The Good

A very easy to navigate 4 part program that allows the viewer to watch it however they choose.

The Bad

Any DVD that begins by telling you that it’s “been modified for home video” is not something that I am entirely comfortable with.

The Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series was a very illuminating DVD to watch. I have seen many Golden Girls episodes, and as such I developed in my mind my own idea of what these woman were like as people. This inside look at Bea Arthur (Dorothy), Betty White (Rose), Rue McClanahan (Blanche) and Estelle Getty (Sophia) is very easy to navigate. Broken up into 4 parts, one can watch them in any order that they want or you can select the ‘Play All’ option which will just run the contents of the disk.

Like all good inside looks, the Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series will forever change the way I look at these characters. Most notably Bea Arthur, who I have come to realize is nothing like the character that she played on this show (or on Maude). She’s actually a very private woman, and she isn’t nearly as abrasive or forthcoming as her character. In fact, I was so bothered by this (because I had never seen her act any other way), I was reminded of the first interview I ever watched with Harrison Ford. Here I have seen him my whole life as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, and then he starts talking and it’s like watching paint dry.


No extras came on this DVD.


Standard Version presented in a format preserving the aspect ratio of their original television exhibitions. I am curious, when this program aired on Lifetime, was it a separate program for each actress or did they cut them all together and air this as one long show? This is your standard, garden variety documentary with talking heads, still photos and various footage to support the stories and other ideas being put across.


Dolby Digital - English Stereo. As this is a essentially a “behind the scenes” piece, the sound only has to be “okay” in order to get certain points and ideas across. There’s nothing too special about it on this DVD, but there were no glaring audio problems either. I didn’t have a problem hearing anything the people were saying, although I did have to turn my TV set up a bit higher than normal. There were also no audio “dropouts” or “hits” either.


This cover features separate shots of all 4 ladies and has a sort of detached look. Yet, it is this sterile look that also translated to the show, and believe it or not actually gives it a sense of warmth. The back features a group shot of the girls (no doubt taken when the show was still going), a description of what Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series is about and some technical specs. Packaged in a regular amaray case, this artwork and layout more then does the job of letting people know what they are getting if they purchase this disc.

Final Word

While I think that the Golden Girls: Lifetime Intimate Portraits Series is something that really is for the fans, I found this to be a very well put together DVD. I learned things about these characters that I never knew before, but I also had the pleasure of getting to see them as people and not the characters they play. I also liked hearing from people like Norman Lear and Ed Asner as they paid tribute and further illuminated the Girls.

So, if you are a fan of the show, you should probably pick up this DVD. If you aren’t a fan, I doubt that you will even miss it.

The Golden Girls was released .