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Worst of Golden Girls: Your Least Favorite Moments

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I caught an episode of Season 3 where Michael announces his surprise engagement to Lorraine. I know the show wanted to emphasize that Dorothy was against it because of the age difference but I hated her reaction to finding out she was black before she learned of her age. All the generalizations in this episode from the mock black-face to Lorraine's family made me cringe.

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18 hours ago, Eri said:

I caught an episode of Season 3 where Michael announces his surprise engagement to Lorraine. I know the show wanted to emphasize that Dorothy was against it because of the age difference but I hated her reaction to finding out she was black before she learned of her age. All the generalizations in this episode from the mock black-face to Lorraine's family made me cringe.

I liked the feisty aunts. And the myth about black men in the bedroom is true... 

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On 9/2/2018 at 6:36 PM, Eri said:

The writers also seemed to enjoy having stewardesses/flight attendants be the side chicks of the 1980s.

Stanley's 2nd wife Chrissy, Stan's brother Ted used Dorothy so he could take an stewardess to Alcupulco, Rita Moreno tells her husband George to promise not to get his teeth bonded and run around with stewardesses in Empty Nest...

And then there was Candy, the "flight hostess" when the girls were going to Rose's aunt's funeral in the bahamas.  Hubba hubba!
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In the episode "Job Hunting," Rose is whining about her difficulties in finding a new job.  She says that she has an interview for a hospital administrator position, but that she won't get the job because she isn't qualified and is too old.  So how did she snag an interview for an upper-management position when she had no relevant experience?  So stupid.

In general, I am baffled by the frequent jokes about how Dorothy is so ugly and undesirable.  Bea Arthur was average looking at worst.  These seemed to be in later episodes.  Perhaps the writers were sick of her and were taking it out on her by writing rude dialogue at her expense.

The writers got really lazy with the Sophia character.  Far too often, she was nothing more than an insult machine.  And a lot of them sounded so contrived.  Then occasionally she would be practically angelic - like her oh-so-enlightened speech about how there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian.  Oh sure, a hateful, zillion-year-old Sicilian woman is suddenly going to be cool with that?  (Although as a gay man, I am rather impressed that the show had some gay-related story lines.) 

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9 hours ago, wildpotato said:

In the episode "Job Hunting," Rose is whining about her difficulties in finding a new job.  She says that she has an interview for a hospital administrator position, but that she won't get the job because she isn't qualified and is too old.  So how did she snag an interview for an upper-management position when she had no relevant experience?  So stupid.

I think she was just letting out frustration. She probably got her foot in the door with her experience at the crisis center. It also wasn't as difficult to get an interview in the 80's. You're not competing with everyone on the world wide web.

These were the days when I walked into a store, filled an application, did an interview, and got hired all within an hour! Which was what happened to Rose at the diner. I miss how relatively easy it was.

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The Season 4 episode "High Anxiety," where we discover Rose has been addicted to painkillers the past 30 years, has always bothered me as a pharmacist, simply because it just isn't plausible. Most prescriptions (including all refills on it) expire after a year, meaning that in order for Rose to continue getting that medication, her doctor would have been issuing her a new prescription EVERY SINGLE YEAR for 30 years. Even if her doctor had been willing to do this--which is highly unlikely; no decent doctor is going to continue prescribing a pain medication for a _temporary_ injury--he would have likely retired by the time Rose was 30 years into the prescription, meaning he couldn't have continued prescribing it even if he wanted to. Add to that the fact that most pharmacies would question a prescription for narcotics written by a doctor in another state (ie, Rose was getting it filled in Miami but the prescriber was from St Olaf), and thus would not likely be willing to fill it, and it evident the writers of this episode didn't think this one through and/or hoped people wouldn't know that prescriptions actually expire/can't be filled for an indefinite amount of time. 

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I give the writers credit for tackling the issue of opiate abuse when it was rarely talked about. But that episode really didn't make any sense, for all the reasons above and more.

People who are addicted to painkillers build up a tolerance over time. Was Rose's wildly incompetent doctor increasing her prescription repeatedly over the years, without seeing her?

Also, if you go off them cold turkey, like Rose tried to, you're going to experience some excruciating, Trainspotting-level withdrawal symptoms. You're not just going to snap at someone unexpectedly. Did the writers think that opiate withdrawal is like quitting smoking?

Then they end the episode with the message that Rose will never be cured, and she has to remain vigilant about staying clean one day at a time. So of course it never comes up again! I know sitcoms are notoriously bad about following through on things like that, but they could have referenced it occasionally - like Rose turning down alcohol when offered it.

