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The Girls' Families: The Rude & Ungrateful

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Well, they certainly make a husky couple!

 

Two family episodes that irked me were more about inconsistency of story than annoying relatives.

 

1) The one with Rose's blind sister Lily. That episode gave me whiplash- at first Rose got mad at her because she made some mistakes while trying to be independent (and who can blame her, she was in a strange house for the first time). Then half way through Rose got mad because she was not independent enough and needed to learn how to take care of herself. Whaaa?

That isn't what angered Rose.  The first time, Lily had accidentally started a fire in the kitchen by trying to cook without asking for help -- and it was Blanche and Dorothy who were angry about it and demanded that Rose (who tried to defend Lily) confront her sister before something worse happened.

 

The second time, Rose was angered because after the fire incident, Lily went to the other psychological extreme.  She became so convinced that she'd never again be the vibrant, independent woman she's always been that she practically branded herself as an invalid and consequently begged Rose to move in with her and be her nursemaid.  Rose knew better, however, and by refusing to give in, she forced Lily to go back to the school for the blind and learn how to be independent and self-sufficient the right way, not by mourning what she couldn't do anymore, but by focusing instead on what she could do and learn to do.  As Lily put it when Rose finally came to visit her and said that it was clear that Lily didn't really need her help, Lily actually had needed Rose to come -- so that Rose could see that Rose had been right all along.

 

3) I think they were just completely messing with us regarding Michael's age. In at least one episode it's indicated that he is indeed the child that prompted the shotgun wedding, and not only is he nowhere close to being the 40-something he should be (38 years + years after the divorce), but when we first meet him he's 29 (pornstache Michael) and then later on when he's with Lorraine he's 22. Ridiculous!

 

 

That was simply trying to make his age fit for the sake of plot at the expense of character.  Michael was supposed to have been immature and self-centered -- he's Stan's son, after all, and the apple really didn't fall far from that particular tree.  It's much easier (and more believable) to have Michael be an immature, irresponsible 20-something than an immature, irresponsible 40-something.  Had Michael been played by an actor who was actually the correct age, he would have come across as even more pathetic than Stan -- and one Stan was enough!

Edited by legaleagle53
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We don't know for sure which one is older. They never specifically said that Michael or Kate was the oldest.

 

In the episode Mother Load, Sophia admits that she felt love for Stan on the morning when Michael was born - because when Dorothy and the baby were wheeled out, Stan had a "whole happy future" in his smile. That dialogue isn't proof of anything, but it makes me suspect the writers thought of Michael as the first child. (Or, at least, that's what they were thinking on the day they wrote it.)

 

As for why they never gave Dorothy a child old enough to have been conceived when she was a teenager - I honestly wouldn't be surprised if it just never occurred to them when they were writing and casting Dorothy's kids for the first time.

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That was simply trying to make his age fit for the sake of plot at the expense of character. 

Yes! They did that so much! It's kind of a missed opportunity, though. A 40 year-old Stan Jr. would have made for some hilarious secondary story lines. Michael's few appearances bothered me anyway (as did most of the kids' visits.) I just can't get over how indignant the kids were about absolutely everything, no matter how irrational. Any parent would be at least a little taken aback if their 22 year-old son showed up with a 40 year-old pregnant woman and said "Here's who I'm marrying tomorrow! Wait, you're not 100% supportive and you are expressing concern about my decision? SCREW YOU, YOU'LL NEVER SEE YOUR GRANDCHILD!"

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Miles' daughter (I think her name was Caroline?) was no prize either. She was mean to Rose.

 

Yes, she was an absolute bitch to Rose, laughed when Blanche said, "Don't give her any cake."

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I never liked how spoiled Michael was or how Dorothy enabled him out of helplessness and guilt.

 

First, he arrives as some starving musician and has a fling with Rose's daughter. Then, he shows up to reveal he's marrying someone old enough to be his mother with a kid on the way. By the time we see him again, he's (unsurprisingly) thrown out and doesn't seem at all phased by his failed marriage because he's a "free spirit who no one understands" justifying his reasons to bum off Dorothy and guilt her when he doesn't get his way. When Dorothy finally gets firm with him and he goes running to Stan, Sophia has the nerve to guilt her about not helping family.

