When Rose is laid off from her job as a grief counselor, she does what anyone would do --- starts a pro bono 24-hour counseling service out of her home without telling anyone else that lives there. When that gets out of hand (pretty much right way, if you can believe it), Dorothy and Blanche step in to help their defeated friend in what turns out to be a very tender moment.
Below is the Enough Wicker podcast transcript for Episode 22: Pretty Jumpy About Rose's Career Prospects, analyzing The Golden Girls Season 1 episode, Job Hunting:
Hello, and welcome to Enough Wicker, a podcast where we counsel each other on our favorite parts of the best TV show of all time, the Golden Girls. I'm Lauren.
And I'm Sarah.
And today we're tackling the 22nd episode in the series: Job Hunting.
Oh, yes. We kind of go back in time a little with this one, in terms of the actual order of filming and the feel, and writing of this episode. This one's kind of like a harkening back to like some of the really early episodes that we talked about many of our episodes back, if you recall, adoring fans, yes. Just how the tone's a little bit off, the chemistry is not quite there yet all the way. Characters either say things or look like-- you know, have weird issues that don't really fit with like, the way the show's going. And it's interesting that this falls right after "The Flu," because "The Flu," as we mentioned, last episode was really-- it just hits all the notes. It feels-- like you said, you might almost sign a contract to say that was your favorite episode of the first season?
Yeah! So I read, actually, that this one was the second episode produced. Which you can totally tell. And it's interesting, because as we get towards the end of the first season, I think you have a lot of like, "The Flu," which is great. And they have their personalities, and their chemistry, and their timing down. And then you go back to this-- and then I think, like, if you go two back into "Adult Education," it's sort of in the middle of those. So I think you kind of see a jumping around, especially towards the end of the first season. But yeah, I mean, in my notes, I wrote that Sophia looks like she just came out of the dryer. Like her hair's crazy, like--
She's super small. And we opened with Blanche, who's in this like-- I don't know what she's wearing, but she's singing, and she's-- she's not Blanche Devereaux. She's like some Southern Aristocrat. She's not--
She's wearing, like, nothing that you would wear in a kitchen. Unless you're moving through the kitchen to leave, to a ball. And-- or like--
It's really bizarre. And yeah, she's singing "Sweet Kentucky Babe." And it just like goes on way too long!
Yeah. And I wrote it the comedy is is pretty weak in this one. It's very, like, standard sitcom timing, writing, like-- which is not what this show does. Right? Like, that's why it's so good. Because there's usually like, a joke. And then another joke. And then the big joke. This episode does not have that.
No, yeah, it's all weird peppered in. There's a whole weird bit about like, Sophia's-- they're trying to make it funny where like, Dorothy says, "Get get Rose a glass of water." And she's like, "Oh my god, where's the water?" And it's just like a 30 to 40 second bit and it's not like, the the timing-- or not the timing. But I would say like the feel of Sofia sort of being-- like, antagonizing her daughter for something supposedly stupid that she said is there. But like, the actual material they're using is like, no, guys, this isn't working. Like just kill it right now.
Yeah, it's slow. You can see they're getting there? Like, you would be like, "Oh my God," this is not what she needs, but it doesn't work at all. So Rose comes in, and she's like-- Oh! Also, wait, sorry to go back-- there's so many clips from the beginning sequence pulled from this episode!
Especially the pillows, you know--
Yeah, and the virgin-at-a-prison-rodeo--
--little slumber party.
Yeah, exactly. "Boy, that's pretty jumpy."
I mean, that one is really good. It's actually like, there are a bunch of those one-off sitcom lines that actually do work here. But yeah, you're right. I mean, of course, the second one produced! Like, this is how they made the opening sequence, of course.
Right. Um, so Rose comes in-- I guess, like, we should start with when Rose walks in, she's super sad and depressed. And you know, like, she's just like, doesn't know what she's gonna do. Because the grief counseling center has closed. And it's interesting that she starts as a grief counselor in this one, because there's a couple pieces of this episode that do come up later. Like she ends up being a grief counselor much later on. And, the age discrimination thing, obviously, is a whole episode later on. So they-- they have some good ideas.
Yeah! Interesting that they decided to revisit it right? Like that they-- I just thought that, that is very fascinating. It's almost like it's just like harkening to the future.
Yeah. They do that kind of a lot.
They haven't quite gotten there. They do! It's like, new writers, and they're like-- "I could cover that better."
Yeah! Enrique Mas!