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On 10/13/2018 at 11:37 PM, wildpotato said:

In general, I am baffled by the frequent jokes about how Dorothy is so ugly and undesirable.  Bea Arthur was average looking at worst.  These seemed to be in later episodes.  Perhaps the writers were sick of her and were taking it out on her by writing rude dialogue at her expense.

I never got the whole “Dorothy is ugly” thing, either. My only guess is it played into the homely bookish person stereotype and they needed something to make fun of her for. Generally, Blanche got slut jokes, Rose got dumb jokes, Sophia got old jokes, and Dorothy got ugly jokes.

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21 hours ago, link417 said:

I never got the whole “Dorothy is ugly” thing, either. My only guess is it played into the homely bookish person stereotype and they needed something to make fun of her for.

I just told myself it was because she was so tall that she wasn't "girly" because people are stupid. 

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I thought Blanche and Dorothy got the fat and ugly jokes because they so clearly weren’t. You can’t make fun of a character’s appearance without also mocking the actress’. If you call a thin, pretty woman fat and ugly, it’s funny (so goes conventional wisdom, not my personal opinion). If you call an actual fat, ugly woman fat and ugly, people will sympathize with her and think you’re mean (again, so goes conventional wisdom). 

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On 10/23/2018 at 10:27 PM, aquarian1 said:

Blanche also got the fat jokes, which also made no sense.

She was the only 1 of them with ‘curves’. That’s my theory. Anyway. 

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17 hours ago, ZuluQueenOfDwarves said:

I thought Blanche and Dorothy got the fat and ugly jokes because they so clearly weren’t. You can’t make fun of a character’s appearance without also mocking the actress’. If you call a thin, pretty woman fat and ugly, it’s funny (so goes conventional wisdom, not my personal opinion). If you call an actual fat, ugly woman fat and ugly, people will sympathize with her and think you’re mean (again, so goes conventional wisdom). 

This made me think about how, on Growing Pains, they made jokes about Carol's weight even though Tracey Gold wasn't fat.  However, it bothered Tracey because, while the writers insisted that it was just a big brother making fun of his sister and it was Carol being made fun of and not Tracey, Tracy said that Carol was in Tracey's body.  If they made fun of something physical, it must have been a problem with HER physical appearance and she relapsed on her eating disorder. So sad

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I hate the episode about Dorothy's prize pupil, especially the way Blanche reacts when she sees Dorothy's picture in the paper with the kid. "Now that is ugly," she says. That was just plain mean.

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I hate how Rose gives away her supposedly beloved dog to the man whose wife died like she was giving away a stuffed animal. Who does something like that? The shelters are full of dogs needing homes the man could have adopted. As someone who considered pets family, I despise this scene. 

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3 hours ago, Ria said:

I hate how Rose gives away her supposedly beloved dog to the man whose wife died like she was giving away a stuffed animal. Who does something like that? The shelters are full of dogs needing homes the man could have adopted. As someone who considered pets family, I despise this scene. 

She may have felt it was better for her to adopt another dog if she wanted to, than suggest he get a dog in his state of grief. Plus, he and his wife had come to love the dog so I can see where it would be more comforting to keep the familiar pet than finding another pet.

I think she made up the story about him being too much work because if she just gave the dog to the guy, he would politely decline because he knew how much it meant to her. They showed that it wasn’t easy for her to give it away so I took it as a sweet, selfless act.

She did the same with her cat and that little boy, though, so maybe she needed to find a better way to show her compassion for others and stay away from pets altogether.

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On 14/10/2018 at 4:37 AM, wildpotato said:

lthough as a gay man, I am rather impressed that the show had some gay-related story lines.) 

Agreed. Same here. They were ahead of their time. 

But one thing that has always bothered me is the joking and dismissive attitude towards mental health which back then was not taken as seriously. This is despite Rose working at a counselling centre and a couple of visits to shrinks. Like the man talking to himself, the person who holds them up on Xmas eve one year, or the episode when Dorothy helps the guy who hadn't left his apartment since the 60s,and Sophia calls him a "macadamia". These are mostly small comments rather than plot points but they still bother me. 

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On 10/26/2018 at 1:10 PM, mmecorday said:

I hate the episode about Dorothy's prize pupil, especially the way Blanche reacts when she sees Dorothy's picture in the paper with the kid. "Now that is ugly," she says. That was just plain mean.

I think she just meant that it was a bad picture of Dorothy, not that Dorothy herself was ugly. My sisters and I are always commenting on how rough we look in some pictures. Granted, we are usually calling ourselves ugly, not each other, but I get the joke.

