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The successor to the now-classic TV series The Golden Girls, sans Bea Arthur as Dorothy Zbornak. The Golden Palace saw Rose Nylund, Blanche Devareaux, and Sophia Petrillo sell their Miami home and move to South Beach to become the owners of an upscale hotel. What they didn't know is that the hotel was in dire straits financially and only two employees were kept on by the previous owners to run the entire hotel: the jack-of-all-trades manager Rowland (played by a then-unknown Don Cheadle), and a wisecracking Mexican cook named Chuy (played by Cheech Marin). Adding to the chaos is Oliver, a pre-teen boy who lives at the hotel and is fostered by Rowland. Everybody is at odds with each other at first, but they all find a way to work things out as the series progresses and eventually become one big, happy family...for the most part.
The series is often forgotten or even unknown except to die-hard Golden Girls enthusiasts, and never quite lived up to the standards set by its predecessor. There were several things working against it: the show aired on CBS during its one-season run, rather than the original show's home of NBC, and was placed in what was known at the time as the "death slot" on Friday nights against Family Matters. Furthermore, ratings for The Golden Girls had already began to slip in the final few seasons of its run, and many felt that the network (and to a certain extent, the remaining ladies) were just milking a cash cow. Perhaps the biggest blow to the series was the undeniable absence of Bea Arthur...the show was funny, but never truly reached the comedic heights it once did without Bea as Deadpan Snarker Dorothy.
In recent years the show has been aired on Lifetime, but only in limited runs (usually as a virtual "eighth season" before the episodes rolled back to Season 1); it was generally excluded from the main Golden Girls lineup. It has yet to see a DVD release but many fans are still holding out hope.
The Golden Palace contains examples of tropes such as:
- Acquired Error At the Printer: Blanche orders pens for the hotel that read "This pen is compliments from us to you." The printers leave out the space between "pen" and "is".
- After Show
- The Bus Came Back: Dorothy returned for a two-part episode. Her first husband, Stan, appeared in another. Rebecca Devareaux and Miles Webber also showed up.
- Butt Monkey: Blanche often ends up being this to Rose quite a bit in this show. As a matter of fact Rose is much more assertive here than she ever was in The Golden Girls.
- This is Lampshaded by Dorothy when she makes an appearance on the show...she sees Rose trying to comfort Chuy when he runs into some trouble and exclaims "When did ROSE become the strong one?"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Rose has come a long way, but she's still pretty ditzy at times.
- Sophia seems to be entering into Cloudcuckooland territory as well during the show's run.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Blanche suspects Sophia of stealing money and when Sophia won't confess, she threatens to make her listen to one of Rose's Saint Olaf stories.
- Cool Old Lady
- Crowning Moment of Awesome: Dorothy visits and decides to take Sophia home with her against Sophia's wishes. When she belittles Rose and Blanche's opinions, Rose eventually reads Dorothy the riot act and tells her that Sophia has the right to make her own decisions and that she must respect them. Dorothy asks what'll happen if she doesn't and Rose hits her on the head with a newspaper.
- Dirty Old Woman: Sophia. She always was one but it's pretty exaggerated here.
- The Ditz: Rose, and in some cases Blanche.
- Implausible Deniability: Rose meets a delusional elderly lady called Vivian who thinks that Rose is her daughter, Charlene. Rose assures Rowland that she has taken her to the police station, but Rowland discovers she did not and confronts her in the lobby in front of the elevator doors.
Rowland: "Rose, an old woman upstairs just asked me if she could swim in my piano sized pool. Who do you suppose that could be?"
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Several.
- A relatively then-unknown Don Cheadle played the role of Rowland, the hotel manager.
- Cheech Marin played Chuy Castillo, a fiery Mexican cook that gets teamed up with Sophia quite often (and the inevitable Mexican vs. Italian conversation ensues).
- A young Jack Black made an appearance as a taxi driver in episode 9.
- Joely Fischer played the role of Oliver's mom in episode 14.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Subverted with Blanche's brother Tad. He lives in Chattanooga, in an institution for mentally disabled people, though it's implied that he does have a life there and is quite capable of functioning normally, save for arriving at the hotel in a taxi straight from Tennessee. Blanche even states the he has a job. In all honesty, the only one who sees his handicap as a burden is Blanche, who yells at him about his crush on Rose which causes Tad to have a tantrum.
- Shared Universe: With the other Golden Girls spinoffs, Empty Nest and Nurses. (Once this show left the air, Estelle Getty's Sophia became a regular on Empty Nest.)
- Shout-Out: Notably when Chuy laments to one of the girls that he lost his pot while playing cards with Sophia...when he tells them it wasn't a cooking pot, hilarity ensues when he gets a funny look. He then innocently exclaims that he's NEVER smoked pot before.
- In a later episode he talks about the marijuana he used to smoke in the sixties...the audience laughs and all have a good time.
- We Have the Keys: Subbverted -- Rose knocks repeatedly on the door to a room to interrupt a couple having adulterous sex. When that fails to stop them, she uses her maid's key to open the door and walk in.
- Yet Another Christmas Carol: The girls decorate the hotel for Christmas but the organizer of a seminar for recently divorced men insists that all the decorations are removed and no mention of Christmas be made.