Why is Dorothy Zbornak So Violent?

Dorothy Zbornak has anger issues. Just watch the opening to the Golden Girls.

First, we have a seemingly loving scene. But while Blanche hugs Rose, Dorthy has her in a headlock. It’s just her way of showing affection – by applying pressure to her friend’s trachea. Be careful Dorothy, Rose needs all the oxygen she can get.

Maybe she was being playful. Just an “I love you so much, I could choke you to death.” Cut to the next scene.


Here, Blanche is trying to reach out to Dorothy, and Dorothy throws her hands off her. “Don’t touch me, you southern hussy!” I can only assume that’s what she’s saying. It is muted by something about traveling ’round the world and back again.

We’re now 12 seconds in, and again, Blanche is trying to be comforting – this time to Rose. And Dorothy is stopping her, by hitting Blanche’s hand. Yes, like Blanche is a cat who has gotten into the food. A cat in heat, but a cat nonetheless.


Of course, Dorothy is violent to herself as well, seen here half a second later eating her own hand. Maybe she just likes the taste of Bengay.


A few seconds later, there’s a cut to a clip of the first violent scene – looks like this is where Dorothy is about to threaten Rose for information. Which will be completely fruitless, unless the information is about Scandinavian poultry. But what’s most alarming is the shot a few seconds after that – also from that same scene.

Here Dorothy hurls Rose clear out of the room. Seems as though when Dorothy is done interrogating someone, she no longer has a need for them.

So where does all this anger come from? Could it be from substitute teaching? Staying home every Saturday? No – the source is much more obvious.

Take a look at one of the last shots:

Here, Sophia comes charging into the kitchen with a knife. And as Blanche and Rose run for the hills (are there hills in Miami?), Dorothy calmly looks down at the table, preparing herself for another one of her mother’s killing sprees.

Today’s lessons: Violence begets violence. Bengay is yummy.

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