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Continuity Errors: Starts With the House Layout and Just Gets Worse

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As I'm watching episodes on Hulu now, I get to pay more attention to the order of things, which makes the continuity errors all the more glaring sometimes. I just started Season 2 and it is the menopause episode where Dorothy and Rose are breeding minks. Dorothy talks about how she always wanted a mink. This stuck out because a major component of the robbery episode from Season 1 was that Dorothy's mink stole was stolen. Also, Rose mentioned how her mom was a prude, but Alma seemed anything but when we met her. I guess that could be explained as mom loosened up over the years. But the mink thing stands out.

5 more seasons to go!

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The episode where Rebecca gives birth to her baby. Rebecca wants to deliver the baby in Miami but Blanche rather she go to Atlanta, Blanche says she rather Rebecca go someplace where people don't know her. Did Blanche forget that she's from Atlanta and someone is gonna recognize her when she arrives?

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Rebecca arrives, about to give birth, suddenly finds an OB and a birthing center.  Lucky Rebecca.  The lack of continuity has always irritated me because it's unnecessary.  I know the excuse is that new writers were brought in.  That's why you have a running story board -- to bring them up to speed and avoid the most obvious errors.  Having said that, I still love my Girls and have watched them often enough to just shake my head at the mistakes.

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In one episode Stan gets married to Katherine, a lady he met at the Post Office. He tells Dorothy he's crazy about her. Then we never hear another word about her again nor is she ever seen again.

Seems like they should have made a least a passing mention of why she wasn't around any more. Death? Divorce? I guess we'll never know.

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1 hour ago, LilWharveyGal said:

In the Christmas episode where Stan is dressed up as Santa, doesn't he mention that Katherine threw him out?

He does, yes. 

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49 minutes ago, Miss Chevious said:

How forgetful of me!  thanks for refreshing my memory.

It's easy to forget because Katherine was never mentioned nor seen beyond the episode where Dorothy meets her in the hotel bar. 

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And here's another thing I don't get. It like a hiccup in the continuity of Blanche's character. It's in the episode where she takes classes at the local college and meets up with a teacher who's interested in extracurricular activities. 

Blanche has no qualms about sleeping with everyone, just ask Chuck (both of them, from Arco and from Shell). She goes as far as renting a Mercedes to get new boyfriends.   In order to get a favorable age mention in the Citrus Festival newspaper article she slept with the newspaper guy (twice!). I could go on and on but you get the idea.

So why doesn't she sleep with Professor Cooper in order to pass her college class? It seemed so out of character for her to say no. You'd think she'd do anything for a good grade. Even twice. It's not like she hasn't done it before.

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In one way I could see why Blanche was upset -- it wasn't her idea!  But for someone who slept around like she did, she was awfully high and mighty about it.

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Blanche didn't mind occasionally sleeping with guys to get what she wanted...as long as it was on her terms. At least that's how I rationalize it.

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Speaking of continuity, I recently watched the pilot on Hulu after not seeing it in YEARS. And according to that Golden Girls book, the show originally was to put more focus on the gay houseboy that appeared in said pilot, a foil for the girls or whatever. Was it ever explained in a later episode what happened to him (as he obviously didn't "take") or was he like those tent mates of Hawkeye's in MASH not Frank and Trapper who just went poof?

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18 hours ago, WendyCR72 said:

Speaking of continuity, I recently watched the pilot on Hulu after not seeing it in YEARS. And according to that Golden Girls book, the show originally was to put more focus on the gay houseboy that appeared in said pilot, a foil for the girls or whatever. Was it ever explained in a later episode what happened to him (as he obviously didn't "take") or was he like those tent mates of Hawkeye's in MASH not Frank and Trapper who just went poof?

I read Sophia's character was supposed to be a guest star, and her popularity squeezed Coco out. I don't think he was mentioned again.

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I don't even think Coco would have fit. Sophia squeezing him out is the best thing that could have happened otherwise you wouldn't have had the great Dorothy/Sophia dynamic. You think Coco could have gotten away with the insults that Sophia gave to Dorothy, Blanche, & Rose? Honestly, I believe that if Coco stayed the show wouldn't be as funny as it is.

