The Golden Girls: Season 1 (1985 - 1986)


Season 1
The Golden Girls

Critics Consensus

Worth its weight in laughs, The Golden Girls' first season brings together an outrageously talented cast of television veterans and a raunchy sensibility that proves youth needn't be wasted on the young.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 14

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 16

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 14, 1985

The debut episode of The Golden Girls finds outspoken octogenarian Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) moving into the Miami home of her fiftysomething daughter Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) after her retirement home burns down. Dorothy is already sharing living space with her friends (and contemporaries) Rose Nylund (Betty White) and Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan) -- only it looks as if the threesome are about to be broken up. It seems that Blanche has fallen in love with her current beau, Harry (Frank Aletter), and intends to marry him, despite Rose's feelings that there's something not so wild about Harry. Charles Levin appears as the girls' gay housekeeper Coco, a character originally intended as a "regular," while future Designing Women co-star Meshach Taylor shows up as the cop who delivers some very surprising news about Blanche's latest amour.

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Air date: Sep 21, 1985

This episode marks the first appearance of Dorothy's ex-husband, Stan (Herb Edelman), and daughter, Kate (here played by Lisa Jane Persky). Dorothy (Bea Arthur) is still angry that Stan left her for a much younger woman -- and intends to wreak vengeance upon her ex at the wedding of Kate and her podiatrist fiancé, Dennis (Dennis Drake). It is up to Rose (Betty White) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) to prevent Dorothy from ruining the ceremony -- and, possibly, her daughter's happiness.

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Air date: Sep 28, 1985

Having not shared a bed with a man since her husband's death, Rose (Betty White) agrees to a blind date with a personable gentleman named Arnie. She is quite enchanted by her date, but gets cold feet when Arnie asks her to accompany him on a cruise to the Bahamas -- and to share the same stateroom. Back at home, Dorothy (Bea Arthur) and Sophia (Estelle Getty) have a showdown during a gin game. Harold Gould, later a Golden Girls regular in the role of Miles Webber, is here cast as Arnie.

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Air date: Oct 5, 1985

Sheree North guest stars as Virginia Hollingsworth, the younger sister of Blanche Devereaux (Rue McClanahan). Throughout her life, Virginia has always managed to "win" everything that Blanche has ever held dear. Now, Virginia hopes once again to take something away from Blanche -- namely, one of her kidneys. Meanwhile, Rose (Betty White) and Dorothy (Bea Arthur) baby-sit for a hospitalized friend.

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Air date: Oct 19, 1985

Dorothy's current boyfriend is the dazzlingly handsome Dr. Elliot Clayton (Peter Hansen). Upon meeting Clayton, Blanche (Rue McClanahan) is somewhat surprised when the good doctor makes a play for her. Blanche attempts to tell Dorothy (Bea Arthur), only to be labeled a liar and a man-stealer. It looks as though the friendship is over for keeps until Rose (Betty White) comes to the rescue. And throughout all this intrigue, Dorothy's mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty), has some peculiar problems of her own.

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Air date: Oct 26, 1985

While his self-absorbed parents are on a second honeymoon, Blanche's surly and undisciplined 14-year-old grandson David (Billy Jayne) is deposited with the girls. Not only does David have absolutely nothing in common with Blanche (Rue McClanahan), but he also intends to wreak as much havoc as possible -- at least until he gets a strong dose of "tough love." Meanwhile, Dorothy (Bea Arthur) crams for her final exam in French class.

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Air date: Nov 2, 1985

Dorothy (Bea Arthur) doesn't want to finance her mother Sophia's visit to her former boyfriend in Italy. This situation leads to a bowling competition, pitting Dorothy and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) against Sophia (Estelle Getty) and Rose (Betty White). The stakes: if Sophia's team wins, she can go to Italy; if Dorothy's team wins, Sophia will give Dorothy a much-coveted pair of silver earrings. As it turns out, there are no real losers -- but one can't say the same thing about "winners."

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Air date: Nov 9, 1985

Arriving home from a concert, the girls find that their home has been broken into and burglarized. Terrified that they might be robbed again, our heroines purchase all manner of precautions, ranging from a security system, a supply of mace, and a dog. When Rose (Rue McClanahan) goes one step farther by buying a gun, it's time for the girls to confront their crippling fears at a psychiatrist's office -- but as it happens, all they need is a more "direct" cure for their trepidations.

