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Kristen Wiig strikes again as ‘Palm Royale’ takes viewers on a fun, yet suspense-filled journey to Palm Beach in 1969

Kristen Wiig's character Maxine dreams of fitting in at the renowned club Palm Royale in 1969.
Kristen Wiig's character Maxine dreams of fitting in at the renowned club Palm Royale in 1969.

Kristen Wiig is a comedy genius. 

This shows in her work on “Saturday Night Live,” her countless film projects and most recently, her show “Palm Royale” on Apple TV.

Like pretty much everything else Wiig has worked on, this show is hilarious. However, contrary to a lot of her previous work, this series is wrapped in layers upon layers of conflict and drama.

The show follows Maxine Dellacorte-Simmons, who prefers to be referred to as just Maxine Dellacorte, on her journey to fit in at the most exclusive club of Palm Beach in 1969, the Palm Royale.

Maxine, a former pageant girl from Tennessee, finds herself in Palm Beach after marrying one of her judges, Douglas Dellacorte-Simmons. Douglas, the nephew of the very wealthy Norma Dellacorte, is the only heir to the Dellacorte fortune obtained from plastics and mouthwash.

Norma, played by comedy legend Carol Burnett, has been dealing with some health issues, leaving her paralyzed and unable to speak. Using this to her advantage, Maxine begins wearing her clothes, borrowing her things and even using her money to get by in Palm Beach and pay for the costly Palm Royale fee.

One thing about the Palm Royale is that everyone knows everyone, and, therefore, gossip is both inevitable and dangerous. While everyone has dirt on almost everyone, Norma is the most feared woman in all of Palm Beach. She holds everyone’s secrets in her rolodex, giving her power over every single person in that town.

The show is marketed as a drama, but it wouldn’t be a Wiig project without her signature comedic flare. However, instead of the focus being on the funny like her usual work, the show highlights Maxine’s struggles with finding herself, fitting in, her marriage and fertility.

Maxine is a woman who has dealt with a lot of loss and struggle in her life, and her one dream is to be able to fit in at the Palm Royale. The show follows her journey to do just that, using questionable tactics and motivations to get there.

On top of Wiig and Burnett, the cast also features Laura Dern, Ricky Martin, Kaia Gerber and Josh Lucas. There isn’t a single dull performance in the entire cast, and everyone gives so much life and depth to their characters. Almost all of the characters are larger than life, yet they have layers of relatability and emotional depth.

The cinematography is certainly a highlight of this show. It is shot in such a beautiful way that transports the viewer straight back to 1969 Palm Beach. The costumes and set also add so much to the show as a whole.

The constant conflict and suspense are what make “Palm Royale” the brilliant series it is. At first glance, it appears to be a fun, light and easy watch, but it only grows more and more intense as the series progresses.

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The show opens with a scene of Wiig’s Maxine underwater in what seems to be the ocean, reflecting on her life and how all she ever wanted was to belong and how all she does is try. It’s a beautiful, poetic opening that foreshadows the entire rest of the series and gives a deep insight into her character from the very start. It may be one of the most powerful openings I have ever seen.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this show, there were some moments that were less than perfect. Though entertaining, the plotlines featuring the president, a washed-up whale and an astronaut in the ocean take away from the overall beauty of the show.

It’s a fun, entertaining series filled with twists, turns, surprises and so much mystery. There’s something shocking in nearly every episode, but the suspense is always surrounded by loveable characters, beautiful scenery and spectacular performances by the entire cast.

Rating: 7/10