There is just something about 80s sitcoms that I can never shake out of my system. I'm not even sure what it is. All I know is that I have never really been able to get in sitcoms since. I've tried and tried, and other than The Nanny in the 90s, I have never really like them. So this week I'm still exploring the characters from one of my favorites, The Golden Girls. This week it's the sexy Blanche Devereaux up on deck.
I guess the obvious place to start with Blanche is her brazen sexuality. As a kid, and I'm not even sure I put a lot of thought into it, I just assumed that older people and sex just didn't exist at the same time. Of course I'm not sure I wanted to think about adults and sex at all, in any context. But it's that honest depiction of sexuality in her later years, that has made Blanche a pop culture icon that millions of us can look to and understand that sex doesn't end just because your hair starts turning gray or you are halfway to 100. At least it give me hope for the future since I'm 35 and single.
Don't get me wrong, I think despite how hard she tried to hide it, beneath that sexpot image was a vulnerable women who attempted to hide that fact as best she could. She didn't have the greatest relationship with her parents or even her siblings growing up. None of them were very close which left Blanche looking for love where she could get it, handsome men. Even as she got older, those patterns never really changed. She was never very close with her own children, though she did try to mend that later on in life. It was the men in her life that gave her a sense of self, though she never really did have great luck with them.
She dated more than her share of losers, a few of them criminals who took advantage of her. When she did find herself in a relationship that could actually work out, she always found a way to sabotage it. She was just never comfortable enough in a man to trust that she wouldn't be hurt again. So like a lot of us who have put our faith in the wrong person, she never accepts the fact that another is actually who he appears to be.
I think of all the characters on the show, Blanche was easily the most complicated and perhaps even damaged of them all. But it's her ability to survive despite all her flaws and insecurities that has allowed Blanche to be a character that most of us can not only identify with, but love as well.