Debuting on NBC in 1985, "The Golden Girls" remains a rare primetime sitcom led by an aging female ensemble. Nearly 20 years later, it continues to perform well in syndication, and even get name-dropped in current shows starring actors young enough to be Sophia Petrillo's great grandchildren. And, as if the 15 Emmys it won over its seven-year run isn't proof enough of its pop cultural significance, academics have even stepped out of their ivory towers onto the lanai to consider the deeper meanings of cheesecake chats and exclamations of "condoms, condoms, condoms!"
Granted, "The Golden Girls" hasn't received nearly the scholarly attention showered upon four also-white women living on the other side of the country in New York City. But that only makes the handful of Golden Girls studies Caroline and I were able to dig up for our full-length podcast on Sophia, Dorothy, Rose and Blanche even more satisfying to read and revel in their intensive (and sometimes outright wacky) analyses of the show's 180 episodes.
Sitcoms in a League of Their Own: A Critical Analysis of Situational Feminism in The Golden Girls and Sex and the City.Elizabeth A. Glatzer. Boston College. 2010.
Myths of Sex, Love and Romance of Older Women in the Golden Girls.Jo Anna Grant and Heather L. Hundley. Critical Thinking about Sex, Love, and Romance in Mass Media. Routlege. 2007.
The Golden Girls Share Signature Stories: Narratives of Aging, Identity, and Communal Desire. Christyne A. Berzenski. Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture, 1900 to the Present. Fall 2010.
And last, but certainly not least...
Golden Girls: Female Archetypal Patterns of the Complete Woman. Anne N. Kaler. Journal of Popular Culture. 1990.