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  • I came upon this show accidentally last week. I couldn't be bothered finding the remote so I put up with it. Within thirty seconds I was absolutely hooked. It is the most brilliant show to come out of anywhere in years.

    The characters have a depth rarely seen on any prime time show. They are sexy, charismatic and appealing to everyone. The humour is black, yet subtle, and I love the way the camera work glides here and there-- it is very "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" in style.

    Speaking of "Lock, Stock", Dexter Fletcher plays the savvy concierge Tony, clearly the most appealing character. The others each add their own to the show, however, it is the individual guests that bring out the best in the regular characters.

    I'll be watching this for a while, or at least until the syndicates take it off to be replaced with some other piece of crap show. I give it 4.5 out of 5.
  • royall0212 May 2006
    I would have to say this show is brilliant! Finally they put a show on TV that is worth watching. Its funny, dramatic, sexy and intriguing! The characters all mesh together well and the actors are top class. I would love to work in a 5 star hotel like this in real life just to see if what goes on behind guests backs is true! It does the book its based on justice and much much more. Hopefully its on the television for a few more years to come as I'm sure they have plenty of juicy stories and gossip to tell. Thumbs up I definitely recommend watching if it you want some great entertainment and I assure you, you will be hooked after 5 minutes!
  • I always had the idea that the BBC just made endless adaption's of Jane Eyre and other costume dramas. How wrong I was! In the new millennium the BBC has the same status as the American HBO. They spend their dough on innovative, well crafted and highly enjoyable drama of the highest level. ''Hotel Babylon'' is a little pearl, together with ''Life on Mars'', ''State of Play'' and many, many other BBC-productions.

    In Holland they aired Hotel Babylon together with Desperate Housewives. A nice combination, both shows do have much things in common. They both have a trendy atmosphere combined with a dark sense of humor, witty dialog and a cast of colorful characters. Hotel Babylon is slightly more deep because it shows the world of the rich and famous as a rotten world; one that is corrupted by preposterous needs, adultery, prostitution, crime, arrogance, the using of others, etc. Every episode has a moral message in it for anyone who wants to see it, cleverly hidden so it doesn't feel like its writers want to push their opinions down your throat.

    I must say that the romantic tension between Max Beesley and Tamzin Outwaithe is another huge plus. Both actors are really the kind of charismatic actors that carry any show to a higher level, most certainly this one.
  • I wasn't a fan of season 1 simply because I was busy watching other shows but by accident I ended up watching 50 seconds with Natalie Jackson Mendoza and I was hooked.

    It was interesting to see a likeness to shows such as Las Vagas which I was a fan of for a brief period.

    The characters are all interesting in their own ways and the writing is brilliant with the employees of Hotel Babylon dealing with the celebrities and the problems they bring.

    The most interesting character so far seems Tony a man who should not be reckoned with.

    I give this show a full ten simply because its smart, funny and sexy.
  • Great show, unlike anything on TV. 10 out of 10. The casting, writing, directing are all top drawer. Too bad we don't get shows of this quality out of the mills that create shows in the USA. After watching shows like this it becomes really hard to watch the tripe that the big three in their quest for the lowest common denominator churn out.

    The setting a five star hotel provides endless secondary characters through which the series cast work their roles, providing danger, romance, humor and intrigue.

    Though different, it has the same elements that have made the Sopranos,Deadwood, Oz and Rome compelling TV, that is, great characters, involving story lines and the ability to keep it fresh and real.

    I actually have gone back and changed my rating after watching season three.
  • When Hotel Babylon first started I thought I'd give it a go although I suspected it would be the sort of programme that I'd watch a few episodes of before getting bored of. How wrong I was, four series on and I'm still enjoying it. This is mostly down to the great cast, even though members have come and gone over the years the replacements have quickly established themselves.

