RSS

Tag Archives: Alexandra Moen

Hotel Babylon Season 4 Review

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.

hotel-babylon-series-4-poster

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.

hotel-babylon-series-4-cast

Story-wise season 4 starts off with a bang and it definitely has some interesting ideas, but overall the plot elements are a far cry from what’s come before, with everything feeling a bit over-the-top, silly and delve 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’s at this point that Hotel Babylon starts to show signs of fatigue, it was noticeable in season 3 but here it’s much worse. At several points, the stories felt repetitious and tired thanks to the dialogue or scenarios that have been played out in previous seasons. And some of the key repeated themes were:

  1. The “Will they or won’t they?” scenario: That permeated around Sam and Juliet, however, it was done before with Charlie and Rebecca, and Charlie and Anna in previous seasons.
  2. People impersonating other people: That’s been done many times by now.
  3. The hotel is in trouble: Whether the hotel’s having inspection issues, financial problems or being bought out, it’s all been done by now.
  4. Main characters meeting outdoors: And is it me or has the moment where the two main characters spilt, one goes after the other and later meet in an exterior part of London happened before? I swear that’s become a thing since Charlie did it with Rebecca at the end of season 2.

Now I did love episode 3 because (SPOILERS) it brings back Max Beesley as Charlie, a character who besides Rebecca was a quintessential member of this show. Even though the episode’s a little cheesy and unrealistic, it was sweet seeing Anna and Charlie reunited, the birth of Anna’s child and her fairytale exit from the show. Unfortunately, this also marks the last spark greatness for this show as it’s mainly downhill afterwards. And while there are certainly positive moments of drama, humour and intrigue, it just felt like the writers gave up and created a soap-like drama with none of the care and panache this show was known for in the past. Oh and after seeing this show straight through to the end, I can say that the ending was one of the laziest and unsatisfactory conclusions I have ever seen. Sure the show got cancelled, but to leave open-ended and not even conclude one of the major storylines, I felt robbed.

p01ggt8b-hotel-babylon

When it comes to the cast they are good, however, some do better jobs than others. So start with Nigel Harman and Anna Wilson-Jones as Sam Franklin and Juliet Miller. These two are the new hotel owner and general manager and honestly, they’re no Charlie and Rebecca that’s for sure. It took me a while to warm to them, but I grew to tolerate them. Sam’s the more interesting of the two as he’s ambitious and risk-taker even if his actions can be troublesome to the hotel. And even though Harman’s good in the role, it’s hard not to see Dennis from Eastenders (yeah I remember stuff like that). And Juliet was fine, she doesn’t have any notable character traits, all I recall is that she wasn’t a team player and was a bit bland.

p01ggt7f-hotelbaylon

As for the returning cast, Dexter Fletcher is still as charming as Tony and I liked the material Fletcher was given this season. Emma Pierson is the same as ever as Anna, though this season gave her some nice and funny moments. Martin Marquez and Ray Coulthard once again do well as Gino and James, both of them have really interesting and strong individual moments (Gino and his short-term lover and James with his old intern), and together they’re the same bickering pair that they’ve been beforehand which was both humourous and tiring. Alexandra Moen as Emily unlike last season when I found Emily annoying, she was actually quite engaging. Also, I don’t know why didn’t notice before, but Emily was absurdly gorgeous and just oozed hotness all season. Michael Obiora had some interesting moments as Ben, and Danira Gović had some funny moments as Tanja, 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 guest 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.

p01ghbfp-hotelbabylon hotel-babylon-sam

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, and the soundtrack by Jim Williams and John Lunn is still smooth, sleek and wonderful on the ears, however, like last season some of the better themes and jazz-focused elements from previous seasons aren’t around and that still sucks.

p01ghq82_hotel-babylon

In conclusion season 4 of Hotel Babylon had some nice moments, the cast is still fun and there’s enough in this season to make it watchable. However when compared to what’s come before it is a massive step down. This was the point when my beautiful show well and truly died and became painfully average and dull. There is a reason why I only refer to season’s 1 & 2 of Hotel Babylon, and that is because the next two don’t measure up, especially not this one. Nuff said.

