The Golden Palace is a welcome continuation/spinoff to the Golden Girls, and I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of this show. Rose, Blanche, and Sofia are all in fine form as they take on the business of running a hotel. Some old characters return for brief appearances and plotlines are resolved. We learn, for example, that Rose's boyfriend, Miles, is having an affair with another woman, who he eventually marries. Rose is obviously heartbroken but moves on. Dorothy visits from Atlanta in episodes 7 and 8 only to find that although her friends still love her (and share stories while eating plenty of cheesecake), life has essentially moved on. Also, we get a glimpse of Shady Pines, which contrary to Sofia's stories, is not such a bad place after all.
Rose has become much more savvy and wise than her character in the Golden Girls. She still regales the gang with tales about St. Olaf, but as Sofia noted in one episode, "Rose now leads them." Blanche is still promiscuous (which gets her into a lot of trouble with her employees and guests now that she is part owner of a hotel), and Sofia remains, well, Sofia.
However, there are some subtle, yet notable differences between this show and the Golden Girls: the absence of Dorothy, the inclusion of new characters - Roland (Don Cheadle) as the hotel manager, Oliver (episodes 1-6, 14) as Roland's foster son, and Chuy (pronounced "Chewie") Castillos (Cheech Marin) as the hotel chef, and a theme song which is not quite as catchy as the previous show.
Also, I couldn't help but feel that the writers of the Golden Palace over-used some jokes from the Golden Girls, which didn't always fit with the characters played by Don Cheadle and Cheech Marin. And what's the deal with Oliver? He appeared briefly for a couple of episodes and was then retrieved by his foster mother. Oliver, we barely knew ye.
Despite its flaws, "Palace" is worth checking out, and although it was only on the air for 24 episodes, it is a good successor to the Golden Girls.