Unfortunately it doesn't always work because Family Matters we had to suffer through Steve Urkel when he was originally suppose to be a recurring guest star.

Edited by ShadowSixx
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On 3/27/2017 at 4:00 PM, BitterApple said:

It's easy to forget because Katherine was never mentioned nor seen beyond the episode where Dorothy meets her in the hotel bar. 

I finished watching all 7 seasons on Hulu (love seeing scenes I haven't seen in years!) and many more nitpicks emerge when you pay attention to the order. After the Santa thing, he was suddenly single, because the next season begins the Stan/Dorothy romance/re-marriage plot. A throw-away line about how they got divorced would've been nice. Of course, I preferred Stan and Dorothy as friends and hated that romance plot.

I just assumed the Stan/Dorothy story came before the Katherine story. I like to imagine Stan married and happy at the end, even if he was a yutz.

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I was always perplexed by how many children Blanche and Rose actually had...Dorothy had her son and daughter, Sophia had Dorothy and Dorothy's sister and Phil, but I could never actually remember how many children Rose and Blanche had...did Rose just have the two girls? And supposedly Blanche had her one daughter Janet((played by two different actresses)) and then I think 2 or 3 sons?? The only son I remember her regularly mentioning was Skippy, when she offered Dorothy "one of her sons" in a bribe, and right after that there was her infamous line, "Okay, maybe not Skippy, he's got asthma."

I always hated how the continuity was especially glaring with their children and the random actors hired to play them---or the children who were mentioned regularly yet were never seen on the series. It was especially weird how the only one who had the same actors playing her kids throughout the series was Dorothy.

Oh and then there was the actress they hired who ALWAYS played the young Dorothy in the flashback scenes! Now she was excellent; that was an unusually stellar casting choice because I really did buy her portrayal of a younger Dorothy.

Aside from the actress playing Janet in the final seasons, I never liked any of the other actors cast as their children.

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11 hours ago, Sun-Bun said:

but I could never actually remember how many children Rose and Blanche had..

Yeah, Blanche and Rose were quite fertile. 

Rose: Kirsten, Gretchen, Ginella, Adam, Charlie Jr

Blanche: Janet, Rebecca, Biff, Doug, Matthew, Skippy (I wonder if Skippy was Matthew's nickname maybe?)

 

The thing that gets me most about the children was that neither Kate nor Michael were 38 when we saw them (unless they had fabulous genes) but Dorothy married Stan due to being pregnant. Maybe there was a secret first-born out there that they never spoke of?

Edited by xander874
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22 hours ago, Sun-Bun said:

It was especially weird how the only one who had the same actors playing her kids throughout the series was Dorothy.

Michael was always played by the same actor, but there were two Kates.

14 hours ago, xander874 said:

Rose: Kirsten, Gretchen, Ginella, Adam, Charlie Jr

I don't remember Gretchen.  Kirsten, Ginella (or however the hell that was spelled), Adam, Charlie Jr. and Bridget, but not Gretchen.  Rose had an Aunt Gretchen, so maybe she had a kid named after her and thus had six kids, but I always thought it was five.

Quote

Blanche: Janet, Rebecca, Biff, Doug, Matthew, Skippy (I wonder if Skippy was Matthew's nickname maybe?)

Yes, I believe she also has five, and Skippy is Matthew's nickname.  Except I have no idea what I'm basing that belief on -- no specific dialogue is coming to me, but that's what I have in my head.

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11 hours ago, babyhouseman said:

And Bridget? She was the one who slept with Dorothy's son in an episode.

 

10 hours ago, Bastet said:

I don't remember Gretchen. 

Sorry, I meant Bridget when I wrote this. There was no Gretchen. Don't know where that came from.  Maybe I'm thinking of Gretchen Kernokenfloven, St. Olaf's sassiest bassoon player?

