Suddenly Betty: A Golden Girl’s Forgotten Emmy-Nominated Turn

Welcome to a new Wildcard Wednesday! This week, we’re celebrating the 97th birthday of the lady known as Betty White, who was born on January 17, 1922. I initially thought about honoring this sitcom legend by discussing one of her series that we haven’t highlighted yet — like Maybe This Time (1995-1996, ABC) or Ladies Man (1999-2001, CBS) — but I don’t think those would warrant sufficient celebration. (Read: I might not be able to be so kind…)

Instead, I’m featuring a more definitively enjoyable effort with which she was associated: a fun episode of the intermittently okay Suddenly Susan (1996-2000, NBC), winkingly entitled “Golden Girl Friday.” Written by Rick Singer & Andrew Green and directed by Shelley Jensen, it was broadcast as the series’ seventh episode on November 7, 1996. The plot has White playing a sweet but incompetent older woman who sues the magazine after being fired. But there may be more to her than meets the eye…

It’s a decent segment of a sometimes decent series, but White makes it look effortless, and with a character that plays with both facets of her persona — the naive granny and the scheming viper — it’s a pretty good showcase and, in fact, earned her an Emmy nomination. (She lost to Carol Burnett for Mad About You. But don’t worry — White had won in the category the year before for her appearance on The John Larroquette Show.) So, I think this makes for a fitting tribute to a TV icon — a forgotten chapter from her epic book of guest starring roles.



Happy birthday, Betty White! 



Come back next week for another Wildcard post! And stay tuned Tuesday for more Just Shoot Me!

6 thoughts on “Suddenly Betty: A Golden Girl’s Forgotten Emmy-Nominated Turn

  1. I love how this episode had a neat homage to THE BRADY BUNCH. When the court case is going badly for Susan & her coworkers, Todd, the spacey music reviewer, tosses a briefcase onto the floor of the courtroom, saying “It worked on THE BRADY BUNCH” (TBB Season 3 finale “The Fender Benders”).

    • Hi, Jon! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Yes, it’s a great example of this era’s metatheatrical self-awareness regarding television, projected as a way to acknowledge the audience’s growing history with the medium. It’s a non-story variation of what we saw in White’s Emmy-winning effort from the year prior, an episode of THE JOHN LARROQUETTE SHOW that builds its premise around the winking idea of a musical version of THE GOLDEN GIRLS. In both cases, TV talks TV to make itself seem smarter.

  2. Love me some Betty! I am in the process of converting all things Betty in my video collection to mp4… Golden Girls, Mary Tyler Moore, Hot in Cleveland, Life With Elizabeth… even The Proposal, You Again and The Lost Valentine. Happy Birthday Betty! We Love You!
    BTW… I commented last week but never received the Annie Get Your Gun download. Thanks again for the entertainment!

    • Hi, Michael! Thanks for reading and commenting.

      One of the reasons I respond to every comment here is so readers know when I’ve sent out the material offered up in these posts. If you haven’t seen me reply to any of the comments, then you should also assume I haven’t sent anyone the material — and that means you shouldn’t worry yet about not having gotten an email. Also, in case you’re wondering, I’ve never offered something here and NOT sent it out to the subscribers who’ve requested it.

      Once again — we’ve had this exchange before — I’d like to ask for your patience; if it takes me over a week to get around to answering *all* the comments that have accumulated on my blog, then it takes me over a week to get around to answering all the comments that have accumulated on my blog. Haranguing me with multiple comments (one on a completely unrelated post), multiple emails, and even a Facebook post, comes across as rude — even if it’s not your intention — because it doesn’t take into consideration the amount of work I do simply to maintain this site’s continuous rate of production and the demands that are on my schedule from every direction.

      Now, I’m so grateful for your readership and support (truly — beyond words), and I know you’re not meaning to be rude; you are overeager because you love this material as much as I do. So, there’s no need to apologize or ply me with platitudes because I know you mean well. Truly.

      But I will say, for the future, that sending multiple comments and emails does not clear my schedule and it doesn’t make me get around to replying any faster.

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