 

Last time I checked, Michael was a grown man AND father so any more excuses made for him at this point made him irredeemable in my book. It still burns me up that he not only gets his laundry done before he's kicked out, but Sophia gives him money behind Dorothy's back anyway giving him no lesson to learn from.

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The only family member I genuinely liked and was sorry to see go was Nancy Walker as Aunt Angela. She and Estelle were great together. The rest of them were just crazy. Michael was unbearable during all of his visits, Blanche's niece and nephew, David and Lucy, were both idiotic, both Rebeccas were needlessly petulant, Kierstin was ready to stop speaking to Rose because she learned that she wasn't getting a huge inheritance, Angelo was a total bastard to Dorothy over the apartment building, Rose's sister Lily was was angry because Rose was not prepared to devote the rest of her life to looking after her, Rose's sister Holly was a total sociopath, Dorothy's sister Gloria jumped into bed with Stan.... I'd like to think that making the family members so horrible was a conscious decision on the part of the writers to emphasize another aspect of the Girls' strong bond, but sadly, I doubt it.

Edited by Aja
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I never saw either of the Rebecca's as being petulant. I liked both of them. The second Gloria did suck, but I like the first Gloria. And Angela was great. The rest you mentioned...ugh.

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I liked Rebecca too, I didn't see any petulance on her part, it was mostly Blanche/Rebecca's different views on things that made their relationship work. It was a true mother/daughter relationship they had.

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I like the second Rebecca for this exchange:

 

"Aurora.  I just hate that name.  Why couldn't you have named her something more colorful, more southern, more musical?"

"Sorry, Blanche." 

Edited by Bastet
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You know, I thought so, too, but the transcript I found has musical in another place and classy in that line.  I just assumed the poster was wrong, but the next quotes site I looked up had the same thing, so I thought I'd been remembering wrong.  But you've enforced my recollection, so I'll change it.

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The girls families can be trying at times, but I did like the episode where Dorothy's slacker son went to live with Stan, and was so lazy and irresponsible, it drove even Stan nuts!

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I'm watching the episode where Blanche's grandson visits. He was pretty bratty in the beginning, but over the course of the episode I thought he really brought out the best of the girls, especially Dorothy. The scene where she convinces him not to run away was really great acting, and you could see how Dorothy became such a great teacher. Rue was also given something to do other than being a sexpot. I thought she played it perfectly - vulnerable, kind, but firm when needed.

 

For those who don't know, the actors who played Blanche's grandson and Dorothy's son Michael were brothers in real life.

Edited by EarlGreyTea
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In the two-parter where Rose has a heart attack (when, yes, Kirsten is a huge bitch to the other Girls), at the end of the episode, Kirsten brings Rose home and while the Golden Girls go to greet each other, Kirsten and Blanche's daughter Janet cheek kiss hello and have a little exchange we can't hear.  And for whatever reason, it fascinates me!  Am I the only one curious about the relationships the Girls' children might have had with each other?

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I think that episode and the one where Kirsten and Michael wind up in bed together are the only two episodes where we see the offspring of any two of the GGs in the same scene.

That being said, I am curious about that too TeeVee. But the shows main focus was the GGs relationships with each other so we rarely saw any relationship between them and their adult children. Too bad though, I would have liked to see a little more of that.

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Also, why did Phil never get shown on the show? His wife did but never himself.

 

I think Phil was just one of those Maris/Carlton/Mrs. Wolowitz characters who was funnier left off-screen.  And having never seen him didn't make Sophia's gut-wrenching reaction to his death ("My baby is gone!") any less powerful.

 

Last night, I watched the episode where Stan's brother Ted comes to town and Dorothy ends up spending a night with him (although the man in the blue suit is impotent, bon appétit!).  It makes her look a little hypocritical about Stan and Gloria's later assignation.

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Last night, I watched the episode where Stan's brother Ted comes to town and Dorothy ends up spending a night with him (although the man in the blue suit is impotent, bon appétit!).  It makes her look a little hypocritical about Stan and Gloria's later assignation.

 

To be fair, Dorothy also got really upset when she coaxed Blanche into going out with Stan because she had other plans, and then Blanche and Stan hit it off just as friends. She even admitted that she wasn't being rational about it both times. And I think that if she hadn't discovered that Sophia was the one who engineered the Stan/Gloria thing, completely disregarding that it might bother/hurt Dorothy, she'd have calmed down a lot sooner.

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And I think that if she hadn't discovered that Sophia was the one who engineered the Stan/Gloria thing, completely disregarding that it might bother/hurt Dorothy, she'd have calmed down a lot sooner.

 

Oh totally, that was a huge part of it.  As was probably the fact, by this point, Dorothy and Stan had had that second relationship that went kaput right before they got married.

 

It's just something that struck me.  Stan is obviously bothered by Dorothy being with Ted and she is pretty dismissive, claiming it's none of his business.

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It suddenly occurred to me that Blanche's niece Lucy had a name that could be taken two ways, as in "Loose-y."  

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Also, why did Phil never get shown on the show? His wife did but never himself.

When the show started, never-seen characters (like Vera on Cheers, or Lars on The Mary Tyler Moore Show) were already a tradition on sitcoms. And I think the writers probably knew that a burly man wearing a dress would be funny for a minute, and then the gag would get really tired.

Edited by Blakeston

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I think that episode and the one where Kirsten and Michael wind up in bed together are the only two episodes where we see the offspring of any two of the GGs in the same scene.

That wasn't Kirsten.  That was Rose's youngest daughter, Bridget.  A relative I'm surprised to see being forgotten here.  I remember not liking her too much, because at least when she and Michael slept together, Michael did express regret in embarrassing Dorothy and Sophia.  It always galled me at how little regret Bridget had for embarrassing Rose.

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That wasn't Kirsten. That was Rose's youngest daughter, Bridget. A relative I'm surprised to see being forgotten here. I remember not liking her too much, because at least when she and Michael slept together, Michael did express regret in embarrassing Dorothy and Sophia. It always galled me at how little regret Bridget had for embarrassing Rose.

By golly, you are right Donny. I meant to type Bridget, not Kirsten.

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I'm in the minority because I wasn't a fan of Rebecca 2.0. Mostly because in her final appearance she shows up at the girls' house and demands Blanche drop what she's doing (auditioning for a play) to babysit Aurora, and lays a huge guilt trip on her when she demurs. She claims the whole reason she moved to Miami is because Blanche promised to help with the baby, and I just wanted to kill her. She acts as though moving was her favor to Blanche, instead of her needing help as a single mom. And yes, Rebecca, your mother said she'd help babysit, but that's why telephones and date books were invented. You don't get to just show up and thrust the baby at your mom whenever you want.

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I think Rose has it the worst. I was watching "Bringing Up Baby" and it just occurred to me...if the girls had kept that pig for at least a week or so wouldn't it have been nice if her cousin Gunther had given them SOME of that $100,000 considering he'd only had the pig a day and a half??? I mean I think that's awful. At least buy Blanche a new nightgown!

And no one ever calls before they show up. How do they know it's not on one of the weekends the girls are on one of their many getaway cruises? And don't even get me started on the strangers! At least twice the girls advertised in the paper and people just randomly just show up! Like do they give their home address in the ad and say drop by anytime?! Marguerite the housekeeper and the 2 guys where Dorothy placed the ad for $8 an hour.

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True but not all. Michael never called before showing up. Maybe he's the only one I'm thinking of. Other than Rebecca needing a sitter for her job interview.

I was more or less talking about the complete strangers that randomly showed up from a newspaper ad. Just thought it was strange...maybe it's just me.

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Whatever happened to baby Lamar/roger ? Michael's baby when he got married to Lorraine?

There was an episode where Michael tells Dorothy that Lorraine threw him out but never mentioned the baby

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Whatever happened to baby Lamar/roger ? Michael's baby when he got married to Lorraine?

There was an episode where Michael tells Dorothy that Lorraine threw him out but never mentioned the baby

 

Maybe Lorraine, like Blanche before her, confused a pregnancy with menopause.

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True but not all. Michael never called before showing up. Maybe he's the only one I'm thinking of. Other than Rebecca needing a sitter for her job interview.

I was more or less talking about the complete strangers that randomly showed up from a newspaper ad. Just thought it was strange...maybe it's just me.

 

I can buy Michael never calling, just showing up. He was proven to be a fly by night sort of guy with little regard for others' commitments.