But for Blanche, considering she raised her family in that house (as she said in one episode, even though Rebecca acted like she had never been there), having 5 or 6 kids, plus a nanny in that house must've been hectic. That house doesn't scream family to me for some reason, even with four bedrooms and 2 (3, 4, 5?) baths

Edited by xander874
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Watching the Big Daddy becomes a singer episode. He says he sold Twin Oaks and everything in it.  I’m remembering the Big Daddy funeral episode- Blanche  goes to the family home  and packs everything up. Um- what home and what everything? 

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1 hour ago, mythoughtis said:

Watching the Big Daddy becomes a singer episode. He says he sold Twin Oaks and everything in it.  I’m remembering the Big Daddy funeral episode- Blanche  goes to the family home  and packs everything up. Um- what home and what everything? 

Exactly!  What home? What estate? If he had sold it, Blanche was definitely trespassing. Didn;t Big Daddy (gag) show up with some new young wife? What happened to her? Where did she go? Love this show but wow it seemed like they just ignored any form of continuity. It seems that it is just left to the fans of the show to be aggravated over the inconsistencies.

Argh!

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I don't think most fans at the time cared about the inconsistencies in continuity...

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On 8/30/2017 at 12:43 PM, xander874 said:

After the Santa thing, he was suddenly single, because the next season begins the Stan/Dorothy romance/re-marriage plot. A throw-away line about how they got divorced would've been nice. Of course, I preferred Stan and Dorothy as friends and hated that romance plot.

I just assumed the Stan/Dorothy story came before the Katherine story. I like to imagine Stan married and happy at the end, even if he was a yutz.

I swear I think they make a throwaway line about Katherine throwing him out during the Santa episode.

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22 hours ago, BloggerAloud said:

swear I think they make a throwaway line about Katherine throwing him out during the Santa episode.

They did but I thought at the end she took him back. Guess at some point, she threw him out again!

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Happened to see the two episodes with Sophia’s mother appearing or being discussed today. 

First episode  Dorothy( as a younger adult) is pushing Sophia’s mom in the wheelchair at the New York apartment. Sal and Sophia are inviting her to live with them. 

2nd episode - Dorothy is describing Sophia’s mom to Blanche and Rose. She specifically says her Grandma was 94 when she was six and that her Grandma  lived to be 94. Man that woman seemed pretty lively in her wheelchair for someone that had been dead for  15 years or more. 

Edited by mythoughtis
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Well, she did colonize life on Venus after her foray into politics. That woman really had some stamina for her age!

Edited by mmecorday · Reason: after not and

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I still don't understand how Rose is able to refill her prescription for 30 years. Even a doctor from St Olaf wouldn't just keep approving it.

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29 minutes ago, Snow Apple said:

I still don't understand how Rose is able to refill her prescription for 30 years. Even a doctor from St Olaf wouldn't just keep approving it.

If you accept the canon of what people, including doctors, from St Olaf are like, the answer would be yes - just keep renewing.

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Dorothy should have been able to sympathize more about Rose's addiction, as she was a problem gambler. Oh, that's right. She wasn't addicted to gambling in that episode.

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On 4/14/2018 at 8:03 PM, mythoughtis said:

2nd episode - Dorothy is describing Sophia’s mom to Blanche and Rose. She specifically says her Grandma was 94 when she was six and that her Grandma  lived to be 94. Man that woman seemed pretty lively in her wheelchair for someone that had been dead for  15 years or more. 

This conversation by Dorothy drives me insane. She also says her grandmother got involved in politics during Eisenhower’s campaign, which started in 1952. If Dorothy was 6 in 1952, she’d be 39 when the series started in 1985. Yet had been married 38 years and had grown children. That’s more than lack of continuity. That’s people’s brains shutting off and talking nonsense. 

Edited by Ria
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The lack of continuity doesn't keep me from loving the GGs, but a story board seems never to have crossed anybody's mind, including Bea, Rue, Betty, and Estelle.  Did they ever speak up or as the series went on, didn't they remember what had gone before.  The sloppiness irritates me as much as the errors.

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It was always so weird to me that out of allllll the endless, random continuity errors on this show, one of the few random details that the writers all stuck to was how Rose’s husband passed away while they were having sex. It was almost like a running punchline with her!

