Over the course of seven years and 180 episodes, The Golden Girls altered the television landscape. For the first time in history, Americans (and, later, the rest of the world) were watching sexagenarians—and one octogenarian—leading active, vital lives. These were older women who had careers, families, lovers, and adventures, far from the matronly television characters of the past.
In The Golden Girls: A Cultural History, Bernadette Giacomazzo shows why this iconic sitcom is more than just comedy gold. She examines how, between all the laughs and the tales of St. Olaf, these women tackled tough issues of the time—issues that continue to resonate in the twenty-first century. From sexual harassment, ageism, and PTSD to AIDS, inter-racial relationships, and homosexuality, Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia weren’t afraid to take on topics which were once considered taboo.
This first-ever cultural history of The Golden Girls explores how the show forever changed the world’s perception of what it means to grow older, and showed us the healing power of friendship, community, and sisterhood. It gave the voiceless a new voice and unveiled all the possibilities of what “family” can mean—no matter one’s race, religion, creed, or sexual orientation.