Exactly, exactly. I always think it's, it's fascinating from the perspective-- in the beginning of the episode, of course, Rose is concerned, and Dorothy is very concerned. We already talked about, you know, Dorothy's, like, harkening to living in the Reagan era during the robbery, you know, when they actually have, you know, massive unemployment and all this kind of stuff. So she's like channeling that kind of Dorothy concern here, right? She's like, "Rose, we, you know, we rent-- like you and I should -- you know, she puts them in the same boat," and she really gives her stern pep talks this whole time. And it's funny because in the beginning, you know, Rose is like, there's always a job for people who aren't afraid of hard work. And I was like, oh my God, now if that isn't a Republican talking point.
Yeah. It's very, like-- the theme of the episode is pretty universal, you know? And I think job loss is scary, but job loss in your 50s is terrifying. Because even now, like who's gonna hire somebody who's, you know, well into their career? It's a very relatable fear I think. So--
Also very on brand for Rose to be so conflict-avoidant. To like-- or to even feel the fear of not having a job. We saw like, Kirsten, you know, she told Kirsten that she was super wealthy, she's-- she's afraid of losing anything she has. So like, she would deny it even to herself, I think.
Exactly. And what it says about her, right? And that, she can't make it and she hides it from you know, her best friends. Like, "why didn't you tell me?" You know? Like, it's, it actually-- it actually is a very good reveal. I like it a lot. Because she is being, you know, the audience goes along with it in the very beginning, being like, you are being kind of ridiculous. Like, you can be positive and upbeat and say, "Yeah, I'll get the job," but you actually have to fucking do it, man. You can't just be like, volunteering. And I also think that, you know, with the having a job that is so tied into doing good that, I mean-- again, we've mentioned before, you and I both work in the nonprofit field, and I think it's such a real thing to say like, "Alright, well I'm not getting paid for this," or I-- you know, "This is like technically outside of my jurisdiction, but I'm going to use my own time and not be compensated for it," and like sort of volunteer at a job that really should be where my salary is coming from. And we see Rose go berserk and she's just like, "Well I have to serve these people somehow. Like I guess I have to do it for free, in my house, without consulting my roommates day or night as Dorothy mouths.
My dear friend Milton!
"You have no kitchen, you have a phone call!"
[laughs]. But I mean, again, Dorothy is so fierce talking about, like, the rough around the edges characters, right? Second one produced-- Dorothy is just all, like, intensity and anger and being like, "You're being an idiot."
Which, like, serves a purpose here. But there's a softer side of Dorothy Zbornak that we do not have-- like there's no round edges of this character yet. They're all sharp.
No. And Rose is-- so, Rose is even more like, cotton candy bubbleheaded. Like when she's like, "Why oh, why can't grief take a holiday?" It's so--
It's too much.
And you know what? This one, I guess, the Bea story is Barry Glick, but it is so weak! But-- but Dorothy, again, is like, not herself at all. She's like--
When she finds out Barry Glick is gay, she's cool with it, and is gonna continue seeing him which is-- which is, you know, what we would expect her to do, But it's just-- she's not funny about it. Right? Like there's no-- there's no Bea Arthur brilliance yet.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, also again, I think the writing is kind of weak on it. Right? Like, it's just like, you know, "Barry Glick's gay,"-- hadn't-- I forget how she reveals it.
Because Rose-- or one of them is like, "are you gonna see him again?" And then, I think Blanche asks, like, you know, "Or you're--something."
Oh-- "Was he--"
"--was the fantasy reality?"
And yeah, it's like, not, it doesn't deliver in the same way that they would write it later in the series. They would have a really funny build up, or like, some funny reveal. And it would be much, much more of a thing.
It kind of passes unnoticed.
But Rose deciding to see these clients, or whatever you would say, like, in her free time is something that I think is very true to her character.
And like having, you know, one of them come and sit on their lanai to wait for her.
Oh my God, wait-- also like, when they're-- they're gonna-- I think it's after that, and they're gonna confront Rose. Sophia is like, sitting in the back of the living room with a lamp, you know? And she's like, turning it off. And then it looks like a low--
She is sitting in the dark--
Yes! It's like a low budget play. Like she turns off the light, and she just like, fades out.
She's sitting in her coat, and it's never explained. She just goes "Ma, why are you sitting there in the dark?" That's it. And nothing else.
Lauren and Sarah 9:32
It's actually, like, more funny than it really should be. Only because we know that they don't write-- keep loose ends that way. Unless it's like, a really good joke.
