While The Golden Girls may be one of the most iconic series in television history, the spin-off, The Golden Palace, remains largely forgotten.
Spanning seven seasons and 180 episodes, The golden girls made its television debut in 1985. Not only was the iconic sitcom well received by audiences, the series also received great critical acclaim, garnering dozens of awards and nominations. Decades later, the show continues to thrive. Given the huge success, the showrunners mistakenly assumed the spin-off, The golden palace, it would also be a great success. Following his off-target assumptions, the short-lived series turned out to be one that most people have never heard of or, at least, barely remember.
Set in Miami, The golden girls focuses on four older women, Dorothy (Bea Arthur), Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White) and Sophia (Estelle Getty), who share a home. From the comic relief to the identifiable, if absurd, stories revolving around female love and friendship, the series quickly captured the hearts of audiences, which still resonate with viewers today.
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The golden palace It immediately picks up where its predecessor left off in 1992. Once Blanche, Rose, and Sophia move out of the house they previously shared, the three women pool their money and subsequently buy a hotel in Miami. Much of the series focuses on the trio comically struggling to run their new business and interact with the various guests. The sequel also introduces a handful of new characters, including hotel manager Roland (Don Cheadle), head chef Chuy (Cheech Marin), and Roland’s adopted son Oliver (Billy L. Sullivan).
However, if one season was insufficient to develop new characters or because the writers weren’t sure how to properly incorporate them, the new additions are one-dimensional and unnecessary. When it comes to Oliver, whose character occupies time rather than promoting the plot, this is especially true.
As a result, the initial premise sounds quite interesting. Still, as far as script and execution go, The golden palace falls flat. Instead of succeeding as its own standalone series, The golden palace ended up as nothing more than a somewhat boring continuation of The golden girls. However, The golden girls‘The magic formula does not transfer due to character changes. For example, Blanche, now the hotel’s main operator, lacks her trademark vanity and promiscuity. Not to mention, Sophia’s harsh comments are very toned down, and Rose has a much stronger will. Weather The golden palace It likely made these changes to differentiate itself from its predecessor, the result being characters that bear little resemblance to their past incarnations.
Along with the character changes, the series struggles to find its own voice. In an interview with American television archive, Betty White explains why she thinks the series didn’t last more than one season. “The problem was that we had the same writers. If a script began to not fit, they gave one or the other a monologue and very soon, we were doing golden girls in the lobby. The idea was solid, but the writers weren’t ready for it. “
Weather The golden palace features three of the original four women, Dorothy, who married Lucas (Leslie Nielsen) in The golden girlsthe last season, it is noticeably absent. Although the character appears as a guest in two episodes, it is not enough to save the show. In the end, the lack of Bea Arthur coupled with a poorly executed idea and an uninspired episodic story leaves much to be desired. What could have been an entertaining spin-off?, The golden palace became nothing more than a mostly unheard-of one-season flop.
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