Thursday, June 3, 2010

We can leave out the shoulder pads, though.

Can someone please bring back Designing Women? Franchises that are younger than your average fifth grader are being remade and rebooted, so why not the Sugarbakers? Television is faced with a tragic shortage of kicky broads just being awesome, and Designing Women is the obvious cure (well, ok Golden Girls is probably the actual obvious cure, but there are somethings that one simply doesn't screw around with). Know one could ever quite live up to Dixie Carter, but I'd like to see someone at least try.

I can't really think of a show since the 90s that's really been a bunch of women hanging out and being awesome. Desperate Housewives seems to be (I've seen it about .65 times) having sex/scandals/drinks. All of which has it's place on television and in my heart, and my interest in the show is certainly elevated by the fact that both the late Dixie Carter (Queen of Awesomeness) and John Barrowman have done guest spots, but what makes Golden Girls and Designing Women great is that the dating stuff always felt kind of...secondary.

That's the main reason I can't really support the idea of Sex and the City as having been a full-on heir to the throne. Yes, it had a group of women as central characters, and yes they rejected the idea that a good boyfriend is all it takes for a girl to be happy (though I've read reviews asserting that the new movie has embraced the man-as-ultimate-goal idea pretty strongly), but it seems like - though all of the characters mattered - Carrie and Carrie's relationships were at the core. A lot of major arcs seemed (and I say this having been a fairly casual viewer of the show) to be about the development, growth and failure of serious relationships. Viewers were supposed to know if they wanted an Aidan or a Big. And it's not that that stops it from being a good show, it just stops it from fitting the Designing Women/Golden Girls bill. Seriously, for all the dating that took place on Golden Girls I can't name five boyfriends. I only get to five because I know Miles, Stan (which feels like cheating), George's brother and that guy Leslie Nielsen played. Was it Leslie Nielsen? I think it was, so we're just going to go with it. Even with Designing Women I mostly remember that Hal Holbrook was Reese and Scott Bakula was Mary Jo's ex.

It's not that I'm opposed to manufactured reality TV drama, or scripted salaciousness. Those things are awesome. It's what most of my Sundays are made of. It's just that awesome female characters can get a little sparse, and a new Julia Sugarbaker could do a hell of a lot to change that.

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