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Posts from the ‘Television’ Category
I love this woman, and she made The View relevant. I always get a laugh from this blunt, and accurate observation. I know in our society we think that an overweight lesbian shouldn’t have an opinion, but this is who I take seriously, not some stupid straight man who thinks he’s an authority on EVERYTHING!
Donald’s rebuttal was the most misogynist piece of crap, and no one cared to take him to task over it.
Jeanne Cooper, who played matriarch Katherine Chancellor on the daytime soap opera, The Young and the Restless, has died at the age of 84.
Jeanne’s son, Corbin Bernsen of L.A. Law fame, took to Facebook to say that his sister was at her side when their mother peacefully passed away in her sleep. She had been in and out of hospital for some time.
Wasn’t sure how I would have to say these words so I opt for simplicity at least to begin…
My mother passed away this morning just a short time ago, peaceful with my sister by her side, in her sleep. I was going to visit this afternoon, thought I had time. Reminder to self – time is a precious thing. I too am at peace however. I said my goodbyes several times over during the last few weeks. I’ll go one last time now for a gentle kiss a final farewell for this lifetime. She has been a blaze her entire life, that beacon, that boxer I spoke of earlier. She went the full twelve rounds and by unanimous decision… won! And while her light finally gave into the wind that gives flight to all our journeys, there will always be a glimmer left behind by what she stood for. I will speak about that more in coming days, months I suppose.
I will certainly dedicate what remains of my life to continue her purpose of honesty, equality, humility, empathy and love. So many of you have said your prayers for her and right now, today, I can say the best way to honor her is to inhabit your lives with those things she stood for. I would ask that closer friends respectfully give us some time to find our family’s path in this transition, and please limit calls, emails and the rest for a couple of days. As always, your outpouring of love here on this page, is not only welcomed to continue but truly appreciated and comforting. I asked my sister what time she passed exactly, and she told me (not to important for public record) but I was working out and just happened to pick out a song for my final moments on the treadmill – “Everlasting Light” by the Black Keys. Oh what a wonder it all is… what a magnificence!
When I was a little boy my mother and father would go out for dinner every Saturday night. It was their way of keeping the romance alive, and the four of us would be left at home, under the tutelage of my maniacally insane older brother.
I loved to watch The Golden Girls, which starred four elderly women in the prime of their lives, and because my brothers disliked the show they left me alone in my parents’ bedroom where I watched it on their tiny black and white television.
It’s no surprise that as a closeted gay boy, I was never interested in male centric shows, except for wrestling, but that’s another story all together. For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to the stories about women, and it remains that way today.
The Golden Girls premiered in 1985, I was 6-years-old. It ended its successful run in 1992 when I was 13. To be honest, I never watched it again after the finale, until about five years ago when I saw the DVDs on sale at HMV. I figured, why not? It’ll be fun to re-visit these characters.
And that’s what I did, from season one to season seven, I sat and watched each episode like it was the first time. I was amazed at how adult, and even risqué, the humour was, and I was embarrassed to learn that I had clearly misunderstood several of the saucy jokes when I was younger and had less life experience. Their brand of comedy was salacious, and I love it still.
These four women got away with saying and doing things that would be easily censored today, at least on network television. Perhaps they were permitted to push the boundaries a little more because of their age, when few people feel women of that age have anything relevant to say at all.
My favourite character was also the centre of the show, Dorothy Zbornak, who was played by the stoic Bea Arthur. Her second successful television show after Maude, Arthur had impeccable timing, and the way she was able to hold a scene with just a look, was comic genius. She was effortless, and it almost seemed like she wasn’t acting at all.
It’s shocking to learn that in real life Bea Arthur was the antithesis of strong Dorothy. She was intensely shy, and disliked giving interviews. Her exchange with David Letterman in a late 1980s interview is painfully awkward to watch, especially when she reprimanded him for interrupting her!
One of the reasons that I like Bea Arthur is that she had a strong sense of work-life balance, and when she decided to leave the show, they ended it completely. She sort of retired, though she produced and starred in a successful one-woman show on Broadway a few years before her death from cancer at 86.
