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Hotel Babylon - Series 1 [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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(Jul 29, 2008)
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3
$72.19 $49.56
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Import only Blu-Ray. Region All, playable on all US DVD players. Three DVD set. Meet Charlie, the Deputy Manager at the luxury five-star Hotel Babylon. Ambitious, charming and handsome, Charlie is our guide to this world of fantasy and indulgence, a world where you can be who you want to be - as long as you have the money to pay for it... and know who to ask! While the guests see the ice-cool, smooth service of a professional team - we get to see the affairs, skullduggery and rivalries behind the Staff Only doors. From glamorous General Manager Rebecca who runs a fantastic business, but can't stop her marriage crumbling; Tony the concierge who can get you anything, from anywhere; beautiful receptionist Anna with an eye for a wealthy and eligible guest; Head of Housekeeping Jackie, whose chambermaids have seen it all, to Charlie, on the way up but with a shady past that could see him crash down even faster - all have their own stories...

Review

DVD special features: Commentary on Episode One and The Making Of Hotel Babylon. --Special Features

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Tamzin Outhwaite, Dexter Fletcher, Natalie Mendoza, MICHAEL OBIORA, Max Beesley
  • Directors: Iain B MacDonald, Alrick Riley and Keith Boak
  • Format: Dolby, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 471 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VA3J0W
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,874 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Debra Morse on December 30, 2007
Format: DVD
Hotel Babylon is a witty, clever, and utterly addictive 2006 British television series launched in the States via BBC America in 2007. The formula is fool proof: assemble a hotel staff of strongly drawn characters, each with a secret past; add dashes of sexual tension, avarice, silliness and whimsy; then, in each episode fold in a parade of hotel guests, everyone arriving with their own baggage of deceit, pathos, and lunacy. The result is a comedy that has dark dramatic undertones, and a drama that breaks into giggles when the tension reaches a breaking point.

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).
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Format: DVD
HOTEL BABYLON has to be one of the most incorrectly-advertised TV shows I've seen. When airing on BBC America this past summer, it appeared to be some glamourized soap opera with sexy women. BBC American salaciously promoted it on "Wicked Wednesdays". These commercials didn't even hint that HOTEL BABYLON was actually a breezy, fast-paced, funny, and surprisingly truthful look at a 5-star London hotel's happenings.

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...
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Format: DVD
I discovered BBC programming after watching the excellent comedy series "Coupling" late one night on PBS. And I must say, the British have some outstanding shows.

"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!
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