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Old 01-20-2011, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Changes to the Sophia character

Did anyone else notice the way Estelle Getty/Sophia "mellowed out" in the series? In the first seasons, she was extremely blunt, often rude, and REALLY had a sharp delivery (this was extremely evident in the first season). In the latter seasons, she seemed more mellow and like "one of the girls", but her original personality remained, although more toned-down. I wonder why the character was changed? I preferred her in the first couple of seasons much more.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:36 PM   #2
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Definitely. Aside from that, her appearance even changed some in the 6th and 7th seasons- not sure if that was because of the dementia. Also, I didn't like the wigs as much in those seasons as much as the other seasons.

Dorothy also wasn't as abrasive/sarcastic in later seasons as she had been in the first four- in season 5, part of that may have been related to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In seasons 6 and 7,she got a little bit back, but still not the same. That also could have been related to the change in writers.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:33 AM   #3
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Definitely. Aside from that, her appearance even changed some in the 6th and 7th seasons- not sure if that was because of the dementia. Also, I didn't like the wigs as much in those seasons as much as the other seasons.

Dorothy also wasn't as abrasive/sarcastic in later seasons as she had been in the first four- in season 5, part of that may have been related to the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In seasons 6 and 7,she got a little bit back, but still not the same. That also could have been related to the change in writers.
Yeah, her wigs had more of a curly appearance. I also noticed her accent was toned down as well. She went from being more of an extra to the 3 girls to acting like one of the girls.

Dorothy's changes I haven't noticed, but I sort of do since you mentioned it. As a huge fan of Maude, I noticed that in the earlier seasons, especially the first episode, she acted a lot like her at times. Her appearance was not good in season 5 either (she greatly improved in 7).
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:00 PM   #4
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I would agree on this with Sophia. In fact, to me it seems like the whole idea of the damage from her stroke (where she lost the capability of censoring what she says) was completely gone after the first season.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:57 AM   #5
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Yeah, they totally abandoned that idea.

Here's a decent comparison....here's Sophia in the earlier seasons: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKA_ZunYHIg

and the latter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvYK1...eature=related

Something's just....different. Maybe it was just age and her health.
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:51 AM   #6
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I think Estelle was good for the role, but the writing and character type had A LOT to do with her success. If you watch her in scenes, she is clearly at the bottom of the acting pact of the show. She could deliver a zinger with gusto but lacked when it came to anything more nuanced than that.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:52 PM   #7
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"If you watch her in scenes, she is clearly at the bottom of the acting pact of the show."

I don't know if you've read Rue's autobiography, but in it, she is very clear about how difficult it was for everyone to work around Estelle's problems with performing. Her final comment about the issue was "With the use of cue cards and a lot of creative editing, we somehow pulled it off, but it was very challenging." And she adored Estelle. Spoke highly of her as a friend. She was just describing how disruptive it was to work around her fear/memory problem/insecurities, whatever the real issue/issues might have been.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clj2
Dorothy's changes I haven't noticed, but I sort of do since you mentioned it. As a huge fan of Maude, I noticed that in the earlier seasons, especially the first episode, she acted a lot like her at times. Her appearance was not good in season 5 either (she greatly improved in 7).
Dorothy's hair looked like a pseudo-spiked helmet in season 7. That was her worst look to me.

And regarding Sophia, Bea said Sophia was meaner in the last season; that quote where she says of the final season, "Rose got dumber, Blanche got sluttier, Sophia got meaner, but nobody got funnier."
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Old 07-07-2017, 05:24 PM   #9
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Sophia became especially mean in the last season of the series. The writers must have decided to see how far they could go with it. I prefer Season 1-5 Sophia. Dorothy is the one that got better each year the series went on as she mellowed and became comfortable with who she was.
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Old 07-08-2017, 09:25 AM   #10
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Of all the mean things the writers had Sophia do, the one thing I would change first was her insults toward her own daughter.

Trying to make a daughter who loved and took such good care of her feel like no man would ever want her was inexcusable.
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Old 07-08-2017, 11:34 PM   #11
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I always wondered who made "movin' on" a regular phrase for Sophia in those final few seasons. Never said it all earlier in the series, then it became one of her staple lines for a while.
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Old 05-06-2018, 05:51 AM   #12
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Mmmmm, Sophia was perhaps less blunt 100% of the time in the later seasons, but the stroke thing was still very much in place. The original writers obviously wanted to flesh out the character more as the seasons went on, especially in Season's 3 & 4. The new writers continued in this vein in the 5th season, but Sophia most certainly got meaner in the last two seasons, mostly towards Dorothy. Her insults towards her went a little too far. Dorothy bashing in general went too far. In general, the quality of the show does go down after Season 5, with the new writers coming up with too many outlandish things in order to compensate for the lack of strong, refreshing new ideas. Season 5 does have aspects of this too although much less so then 6 & 7, which is why the Season remains a strong one in my opinion.

Dorothy most definitely changes from Season 4 on and in my opinion it's because of the fact that she has let go of the terrible anger that she had towards Stan. Yes, she got some closure after Guess Who's Coming To The Wedding? and was able to be civil to Stan(up to a point lol), but after having been married for 38 years and how that marriage ended must have made her extremely angry towards life in general, so her patience was definitely short until she finally let go of that anger.
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Old 07-28-2018, 08:35 PM   #13
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She definitely got more comfortable in her character as the series went on. You can tell in the pilot and early episodes her brashness was kind of forced. As the show went on she became more transparent and less obvious.
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