this episode, and many fans feeling about it, are not just because we miss out on the Golden Gals, but because this episode is so terribly written. It’s ever sitcom cliche before there were cliches. It’s about people we don’t care about and who are difficult to like. Rene seems like an overbearing wife. George seems like a dumb husband. Chuck and Oliver- just ugh. In reading about Empty Nest, it’s pretty hilarious that they had seasons where family members were brought on that were never even mentioned on previous shows.

I’d love to hear oral histories right from the source. Does anyone remember watching this episode when it originally aired? Was there bedlam in the streets?

Season 2, Episode 21;”Dorothy’s Prized Pupil”, the Childhood Memoir of Alfred Clifford Slater



When I arrived at Bayside High on that fateful day, before I got a boner for Kelly Kapowski, before I got a secret boner for Zack Morris, I had a story. A secret story. My cover was that I was a military brat, and no one questioned why my father was white. But it was a new start. A new, secret start.

I was born Mario, not A.C. Legend has it I came out of the birth canal in acid-washed denim. I had dimples because the nurses couldn’t stop squeezing my cheeks. And the ones on my face! Hahaha. This was in Mexico, where things were bad. My parents sent me to live with a strange man who traveled a lot because he had a habit of not making any real human connections. The first place they sent me was Miami. Miami? Where was the Miami that Will Smith was singing about? This one was filled with old ladies.


What are the odds that Blanche’s ancestors owned slaves? Very high.


And one old lady, in particular, payed way more attention to me than was necessary. She subbed for my civics class for one day, but for some reason she invited me to her house for extra tutoring. I ended up going because really, what else was I going to do among all these old folks in Miami? But still, did no one from the school intervene?


It turned out to be quite entertaining. Ms. Zbornak lived with some real pieces of work. One was mentally challenged, and one like to validate herself through her sexual conquests. Pretty textbook. They doted over me like crazy, like they never saw a puberty-aged Mexican boy before.


Ms. ‘s old mother had some dirty vhs tapes that she let me watch one time when I came over and Ms. Z wasn’t home yet. “Where can I see more of these?” I asked her, and she gave me the address of a theater in downtown. I would go there constantly to see all the naked ladies and all the banging. Strangely, no one asked me my age or forbade me from going. Dimples can get you anywhere!


I could not stop thinking about naked ladies. All the time. It got so bad that when Ms. Z asked me to write an essay, I almost wrote it about naked ladies. Instead, I wrote about the actual dirty movie theater. I said something corny like, “this is what America must be like.” (I meant, a land where it was okay for a bunch of dudes to sit together in a dark theater watching nudie pics.)


Ms. Z shit herself and entered me in a district contest, and of course I won because no one gives a flying fuck about those contests. Well, somehow, the judge of the contest was an Immigration Offer, turns out he was on my tail and had started the contest because he knew I would enter! Dammit! Always one step ahead!


“Did I do thaaaat?”

Ms. Z found me in the movie theater in the dead of the night and she proceeded to have a heartwarming convo despite others trying to watch the movie.


I flashed those dimps like no one’s business but they still decided I should get deported. Well, I wasn’t having it. Me and my fake Dad went on the run. At one point I posed as a girl at a Catholic school and let me tell you, wacky hijinks ensued. But all during that time I wanted to make sure I was ready when they came for me. I worked out six hours a day and bought anabolic steroids off the street.


Really, what will they keep in touch about?

By the time I ended up at Bayside, I could no longer pee without screaming in pain and my biceps were bigger than a fetal pig we had to dissect. But looking thirty five in high school has its advantages.



But I sure do miss those old ladies.


I miss them something fierce.


Season 2 Episode 25; “A Piece of Cake”, The Grump, The Fool & The Whore

If I knew more about the bible, I’d maybe be able to find a passage that mirrors the vignettes in this episodes. It seems as if it should teach us a lesson, like the three animals in Anti-Christ, a movie I love to bring up often in normal conversation.



The episode revolves around cakes, and how cakes have set off crazy events in our gal’s lives. It’s also a “let’s remember” episode which are always lovely. And a lazy writing technique.

