Queens of Snark and Chocolate

I watched back to back episodes of The Golden Girls a couple of nights ago. Four shows in all, and honestly I loved them, although some episodes I had seen before. Worn out physically and emotionally, I had literally collapsed onto the couch with barely enough energy to flip channels. It was definitely a thumb sucking moment. Or at least a chocolate eating moment, and there’s certainly plenty of that around this week with Valentine’s day on the horizon. And just to set the mood:

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Within minutes I was smiling and noting the comedic timing, and over the top characters—yes, they were stereotypes—and the less than believable situations those ladies often got themselves into. The show had me laughing out loud. Here, have another chocolate:


For those of you too young to remember it, the show first aired in 1985 and went on to great success, with each of the ladies winning awards. It is still in syndication and that tells me one thing: The writing is sharp. The one-liners are fabulous and it still garners a big enough audience. And those clothes are hysterical. I do remember well the shoulder pads and the silk dresses. : )

And the music…every time I hear it I have to sing along. Is this an age thing? Gotta be, huh? But it’s so upbeat: Thank You For Being a Friend, by Andrew Gold.

I love the line…your heart is true you’re a pal and a confidant. And this being the week of Valentine’s day, I’m taking this moment to say be your own best pal, give yourself a treat, you deserve it!

The cast of The Golden Girls:

Dorothy: Beatrice Arthur

Sophia: Estelle Getty

Rose: Betty White

Blanche: Rue McClanahan

You know the four ladies would have celebrated with or without significant others in their lives. So go buy yourself that chocolate, or take yourself to a movie or dinner. But now, away from the subject of chocolate and back to snark. The four women were all amazing, but Bea Arthur had to be the queen of snark and she was my most favorite character. She could say so much with one look, and her comments were hilarious. Here’s a classic example from the other night:

Dorothy said to Blanche:

If you were in a coma and a man came within a five mile radius, you’d roll over and shave your legs.”

I found that hilarious, but also very telling of character. If you read that, or heard it on the show, you’d know EXACTLY the character of Blanche, and also the character of Dorothy. I wish I had that talent, both in my day-to-day existence and in my writing. Jennifer Crusie has it down pat: I love all of her books, but my all time faves are Welcome to Temptation and Bet Me.  She’s the romance writer of snark. Others have tried but seem to fall short…at least to my ear. They come off sounding mean, or their humor is more slapstick, or too cute.

I think there is a huge difference between mean and snark, and the snark comes from dry humor and quick thinking. Maybe that’s my problem, I’m too slow. My synapses are old and worn out. I only register the one-liners—the what-I-should-have-said thoughts—as I toss and turn and fret at night over some slight, or insult. : ) Then I can come up with some real mean badass trash talk; zingers that would chop the offending person off at the knees. Uh oh, the chocolate box is empty. Maybe I’ll take the title of chocolate queen.

What about you? Are you good with the zingers? Or like me, do you need the protection of the bed covers just to think about them? Do you have a favorite actress or author who deserves to be added to my file of snark queens? Oh, and do you like chocolate?

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24 Responses to Queens of Snark and Chocolate

  1. Dee J. says:

    First of all, LOVE chocolate! LOL. Also adore the Golden Girls. Those ladies knew their sh*t. They were/are so funny. That show is always good for great snark! Very few do it as well.

  2. robena grant says:

    Glad you agree, Dee J. And being an industry insider, you’d know for sure. ; ) Thanks for coming by.

  3. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the Golden Girls, but I used to love them even before I realized I would ever approach their ages! These days, I’m a particular fan of Betty White–of course. She’s such a great animal advocate! And thanks for the virtual chocolate.

  4. Love chocolate, love the Golden Girls too. Snark, if it is not at someone else’s expense, is funny indeed. BFF’s know when we are joshing with them, but you are right, Roben, it takes great timing and care not to insult.

    Do you remember the show “Maude” Bea Arthur was just warming up then. lol.

    • robena grant says:

      Thanks, Christine. I have a friend who thinks she’s being funny and she comes across as tactless. : ) Ouch! You know I can vaguely remember the show Maude. Will have to go research and jog the memory.

  5. Nan says:

    Loved the Golden Girls! They used to be my treadmill show, but now it’s GIlmore Girls, another show about strong women, and I would add Lorelei and Rory to the snarky actress list. Lani Diane Rich does snark pretty well, but Jenny’s the star, no doubt. I can be snarky, but I was raised by a quick-witted mom, who could wither with one well-chosen phrase. I haven’t quite mastered that because of my own unwillingness to let go and simply say what’s on my mind, even if it’s not very nice…

    Just bought myself some dark chocolate salted carmels and had one with my brussels sprouts for lunch. Yum!! No one else would get them for me and I love them, so I have eight of them here to last me eight days through the Valentine’s Day week! (Well, seven now…)

  6. Sam Beck says:

    Thanks for the fun post!