The other three went to star in The Golden Palace, but it was cancelled after one season and sullied the reputation of its predecessor for some time. Arthur always maintained that she left The Golden Girls because they had topped themselves, and it was best to quit while ahead.
Anyway, I watch an episode of The Golden Girls every day and no matter how terrible my mood is, the show has that ability to lift me from despair. No one can ever knock me down because the show provides that perspective I feel most of the world is missing. Just keep it classy, and be kind.
It’s hard to fathom that Betty White is the only actress still alive from the series. The passage of time can be cruel, but I take comfort that the memories remain in these little DVD packages.
For those of you who have never given the show a chance, perhaps because you think it’s dated — and make no mistake, the fashion certainly is — I urge you to give it a go, with the knowledge that the comedy is top-notch.
In fact, it’s a sad state of affairs that a show like this would never survive in our youth obsessed culture of today. The fact that four older women starred in a hit television show is not likely to happen ever again. A sad statement of the poor state of our contemporary culture.
So, here I am with my Stay Golden t-shirt, which I plan to wear often, and I hope to be buried wearing it.
Thanks for indulging this little post.
Bea Arthur’s delivery will never be replicated.
God this show was so funny. It’s a sign of how we’ve regressed when you consider that a series like this — starring four women over the age of 50 — is considered taboo nowadays. Women of this age are invisible on television, and why? The Golden Girls was one of the highest rated shows in history.
Anyway Bea died on April 25, 2009; four years ago. Just thought I’d remember her for a moment. She did so much for gay youth and the homeless.
You may remember back in 2011 NBC tried to “re-imagine” the 1970s television classic Wonder Woman to disastrous results. The remake was marred in controversy by those loyal to the original who felt it was a betrayal to their youthful memories. Anyway NBC acquiesced to the pressure and passed on the project; it never saw the light of day. Except for the opening credits. Enjoy.
The revival of Arrested Development is upon us. Netflix will release all 15 episodes of season 4 on May 26. In honour of its return, here are the best moments from my favourite character, the matriarch Lucille Bluth.
The Walking Dead has had a change of leadership. Three times in fact. The show, an adaptation of a comic book series, was developed by Frank Darabont, who brought Canadian actress Laurie Holden to the show to play Andrea. Darabont often casts Holden in his movies, including The Mist and The Majestic. Prior to the second season, and after much contrition, AMC replaced Darabont with Glen Mazzara, who has since resigned from his position. That’s a lot of turnover for a show that’s only 3-years-old.
I mention this because The Walking Dead is a show about change. A lot of characters die in a postapocalyptic zombie wonderland. The last episode of season three aired Sunday night with the death of a major character: Andrea put a bullet in her head after being bitten by a zombie.
This is not reflective of the comic book Andrea, who is still alive. Unfortunately the television character was never fully developed, at least not like the male characters have been, and it’s this reality that I take some issue with.
Bear with me for a moment. At the end of season two Andrea was separated from her group and rescued by Michonne, a katana wielding stranger who keeps pet zombies. At the beginning of season three Michonne and Andrea have bonded over the long winter months, surviving against all odds until Andrea becomes sick. The dynamic duo are taken in by a protected community called Woodbury, led by a man referred to as The Governor who Michonne takes an instant dislike to. Andrea, after the death of her sister, and tired of fighting, is drawn to the people of Woodbury, and to The Governor. The two begin a romantic relationship.
Eventually Michonne and Andrea are separated and Michonne is taken in by Andrea’s old friends who are living at an abandoned prison, and who are unaware that Andrea is still alive.
16 episodes later, a war breaks out between Woodbury and the prison and Andrea attempts to reconcile both sides, but is naively ignorant to the fact that her boyfriend, The Governor, is insane. It’s a bit of a stretch that it takes her so long to realize what is obvious to everyone else, and in the end The Governor turns on her when she tries to escape Woodbury, a move that leads to her demise.