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Air date: Nov 16, 1985

This episode touches upon several aspects of age, both old and young. Blanche is attracted to her aerobics instructor Dirk (Charles Hill), several years her junior. The feelings are mutual so far as Dirk is concerned -- but not exactly for the same reasons. Meanwhile, Rose's octogenarian mother, Alma (Jeanette Nolan), resents being coddled by Rose (Betty White) and the others -- especially when she is in far better physical (and mental) shape than the "youngsters" surrounding her.

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Air date: Nov 23, 1985

The girls panic when Dorothy's mother, Sophia (Estelle Getty), shows symptoms of a heart attack -- or as she puts it, it feels like "Pavarotti is sitting on my chest." Paramedics are summoned, but a severe storm delays their arrival. Certain that her life is ebbing away, Sophia murmurs a few heartfelt last words to Dorothy (Bea Arthur), who tearfully reciprocates. But as the episode draws to a close, it appears as if there's more "gravy" than "grave" in Sophia's condition.

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The Golden Girls: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Critic Reviews for The Golden Girls Season 1

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

The Golden Girls is the funniest and smartest new comedy of the season, and it promises to be the vehicle for Harris' best work yet.

Mar 1, 2018 | Full Review…

Not only does The Golden Girls offer meaningful portrayals of women in their post-middle-age years, but, as a bonus, it's one of those TV rarities, a comedy that's funny. Very funny.

Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Golden Girls at least makes you happy to be alive in front of a television set, and that's not an accomplishment to be sneezed at.

Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

What these four "bawdy ladies," in their own phrase, offer is solid comedic strength up the middle. Chances are, Golden Girls won`t be imitated. Given a chance, it will be pretty funny television.

Feb 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Dorothy is actually borderline likeable... Unfortunately, her humor is often at the expense of the flaky women she lives with.

Aug 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Golden Girls has quite a few things going for it, most importantly a very strong cast and one of the best producers in television.

Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Golden Girls proved that, shockingly, as long as you write good characters you can make a good show about just about anybody.

Sep 19, 2018 | Full Review…

The content is fairly edgy. It deals with serious senior and women's issues but the comedy is fairly universal.

Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

There's a lot of heart to The Golden Girls, and unfortunately that's when it seems to lose its steam. I actually enjoyed watching the episodes until they fell into the perpetual sit-com trap of trying to have a "very special episode."

Sep 17, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Adult, literate, witty, poignant, funny. And, oh yes, honest.

Sep 17, 2018 | Full Review…

This funny, sexually charged series shows viewers that life not only continues after 50 but is actually rich, fulfilling, and, most of all, fun -- especially when you have good friends to share it with.

Jan 10, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Through it all, the show has a lot of heart and you can tell that these four women care deeply for each other.

Jul 18, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Golden Girls: Season 1

  • Dec 22, 2020
    Brilliant in every way. Is this the best show ever? No. However they did things other sit-coms couldn't dream of.
  • Aug 19, 2020
    same jokes in every season. hell in every episode yet it is ALWAYS laugh out loud funny and damn clever writing. Most of this season is pretty good but stand out episodes for me are: Episode 13 - When Rose brings home her doctor friend and Episode 25 - reminiscing about the way they met.
  • Aug 01, 2020
    One of the best-written sitcoms ever. An absolute gold standard for the form, while also being a departure at the time. Great show.
  • Jan 12, 2020
    What can I say about these 4 amazing old women who am I point out in Norway come across as old and that's amazing there's something about them but I can't just put my finger on it but I just keep coming back for more you wonderful amazing the only issue I ever had with the Golden Girls is it wasn't a little bit longer x. There are some episodes such as Rose being abused by her dentist and a few other episodes which could have been two Parts. There is also a couple of Bad episodes but the Girl so amazing what they do it somehow works. I watch it over and over again. And I never get board.
  • Oct 25, 2019
    love this show. Sophia and her one liners, Blance is the loose one, Rose is the dumb one who sees the world through rose coloured glasses, and Dorothy is the harsh one lol

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