Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Friendship

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them.

It's the last Thursday Movie Picks of the year, y'all! Which is why it's kinda weird that it's a TV Edition, but hey, the calendar is what it is! And besides, we're all friends here, and what better way to celebrate the friendships this series has fostered than by picking great TV shows about friendship?

The Golden Girls (1985-1992) I mean, it's right there in the theme song, isn't it? "Thank you for being a friend." Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia are THE super girl group of TV, and they bucked every trend in the book by being a top ten Nielsen-rated TV show for six out of its seven seasons. Even with major stars leading it, there was no guarantee that a sitcom about four "over the hill" women (three divorcés and one widow, no less) would be a hit with audiences. But the show's warm, gentle humor was put over with panache by Bea Arthur, Rue McLanahan, Betty White, and Estelle Getty. Watching The Golden Girls is to watch old pros doing what they do best: Setting up punchlines and knocking them out of the park as easily as you or I change channels. It's a delight.

New Girl (2011-Present) Curse the show all you want for foisting the word "adorkable" on us, but New Girl has been one of the most consistently hilarious shows on TV for the past few years. Once they realized that the chemistry between the cast members was bigger than any one of them (about halfway through the first season), and the show shifted Zooey Deschanel's titular Jess from being the main character to just another ensemble member, they also slowly started realizing that all the motley crew of characters were weirdos in their own way, and they just let the actors be weirdos. And really, that's the key to the show's success. It may have started off as a show about one weird girl getting her life back on track after a bad breakup, but it became a story about how five weirdos realized they could let their freak flags fly. Hilariously.

Red Band Society (2014-2015) This one-season wonder, based on an acclaimed Catalan series, is about a group of kids living in a hospital's pediatric ward, and the nurses and doctors who look after them. At times overly simplistic and obvious, but always touching, the show had a pretty great cast and a knack for perfectly used pop tunes. I got invested in the characters pretty quickly, and was disappointed when the show was cancelled after 13 episodes.


  1. I've never heard of Red Band Society, that sounds like something I would've watched. I wonder why I missed it?

    I never really watched your first two picks, though I've seen episodes.

  2. I love The Golden Girls. What an awesome show. I've seen parts of a couple different episodes of The New Girl. It seemed okay, but didn't entice me to wanna see more. And I have never ever heard the word adorkable until now. Not familiar with your last pick at all.

  3. I've never watched your second two but we match on the first!! GG is really one of the ultimate shows about friendship and how friends can become your family with such perfect casting. If only they would have found a way to keep Debbie Reynolds's fun Truvy around for more than one episode!

    I went with all female driven shows this week:

    Desperate Housewives (2004-2012)-On a quiet day on the quiet suburban street of Wisteria Lane housewife Mary Alice Young picks up a gun and blows her brains out. After that less than lovely introduction Mary Alice becomes our guide and narrator through the wacky often chaotic lives of her group of women friends Susan, Lynette, Gabrielle, Bree and for a while their fremeny Edie (Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross and Nicolette Sheridan) who all reside on the same street. Through the eight years the series ran the women at times were at odds but when push came to shove their friendship remained strong.

    The Golden Girls (1985-1992)-Four mature women (three widows & a divorcee), man hungry Southerner Blanche Deveraux (Rue McClanahan), naïve Midwesterner Rose Nyland (Betty White), New Yorker Dorothy Zbornak (Beatrice Arthur) and her mother Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) share Blanche’s home and each other’s lives in the Miami suburbs. Over many cheesecakes the quartet talk about everything under the sun including aging, sex, artificial insemination and a myriad of other things interlaced with Rose’s often idiotic hometown Saint Olaf stories. They bicker, argue and fight but consistently support each other when it really matters. What makes this so special and constantly rewatchable is that four of the best comedic actresses that ever lived interact in every episode like a well-oiled machine.

    Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983)-Slapstick shenanigans of two Milwaukee brewery workers and best friends Laverne DeFazio (Penny Marshall) and Shirley Feeney (Cindy Williams). A succession of predicaments happen weekly which require the girls to extricate themselves from in some outlandish fashion as their strange upstairs neighbors Lenny & Squiggy (Michael McKean & David Lander) pop in and out along with Shirley’s sometimes boyfriend Carmine “The Big Ragoo” Ragusa (Eddie Mekka).

  4. I love the Golden Girls and find them refreshing today amongst all the Botox and surgeries that older women have today. They were hilarious! I haven’t seen the other 2 but wouldn’t mind trying the 2 one and yes to the 3rd as well.