TV Female Foursomes and Their Fans

Featuring The Golden Girls, Designing Women, Living Single, Sex and the City, Girlfriends, Cashmere Mafia and Hot in Cleveland


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About the Book

The Golden Girls, Designing Women, Living Single, Sex and the City, Girlfriends, Cashmere Mafia and Hot in Cleveland stand out as some of America’s favorite television series. Their lovable “female foursome” characters engage in witty banter as they challenge American stereotypes about sex, love, family, work and community.
These sitcoms and comedy-dramas live on as cable TV re-runs and through online fan communities, demonstrating mass appeal across generations of women and men. Connecting fan commentary with analysis by television scholars, this book explores the development of these series from the 1980s on, with a focus on the role of fan cultures in “reproducing” these popular American shows.

About the Author(s)

Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino is an associate professor in the Liberal Studies Department at Grand Valley State University, teaching courses across the disciplines of liberal, cultural, media and women’s studies and publishes on body studies, feminist theory, globalization, political economy and popular culture. She lives in Walker, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Wendy A. Burns-Ardolino
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5852-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2232-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Why Female Foursomes? 1

1. Beyond the Binary: Femininity & Feminism on Television 15

2. Matriarchs, Naïfs, Jezebels & Virgins 37

3. Queer Telefeminism, Gender Trouble & Female Foursome Friendships 65

4. Unruly Women, Femme Fatales, Gold Diggers & Dixie Bitches 86

5. Sisterhood in the Global City: Career Women, Working Moms & Golden Girls 111

6. Having & Not Having It All: Everywoman, Superwoman & Strongblackwoman 130

7. Televised Sisterhood & Solidarity 157

Appendix A: Which of The Golden Girls Are You? 183

Appendix B: Which Designing Women Character Are You? 185

Appendix C: Which Living Single Character Are You? 187

Appendix D: Which Girlfriends Character Are You? 189

Appendix E: Which Sex and the City Girl Are You? 190

Chapter Notes 193

Bibliography 197

Index 205