What a time to be a Golden Girls fan. Despite premiering more than 30 years ago, the series remains relevant AF. Rue La Rue Café, the much-anticipated Golden Girls-themed restaurant in New York City's Washington Heights, is finally open. And Hulu is making all 180 episodes of the iconic series available beginning Feb. 13 — that's right, just in time for Galentine's Day.
A staple in the syndicated space since it left the air in 1992 (let's not talk about The Golden Palace), this is the first time the entire show is available to stream in one place.
Why is The Golden Girls still so important? The progressive storylines are a big part of why the series endures. Throughout its seven seasons — during which it amassed 11 Emmys, including one each for Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan, and Estelle Getty — the show tackled every damn thing from gay marriage and the AIDS crisis to sexual harassment and age discrimination. All the while delivering jokes that still hold up.
If you want to revisit — or, gasp, discover — the series, consider these episodes:
On aging: S2E1, "End of the Curse"
This episode begins with an unbelievable set-up and ends with one of Blanche's most honest scenes. Blanche is afraid she's pregnant (a test comes back positive!), but it turns out she's beginning menopause, throwing her into a total tailspin that leads her to get real with a therapist. McClanahan won an Emmy Award for this.
On sexual orientation: S2E5, "Isn’t It Romantic?"
Dorothy's old friend is in town and develops a bit of a crush on Blanche. Plot twist: the friend is a lesbian. There are actual "Lebanese" jokes! This is just one example of the show's willingness to embrace the LGBT community, which has returned the love, making the actresses gay icons.
On race: S6E5, "Wham, Bam, Thank You, Mammy"
An unexpected visit from Blanche's childhood nanny leads to some real talk about the South and about the Hollingsworth family. The woman, Viola, reveals that she had an affair with Blanche's father, the unfortunately but appropriately nicknamed Big Daddy. "In another time and place, we would have been married," Viola says. "He was the only man I ever loved."
On disability: S6E11, "Stand by Your Man"
Blanche hits it off with a man at the library and realizes only after making a date that he's in a wheelchair. He eventually becomes just a "jerk in a wheelchair," but along the way there's plenty of discussion about whether she'd be able to pursue a relationship with a man with a disability.
On the beginning: S1E25, "The Way We Met"
The ladies, all unable to sleep after watching Psycho, wind up in the kitchen, sharing cheesecake and reminiscing about how they came into each other's lives. It's a fun series of flashbacks that help us better understand the women's relationships.
And let's not forget, The Golden Girls gave us one of TV's all-time great theme songs:
Are you a Rose or a Sofia? Would you rather be trapped on a desert island with Blanche or Dorothy? Sound off on all things Golden Girls below!