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It bothered me how when Rose was a grief counselor, she openly discussed her patient's problems with the girls. When she lost her job as a grief counselor and had that one guy sitting on the lanai Rose told Dorothy how that guy's friend ran off with his wife and lost his business (I think), and the Christmas episode when they picked up Rose she told them that the patient thinks he's a backup dancer for Howard the Duck. I would think Rose would want to keep her patient's problems to herself. No wonder she had the highest suicide rate in the office. That alone should have gotten her fired.

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34 minutes ago, ShadowSixx said:

It bothered me how when Rose was a grief counselor, she openly discussed her patient's problems with the girls. When she lost her job as a grief counselor and had that one guy sitting on the lanai Rose told Dorothy how that guy's friend ran off with his wife and lost his business (I think), and the Christmas episode when they picked up Rose she told them that the patient thinks he's a backup dancer for Howard the Duck. I would think Rose would want to keep her patient's problems to herself. No wonder she had the highest suicide rate in the office. That alone should have gotten her fired.

I think this also relates to a point I made in the past about the lack of respect for mental health issues, a view that has changed since the 80s. Mental health is used as a joke matter in a way that no other disabilities/illnesses/non-conformity - issues such as being gay, hiv, old age, homelessness (the awful jacket episode), teen pregnancy, etc. are treated with much more respect. Sure there are jokes about their ages or Dorothy knocked up at 17, but those are to point out the opposite - they're not old, and a teen pregnancy doesn't have to ruin your life if you have support (if you can call Sophia support...). 

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4 hours ago, ShadowSixx said:

the patient thinks he's a backup dancer for Howard the Duck.

Not the point you were making, I know, and I agree with that point.  However, that patient was a principle backer of Howard the Duck, not a dancer.  

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In the episode where Blanche dates the pharmacist just back from the war:

Sophia: “Sal didn’t come home from WWII until 1951. 

Rose: “Where was he stationed”

Sophia: “ In the attic”

Dorothy: “you told me he was in the artic”

Sophia: “ tomato, tomato, the attic, the artic, he had a family to feed”

What does this nonsensical exchange mean? It drives me crazy to listen to it. 

Not to mention we know he was around in the late 40’s when Dorothy got married.

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11 hours ago, Ria said:

In the episode where Blanche dates the pharmacist just back from the war:

Sophia: “Sal didn’t come home from WWII until 1951. 

Rose: “Where was he stationed”

Sophia: “ In the attic”

Dorothy: “you told me he was in the artic”

Sophia: “ tomato, tomato, the attic, the artic, he had a family to feed”

What does this nonsensical exchange mean? It drives me crazy to listen to it. 

Not to mention we know he was around in the late 40’s when Dorothy got married.

I took it as a joke that he hid in the attic instead of reporting for duty. How he earned money up there to feed his family is anyone's guess.

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4 hours ago, MoistestCake said:

The frozen heads when Rose has her heart attack and operation, and her annoying daughter Kirsten turns up. It's only a dream, but it doesn't do it for me. 

LOL, I loved Blanche’s death story. “Ah love you, babeh! Glub, glub, glub...”

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Everyone hates their sister. Dorothy can’t stand Gloria 2. Sophia and Angela didn’t talk for 30 years and constantly insult each other. Blanche can’t stand both her sisters. Rose (“How can you hate your own sister?”she says of Blanche) can’t stand Holly. Did someone writing this show have sister problems? 

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Possibly but I think a lot of it came from wanting to drive home the Found Family aspect of the show after the first season.  There wasn't any reason that Blanche couldn't have continued to have a good relationship with Virginia post-transplant, or Dorothy with Gloria.  There wasn't a reason to later reveal that Rose, who had been baffled at Blanche's dislike of Virginia, had her own lifelong hatred of a sister.  I think it was in service to the Found Family as well as wanting to mine some episodic drama.

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On 12/15/2018 at 8:34 AM, Ria said:

Everyone hates their sister. Dorothy can’t stand Gloria 2. Sophia and Angela didn’t talk for 30 years and constantly insult each other. Blanche can’t stand both her sisters. Rose (“How can you hate your own sister?”she says of Blanche) can’t stand Holly. Did someone writing this show have sister problems? 

I'm very close with my siblings and consider my two sisters my best friends, so I am always baffled and saddened when I hear of people who don't get along with their siblings.

