It’s Time to Stop Ignoring ‘The Golden Palace’

Robert Hundley

On April 25, 2009, my cell phone commenced to blow up with texts:

I’m so sorry for ur loss 

RIP BEA 🙁

TYFBAF

It transpired. I’d sensed it ahead of it was even confirmed, but the information was official: Bea Arthur had passed absent. My preferred Golden Woman was gone. Just about a 12 months later, I would get her confront tattooed on my arm over a laurel wreath and the words and phrases “Thank you for becoming a mate.” Dorothy Zbornak lives endlessly on my remaining bicep.

A globe without having Bea Arthur suddenly felt bleak. But self-soothing through Golden Girls repeats — even just as track record noise (which truly proves hard for the reason that all I want to do is end the character’s sentences) — manufactured her demise remarkably less difficult to digest. And immediately after seven seasons’ worthy of of episodes I’ve observed hundreds of situations (to quotation Dorothy, “Who are you to decide me?”), there really is not a spot I’d fairly be than in the 4-bed room, ranch-style, wicker-hefty house at 6151 Richmond Avenue in Miami, the tackle exactly where it all began.

Technically, there’s an additional tackle in Miami where it all continued, but as a common rule … we don’t talk about …

The Golden Palace (avenue deal with unknown).

Ah, indeed, each individual Golden Girl aficionado’s filthy small top secret. Following Arthur decided 7 seasons of The Golden Girls was ample for her, the trio that was left guiding — Blanche (Rue McClanahan), Rose (Betty White), and Sophia (Estelle Getty) — embarked on a spinoff that aired on CBS for just just one sick-fated time. I have been a Golden Girls fan for approximately fifty percent my lifestyle, and still I knew just more than enough about The Golden Palace to pay out it no intellect, to virtually faux it did not exist. Why? For the reason that it just appeared to be the right factor to do, the way you edit out shady details of someone’s obituary the second they eat filth.

To be fair, all you experienced to explain to me to retain me from viewing the spinoff was that Dorothy Zbornak was nowhere to be found, but the other variables really don’t necessarily sweeten the pot, both. Blanche sells her house? And she moves into a beachside Miami resort with Rose and Sophia, all of whom perform there together? And Don Cheadle and Cheech Marin are there, as is Oliver, an orphan with a Newsies-era Brooklynese accent who (fortunately) disappears soon after a few episodes? And the topic tune — continue to the iconic 1 from the primary — is performed by … a guy (eek!) in a calypso rendition that feels practically as unsettling as observing Ned Beatty participate in Blanche’s mentally disabled brother (yikes!), Tad, who falls in like with Rose (double yikes!).

And however, with the show’s latest addition to Hulu coinciding with the death of Betty White, I had an angle shift. How could I be so stubborn to disregard the 24 episodes that, although not great, keep on the Goldenverse? I dove in, patiently and thoroughly pouring by way of each episode. Despite all my hesitance, my panic that the display was as soul-crushing as the fandom appeared to whisper … was incorrect.

The Golden Palace isn’t just high-quality. It’s basically fantastic and fully truly worth your time.

Absolutely sure, it is mildly nostalgic. And not each and every joke has necessarily aged perfectly, but what sitcom has? Involving a decidedly assorted forged, a prescient story about the Accomplice flag’s unattractive record, and Blanche literally wishing her son (Invoice Engvall) were being gay — in distinction to her rejection of her personal brother Clay’s identical-sex nuptials in the authentic — the show feels altogether refreshingly contemporary.

But much more essential, it’s amusing.

Some episodes get the job done better than other people even if they border on absurd. In just a person period, Blanche falls for a gigolo with a coronary heart of gold, a cattle rancher going through toddler fever (Dick Gautier), and a greyhound coach (Ken Kercheval) who puts as a great deal believed into euthanizing his individual pups as he does into choosing a pair of socks. Sophia groups up with nearby radio DJs (Tim Conway and Harvey Korman in peak type) to pull a cruel prank on Rose, who mercilessly returns the favor in the form of character flip we’d never have witnessed on the initial display. But it’s the little runners that I really like the most like when Rose can’t appear to have an understanding of how elevators do the job, generally hoping to “beat” it to the floor floor.

