Howdy people of the internet, time for another TV review and today I am return with my review of the 4th and final season of Hotel Babylon. Now as I stated before, I loved season 1, really liked season 2 and wasn’t so keen on season 3, and now I’m returning to the final season which I never saw the whole way through back 2009. So how does this season fare? Well read on and find out.
So what is the show about? Well, Hotel Babylon is a fabulous five-star hotel in the heart of London, it is a fairly expensive establishment, however, if you have the money to afford a visit you will find your stay very comfortable in a lavish, beautiful and well-organized hotel where you can have anything you want, for the right price. This show introduces you to the world of how a hotel works and shows you the stories from not only the perspective of the staff but of the guests as well.
The show’s premise primarily focuses on the lives of the hotel staff, however an equal amount of time is given to the guests of the hotel as well. The stories in this show are mainly episodic, however there are arching storylines over the course of the 8-episode season and some ties to past seasons. Each episode features one or more storylines to do with the staff and/or guests of the hotel and sometimes they crossover into each other too.
Story-wise season 4 starts off with a bang and it definitely has some interesting ideas, but overall the plot elements are just a bit over-the-top, silly and delves into the realm of fiction. This season deals with geek culture, family domestics, gambling, both a fake wedding and funeral, the fallout and reforming of relationships and a few other issues. It is at this point that Hotel Babylon starts to show signs of fatigue. It was noticeable in season 3 but here its worse. There are also a lot of repeated themes like:
- The will they or won’t they scenario, with Sam and Juliet (which was done before with Charlie and Rebecca, and Charlie and Anna in previous seasons)
- People pretending to be someone who they’re not (that’s been done many times by now)
- The hotel being in trouble (whether the hotel’s having inspection issues, financial problems or being bought out, it’s all been done by now)
While there are still moments of humour, drama and intrigue, none of it compares to what’s come before. It feels like the writers just gave up and created a soap-like drama with little to none of the style and panache this show was known for in its inception. And there were several points where the stories felt unoriginal and cliché as hell whether be from the dialogue or scenarios that have been played out in previous seasons or other TV shows. And is it me or has there been a moment where the two main characters have spilt, one goes after the other and later meet in an exterior part of London? I swear that’s become a thing since Charlie did it with Rebecca at the end of season 2.
I love episode 3 because (SPOILERS) it brings back Max Beesley as Charlie Edwards, a character who besides Rebecca Mitchell was the quintessential member of this show until last season when he left. Even though the episode’s a little cheesy, silly and unrealistic, there’s something sweet about the Anna and Charlie’s reunion, the birth of Anna’s child and her exit from the show. Unfortunately this also makes the last spark greatness for this show as it’s mainly downhill from there. Oh and after seeing this show straight til the end, I can say that the ending was one of the most lazy and unsatisfactory conclusions I have ever seen. Sure the show got cancelled, but to not even conclude one of the major storylines and leave it open, that was terribly handled.
When it comes to the cast they are good, however some do better jobs than others. The returning cast do well while the new members are a bit hit and miss. So start with Nigel Harman as Sam Franklin and Anna Wilson-Jones as Juliet Miller. These two are the new hotel owner and general manager and honestly they’re no Charlie and Rebecca that’s for sure, but they’re alright. It took me a while to warm to them, but I grew to like them. Sam’s the more interesting character because of he’s ambitious, cocky and risk-taker even if he’s annoying and obviously to the way hotel’s function. Even though Harman’s good in the it is hard to see him and not see Dennis from Eastenders (yeah I remember stuff like that). Juliet is interesting, but isn’t a team player and has certain character traits that make her a bit bland.
As for the returning cast Dexter Fletcher is still as charming as Tony Casemore and I liked the material Fletcher was given this season. Emma Pierson is the same as ever as Anna Thornton-Wilton, this season gives her some nice and funny moments and Pierson does well. Martin Marquez and Ray Coulthard once again do well as Gino Primirola and James Schofield, both of them have really interesting and strong individual moments (Gino and his short-term lover and James with his old intern), and obviously together they’re the same bickering pair that they’ve been beforehand which is both humourous and tiring. Oh and Alexandra Moen as Emily James, wow. I don’t know why I’ve not noticed before, but she was absurdly gorgeous in this season, I loved just looking at her and Moen just oozed hotness at several points in the season. Also unlike last season when I found Emily annoying, she was actually quite engaging. Michael Obiora has some interesting moments as Ben Trueman, Danira Gović has some funny moments as Tanja Mihajlov, but I didn’t really care for her character becoming part of the main cast. Oh and finally Amy Nuttall as Melanie Hughes was an interesting late addition as the new receptionist, but I don’t feel like she fit into the show properly.
And the great appearances are pretty good. Like I said before it was great to see Max Beesley as Charlie, but it was also cool to see Kelly Osbourne, Michael Winner, Honor Blackman, Tony Robinson, Frances Barber, Denise van Outen, the awesome Hugh Dennis and Ruby Turner.
The presentation for the show is still quite nice. The visual style, cinematography and shots of exterior shots of London at day and night continue to look lovely. The soundtrack by Jim Williams and John Lunn is still smooth, sleek and wonderful on the ear, however, like last season some of the better themes and jazz-focused elements from previous seasons isn’t around and that still sucks.
In conclusion season 4 of Hotel Babylon is alright and has some nice moments, however when compared to wants come before it is a massive step down. This was the point when my beautiful show well and truly died and became quite average/dull, the cast are still fun and there’s enough in this season to make it watchable, however, it’s just not enough. There is a reason only season’s 1 & 2 of Hotel Babylon existence in my mind, because the next two don’t measure up. Nuff said.
Rating: 5.5/10 (A weak conclusion to this show)
So have you seen Hotel Babylon and if so what did you think of it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya whenever I do my next TV review, laters! 😀