Hotel Babylon - Series 1 [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
The promotional trailers aired on BBCA did not do this justice. Those soundbites made it seem as though the series was a debauched soap opera designed to attract a viewership of self- pleasuring adolescent boys. What a delightful surprise to find such a well-written, well acted series. Serious subjects such as immigration raids and drug trafficking crimelords shift stage with rock stars who refuse to party and sophomoric revenge raids on rival hotels.
The action centers around Charlie (Max Beesley), the deputy general manager with a murky past, as he adjusts to his new status in one of London's swankiest hotels. The rest of the staff (many it seems have either shagged him or want to) make his job a challenge, but ultimately pull together to solve the myriad of crises brought on them daily by the guests, who are all played by major stars themselves. (Anthony Stewart Head as the suicidal jingle writer will have you falling off your sofa choking with laughter; Joan Collins as the aging noblewoman will leave you wistful). As the series progresses, the viewer comes to feel sisterly sympathy for the sluttishly obsequious receptionist Anna (Emma Pierson), and certain conspiracy with the barmaster Gino (Martin Marquez).Read more ›
Each of the 8 episodes begins and ends with narration by Charlie (Max Beesley), the Deputy Manager of the hotel. Think Augustus Hill from OZ, or the opening quotes from THE WIRE. Charlie's philosophical monologues on the hotel business cleverly bookend each episode. Other characters include:
Rebecca (Tamzin Outwaithe) - the workaholic hotel manager
Tony (Dexter Fletcher from LOCK, STOCK, & TWO SMOKING BARRELS) - a loyal concierge who's mostly the moral center of the show
Anna (Emma Pearson) - the superficial receptionist you can't help but put up with
There are other hotel faces that you'll learn along the way, and each is given an appropriate amount of screentime. Cameos don't steal the show, and reoccuring characters are well-balanced throughout the season.
What separates HOTEL BABYLON from other tongue-in-cheek comedy-dramas is that although the stories in this show are exaggerated, they all carry a dose of reality. Should there be strange noises and electrical failures during the midnight shift? Probably not, but any hotel employee knows that midnight shifts are as weird as they get. Would rebellious staff members assemble a mock wedding at a guest's request? Highly unlikely, but I've been asked by a guest for stranger favors. Would hotel staff and guests have fraternize, flirt, and have private get-togethers? Well...Read more ›
"Hotel Babylon" is easily one of hippest, sexiest shows in recent memory -- miles ahead of NBC's "Las Vegas". Of course much of that can be contributed to the sharp writing and attractive cast, as well as the sleek sets and gorgeous shots of London.
Still, there's a lot more to this series than meets the eye. Newly appointed deputy manager Charlie Edwards (Max Beesley) serves as the series' narrator, navigating the trials and tribulations that the staff of the five-star property meet each day.
Above Max is Rebecca Mitchell (Tamzin Outhwaite), the Hotel's general manager. She's a gorgeous, confident woman who handles everything from "ordinary guests" to rock stars and even foreign delegates. Though highly poised on the outside, she's hiding a number of secrets that are revealed as the series progresses -- among them the fact that she's left her husband and is currently living inside the hotel itself.
The supporting cast is as diverse as it is amusing. Guest concierge Tony Casemore (Dexter Fletcher) does everything from getting theater tickets and restaurant tables, to high-class prostitutes for the rock stars who inevitably arrive from time to time. Joining him at the front desk area is receptionist Anna Thorton-Wilton (Emma Pierson), an old flame of Charle's and a rather superficial social climber.
"Hotel Babylon" alternates between the day-to-day grind of the hotel business to the persona lives of the characters. All of them seem to have secrets of some kind -- ones that eventually rear their ugly heads on the job. Of course, there's also a good dose of sex, glamor and money, all of which make the series a pleasure to watch!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Somewhere behind those cast of characters is a revolving door. If you get used to the fact that door revolves through the four seasons with cast members coming and going, you'll... Read morePublished on August 14, 2014 by Vicki Hopkins
Series 1 is easily the best series, given its novelty value and since it was the only one that starred Tamzin Outhwaite, although it can be argued that the real star of the show... Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by Tahir Usman
The original book is a favorite of mine! Buy it on Kindle!
The TV series is fairly true to the story - which IS quite interesting. Read more
great price, same great series I wish this series was able to continue I would watch it for the rest of my lifePublished on September 29, 2013 by tiffany bennett
Light hearted series - I loved it. Made me smile and look at Hotel life through a different window. Will definately get Series twoPublished on February 5, 2013 by gail bond
This is a show about a posh hotel ... and it has enough scandal, sex and drama to satisfy any fan of British television. You'll need a region 2 DVD player to watch this. Read morePublished on January 19, 2013 by WorldTravelr