Lauren and Sarah 9:43
Oh, I do love it. But yeah, there's there's such a collection of things. I just want to focus more on how off this episode is sometimes. Like it's just-- I think Dorothy says "How are you sweet mother?" Which like, even if she's sort of being a little goofy, that doesn't really work. It's just very strange. And [laughs] I guess this isn't necessarily like, *off* off, but like, I love that Rose goes "We can't drink plain milk. It's disgusting!" Like, I just-- it just struck me as strange. Like she wouldn't have that fierce of a conviction about plain milk. And in fact, plain milk is like, kind of what Rose Nylund would drink?
Yeah, she's from a dairy farm.
Oh, yeah. And then, you know, spoil it. Yeah, exactly. Exactly! And then sort of, you know, spoiler alert at the end when she gets a job as a waitress at a coffee shop. Which, by the way, I love that coffee shop means nothing close to what it would mean today, like a Starbucks, you know? And she's like, so excited and like-- it's never mentioned at all, like there's, you know, they talk about how ridiculous it is. And that's it.
Yeah. I mean, they're the-- one of the lines is when Blanche is, like, "You're not exactly Mary Lou Retton!" I love that.
And I actually feel like the scene in Rose's room when they're talking about-- like, they're basically like, you have to-- it's after she reveals that she's been looking and she's--
--upset. And they're like--
The slumber party.
Yeah, yes, exactly. Like you have to face this. That feels more on brand and more in sync.
Especially when Dorothy is like, you know, "so am I, so is Blanche." And then she's like "you're thicker around the middle." "So is Blanche."
"So is Blanche!"
And Rue McClanahan's reaction to that is perfect. Like, it is the--
Yeah, it's great.
--physical comedy. It is like the ability to say, like, to steal a scene without a line.
She nails it.
Exactly. And this, that's the best scene in the entire episode, because I think it does feel true to these characters. And even though Dorothy, again, like I said, is being really intense and sort of admonishing Rose for like, you know, "pick up your shit!" Like, "what did you do after Charlie died?" You know, "I buried him." She's like, "no," she's just coaching her through. I think that rings very true for the Dorothy character. She's here to like, kind of save them and be sort of that tough love, you know, piece of the trio there.
Yeah. And it is, like, the message of what do you do, and you have to start getting your life together. Either after you lose your job, or, you know, obviously, this is a much bigger thing. But after your husband dies, like--
"Your husband is dead."
It's like, really harsh.
Very. But you know, that idea that like, eventually you have to get up and start again. And like-- how do you do that? I think that's it. That's a really powerful conversation.
Right? I mean, it's a metaphor for really any challenge in life. But this particular one, it's really fascinating. But the way that they solve for this
This question, because literally, they go through this resume and they're like, it stinks. And then they brush it up by being like, okay, a Home Ec. major. Okay, six months at St. Paul's Business School. Okay, six months. All right, whatever. Did you get a degree? I don't know. This isn't like 1920, right? Where you just like roll into town and you say, "Hey, I used to sell stuff back in Omaha." Um-- 32 years of marriage. So she uses the same employer, grief counselor, she is making stamp collecting and Viking history. And they're like, "yep, hospital administrator!" And I'm like, I would love to live in this land right now. Just give me a chance.
It's crazy that she's going from grief counselor-- an unlicensed grief counselor, you know--
Who, by the way, is breaking confidentiality for clients left, right throughout the whole episode--
Despondent, depressed, deported, I know.
Lauren and Sarah 13:39
But it's crazy that her options, like, at one point, she was trying to be a hospital administrator, which is like, even at this time, probably a six figure salary job.
And then she ends up being a coffee shop waitress, which, as you mentioned, is like essentially a diner waitress, like, what a range!
I know! I guess if you're white, you can do anything. It's just-- oh my god. But yeah, it's just kind of-- that part makes me sad. Because even if it was more realistic, like, "we'll just give her a chance. She seems nice." At this stage, which as you mentioned, is not-- is probably a big six figure, really intense job. This is not like assistant to the administrator or a candy striper. Okay, like this is-- or, a candy striper--
Which she does later!
Yes, exactly! Exactly. But like, this is not even close to what the reality would be here. And so it does, it does take away from the actual message of the storyline, which you said is very relatable for anybody, but particularly for this later stage in life. Like these are women from a generation where you would have, essentially, either-- if you were just a housewife, there you go. And, I-- you know, not *just* a housewife, you know what I mean. But not with like, a resume--
Betty Friedan here.
Or--yeah, exactly! But if, you know, if you actually did have a job, chances are it would be like with the same employer for a long, long time, you know. Or you would have a job like Dorothy has, where it's like the same exact thread throughout with many different school systems, etc.
