Even though the 3o minute sit-com is a classic format that seems to be used only for serialized cartoons these days, there are some old shows from back in the day that we still watch. Hotels, restaurants, and even AirBnBs are taking on The Golden Girls as a theme, and people love it. That cruise is already sold out, by the way.
More than 20 years later, and this TV show still gets a lot of love. Ranking anything related to The Golden Girls is always tough because everything was pretty good. Even the so-called "bad episodes" have their own funny moments, and sometimes even their own fan-following. As emotionally agonizing as it is, we've put ourselves through all seven of The Golden Girls season finales and ranked them from the greatest to the least of the best.
This wasn't even really a Golden Girls episode, which is a big strike against it immediately. Television shows, especially sitcoms, seemed to live in the same universe in the 1990s. You often had crossovers, for example, in which a character or characters from one show would visit the other or meet in a public place. Then there were spinoffs. These were both shows that evolved from other shows or new shows that got their start when they were introduced by other, often popular ones.
"Empty Nests" was a mashup of both concepts. It was intended to kickstart the new sitcom "Empty Nest," and it gets so wrapped up in that the girls become a sideline to a boring plot. Perhaps forgivable in a mid-season filler episode, but a poor choice for a season finale.
Don't get us wrong, this is a funny episode, ranked by some as one of the funniest The Golden Girls there is, but the basic premise is total nonsense. Dorothy's entire class of grade-schoolers is sick with the measles for Thanksgiving, so the girls take over their parts in the school play.
Realistically, this would never happen. You would just plan something else as filler or cancel the show, not dress some mature ladies up in turkey costumes. If Rose had been teaching this class, and Dorothy and Blanche had done this to humor her, it might make more sense, but this is Dorothy who's supposed to be the smart one. It's not the best episode and even worse as a season finale.
It's nice that we can still laugh at the sealed bubble in which rich or famous people often travel, but the joke is waning fast. Presidents and other government dignitaries rarely mingle with the public as it is, especially in private homes, unless it's a cheap publicity stunt, so it's not really funny that the girls are being subjected to this.
Plus, the Bush family legacy has gained some baggage since the 1990s. A lot of this episode's flaws are simply outdated and not really a fault of bad writing or a boring story. As a season finale, it's particularly disappointing.
This one is placed definitively in the middle, as it's really a matter of opinion when judging this episode. If you like more sentimental storylines or bittersweet family memories, this is an entertaining and heartfelt story. If you're estranged from your own mother or kids, however, or not a mother yourself, it's possible the Mother's Day anecdotes will just feel dull or cliched.
Flashback episodes tend to be boring, anyway, and even the unique style of the "flashback" in The Golden Girls in which characters get more backstory can get old. It might not be your cup of tea for a season finale, either.
Even if you don't like flashback episodes generally, this one breaks that stereotype of old clips and other types of filler. Instead of seeing clips from previous episodes, the girls reminisce about how they first met and ended up living together.
It all started when Blanche put up flyers at the local grocery store looking for roommates. You have to keep in mind, this was before Craigslist and Airbnb. We can't help but be a bit angry at Blanche's "no pets" policy, but it turned out all right in the end. It's a great story that involves some interesting twists and touching moments along with flushing out the premise of the show and the characters themselves. It's the perfect ending to the first season.
A storyline with high stakes, great payoffs, a hilarious celebrity cameo, and some big laughs make up one of the best season finales in The Golden Girls, even if it is partly a flashback episode.
The plot continues from the last episode, which had the fans on pins and needles about Blanche possibly selling the house, which would effectively put an end the show. Oh no! The mood is a somber one as the girls reminisce and prepare to go their separate ways. If you think it's hard to find humor in that, it's not. You'll be too busy cracking up with laughter to notice how the girls end up in one crazy predicament after another, ranking this episode as one of The Golden Girls' best season finales.
This wasn't just a great season finale for The Golden Girls. "One Flew Out of the Cuckoo's Nest" has received acclaim from both critics and audiences for being one of the best episodes, season finales, and series finales in television history.
Dorothy fans will also appreciate this, as she was always the girl who the other ones called out for her awkward looks and had such a rough time in her former marriage. It sure is nice to see her riding off into the sunset with her own Prince Charming. Who wouldn't want to run away with Leslie Nielson, who is his usual hysterical self in this stellar episode?