Designing Women vs The Golden Girls vs Sex and the City

Dixie Carter, 1939 - 2010

The world is down one woman as of yesterday, April 10, 2010.  Not just any woman.  Dixie Carter died at the age of 70.  You could say that she was the “Designer Woman” as she played the motherly figure on the popular CBS 80’s sitcom, Designing Women.  As I read breaking news such as this, like always I ask myself a few questions that perhaps a few like-minded individuals on the planet may ponder.

Who holds the torch as the most popular gaggle of female actors in entertainment history?  In tribute to Ms. Carter, I’m including the gals from Designing Women on the list but really, I think it winds down to the Miami stationed silver beauties in The Golden Girls vs the pre-cougar prowlers of Manhattan in Sex and the City.

Most people might say Sex and the City since maybe… they’re all still alive AND they have a movie based on their series.  But let’s talk about audience appeal.  I’ve heard The Golden Girls anthem, “Thank You for Being a Friend” covered by a handful of punk bands.  This is evidence that while Sex and the City holds a chunk of modern day females by their pastrami flaps, The Golden Girls have a wild appeal of TV viewers that were around in the 80’s… men AND women.  Just look at the last Superbowl.  Did they not feature a Snickers commercial with dim-witted Golden Girl, Betty White?  It’s because dudes know who she is because whether you were a boy or girl watching NBC in the 80’s, you watched the Golden Girls and that’s just the way life was.

I vote The Golden Girls… what say you?

Cast of The Golden Girls

One comment

  1. I never watched “Sex and the City”. I think it’s probably a generational thing, as I’m a good deal older than the demographic at which that show was aimed. “Golden Girls” is a show that *should* appeal to me on paper (I loved Bea and Rue on “Maude” and I loved Betty White as the Happy Homemaker on “Mary Tyler Moore”, and the fact that they built a whole show around four women who were between 60 and 80 years old was infinately cool), but I could never really warm up to it. I think it was partially because they made Betty White’s character so unbelievablly dumb, that it really hindered the plausibility of the rest of the show. I got to a point where I’d almost roll my eyes everytime the character said anything. I mean the writing was funny and the show was entertaining, but I just never really went out of my way to watch it when it was on.

    I absolutely ADORED “Designing Women”, on the other hand. It was smart and witty and very sharp. (I’ve always thought that if Tennessee Williams had written a sitcom, it would have been “DW”.) As a New Englander who fell in love with the South when I attended college in Savannah, I loved that “DW” depicted a part of the south that we don’t see in the media much. Not the hillbilly “Hee Haw” south, but the elegant, genteel, “old money” south, where peole have manners and grace. Dixie, Delta, Jean and Annie are (or were, in the case of Dixie) four of the funniest human beings on the face of the earth, and the diaglogue they were given was wickedly funny and sharp. I loved that a southern-based show could be feminist too. I loved that the four female leads were well over 21 (Dixie, the oldest, was in her late 40s when the show debuted). I loved that the show was political at a time when everyone else was trying to appeal to the lowest comon demoninator. It was just a hugely memorable show to me.

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