May 14, 2010 -- Remember "The Golden Girls"? Those bold, brash and brazen ladies who made retirement look cool and fun -- even sexy?
Well, step aside, Blanche: A new gaggle of gals has taken over the airwaves -- and they're pretty golden, too.
Retirement for these ladies means a laid-back life in the Sun City Grand Retirement Village in Surprise, Arizona. It's a life filled with golf, parties, friendship -- and, now, their own reality show on We TV, appropriately called "Sunset Daze."
The cast includes LaWanda "Hot Legs" Price, Sandy "Wild Child" Miracle Jones (a.k.a. "The Party Girl") and Joanne Hauncher, "Matchmaker," and they leave little off limits.
"I've never had sex in a swimming pool," says Price in one episode, during a game of "Never Have I Ever." "So if you have had sex in a swimming pool, take a drink."
"Pole dancing, handcuffs and a stripper," Hauncher says later. "If that's not retirement, then what is?"
"Our community that we live in is like a little paradise in the valley," Jones said. "It is like living in a resort."
"It is definitely a lifestyle," said Hauncher. "And I think what really irritates me is I'll be at a function and someone will say to me, 'What do you do here? I'm so bored.' And I want to say, 'Oh, shame on you. You know it's not going to come to you, I mean you're going to have to make some efforts.' But we have everything. We've got golf courses, we've got pickle ball, we've got everything."
"If you could see our calendars you'd be blown away," said Jones.
"Sunset Daze" is "Desperate Housewives" meets "The Hills" -- or maybe "Over the Hills." These seniors are trying all sorts of things. One plot line involves the 63-year-old Hauncher helping her best friend, Jones, a 68-year-old widow, find new love.
Meanwhile, Price, who's caring for her husband with Lou Gehrig's disease and Alzheimer's, proves that you're never too old to kick up your heels: she's taking ballroom dance lessons and entering senior dance competitions.
"You know the lady that does my nails said to me, 'Why are you so busy, you're supposed to be retired?'" said Price. "And I go, 'I don't know, but I am so busy.' This program has kept us busy, but even before that."
There's also Jack. At 72, he's the resident Romeo who can't quite get the attention of a particular lady he's got his eye on. And of course there's Anne -- at 61, she's a former nun, now married, who yearns to try skydiving.
'Sunset Daze': Seniors Living Young
This spicy bunch has learned that age is just a number.
"I think we live young and I think that's important," said Price. "I'm not young, I'll be 75 my next birthday. But I live young, I think young."
"It's a lot of attitude," said Jones.
We asked if they thought they were shattering stereotypes.
"I hope so," said Jones. "We shatter it, you know. Yeah, I think most people think of retirees as being maybe in their rocking chair, one foot in the grave, whatever. And I think this is going to be a big 'Ah-ha!'"
We used to think of seniors as frail old people in need of home health aides, false teeth and hip replacements. Now we see that seniors need -- and get -- love, too.
It may have taken the movie "Cocoon" to make seniors the cool kids on campus, but their popularity is growing. At age 88, actress Betty White is red hot, selling Snickers and hosting "Saturday Night Live" last weekend after hundreds of thousands of (mostly young) fans campaigned for her on Facebook.
And White's not the only one. There's Helen Mirren, taking her kit off in the movie "Calendar Girls," and Jack Nicholson in "Something's Gotta Give." Cloris Leachman, at age 82, lasted six rounds on "Dancing With the Stars."Three seasons later on the show, 80-year-old Buzz Aldrin showed off his moonwalk.
"I just want to do these things to exhibit that I can try," said Aldrin. "I am interested in people appreciating the fact that I'm a very active person now."
We'd better hope senior citizens remain active. The entire country is aging. The oldest Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age right now, and by the year 2030, about one in five Americans will be age 65 or over.
At 81, Dr. Ruth Westheimer is America's resident sexpert, the author of 31 books including her latest, "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50." Westheimer says thanks to modern medicine, we're having a senior moment right now.
"Fortunately, as seniors, because of our way of life, because of nutrition, because of better health care, there is no question that seniors in most cases -- I'm not saying all -- are in better health," Westheimer said.
As for Jones, Hauncher drums up a couple of dates for her in the first two episodes of "Sunset Daze."
"I think about not finding love again, but nobody's too old to find love," said Jones.
But just in case it doesn't work....
"But just in case I have Bob," said Jones. "Bob is my battery-operated boyfriend, just in case I need to fill some needs..."
Make no mistake: These aren't your grandparents' contemporaries -- these are folks you want to hang with. Think of it as youth, with a few wrinkles.