Rating: 5/10 (A tragic conclusion to this show)

So have you seen Hotel Babylon and if so what did you think of it? Also thank you for checking out my reviews on this show and if I inspired you to give a watch I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. So until the next time, I’ll see ya whenever I do my next TV review, laters! 😀

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 7, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hotel Babylon Season 3 Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for another TV review and today after a long break I am returning to Hotel Babylon with my review of season 3! Now I loved season 1 and season 2 was just as good if not better, now I am returning to the third season for the first time in 7 years! And I’m curious to see if my thoughts have changed or remained the same. So how does this season fare? Well read on and find out.

hotel-babylon-series-3-poster

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 are mainly episodic, however there are arching storylines over the course of the 8-episode season and there are also some ties to the previous two seasons. Each episode features one or more storylines to do with the staff and/or guests of the hotel and sometimes they crossover too.

hotel-babylon_56745538-1280x720-1280x720

Story-wise with season 3, you get a feeling of familiarity with the characters, setting and plot format, but also because of the passing of time and new situations presented with the guests and hotel staff. Some of the strong themes of season 3 are love and relationships, change, trust and loyalty. The show doesn’t hold any punches when it comes to issues relating to fashion and child labour, deceit within the hotel staff, a guest dying of cancer, prostitution, and a man struggling with weight loss. HB is still sleek, sexy and dramatic, and not only presents the characters and audience with ethical and moral dilemmas, but it’s also incredibly fun, humourous and engaging…

That being said, one of the issues I have with storylines in season 3 is that they don’t seem as well thought out as before and some of the new scenarios feel a little haphazard just for the sake of change rather than feeling like a natural progression of the series. It’s hard to describe without giving you an example, but you can tell that there’s a dip in quality as this season goes on and while it still has its moments the show doesn’t feel as compelling and fun as it was before. There is a moment where the show peeks at episode 5 and it is at that point where you see the talent of the writers at work as they are able to create some really tension-filled, dramatic and heart-breaking material for you to watch. It is awesome and yet so sad at the same time… Unfortunately it is that point the season takes a huge loss and it never seems to recover from it and those who have seen the show will know exactly what I mean. Another aspect not as strong as before was the season finale, while the last two were brilliant, this one felt a little over-the-top, crowded and not as satisfying as it could have been, and I think it was primarily due to the impact of episode 5 which was much stronger.

hotel-babylon-season3_PDVD_1464

When it comes to the cast they are all pretty good, the returning cast do a good job while the new additions add to the show in an interesting way. So start with Max Beesley who was solid as Charlie Edwards. I wasn’t keen on the way Charlie was handled, he’s more Rebecca (the former manager) than himself and while that comes with the job title, I feel like he lost a little charm and humanity. This season focuses a lot at first on Charlie taking on the role as general manager and changing up his attitude towards his coworkers/friends as he starts making choices that aren’t ethical or moral for the sake of business over the more humane decisions he used to make. That being said when push comes to shove Charlie comes through. Dexter Fletcher is still good as Tony Casemore. As head concierge and most senior form of staff he knows his coworkers and the hotel pretty well, but also has to get with times and change things up, he had plenty of moments to standout whether it was because of personal issues or aspects that related to his coworkers/friends. Emma Pierson once again does well as Anna Thornton-Wilton, while her character traits are familiar, she has a lot more dramatic moments and time is dedicated to her relationship material as well.

Natalie Mendoza comes back and does well as Jackie Clunes. Here she’s just as sassy, fun and gorgeous as ever, but she doesn’t have as big of a presence as before. Martin Marquez is good as Gino Primirola and this season we get more dramatic moments for him which was welcome. Ray Coulthard again does well as James Schofield and has some time to shine with scenarios relating to his restaurant and wine collection, and while there’s no proper development for his character he is still fun to watch. Michael Obiora is good as Ben Trueman, but he’s not nearly as noticeable as his coworkers. New members to the main staff include Emily James played by Alexandra Moen and Jack Harrison played by Lee Williams. When it comes to Emily at first she’s quite annoying and mischievous, and doesn’t really fit into the main staff’s dynamic, however she eventually started to show loyalty and humour that made her more relatable and likeable, and Moen does well in her role. And when it comes to Jack he comes in as a bit of a know-it-all, has no sense of flexibility and totally lacks the human touch at first, but eventually he becomes a tolerable character. And finally there are some great appearances from Jon Culshaw, Kwame Kwei-Armah, Paula Abdul and John Barrowman (who was looking very much like Tom Cruise for some reason).

hotel-babylon-season-234r

When it comes to the presentation it is still very nice. Visually the show still has good cinematography and camera work used throughout the hotel and across London too. The soundtrack by Jim Williams and John Lunn is once again one of the best aspects of the show, however the music wasn’t as strong as before and had less of a jazz focus which was a real shame for me.

In conclusion by the time season 3 of Hotel Babylon is over you feel like there’s certainly been bumps in the road, but overall it is still pretty good. There is still a lot of heart and fun to this show, it is just unfortunate that it lost some key characters and had lacklustre stories. I’d like to say that things get better in season 4, but alas that’s not true.

Rating: 7/10 (Good, but a substantial step down from previous seasons)

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 next time for the review of season 4. 😀

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 7, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: