Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Engagement (Pilot) S1E1

NOTE: I haven't posted in this blog since December of 2015 when I completed the entire third season (because it has my favorite episodes) as a test run. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but as is the case life got in the way. But I've recently felt re-inspired to continue on and so I proudly present the return of "Oh, Shut Up Rose:" A Quotable Episode-a-Day Golden Girls Guide (complete with newly customized URL). While I won't be able to post every single day, it is my fervent goal to get through the whole series as long as it may take. And, like Sophia, if I lay off meat and dairy it could be about five years! Sit back, relax, grab some cheesecake or some fluggelkaka, and enjoy!

Synopsis: Blanche gets engaged which causes a rift with roommates Dorothy and, especially, Rose who has a bad feeling about Blanche’s fiancé; Dorothy’s mother Sophia moves in after her retirement home burns down.

80s Flashback
Dorothy says that after Blanche is in a depressed slump even Julio Iglesias tickets couldn’t get her out of it.

Crazy Continuity
Where do we even begin? Like most TV show pilots, much changes from here on out. For starters, not only is Coco no longer employed at 5161 Richmond St, but he’s never talked about again. Blanche doesn’t have her trademark southern accent, and her married name is Hollingsworth (which becomes her maiden name later on).

Shady Pines, Ma
Sophia: “They set off the fire alarm, in a retirement home. Who can rush? Half the people have walkers the other half can’t get out of their chairs, but they got bells going off like crazy. You know what that does to hearts that only beat a few times a week?”

Zbornak Zingers
Rose: “What a day, one sad person after another.”
Dorothy: “Rose, you work at grief counseling, what do you expect comedians?”

Insult Watch
Blanche: “It’s me, Blanche.”
Sophia: “You look like a prostitute.”

Product Placement
Dorothy: “She has more colors than Benjamin Moore paints.”

Sassy Sophia
Harry: “Well, you must be Blanche’s sister.”
Sophia: “You must be blind.”

Golden Quotes
Sophia: “I never have that problem, never. I sleep like a log. I never get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I go in the morning. Every morning, like clockwork, at 7 am I pee. Unfortunately, I don’t wake up till 8.”

Critique: The pilot, like many of the show’s early episodes, was never one of my favorite episodes mostly because the writers (including creator Susan Harris) were still feeling things out. You could definitely see the spark of brilliance, however. There are some decent lines but like any new show the first few episodes are meant to set up the show’s premise and characters which doesn’t really give any of them much to do. It doesn’t help that the eventual established continuity is all screwed up. The pilot is interesting in that the biggest change from the rest of the series is Coco, the girls’ live-in house cook (whatever that is). There was literally no point in having this character around once Sophia proved to be such a strong and well-liked supporting character. Some of the physical comedy bits here are great, like Dorothy throwing Rose into the closet, but this episode remains something to see for those curious and doesn’t really need to be watched over and over again. There’s nothing truly bad about it, it just doesn’t have the same oomph as the later episodes but it does offer a terrific setup for a terrific series. GRADE: B-


  1. Sophia goes from calling Coco the "fancy man" to hitting the town with him! I wish my relatives were so quick to open their minds!

  2. Chris. Found this by accident when I was looking for a quote and your blog looks like it's going to be so fun to read. Look forward to going through all the episodes with you. (Though I'm much higher on this episode than you. Other than Coco, who thankfully left because the poor late Charles Levin had no comedy powers and would have stuck out the entire series like a sore thumb, this is one of the most confident, cohesive pilots in sitcom history. I rate this and Cheers as the top two pilots).

    1. Welcome aboard! It is a great pilot for sure! It wouldn’t of been picked up if it wasn’t... there are so just SO many better episodes. Thanks for reading! This reminds me, I’m halfway through season 7 and I need to get crackin!!

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  4. Fun fact: This episode was actually the #1 show of the week, bringing in a 25 rating and a 43 share. It actually pushed Cosby to second place for the week, which had a 24.6/40. 227 premiered right after this and it ranked third for the week, with a 23.8/40.

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