 

Bea just had amazing chemistry with all of the people who played her family members. You instantly bought Michael and both Kates as her kids, and much of that was due to Bea, IMO. Dorothy and Sophia, goes without saying. Stan, Angela (just realized she had both an aunt and sister in law named Angela), Angelo, Gloria (the taller actress more so), etc. Bea just knocked it out of the park with all of them.

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Speaking of ungrateful, it wasn't very nice of Uncle Angelo to squeal on his landlords Dorothy & Stan. Your niece and her husband give you a place to live, you have a bug problem you tell them, not rat them out to the media! Family is family after all. Angelo goofed up there, IMO.

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I hate the Kirsten in the episode with the will. Also, why did Phil never get shown on the show? His wife did but never himself.

Kirsten was, to me, the worst.  The way she laid into Rose because she wasn't getting a lot of money was just skeevy.

 

Yeah its great if/when your parents leave you money, but you're not owed anything.  She was his wife, if she wanted to spend all the money on yodeling tapes and magic beans its her own business.

Speaking of ungrateful, it wasn't very nice of Uncle Angelo to squeal on his landlords Dorothy & Stan. Your niece and her husband give you a place to live, you have a bug problem you tell them, not rat them out to the media! Family is family after all. Angelo goofed up there, IMO.

that old man would have been out on his ass so fast if he had done that to me....him and his back hair.

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Uncle Angelo didn't name names to the media, though.  Rose says he wouldn't tell her who owned the building (prompting Sophia to proudly declare, "A Sicilian never squeals, never!" then pause to ask Rose if they offered him money and, when Rose says no, repeat her pronouncement), but that the station's research team will find out.  And when we hear the news report, indeed we hear something like, "We've learned the building is owned by ..."

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On Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 6:32 AM, Lion18 said:

Whatever happened to baby Lamar/roger ? Michael's baby when he got married to Lorraine?

There was an episode where Michael tells Dorothy that Lorraine threw him out but never mentioned the baby

I always assumed that he was the Robbie to whom Dorothy referred when she mentioned buying him a Batman hat in "Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas."  And if he wasn't the one, then he was likely a child of Kate and Dennis.

Edited by Michel
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4 hours ago, xander874 said:

AAlso, 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!

Oh, don't even get me started on Rose's mother. It's always stood out to me because that episode has one of my all-time favorite GG subplots (Blanche dating the younger gym rat guy-- "You know, he is nearly five years younger than I am." "In what, Blanche, dog years?") but the entire storyline with Rose and her mother is completely out of left field. Rose acts like a completely different person in it--all controlling and super over protective for no apparent reason (Alma was perfectly healthy and able-bodied.) Also, what a horribly missed opportunity with a guest character. Why was she this no-nonsense granny who buys bikini underwear and has torrid affairs with ex convicts? There was zero indication that she was from the same carnival of wackiness in St. Olaf that Rose was from. In that context, Rose's character seems downright insane. 

Edited by Aja
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None of Rose's family seemed to be anywhere near as dumb or naive as she was, were they? She had that one idiot cousin who had a thing with Blanche (or was interested in her), but from what we saw, her mom, siblings, and kids were all normal for the most part. Given what we heard about St. Olaf, you'd have thought Rose's family would be more like her and the rest of the town.

Edited by AndySmith

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That's so true! I was actually thinking of all of Rose's totally normal, un-St. Olaffy sisters when I was typing my original post.  Totally baffling writing choices, given the comedy potential there. :)

Edited by Aja

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7 hours ago, AndySmith said:

None of Rose's family seemed to be anywhere near as dumb or naive as she was, were they? She had that one idiot cousin who had a thing with Blanche (or was interested in her), but from what we saw, her mom, siblings, and kids were all normal for the most part. Given what we heard about St. Olaf, you'd have thought Rose's family would be more like her and the rest of the town.

Let's not forget, though, that Rose was adopted.  Who knows what she inherited from her biological mother.

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7 hours ago, AndySmith said:

None of Rose's family seemed to be anywhere near as dumb or naive as she was, were they? She had that one idiot cousin who had a thing with Blanche (or was interested in her), but from what we saw, her mom, siblings, and kids were all normal for the most part. Given what we heard about St. Olaf, you'd have thought Rose's family would be more like her and the rest of the town.

That's so true. Rose's sister Holly was quite Cosmopolitan for a woman from a hicktown in Minnesota. 

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