Does each individual story maintain up? No. Are some stories thinly disguised recycled versions of all those from its predecessor? In truth. Is it challenging to think that Sophia, nearing her 90s, transitioned from expending her days purchasing for a solitary nectarine to whole-time server and sous-chef? It is.

And I’m sorry, but I’m not fascinated in viewing Marin pour his heart out in excess of cheesecake. That 1 hurt a little.

But you know what? Chemistry is simple, and these three have it even without having Bea Arthur. Cheadle and Marin pull their body weight, as well. And it doesn’t harm that we get to see a youthful, shirtless Cheadle play seaside volleyball. It just about can make up for the point that the season (and finally the collection) finale capabilities a B-story about setting up the world’s longest burrito. Pretty much. And as a writer on the iCarly reboot, in which unusual food stuff bits tend to be a jogging theme, this is everything but uncharted territory.

Even my mates agree. I’m on a Golden Girls–certain text thread with Drag Race royalty Alaska Thunderfuck, H. Alan Scott, and Kerri Doherty (hosts of the podcast Out on the Lanai), all of whom were similarly wary of and prejudiced towards The Golden Palace. But after it hit Hulu, we all figured there was no motive to continue to keep pretending it didn’t exist. I requested for their thoughts:

Kerri: If you just cannot come to a decision if this spinoff is for you, check out episode 103, “Miles, We Barely Knew Ye.” There are so several raunchy sex jokes even Joan Rivers would’ve blushed. Additionally Don Cheadle and Cheech Marin are very charming additions to the key forged. Is The Golden Palace the exact as the flagship exhibit? No. But it’s fairly damn near and surely well worth the check out!

H. Alan: I think the reason I slept on The Golden Palace was due to the fact I was fearful it would someway taint my love of The Golden Women. But now, in carrying out our rewatch on Out on the Lanai, I’m noticing my fears ended up unfounded, and it’s really a enjoyment small romp. It’s like we’re all on the girls’ personal very little getaway to a lodge! And we should not be fearful because we’ll always have the protection of the initial collection to go back again to.

Alaska: Golden Palace was the identify of one particular of my preferred Chinese buffets in Pittsburgh. But I hated the display The Golden Palace. I assumed it wasn’t funny, I thought Oliver was irritating, and I was offended by the show’s extremely existence. But the moment Betty White handed on to the next realm, I rewatched, and now I’m outraged that there aren’t 5 far more seasons. It is charming and comforting and lovely … and I even like Oliver.

Most crucial for me, even though, is observing that Dorothy does in fact return for not a person but two episodes. Arthur’s gnawing, chewing, and spitting out the landscapes instantly elevates Palace to Golden Women glory in a scene in which she contends with a hard consumer. When she spits out the line “I really do not treatment if you have a pulse, much considerably less a good day,” she puts these types of a tough emphasis on the P you can nearly see the venom exit her lips. Bear in head that she provides this line while dressed in her signature levels — clothes I think include a caftan but can not be guaranteed. All I know is her flawlessly Floridian lewk capabilities a number of shades of critical lime, as the excellent Lord meant.

As bittersweet as it was to have Bea Arthur make only a shorter return to the demonstrate, a Miami without Dorothy Zbornak is not essentially 1 I’d like to dwell in. But as a new fan of The Golden Palace, it is a person I’d like to at minimum pay a visit to every single now and then. And I know specifically in which seaside resort I’ll be remaining.

Eliot Glazer is a comedian, actor and Television set author whose credits include things like The Boys: Diabolical, New Girl, and Wide Town but not The Golden Palace (not that he’d have a trouble with that). Up coming thirty day period, he will be a visitor host at GoldenCon, which is accurately what it sounds like.

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