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I have a long commute and my mind wanders when I'm stuck in traffic. Yesterday I was thinking of GG (naturally). I thought of the episode when Angela moves to Miami. Sophia has a boyfriend (I cannot remember his name for the life of me) and Angela moves in with him as his new roommate. Sophia then suspects them of sleeping together which is when we get the funny line: "I'm going over there to kill her. I'll be back in time for Wheel of Fortune." She goes over there and accusing Angela and the bf of sleeping together and he tells her Sophia is the only one for him. Then some random woman walks out of the bedroom he says she's his cleaning lady. Of course nobody believes him and the woman says "You told me I was the only woman in your life" and then walks back into the bedroom. I have always thought that that was the worst line reading I have ever heard in anything. Of course the woman didn't have a big role and only the one line but man, that was bad.

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I think EVERY episode is great in it's own special way!  Do they always make sense!?  No.  Are there tons of plot holes sometimes!?  Yes.  But it doesn't matter to me.....I will watch a "bad" episode just for some of the great one liners.  It's TV....suspend reality!  I will say this though....Empty Nest definitely lands in the "last place" spot for episodes!  AND...the jacket would be next.  But again, there are some great lines in both of those episodes.  And in the jacket, them giving the 10 thousand dollars away at the end is very touching.

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I don't like the story where Rose finds a picture that looks like Blanche and Charlie were in bed. Even if it was real, it wasn't Blanche's fault. Charlie's the one who cheated and didn't tell Blanche he was married. I understand being upset but Rose acted like Blanche was the only one who was wrong when Blanche did nothing to be ashamed of.

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The Episode where they are in the diner on christmas and the diner owner who doesn't know the women from Adam just leaves them in charge to go spend time with his family lol that always bugged me

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On 20/12/2018 at 12:28 AM, Snow Apple said:

I don't like the story where Rose finds a picture that looks like Blanche and Charlie were in bed.

This is also one of my least favourites, because it makes no sense. They would have easily seen it was a double exposure. And I agree, it's not Blanche's fault either. 

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On 12/22/2018 at 2:57 PM, Keywestclubkid said:

The Episode where they are in the diner on christmas and the diner owner who doesn't know the women from Adam just leaves them in charge to go spend time with his family lol that always bugged me

Plus if he’s the owner, why not have his family over to the diner for Christmas Eve dinner? 

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I saw the episode where Kirsten complained about Rose's will, and when Rose tried to say she spent/lost the money Kirsten went into a real strop and said she was really ashamed of Rose. This whole thing ticks me off:

1st of all it's Rose's money, to use/spend for the duration of her life as needed, and is under no obligation to leave this or that to her kids. 

2ndly when Rose explained, Kirsten forgave her. Kirsten should have been grovelling for forgiveness, feeling very *ashamed* herself. 

And another point that is irritating is that Kirsten really likes the other GG. In season 7 when Rose has heart problems and she's at the hospital she hates the girls. I guess she was really stressed then and didn't mean it. 

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19 minutes ago, MoistestCake said:

I saw the episode where Kirsten complained about Rose's will, and when Rose tried to say she spent/lost the money Kirsten went into a real strop and said she was really ashamed of Rose. This whole thing ticks me off

As it does many fans, as this thread shows, but I have a slightly different take:

- Of course, since Rose and Charlie seem to have lived by a community property arrangement where all assets were joint, and thus the other half of the estate passed to the surviving spouse when the first one died, Rose as the surviving spouse is free to do what she wants with her inheritance; she is within her rights to spend every last dime

- But the intention, as understood by all parties and common in such situations, being that the surviving spouse would continue to live the same general lifestyle and then whatever was left when she passed would be distributed among the kids, and - most relevantly - Rose having concocted and maintained a fiction about Charlie's financial success (to justify the time he spent away from home and make his kids proud), it's natural for Kirsten to be surprised at what remains given the disconnect between reality and what she'd always been told and think Rose must have made irresponsible choices to be left with so little (and, indeed, Rose doubles down and gives details pretending it is so in order to explain it); she handles it incredibly poorly, but the "what the hell?" underlying her reaction is well founded

- Ultimately, though, the logistics fall apart at the will containing dollar amounts on all the accounts in order to trigger Kirsten's incredulity and subsequent chain of events.  That's now it works; that's not how any of this works.  For almost all assets, the value varies, and thus is determined at the time of death in making distribution.  There would be a list of assets, but not their worth at the time of executing the will, because that's irrelevant to what it will be at the time of death.  So Kirsten could have seen some accounts, properties, and/or other assets she knew/was told used to exist not listed in the will, been informed Rose had previously sold them for cash to live on, reached the same conclusion, yet ultimately learned the same truth, and this could have played out more realistically, but the whole "there are only X dollars in these accounts left" thing does not wash.

