Dhaka, Jul 3 (AP/UNB) - Alexandra Wilkinson was only 2 months old when "The Golden Girls" ended its television run in 1992.
But she became a fan last year while taking a course called "Women and Aging: Lessons from the Golden Girls" at California State University, Long Beach. Now she streams episodes on Hulu. She owns a "Golden Girls" T-shirt. And when she graduated recently with a master's degree in gerontology, she decorated her cap with a picture of "Golden Girl" Sophia along with the sardonic Sicilian's trademark phrase, "Picture it."
"I was amazed at how this TV show from before I was born really related to so many topics I'm learning about right now," said Wilkinson, 27. "It doesn't even matter what they're talking about, whether it's a serious concept or not. Their personalities just have a way of bringing humor into everything."
The class, which finished its second year in May, is the latest example of the surprising pop culture longevity of Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia.
The Emmy-winning series revolved around four older women living together in Miami. It starred Bea Arthur, Rue McClanahan, Estelle Getty and Betty White, who is the only living cast member at age 97 (White, through her agent, declined an interview request). The show aired on NBC from 1985-1992.
Just in the last few years, however, there's been a wave of merchandising, from a trivia game to Chia pets. Funko, known for its Pop dolls of sci-fi and fantasy characters, created "Golden Girls" figures, a limited-edition cereal and, most recently, PEZ dispensers. In 2015, a fan built an unofficial Lego set of the women in their home. Next February, a "Golden Girls" theme cruise will launch from — where else? — Miami.
Marsha Posner Williams, a co-producer on the series' first three seasons, said the creators simply set out to tell stories about an often-overlooked segment of the population.
"This was a way of showing that even though you might be of a certain age, you're not dead," Williams said. "You're full of life, full of laughter, full of sarcasm and it can be quite joyful."
Unlike the '80s fashions worn in the show, the dialogue still holds up, Williams said, resonating with many people, from the gay community to millennials.
"All the issues are so real that they talk about, even though it was 35 years ago," she said.
H. Alan Scott of Los Angeles has co-hosted a "Golden Girls" podcast for four years called "Out On the Lanai," a reference to the patio where the women would often talk. He also stages drag shows as Sadie Pines, a riff on the fictitious Shady Pines retirement home where Sophia used to live.
He calls the show "timeless in a lot of ways because they weren't necessarily topical in the jokes they did."
Maria Claver, a gerontology professor who created the CSU Long Beach class with colleague Long Wang in spring 2018, thinks nostalgia is one reason "The Golden Girls" endures. Many fans who watched when it originally aired are now in or facing their golden years. And the episodes have been helpful illustrations for her students.
"I think one of the strengths of using a show like 'Golden Girls' is that you can address sometimes uncomfortable or difficult topics with humor," Claver said. "I think that makes students comfortable to talk about things like sexuality among older women."
The weekly class touched on subjects like menopause, addiction, sexuality, dementia and caregiving. Claver and Wang would screen a relevant episode and then lead a discussion. There were guest speakers, including Williams.
As a super-fan, Claver also can't help but delight in turning students on to the show's entertainment value.
"It is a thrill to introduce it to some of the younger students and by the end of the semester, they're like 'Omigosh, I'm totally a Dorothy,'" Claver said.
Wilkinson, the recent grad, said she can laugh along even when she has no idea who a guest star like Burt Reynolds is.
"Of course there are references I don't quite understand. Like they'll mention a musician or they'll mention an actor I've never heard of," Wilkinson said. "But for some reason, the way they deliver it is hilarious."
Williams loves that "Golden Girls" keeps finding a new audience.
"We all do projects that we wish our names were not on," she said. "But, if you're lucky, you have one in your career that you're so fricking proud to be associated with."
Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy, the creative duo behind Netflix’s hit horror show The Haunting of the Hill House, is set to develop another series, Midnight Mass, for the streaming platform.
