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Palm Royale Season 1 series review: Kristen Wiig’s late burst of brilliance may not be enough to keep this ship from sinking

Palm Royale Season 1 series review: Set in 1969, Palm Royale follows Maxine Simmons (Kristen Wiig), as she seeks to be accepted into Palm Beach's high society

Palm Royale Season 1 series review: Kristen Wiig’s late burst of brilliance may not be enough to keep this ship from sinking
Kristen Wiig in the season finale of Palm Royale

Last Updated: 08.52 PM, May 09, 2024


Palm Royale Season 1 story: When Palm Beach’s high society queen bee Norma Dellacorte (Carol Burnett), the heiress of a plastics and mouthwash empire, becomes comatose, her nephew and heir apparent Douglas Simmons (Josh Lucas) and his wife, Maxine (Kristen Wiig) move in to take care of her. Maxine is determined to give Douglas the life he’d left behind for her, while also giving herself a shot at stepping into Norma’s shoes as far as Palm Beach’s social circuit goes.


Norma, as it turns out, used to host an annual fund-raiser Ball that was not only quite the spectacle, but also had the who’s who of Palm Beach in attendance. When Maxine decides to keep the tradition going, she realizes that most of the attendees always turned up and paid handsome amounts because Norma knew a tonne of secrets that they’d rather remained unknown.

Palm Royale Season 1 review: They spent 10 episodes to lead to one explosive reveal and then left on a cliffhanger with the one person who figured it all out incapacitated. Apple TV’s Palm Royale was a whole lot of fluff about the event of the year – the Beach Ball – and all the sleaze that Norma Dellacorte knew about the members of the Palm Royale, the club for the hoity-toity high society. And then, just as the truth about Norma almost came out, it ended, presumably in the hope of a second season.

But then, what is left to warrant that? Was it a last-minute decision to forego a limited series option and hope for continuity? Allison Janney’s Evelyn Rollins has a new toy boy and got herself a sweeter deal than what her late husband left her with. Laura Dern’s Linda got the inheritance she never thought she would get and didn’t want anymore; Leslie Bibb’s Dinah’s got a new suitor lined up and Julia Duffy’s Mary just tried to assassinate the President.

As for the central star of the show, Maxine Dellacorte (Kristen Wigg), well, she’s just realized that her husband’s been cheating on her with her manicurist and his rich aunt Norma (Carol Burnett) has been trying to get rid of her. None of this is even half as juicy as the final reveal – Norma is not who she claims she is. Do we really want to know what drove her to do the things she did and find out more Shiny Sheets gossip?

With 10 episodes, Palm Royale has already outstayed its welcome, I’d say, especially after the ‘Whale’ episode. Even with such a heavy star-studded cast, never once did it have a truly engrossing moment. The show was not funny and did not have enough emotions or drama. This 60s version of the Mean Girls was no fun even with all the outlandish costumes. Wiig’s stellar performance in the season finale came a tad too late.

Palm Royale Season 1 verdict: Palm Royale’s big draw is, no doubt, its cast, but these actors do not have anything to do that’s worth talking about, making the show a dull and tedious watch.


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