Bea Arthur, SAT teacher


How surreal would it be to have Bea Arthur show up as your SAT instructor or private tutor? A few weeks ago, TV Land launched Back to the Grind, a reality show in which the TV stars of yesteryear “perform their TV jobs in real life.” Bea Arthur’s Golden Girls character, Dorothy Zbornak, played a substitute teacher, so on August 15, she will be seen teaching a Kaplan SAT prep class and tutoring an SAT student at the student’s home. (The show airs regularly on Wednesdays at 10:30 p.m.)

Dorothy’s profession did not play much of a role on the show, but I’m willing to ignore this because I like Bea Arthur. And I spoke to her on the phone 15 years ago, which made me like her that much more. (She was very nice.) Ergo, I’ll certainly be watching.

You can watch a preview for the show here. Note when she peers in the window of one student’s house. And her interaction with the mother of another student is priceless.

Clips of other episodes are available as well. There’s Loni Anderson (WKRP in Cincinnati) reprising her radio station receptionist role by working for Dr. Drew Pinsky on Loveline. There’s Marla Gibbs (The Jeffersons and its spinoff, Checking In) reprising her role as a maid and a hotel housekeeping supervisor. And there’s Betty White (Mary Tyler Moore) reprising her role as the host of a cooking show.

But the fun part is to do a little fantasy casting. First my girlfriend suggested Mariska Hargitay as an actual cop. Then a friend put it more succinctly: She wants Mariska to arrest her and Kyra Sedgwick to interrogate her. (Personally, I would probably tell her anything she wanted to know.)

Then we thought of Elizabeth Mitchell as our psychiatrist.

Dr. Legaspi, you were the best thing to ever happen to ER. Dr. Weaver was a fool to let you go.

And then there are all the doctor and nurse options: Christine Lahti as the arrogant but compassionate surgeon (not that I’d want to need a cardio-thoracic surgeon), Julianna Margulies as a doting nurse, Maura Tierney as either a doctor or a nurse …

Oh my. I need to stop now.

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