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 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:
- 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.
- People impersonating other people: That’s been done many times by now.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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! 😀