Oh yes, and there was also Dorothy’s mysterious brother Phil the crossdresser. Talk about yet another oddly random story that they stuck with throughout the show’s run.

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I'm re-watching a very old movie, The Thrill of It All, with Doris Day and James Garner.  If you don't remember it, the plot involves the DD character becoming the spokeswoman for brand of soap.  The company sponsored a weekly TV show which had the same plot, but with different settings -- the Old West, Nazi Germany, a nightclub.  One of the executives commented that it doesn't matter because the viewing public won't notice.  Next scene: DD's two little children are watching and pick up on it right away; in fact, it's a running gag through the film.  That's a long introduction to my point: I think one of the reasons for the terrible continuity on GG was that same attitude -- it really doesn't matter because viewers won't catch the contradictions, etc.  

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The producers and writers back then couldn't have foreseen inventions like DVDs, cable, and the Internet where people could see all the details of shows and movies. many times.

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15 hours ago, babyhouseman said:

The producers and writers back then couldn't have foreseen inventions like DVDs, cable, and the Internet where people could see all the details of shows and movies. many times.

Yeah, I have to admit, I rarely saw any of the continuity mistakes when watching it live, when you got one episode a week and never saw them again. It wasn't until they started showing back to back episodes that things started to stand out. Of course I don't look for such things anyway and would rather just enjoy the show, since this is a sitcom where there isn't some ongoing mystery I'm trying to solve.

Most of these older shows had terrible continuity because it really wasn't a priority then. The new shows that are just as bad at keeping things straight have no such excuse. They know we're going to watch carefully, go back to previous eps, check out the wiki page, etc, to catch the mistakes.

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The ages of Dorothy's kids were ridiculous even at the time.  We learn in the pilot that she had a shotgun wedding and was married for 38 years.  To meet Kate in the very next episode and have her be a decade too young means there had to be a much older kid out there somewhere (which could make sense at this point of only a little information; one could easily imagine a history in which there's the not-yet-introduced first child, and Kate is the second child, so much younger than her older sibling because Stan and Dorothy married young and thus waited until they were older and more secure before adding another child), yet it's only season two - by which point we've heard numerous other references to the my husband left me after 38 years/I got married because I got knocked up backstory - when Michael is introduced, and he's around the same age as Kate. 

Dorothy getting married because she was pregnant and being married for 38 years were two of the only things the show remained consistent on, and they were mentioned often.  So for the kids to be so young was noticeable even during the original run.

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On 4/19/2018 at 7:44 PM, schnauzergirl said:

The lack of continuity doesn't keep me from loving the GGs, but a story board seems never to have crossed anybody's mind, including Bea, Rue, Betty, and Estelle.  Did they ever speak up or as the series went on, didn't they remember what had gone before.  The sloppiness irritates me as much as the errors.

I have always wondered the same thing as far as the actual actors/actresses speaking up about some of the very obvious mistakes, continuity errors, etc.  

I sometimes wonder if a series got new writers who were not aware of previous facts like how many children, how many marriages, plus all other types of background information.  However, the actors playing the characters surely must remember those things, right?  If a Golden Girl was suddenly reading a script that included mention of a child that seemed to pop out of nowhere, would she want to or be allowed to mention the fact to a writer?  I personally think I would find it difficult to play out a story where I knew that the facts were not what they were stated to be over the last years.  

This happens on so many shows.  I have always wondered how much say-so the actors have regarding the scripts.  Or if they care or pay much attention to all these details.

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20 hours ago, freeser said:

I sometimes wonder if a series got new writers who were not aware of previous facts like how many children, how many marriages, plus all other types of background information.  However, the actors playing the characters surely must remember those things, right?  If a Golden Girl was suddenly reading a script that included mention of a child that seemed to pop out of nowhere, would she want to or be allowed to mention the fact to a writer?  I personally think I would find it difficult to play out a story where I knew that the facts were not what they were stated to be over the last years.  