    Golden Girls is one of my guilty pleasures. I actually think it’s ageless, because I was not even old yet when it first aired and I laughed then too. Now, of course, it aaallll makes sense. Bea was my favorite too. She spoke at Comedy Central’s Pam Andersen roast a few years back and did a deadpan reading of a silly excerpt from Pam’s book. It killed everyone.

    I am the queen of the “Should have said!” (Usually about 2 days later).

  7. Gina Bono says:

    I remember so many fun Saturday nights watching The Golden Girls. It was a treat and I thought they were all hilarious in their own ways. I especially liked the mom, Estelle Getty’s character. I seem to recall Dorothy always had some snarky comment for her. And yes, their costumes were totally cutting edge back then 😉 Ahhhh, those were the golden days of TV…

    This makes me want to eat that whole box of chocolate up there and binge on some Golden Girls episodes! 🙂

  8. robena grant says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Gina. I also loved Sophia. Some of her stories from her younger days in Sicily were hysterical. Oh, and the one about how Dorothy was concieved. Ha ha. And I loved how Bea used to say, “Shut up, Ma.” Which kind of sounds cruel here, but wasn’t on the show.
    Dig in, enjoy the virtual chocolates. I just opened a new heart-shaped box of truffles.

  9. I can be good on ocassion but not consistently. I, too, love this about Jenny Crusie.

  10. robena grant says:

    Yep, Judy, I really think she’s the best as far as authors go. I love those laugh out loud moments in her books, but you even find it on her blogs. In fact I’d gone over to see if I could find a photo on her site for this article and ended up reading a ton of stuff I hadn’t read in a long time. There was even fabulous snark in her FAQ’s. : )

  11. Ah the Golden Girls. I love them! Oddly enough, I watched a couple of shows the other night too…and I hadn’t seen them in a couple of years.
    I put that show up there with I Love Lucy as sitcom gold.

    I’m not good with snark…until long after it would have been useful. You know – could’a, should’a, and would’a!

  12. robena grant says:

    I Love Lucy is also a fave of mine, Kathy. Now I’m grinning about the one where she was on the chocolate assembly line and it was moving too fast and she kept stuffing them into her mouth. Ha ha. Appropriate for today…and chocolates in general.

  13. Hi Robena –
    I remember Betty White way back from The Mary Tyler Moore show, and loved her way back then. She is the kind of snarky person I fear the most, because her insults are delivered with a smile and sweet but lethal syrup.

    I’m thrilled to see that Golden Girl (who always reminded me of my mother in her physical appearance) has survived them all.

    As for chocolate – make mine dark, please.

    • robena grant says:

      Yes, I know what you mean. And when Betty does it, it is with such innocence. : ) I caught her on the old MTM show a few weeks back. She was a lot of fun.
      And yes on the dark chocolate, and now will you please drive down here and wrench the darn red shaped heart box out of my hands?

  14. J.L. Hammer says:

    I’ll pass on the chocolate, but I always love a good one-liner. How could you not be entertained by Blanche? That’s one hot grandma!

  15. Love the Golden Girls and my daughter, a high school student, recently watched a number of their shows and loved them too. Betty White is on Hot in Cleveland and that’s a fun show that we catch now and again. Great for the whole family. Yes, those chocolates look yummy. If I keep chocolate in the house then watch out… it won’t last long. Have a lovely Valentine’s Day, everyone!!

  16. robena grant says:

    Thanks for dropping by, Christine. I really enjoy BW but haven’t caught much of HinC or her new show. TV watching has taken a back seat to promo and marketing and learning stuff I should have learned years ago…you know the story. Yep. I ate my VD chocolates on Monday. ; )

  17. londonmabel says:

    Love all those old 80s shouldery outfits from GG, and Dynasty etc.

    I can think up one liners, but they’re pretty sharp and I don’t mean them AT ALL. Only think of them cause they’re funny–cause they present themselves as such to my brain. So I usually hold them back.

  18. robena grant says:

    Those outfits are hysterical. And I can’t believe I ever wore them. Or had the big hair. I agree the coulda-shoulda one-liners can be pretty funny, but like you, most of us don’t ever actually say them. ; )