Welcome to a new Sitcom Tuesday! As you know, our coverage of Mad About You was preempted for a five-week series of reruns. Designed to give yours truly extra time to finish the semester (where I worked on a feature-length screenplay and an original pilot) and then load more “best of” lists into the queue, these entries were a FIRST in our nearly five-year Sitcom Tuesday run. Regular programming is going to resume next week, but in the meantime, I’m excited to dive into the archives and re-share one more post initially published here in 2016.
My intention was to provide a link to each original piece and then offer a tiny bit of updated commentary, either on episode picks I’d call differently now (like in my famous “Regrets” post) or on something broader, like evolving thoughts on the year/series as a whole. I selected a few goodies, so I hope you were as excited as I was about revisiting our favorites…
This week, I’m rerunning… The Ten Best THE GOLDEN GIRLS Episodes of Season Three, which you can find here: http://jacksonupperco.com/2016/09/27/the-ten-best-the-golden-girls-episodes-of-season-three/
One of the highlights of Sitcom Tuesdays thus far has been covering The Golden Girls. I walked away from those posts in 2016 proud about my seasonal commentary and generally happy with my episodic picks… except in the case of Season Three, which was — BY FAR — the hardest list to craft. If you’ll remember, I found it difficult to reconcile the era’s brilliance alongside the year’s self-contained dip in quality, especially because it wasn’t precipitated by any major behind-the-scenes changes or heavy narrative trappings. And the fact that this drop came after the series’ peak (Season Two) but before one of the most gem-laden years of the entire run (Season Four) only made Three’s increased duds and reduced baseline all the more puzzling. Its lower quality clashed against expectations; in my survey, I found myself more personally enthused by middling episodes that were better than I remembered than by good offerings that weren’t as strong as I’d remembered. Frankly, this is how an average entry like “Brotherly Love,” which has a gaudy A-story and a middle-of-the-road teleplay (with a couple of big jokes), could wind up on the list over the top Honorable Mention, “And Ma Makes Three,” which may not live up in comedic execution to the promises of its Dorothy-Sophia premise, but nevertheless represents a generally more satisfying excursion — with just as many laughs and fewer excuses to be made as to why it’s featured. I realize now that this is the swap that would settle most of my discontentment with Three’s list… So, please check out the entry again, and feel free to share your thoughts on the series and its trajectory in the comments below!
Come back next week for the start of our coverage on Mad About You! And tune in tomorrow for a related Wildcard Wednesday!