Gaze Guests

By Val
Picture it, Miami 1985 and the world of camp is about to be ramped up a few hundred levels. This was the year The Golden Girls were unleashed on an unsuspecting world. Following the exploits of four unlikely, single, female housemates who were all of a certain age who ated relentlessly, bitched impressively and ate enough cheesecake to make Mary Harney ill.

The reason this show makes the list is that it was never afraid to go where most t.v. shows of the time wouldn’t dare, Homoville. Yes from the aborted attempt to introduce a gay house boy in the first episode (test audiences responded better to making Estelle Getty a regular and thank Cher they did) to Dorothy’s lesbian friend and to Laslo, a gay artist for whom the four lead roles became his inspiration.

The show dealt with homosexuality with its usual mix of hilarity with a serious undertone and for many people this was the first time they can remember seeing positive gay characters on a mainstream show.

The lesbian and gay characters in The Golden Girls were not 2 dimensional and stereotypical as they were in other shows, they were real portrayals and were memorable characters.

The shame is that not many other shows or networks followed their lead. That being said The Golden Girls still has a cult following and the recent release of the DVD collection has seen a surge in interest in the show once more.

The jokes may be dated, the clothes may be cringe worthy and the sets may have been theworst in t.v history but we still love them and watch them again and again.

Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sofia we salute you.


Originally published in GW issue 5 Author John 'Val' Walsh


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