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I never thought Kristin expected Rose to leave her money but was just stunned that she thought Rose blew hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it. Rose should have her own house with enough to live out her years, instead of scrounging for a living at her age . That's what Kristin was mad about.

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But Kirsten was out of line. Rose wouldn't have been the first person to lose money on bad investments (or con men at the mall), which might be naivety (Rose is very naive) or even stupid, but not intentional or criminal. She could have put it all in Lehmans Bros Bank, never to see it again. And as she rightly said, money doesn't go as far anymore. 

How this makes Kirsten ashamed, and the one who gets the apology once the truth is out, revealing that Charlie was the financially useless one, is a mystery. To be angry with Rose for trying to protect Charlie's memory/reputation is also silly. I can't see any interpretation that lets Kirsten off the hook. 

Edited by MoistestCake
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3 hours ago, Snow Apple said:

I never thought Kristin expected Rose to leave her money but was just stunned that she thought Rose blew hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it.

I think she 100% expected to get a nice big sum of money when mommy died, considering the only thing she ever told her daughter about the man she was named after was that he had a lot of money I'd say Kristin was very much into getting her big inheritance some day and was pissed that her mother squandered it all. 

The only good thing about that ep was the sweet scene between Rose and her granddaughter when she explains what a great guy Charlie was. Kristin, otoh, was useless. Rose deserved better. She wanted her daughter to be proud of her father and instead Kirstin was focused on the money. Ugh. 

Now that I'm thinking about it, did any of the GG have good family members? lol Their sisters and kids were all the worst. HAHA. No wonder they became their own little family. 

Edited by Mabinogia
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40 minutes ago, Mabinogia said:

Now that I'm thinking about it, did any of the GG have good family members? lol Their sisters and kids were all the worst. HAHA. No wonder they became their own little family. 

Cut Skip* some slack — he’s got asthma!

(I think that’s the name of the kid Blanche doesn’t think is worth trading, LOL)

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1 hour ago, Mabinogia said:

I think she 100% expected to get a nice big sum of money when mommy died... 

Now that I'm thinking about it, did any of the GG have good family members? 

 

Oh Kirsten was after the money alright. Credit to the actor for being so convincingly greedy. If she were concerned about Rose she wouldn't have changed her flights to leave early, coz there's no money... 

As for the families, there's another topic about them, and how ungrateful or nasty they usually were. 

Edited by MoistestCake
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If Rose lost all the money in investments, she would have come right out and told Kristin. It was the silence that made Kristin think the worst. She didn't care there was no money after Rose admitted the truth which was why I didn't think she was after money. I think she gave off that impression because of the actress's acting skills. Even in the beginning and the end, her acting was very cool and stiff even when it called for her to be nice, like in the kitchen when she told Rose how lovely the girls are.

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"The Commitments" with Blanche and the godawful guy who makes her feel "like a lady". First of all, Blanche never felt like a lady before? What about with her husband George who spoiled her and showered her with affection and gave her 5 kids and a beautiful life? Give me a damn break. What about with Jake who was ACTUALLY too good for her? This moron Jerry who has the personality of a kitchen sponge and the looks of a paper bag. This is the guy you fall for? They couldn't have made Jerry less worthy if they tried. He was a total dullard. I think it was definitely a case of Hamm Lushbough Syndrome. She only wanted him because he was indifferent to her. It's a really terrible plotline and I always skip the episode.

 

The Mamie Watkins episode is another I refuse to watch. Bad, bad writing.

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On 10/23/2018 at 11:27 PM, aquarian1 said:

Blanche also got the fat jokes, which also made no sense.

In some of the middle seasons, she had put on quite a bit of weight (ie the episode where she dates Jake the Caterer she's heavy and hiding her body under a lot of bulky sweatshirts and dresses). By the 7th season she was back to being svelte. 

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I agree that the fat jokes aimed at Blanche were rather excessive and not warranted.  It's almost as if the character is supposed to be heavier than Rue actually is.  For example, Aunt Angela talks about how Blanche reminds her of Dorothy;s cousin Appelonia, who was a beauty except for her huge donkey butt.  

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6 minutes ago, BigBingerBro said:

I agree that the fat jokes aimed at Blanche were rather excessive and not warranted.  It's almost as if the character is supposed to be heavier than Rue actually is.  For example, Aunt Angela talks about how Blanche reminds her of Dorothy;s cousin Appelonia, who was a beauty except for her huge donkey butt.  

Agreed. I never thought Blanche was fat. But it always cracks me up to hear Rose taking Blanche’s hip measurement and saying “it’s strange how the tape is a different color at this end. I haven’t had this much off the spool since I measured the sofa for slip covers”. 

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