Okay so synopsis aside, my main problem with the death of Andrea is that there isn’t a lead female character on the show now. The women that are left are underdeveloped, like Michonne, or defined entirely by the male characters. Though I like the way Carol is growing and becoming stronger, I’m annoyed that she is primarily known for asking Daryl to have sex with her. Maggie may grow on me, but so far she cannot exist outside of her relationship with Glenn, though he exists independently of her. I also didn’t warm to the show where she was humiliated in removing her clothes in an attempted rape, and later risked her life to have sex with Glenn.
I’ve noticed that shows similar to this, like LOST for example, poorly plan the female characters’ storylines. They begin as interesting and independent people, but eventually become a romantic interest to one of the male characters, and serve only as a means to propel the male characters’ story arcs forward.
I was disappointed in the way the writers handled the character of Andrea because her intentions were always good, she was committed to ending the killings, and bringing people together, but she was so sloppily and inconsistently written that she became annoying, and a nuisance. Rick and The Governor are clearly ineffective and stubborn leaders, and it’s a shame that Andrea’s solutions were treated with disdain, laughable even.
Contrast the way the men are developed and the story is very different. Great care has been taken to ensure that Rick and Daryl remain heroes, elevating their characters from the comic book to even more iconic status.
The Andrea in the comic book is a warrior, an equal to Rick, who is the main protagonist. She’s a fan favourite, and many of them were disappointed with how the television Andrea was developed. Instead of fixing their mistakes, and simply honouring the comic book Andrea, like they have done with the male characters on the show, they killed her off, bowing to market research that probably showed that Andrea was a character few people enjoyed.
This is exactly what I saw happen with LOST, where Juliet and Kate were relegated to the love interests of Jack and Sawyer, the leaders of two separate factions. These two characters began as strong, independent women, but a decision was made to demote them to mere girlfriends.
Someone once told me that this representation of women in movies and television is actually a reflection of what women want to see, and that focus group research demonstrates that when actresses play these submissive roles, the television show is more popular, because test audiences only see females as a wife, mother, or a girlfriend, and are weary of fictional female characters who are dissimilar.
I was speaking to Lisa about this the other day and she made a good point also. Because Andrea broke from the group, and then tried to escape her adopted home, she achieved independence from the male characters, namely The Governor and Rick. As a result, she had to be punished with death.
I also read an interview with Laurie Holden who admitted that Andrea’s death was not included in the blue-print of the third season and she learned of her character’s death a few days before filming the finale. She expressed disappointment that Andrea wasn’t written more like the comic book character but was grateful for the opportunity to star in such a successful television show. A class act indeed. Very Canadian.
Certainly, Frank Darabont did not plan the demise of this character when he developed the show and cast Holden in the role back in 2010. It appears that Andrea was a casualty of leadership change, and bad planning. Very rarely are the male story arcs handled so carelessly, and if they are, they’re usually gay.
I am not sure why it’s so challenging for men to write for women, and why they can’t see them as more than sexual beings, existing merely for the entertainment of men, but they do. It makes it difficult to invest in the female characters, because the writers can’t consistently develop them, and they’re rarely as revered as the men.
Andrea was my favourite character on The Walking Dead, I believed in her, and she helped break the male centricity of a very macho show. I hope that Michonne lives up to her comic book persona, and that the writers spend more time developing her as a human being who speaks sometimes.
Lisa and Matt hosted the greatest Walking Dead marathon evening. We meet every now and again to watch the zombie apocalypse television show with food! I brought a bruschetta and green bean quinoa salad that I made from Martha Stewart’s meatless cookbook and Lisa and Matt made vegetarian burgers that were utterly divine ( I can’t believe I wrote the phrase “utterly divine”). We drank some wine and watched people kill zombies. So nice.
You all know I’m a huge fan of The Golden Girls. My favourite character on the show is Dorothy Zbornak played by Bea Arthur. My dog Maude is named after the character she played in the 1970s television series of the same name. These are funny clips. Watch.