Cinephile Movies

Τhe Golden Girls (Cinephile #11)


Genre: Sitcom

Created by: Susan Harris


  • Bea Arthur
  • Betty White
  • Rue McClanahan
  • Estelle Getty

Opening theme: “Thank You for Being a Friend” perfomed by Cynthia Fee

Theme music composer: Andrew Gold

Country of origin: United States

Language: English

Number of seasons: 7

Number of episodes: 180

Imdb rating: 8.2/10

My rating: 10/10

Plot Summary

The series revolves around four older single women who happen to share a house in Miami, Florida. The house’s owner is Blanche Devereaux, a widow who places an ad at a local grocery store to find a roommate. Her ad catches the attention of Rose Nyland and Dorothy Zbornak, a widow and a divorcée respectively, who both become Blanche’s roommates. After a year of living together, the trio is joined by Dorothy’s 80-year-old widowed mother, Sophia Petrillo, due to the burn down of the retirement home she had previously been living.


Dorothy Zbornak is a substitute teacher of practical nature who was born in Brooklyn, New York City to Sicilian immigrants. She married her husband Stanley while in high school in order to legitimise their unborn child. After Stanley left her for a young flight attendant, Dorothy grew bitter and she is often sarcastic and short-tempered with her fellow roommates. Another fact which fuels her witty-comeback personality is the jokes made by the other women of the house about her lack of attractiveness.

Rose Nyland is a Norwegian American who grew up in the small farming town of St. Olaf, Minnesota. She was happily married to Charlie Nyland but upon her husband’s death she moved to Miami and found work at a grief counselling center. Rose is a kind and sweet woman with competitive tendencies who often shares humourously peculiar stories about her hometown, to the indignation of her roommates who think she is dim witted.

Blanche Devereaux was born into a wealthy family and grew up on a plantation outside of Atlanta, Florida. She relocated to Miami with her husband and after his death she places an ad for a roommate in the local grocery store. Working at an art museum, Blanche is a Southern belle obsessed with clothes, men and herself and appears quite shallow at first glance. Her promiscuous behaviour is often ridiculed by her new roommates.

Sophia Petrillo is a Sicilian immigrant who moved to New York to escape an arranged marriage back in Sicily. She met fellow Sicilian Salvadore Petrillo who became her husband and together they had Dorothy. After a fire destroyed the retirement home in which she resided, Sophia moves in with her daughter, Blanche and Rose. She is an excellent cook, with many of the group’s memorable scenes taking place in the kitchen. Sophia is said to have suffered a stroke which is responsible for her blunt and presumptuous remarks.


The series tackles many issues during its seven season run. First and foremost the daily lives of older women who have lost their husbands (by death or divorce) and are struggling to find love again. Through the interactions of the four protagonists their different upbringings (Sicilian, Norwegian and Southern American) clash and they often find their views challenged. The appearance of various guest characters gives depth to controversial issues such as age discrimination, teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, elder care, homelessness, poverty, HIV/AIDS and the discrimination against people with it, homosexuality, problem gambling, addiction to pain killers etc.

My Thoughts

The Golden Girls is an all-time classic that introduces a quartet of amazing women, who, depsite being older, are as funny, sassy and relatable as ever. Add the late 1980s to early 1990s vibes and you have found yourself a memorable gem of a show.

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