The Many Ways in Which Golden Girls Was a Predecessor to Sex and the City

Although a majority of viewers have found Sex and the City to be the beginning of innovative television in the female-geared world, the Darren Starr/Michael Patrick King staple owes much of its basis to the 1985-1991 hit TV show, The Golden Girls. In many ways an afterword to what will happen to the women of Sex and the City, The Golden Girls follows four women of distinctive personality types: the fun (read: slutty) one, the star of the show/pragmatist, the cynical one and the optimistic one.

The women of Sex and the City in their old age
The women of Sex and the City in their old age
Thus, Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall) is Blanche Deveraux (Rue McLanahan), Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) is Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Rose Nylund (Betty White) is Charlotte York (Kristin Davis) and Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) is Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon). Blanche, with her bawdy broad persona and love of sex is clearly the Samantha archetype. Dorothy, with her slightly sardonic air (not to be confused with Sophia/Miranda’s particular breed of derision), matches Carrie in outlook and manner. The supporting characters of Rose and Sophia mimic Charlotte’s prudishness and naivete and Miranda’s hard-won affection.
From Miami to NYC
From Miami to NYC
Just as Square Pegs is a precursor in terms of plot, The Golden Girls is a forerunner for the female prototypes that Michael Patrick King would cultivate when Sex and the City first began in 1998. The comedic factor of four women of such extreme viewpoints is present in both shows, with one prime example from The Golden Girls being that the only reason Sophia is living with any of these women is because her retirement home burned down. It’s on par with the zaniness of Carrie becoming fashion roadkill. Although Sophia’s role as Dorothy’s mother is the one divergent aspect of the show, one could say that the mother-daughter relationship of Sex and the City manifests most clearly between Samantha and Carrie (though, of course, Samantha would cringe at the thought).
Character archetypes
Character archetypes
What is more, the Dorothy/Carrie parallel in terms of leaving her friends quote unquote behind to be with a man is undeniable. Although both are elated and relieved to have found love, they know in their heart of hearts that their friends are, to borrow a phrase from Mr. Big (Chris Noth) “the loves of her life.” And it is in this way especially that the message of each show is extremely salient: sure, you can find romantic love, but, in the end, it’s usually the platonic love of friendship that sustains you.

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  1. Pingback: Sisters Helping Sisters Uses Humor To Highlight A Sad Truth: Don’t Nobody Wanna See More Than Two Women Onscreen At OnceCulled Culture | Culled Culture

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