Dorothy and the Shitty Birthday


Dorothy is turning, I don’t know, 48 or whatever absurdly young age these women are supposed to be, and Rose has planned the party. Because Rose is a functioning deranged person, she takes them all to a child’s birthday place, where they serve hot dogs and a sad clown does a sad stage show and they do a birthday march. Rose of course loves it because her brain cells are slowing decaying but no one takes this illness seriously. Dorothy is having a coniption, and I know for the effect of comedy, but why wouldn’t she just walk the fuck right out of there. Blanche is probably there so she can fuck the clown backstage. Have you heard she’s a whore?


That’s what Blanche said!

The Ghost of Charlie

Golden Girls has depressing moments and poignant moments, and this is both. Too bad it is shoe-horned between such idiotic plotlines. It’s several years ago, and Rose wakes up in her kitchen in Wisconsin and prepares a cake for Charlie’s birthday, seemingly talking to him in the other room.


Turns out, he’s already dead and she’s talking to herself, essentially. She tells Charlie that she doesn’t want to live in their old house and she wants to move to Miami. I have nothing shitty to say. It’s a good scene. Except I find it hard to believe that Rose looks exactly the same in the flashback.

No Sleep for Brooklyn!

It’s the sixties and younger Dorothy comes over to her parents house. Sophia and her husband fight like Italian stereotypes and moral of the story is they end up fucking in their bedroom while Dorothy is in the living room. Is this show always about sex?


The Birthday Gang Bang

Blanche claims she hates surprise parties because she hates birthdays because they remind her of getting older and in case you didn’t know, Blanche is vain as fuck. The irony of it all is that the other three were planning a surprise party for her. But who are all these guests? Well, Rose just called everyone in Blanche’s black book by her bedside. Hahahaha! This is a party consisting of Blanche’s fuck buddies. They congo inside the house, presumably into Blanche’s bedroom for Miami’s greatest gang bang.


Yes, these are the men that Blanche is banging. Repeatedly, because all of them were fine with coming to the party. I’m not here to criticize someone’s looks, but I’m going to criticize someone’s looks. Look at this fucking guy:


Although this extra is having the time of his life. I wonder if they were promised a real gang bang.

Here we are finally told what the fuck a lanai is.


Season 2, Episode 24: “To Catch a Neighbor” as reviewed by a gruff, seen-it-all before detective


Yes, that’s the Cloons himself.

So yea when I got on the Miami beat I figured hey, how hard could it be, stopping robbers from taking little old ladies’ pocketbooks. [takes drag of cigar from side of mouth]. But then just my luck, bona-fide jewel thieves show up.

There was only one way to get ‘em- and that meant makin’ sweet with one of their neigbors. To the west there was these real hooligan types. I knew this because they had a messy lawn. Only hooligans had messy lawns. To the east though, was this house of nice old ladies, and they were all white. It was perfect…almost too perfect.


Al, I tell myself, I can’t get involved, I says to myself. Remember what happened in ‘62 with sweet little Marla Goldstein? Don’t want that to happen again. Good thing I bought a decoy, this cute rookie named Bobby who was barely out of his training pants with three weeks on the force. Little old ladies would love Bobby.


Bobby sleeps in Blanche’s bed and they do weird role play stuff.

It was a tough case to crack, but these ladies had, excuse my language, testicles. The one was throwing herself at me, but I knew better than to let myself get into the arms of a woman who was so self-assured and confident. Just not my type.

2014-07-07_1847_001 2014-07-07_1848 2014-07-07_1848_001


They did work guys on the force for twenty years couldn’t do; these broads covertly planted a listening device, which allowed me to sit at their kitchen table late at night listening to headphones waiting for some intel. It was just a job.


But oh, that one broad really got to me. The tall one with the Gimbel’s wardrobe. Don’t get involved Al. I tells myself. But I was involved.


Don’t worry, you can all hide under Dorothy’s nightgown.

And you know what happens when you get involved? You get hurt. See, that little sissy Bobby went and got himself shot and the ladies got all weepy and this tall broad breaks it off before I could even get a handful.


Everyone is still shitting on Rose.

But Al, you saved lives, you might say. Yea I did. But there was one life I didn’t save. The one I coulda had.



What can I say. This is the life I chose, this is the life I will live. I gotta get back to these ladies, give ’em fake badges or something. They’d probably like that. Until I get to my next assignment. First jewel thieves, what next? Map stealers?


Goddammit, why aren’t cell phones available? Al has to run from the crime scene back to their house in order to call for help.