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Series / Golden Palace

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Clockwise from left: Blanche, Sophia and Rose. Absent: Dorothy.

The From the Ashes 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 Roland (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 Roland. 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.

This show contains examples of:

  • 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: To The Golden Girls, to the extent that Lifetime briefly aired Palace as a de facto "eighth season" of that series when they still had the rights.
  • And Starring: and Cheech Marin as Chuy Castillos.
  • 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: With Rose's shift to a more assertive personality and thus less likely to take crap from people, plus the lack of Dorothy to be the group's designated punching bag, Blanche ended up bearing the brunt of many more insults and embarrassing incidents than in the original show.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Cheech Marin starring in this series as Chuy Castillos, when the season five Golden Girls episode "An Illegitimate Concern" made a reference to Cheech & Chong, confirming their existence in this universe.
  • Characterization Marches On: In Dorothy's absence, Rose became a much stronger and more authoritative character than she had ever been before (because otherwise the trio of airhead, forgetful old lady and self-obsessed maneater would never have been able to get anything done), but, as with many of the changes from the parent show, trying to marry Rose's ditzy personality together with a newfound confidence and level-headedness was an awkward mix. When Dorothy returns for two episodes, she is seriously unnerved by the change.
    Dorothy: (to Rose) When did you become so strong?!
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Rose has come a long way, but she's still pretty ditzy at times.
    • Now pushing 90, Sophia's occasional bouts of forgetfulness and eccentric behavior were ramped up into comedic dementia territory.
  • 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.
  • Cousin Oliver: invoked Oliver, natch. Eventually the writers realized just how much of a Scrappy he was and wrote him out of the series.
  • Dirty Old Woman: Sophia. She always was one but it's pretty exaggerated here.
  • The Ditz: Rose, and in some cases Blanche.
  • End-of-Episode Silliness: Just like the final season of The Golden Girls, an ending tag would usually play over the closing credits. Thanks to Lifetime having a thing for credit crunches, these weren't seen during their brief run on the channelnote  and haven't been seen on American television since their initial broadcast (they can be seen in international airings, however).
  • Faking the Dead: One of the last episodes revealed that Stan, Dorothy's ex-husband, was doing this to escape the IRS for tax fraud.
  • Guinness Episode: In the B-plot of "Sex, Lies, and Tortillas," Chuy enlists the hotel guest to help him build the World's Longest Burrito in hopes of securing the record. The effort is successful, but unfortunately, there's no record auditor on hand to make it official before the burrito falls apart.
  • Implausible Deniability: Rose meets a delusional elderly lady called Vivian who thinks that Rose is her daughter, Charlene. Rose assures Roland that she has taken her to the police station, but Roland discovers she did not and confronts her in the lobby in front of the elevator doors.
    Roland: Rose, an old woman upstairs just asked me if she could swim in my piano sized pool. Who do you suppose that could be?
    Rose: I have no idea.
    Roland: Rose, Vivian is in this hotel!
    Rose: I don't know what you're talking about.
    Vivian: [Emerges from elevator] "Charlene look, your favorite. Bubbles!"
    Rose: And I'm offended you'd even say such a thing.
  • 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.
  • Marshmallow Dream: When the hotel holds a talent show, Chuy — in his guise of "Corny Castillos" — tries to get Roland to let him in with his stand up act, part of which includes this joke. It goes over about as well as you'd expect.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Blanche's aforementioned brother Tad, whom Rose and Sophia didn't know existed until he showed up. She unconvincingly handwaves it by saying it's not the sort of thing that readily comes up in conversation. Rose and Sophia (and presumably Dorothy) knew she'd been visiting a man in Chattanooga for years; in the episode, Blanche has just visited him and says "I saw my special gentleman friend and we had a lovely time and that's all you need to know." It makes sense that she'd be ashamed of Tad, as she was for a long time of her other brother (who is gay), but to pretend Tad doesn't exist seems a bit extreme.
  • 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: Subverted — 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.