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And um, the scene in Rose's bedroom, like, bleeding into the scene in the kitchen-- I think they do that work. So I think the kitchen dynamic and walking into the kitchen when Dorothy is like, "are you still at the rodeo?" And Blanche is like all hyped up. Actually, Rue McClanahan, in spite of the fact that in the beginning, she's singing that weird song, she, I think--
--does a great job with this one. There's that one, and then there's the story of telling when she lost her virginity and she's like "Billy, or Bobby-- or was it Ben?" She's like, "well, it started with a B." Like, it's so-- it's so perfect. And this is, I think, it's the gin!
Yeah, exactly! "And the sappy mature faster. I think it's the heat. Dorothy, I think it's the gin." Another wonderful, yes, meme-able moment that I love, of course. Also the amount of food in that cheesecake scene that they take out is comical. It's just the entire contents of that refrigerator.
There's still kind of getting the groove of like, what they would do, you know? And they're eating-- I noticed they're also eating off of wooden spoons, but like, mini versions of sauce stirring spoons? They're really bizarre. It's kind of like, they were like "Ah, shit. What do we have on set?" You know, they didn't have the drawers for the kitchen--
Yeah, the girls and their relationship with food, and like, diet culture is kind of a running theme of through the whole series.
And this I think, misses the mark quite a bit. But the-- Blanche and Milton, and how Milton only dates fat women and--
I know. Which also-- the "thicker around the middle" comment that we made earlier--
--like, definitely plays into that line. Like I don't know if that was accidental or not, but it works really well. But yeah, it's obviously laughable. And it's like still-- I don't know, it just feels off because you're just like, this show can do way better than that. Right? Like a joke about this super thin woman being, like, plump. For this guy to have a fetish about it. Like it's ridiculous.
But you know, what does land here, is this is the narrative of Dorothy getting pregnant that sticks. Like when she's talking about--
How, like, it always happened to-- it always seemed to happen before she was in the room and like, it took like, two minutes.
It took three seconds. Three seconds! That was the other funny thing. It's three seconds, not two minutes.
"He was being shipped off to war and it would mean so much."
I know. Oh, speaking of other storylines, that keep coming back around and that they keep covering, the whole bulls and the horses?
Oh my god--
Like, it's a tough act to follow. It's not the only time to have a convo about a bull's penis being compared to a ram's.
Like, it's very strange.
You know what's interesting too is I noted that they keep a lot of that conversation but when this episode re airs on TV, like when it would re air on Lifetime and I think on Logo too, they cut out the part where Blanche says "tough act to follow" and I don't know if it's just like for time or--
It's actually-- as you mentioned, like how Rue McClanahan does a really good job with the character here, the way she says "tough act to follow" is definitely like the in-joke between her and Dorothy when they're speaking on a level that like Rose can't really comprehend. It's like, that's perfect. Like-- exchange that usually is a look, but sometimes as a comment, like in this case, so that is fascinating. I wonder-- well, too, a little too, uh you know, R-rated
--for the viewers. I guess.
And you know what-- so Rose ends up taking this, this job as a waitress, you know, kind of like-- she stumbles in, essentially, to this place. But I wrote that it's like actually super courageous and admirable to drop your ego when you're, I mean, when you're--
--interviewing, maybe a little bit out of place for a hospital administrator role, but just to be willing to take any job that's gonna pay you. But Blanche's reaction to it is like-- a gritty, grimy, grueling work? Like, woah a little harsh.
Exactly. Service. "Well, the worst that can happen is she'll get scratched by a pinkie ring." Which is also like, what is that about? Like, I can't even-- I don't even know. I really don't even know. Um, but yeah, no, it's very true. Like, in one sense for a hospital administrator, little bit out of your league, pal. But like it is, it is admirable. And I know that you've done this, and I've done this too where it's just like--no, I mean, I'm not like, below this, I have to pay the bills. And this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to do whatever I can to make it happen, which of course, it not where Dorothy and Blanche think that Rose is going in the very beginning of the episode, right? They think that she's being like, "Oh, it'll be fine. I'll get the same thing." But she is hustling. Like she is this example of hustling for anything. She's like, there's nothing out there. So yeah, that's a really good point. She's like, sure. A gritty, grimy coffee shop where I get scratched by pinkie rings.
Yeah, no, I love it. And I think, you know, another thing I think this episode misses a little bit, but had the opportunity to do is when Rose confesses that she's been looking and she's like-- she says "I'm terrified,"