I'm remembering an episode of Friends where Rachel was watching Joey shoot a scene on Days of Our Lives and when she asks him what happens next, he tells her that she'll have to watch the show and see what happens. She realizes that he doesn't know and he admits it, saying, "Couldn't care less." My point is that maybe the actresses DID notice the continuity errors, but didn't actually care all that much.

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21 hours ago, freeser said:

I have always wondered how much say-so the actors have regarding the scripts.

That depends on the executive producers and, to a lesser extent, the writers.  Some are very collaborative, some are very "just act what we give you," and most are somewhere in between.

And, of course, whether the actors feel it's necessary to raise a characterization or continuity issue in the first place.  Most actors care very much about their characters and the show, of course.  But asking for a script revision is less common on sitcoms than dramas, especially with continuity issues, owing to the "situational" nature of the sit-com genre -- there's more acceptance (especially back then!) of one-offs and even contradictions as merely existing to support the plot of the week; more focus on whether that individual script works as a story than whether it meshes with those that have come before.

Edited by Bastet

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:38 AM, Mabinogia said:

Most of these older shows had terrible continuity because it really wasn't a priority then. The new shows that are just as bad at keeping things straight have no such excuse. They know we're going to watch carefully, go back to previous eps, check out the wiki page, etc, to catch the mistakes.

Very true about the older shows. One of my all-time favorites, The Odd Couple, had terrible continuity, especially with regard to their marriages and timelines for when everyone on the show had actually met. As we've shown here, The Golden Girls is just as bad if not worse, lol.

Would be curious if anyone can think of any other sitcoms that have continuity issues as bad as this one?

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34 minutes ago, Gothish520 said:

Would be curious if anyone can think of any other sitcoms that have continuity issues as bad as this one?

The other GG show, Gilmore Girls.

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Question: has anyone figured out how many times the "girls" were engaged to some guy they just met? It felt like there was at least 1 or 2 every season. 

Hallmark just flipped back to the pilot (what's up Coco? Ha!) and Blanche has decided to marry Harry, the man she's known for a week. I was always amazed at how many men they were so crazy about they were going to get married. Then Harry turns out to be a bigamist. What police officer goes to a stranger's house to deliver a criminal's personal note? WTH! That was so ridiculous, but at least the show was preparing us for lots of things that wouldn't make sense in future episodes!

Ugh, as many have noted the math in this show never adds up! Dorothy and Stan were married for 38 years and it was a "shotgun" wedding. Was Dorothy supposed to be in high school? Making her around 18? Wasn't Stan around that age as well? But Dorothy says Stan was a 65-year-old man with gout learning to windsurf. If they were married 38 years and Stan is 65 at that point, that would make Stan 27 when they got married. Was Stan that much older than Dorothy? Did I miss something? I know for sure that their ages were moved all over the place throughout the show. But the one piece of continuity was that Dorothy and Stan were married for 38 years (even though their child was distinctly NOT 38 years old, but that is for another post!) 

Argh, Sophia aggravates me. 

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Things tend to change between pilots and the rest of the series.  Most shows go through this.  That's why there's no reference to Coco, Blanche's bedroom changes to down the hall, the lanai takes it's place, Dorothy goes from being from Queens to Brooklyn, and Stan is no longer 65 in subsequent episodes.  I wonder if the original plan was for Dorothy's goodbye in episode 2 to be the last time we see Stan but their/the audience's love for Herb made them decide to make him recurring and so they changed it.  If both characters were high school seniors being forced to marry due to family/religious pressure then there's more inherent sympathy then if Stan was a fully grown adult getting a teenager pregnant. 

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I just saw the episode where Rose’s granddaughter Charlie comes to visit with Kierstin. There’s a scene with Rose and Charlie in Rose’s bedroom. Rose’s bedroom includes a complete living room!  Sofa, chairs, table, in addition to the bedroom furniture. The room is ridiculously huge. It looks more like an efficiency apartment. 

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Just watched the one where Sophia married Max Weinstock. She says Esther Weinstock was her best friend because they grew up together, but Sophia grew up in Sicily! Esther could have been Sicilian I guess, but not with a name like Esther.

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