The new horror show is a part of the streamer’s multi-year television deal that it struck with the two and their banner Intrepid Pictures earlier this year.
Midnight Mass, a seven-episode show, has been created by Flanagan, who is also attached to direct, Netflix said in a statement.
The series is set around an isolated island community which experiences miraculous events – and frightening omens – after the arrival of a charismatic, mysterious young priest.
Flanagan will also executive produce the show with Macy.
The streaming platform had recently ordered the second season of its “horror anthology” that started with The Haunting of the Hill House.
The second season, titled The Haunting of Bly Manor, is based on Henry James psychological gothic horror novella. It will debut in 2020.
Flanagan and Macy first collaborated on the 2014 feature Oculus, which they followed up with Gerald’s Game, Hush and Before I Wake.
Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - Sarah Jessica Parker-starrer comedy Divorce will end on HBO with a six-episode season three, reports The Indian Express.
Jessica Parker, who also serves as the executive producer on the show, remains in business with HBO where her company, Pretty Matches Prods, has been under a first-look deal for 14 years.
“Sarah Jessica Parker has a unique ability to showcase the complexities of personal relationships with such empathy and humour. With Divorce, she took our audiences through the keyhole and into the lives of a modern day couple dealing with the fallout of splitting up.
“As we end with the 3rd and final season of the show, we look forward to our next endeavour with Sarah Jessica and Pretty Matches,” Amy Gravitt, EVP, HBO Programming said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
Divorce, created by Sharon Horgan, features Parker and Thomas Haden Church as divorcing couple.
Dhaka, July 2 (UNB) - Netflix has released the first photos of the upcoming fantasy series The Witcher. The series is based on the book series written by Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski. The books also inspired the famous role-playing action video game series, reports The Indian Express.
Henry Cavill, best known for playing the role of Superman, plays the main titular role of Geralt of Rivia, a witcher. Witchers in this fictional universe called The Continent are monster killers who, right from their childhood, undergo ruthless mental and physical conditioning and arcane rituals to gain abilities like instant healing, exceptional strength and endurance and magic.
Cavill’s look in the series is gritty but not as rough and scarred as Geralt in the games. This is because the story of the TV series is set before the video-games. Cavill’s Witcher is younger and will perhaps gain the scars along his journey.
Apart from Cavill, the looks of his lover Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and their ward and a mysterious young girl called Ciri (Freya Allan) were also released.
After the unprecedented success of Game of Thrones, there have been announcements of several fantasy TV shows. Amazon bought the rights to The Lord of the Rings for an incredibly steep 250 million dollars. The Witcher appears to be Netflix’s answer to Game of Thrones.
Lauren Schmidt Hissrich is the creator and lead writer. She has worked with Netflix on Daredevil, The Defenders and The Umbrella Academy.
The Witcher will premiere on Netflix in 2019.
Los Angeles, Jul 2 (AP/UNB) — Kaley Cuoco is making a big move after wrapping 12 seasons with "The Big Bang Theory," with a new production deal and a pivot from comedy to drama.
Cuoco has signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, the company said Monday. The agreement keeps Cuoco in business with the studio that produced "The Big Bang Theory," the CBS comedy in which Cuoco played Penny. It ended its hit run last May.
In a statement, Cuoco said she was excited to continue an "incredibly collaborative and gratifying relationship" with Warner, adding, "They're stuck with me now!"
Financial terms of the deal were not announced.
Her first announced project is the hour-long series "The Flight Attendant," a thriller based on the novel of the same name by Chris Bohjalian. It will be made for the WarnerMedia streaming service set to launch for consumers in early 2020.
Under the deal, Cuoco and her production company will develop ideas for original TV projects through various Warner TV group divisions. The projects will be aimed at platforms including broadcast, cable and streaming, the company said.
A holding agreement for Cuoco's acting services is part of the overall deal, with Warner developing new series with her in mind. The company and Cuoco, 33, signed a previous deal in 2017.