Exclusive Interview: Palm Royale creator and EP on delving into high society in Apple TV+ comedy

Kristen Wiig on Palm Royale.
Palm Royale is a comical series set in 1969. Pic credit: Apple TV+

Palm Royale will open its doors on Apple TV+ this week when the first three episodes debut.

The period comedy stars Kristen Wiig as an outsider, Maxine Simmons, who goes to extreme lengths to secure a place in Palm Beach high society in 1969.

Palm Royale follows Maxine throughout her quest, touching upon what she will and won’t do to get what she wants.

Monsters and Critics got the chance to screen the entire freshman season ahead of its premiere. Thanks to its stellar cast, witty script, and awe-inspiring setting, it’s sure to be one of the most talked-about shows of the year.

Wiig is electric as this woman will go to great lengths to get what she wants. When the show premieres, we expect plenty of memes of it to spread like wildfire across social media.

It’s that funny, and you can tell the proven comedy powerhouse had a fantastic time bringing this offbeat character to life.

Palm Royale has a fantastic cast

Also starring are Laura Dern, Allison Janney, Leslie Bibb, Ricky Martin, Josh Lucas, and the incomparable Carol Burnett. It’s an impressive cast, and they all slip into their roles with ease.

In an exclusive interview with Monsters and Critics, series creator Abe Sylvia said that he worked with creative partners — Katie O’Connell Marsh, Dern, Jayme Lemons, and Tate Taylor — to bring Juliet McDaniel’s 2018 novel to life.

There were conversations off the bat about which storylines to keep and which they should change or omit.

“It was just a really fun, smart group that had identified this book and this character as somebody worthy of making a television show around,” Sylvia shared.

“We all put our heads together and said, ‘What stories are we interested in telling? Where do we want that to take place?'” he added of the creative process.

Maxine is desperate to find her place in the world

“And then we just let our imaginations run wild, and we built the show from there.”

When asked what viewers should know about Maxine and the high society she’s trying to break into, O’Connell Marsh said:

“The world she’s trying to break into — I think ostensibly it’s the world of this fabulousness — but I think what we learn about Maxine is that she’s trying to find a sense of place.”

“She’s a very optimistic character, kind of unflappable, but then, at times, the world kind of gets to her,” O’Connell Marsh added.

“But I think for her, it’s finding a sense of home. It’s finding where she fits in the world and going after this dream.

“And I think she’ll find out that other elements will make her happy.”

Sylvia echoed his co-worker’s sentiments.

“As the season unfolds, this obsession to be a part of something that, you know, I think even when you get there, you’re not there,” he shared.

“So I think the absurdity of obsessing over something that doesn’t isn’t actually achievable. As the season unfolds, the situations and the trying to hang on to this thing become more and more absurd.”

“But that doesn’t diminish her obsession or her sunniness,” he cautioned.

All of the characters on Palm Royale are searching for something

I pointed out that the sense of finding your place thematically plays for all of the characters on the show, which O’Connell Marsh said was “vital to the storytelling.”

“I think with this group of sort of un-woke women that Maxine’s character comes across and wants to be a part of, I think what Abe and the writers did so well is dimensionalize all of the characters,” the EP added before stating we’ll meet people who are “seeking that community.”

“They all have secrets that will be revealed. And that was a really powerful way to make the world feel authentic, fun, and real,” she added.

Some characters on Palm Royale aren’t relatable

Sylvia added that some of the characters are not the “most relatable people.”

“It’s a very rarefied world that these people inhabit. And so, having a universal theme, these people want to be a part of this club. Who hasn’t felt that way?”

“Who hasn’t felt the desire to belong and be part of something greater than oneself? And so we kept going back to that theme to say, ‘Okay, not everyone’s going to get to drive a Rolls Royce in their lifetime, but everybody can relate to that feeling.’ So it’s really about bringing the audience in.”

If you’re looking for a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features characters who would do anything to fit in, Palm Royale may be the show for you.

It’s a shame all episodes won’t be available on day one, like a Netflix show, because Palm Royale is best enjoyed binged.

Palm Royale will premiere on Wednesday, March 20, on Apple TV+. The first three episodes will be available on the premiere date, followed by one new episode per week.

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