    Set in a London five star hotel we follow the lives of the staff as they interact with each other and the stream of fairly eccentric guests that stay there. The cast includes all strata of the hotel staff from housekeepers and receptionists, a Spanish head barman, a pompous head waiter up to the managers. Every viewer will have their own favourite character, mine is Anna, the beautiful receptionist, played by Emma Pierson, who sees her job as a temporary thing till she can find a millionaire to marry. All the main characters are fun though so I'm sure they will all be somebody's favourite.

    As with any series that lasts a few years characters will leave as their actors move on to other things, thankfully even though almost half the original characters have departed it is still as much fun as ever. Being set is a hotel there can be a regular stream of guest characters each with amusing characteristics to bring to the story. Since each episode is self contained don't worry if you haven't seen it before, it won't take long to realise what each character's position in the hotel is along with how they relate to each other.
  • Another Show putting the BBC back at the top of UK Drama.

    This is another show on the BBC that just fills me with joy! For so long I have been deeply depressed at the state of UK TV. Channel4 came up with "Big Brother", and suddenly it was reality TV on every channel. Now it may be just me, but I get enough reality watching the News channels and getting depressed. I have craved good drama for years now. Drama should be a little escape from reality, a break from the news, an hour to 'switch off' and immerse yourself in another World, like a long hot bath! Drama on UK TV has been very poor of late. The soaps are being run almost nightly, and I felt that these almost daily showings are leaving the writing teams really pushed for more desperate ideas. We have had a couple of gems now and again ("Queer as Folk" for example). So you cannot imagine my delight when I heard the BBC were resurrecting "Dr Who". Russell T Davis at the helm (a writer I have worshiped since I watched Children's TV!) and a cast and crew that should be envied the World over I was excited. Sure enough, "Dr Who" was a sensation! Suddenly there seems to be a resurgence in drama on UK TV. No offense to my American buddies (responsible for 24, QaF, Sex and the City, 6Feet Under et. all), but it is great to see UK Drama coming back with the quality and care the US throws at a lot of it's Dramas. I must at this point, thank HBO for all they do for drama in the US :) So, onto "Hotel Babylon".

    This show is a wonderful creation, and another great commission by the BBC. A collection of individual stories that can be watched independently of each other and enjoyed. However, the Hotel staff are a great excuse for building a story arc as the series develops and you become attached to them emotionally. The stories contain humour, and moral conflict that makes you think. This is not 'brain death TV' but something and some people you become involved with. This cannot be praised highly enough.

    The cast are superb, totally superb. The writing is clever and wonderfully woven, and the editing makes the show a beautiful thing to watch. The sets are lavish and totally believable, the lighting is perfect, the sound track (VO and music) is wonderful. This is a show that I hope has been filmed in HD, so we can really appreciate the work done by both crew and cast in this wonderful format even more on DVD (HD or Blu-Ray, I don't care!) release.

    Please give this show a try, and I truly believe you will not be disappointed. Do not expect "Fawlty Towers". Expect a lavish well made Drama, that will excite and engage. I thank the whole team for such a great job.

    With a growing portfolio, "Hotel Babylon", "Doctor Who", and "Sea of Souls" to name but three, I am quietly hopeful the BBC has passed it's 90's "Reality" phase, and now are back into GREAT Drama.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This slick drama is what should make American TV viewers upgrade their cable or satellite to include BBC. What so-called classy shows in the states like "Desperate Housewives" and "Grey's Anatomy" pretend to have, this show actually has. Finesse. Everything about this show is classy.

    The dialogue is fantastic. One would think that dialogue about the inner workings of a hotel would grow urbane after a few episodes but each time I watch this show, it seems the dialogue is fresh and intriguing.

    There are absolutely no wasted characters in this show. Each one represents such a facet of the overall feeling of the show that if one were to be missing, the show would actually suffer. Tony is my favorite but I personally can't get enough of smarmy Brits and so I suppose I'm biased.

    There is a new plot each week, and while they seem to stretch beyond believability at points, they never seem inane or silly. Each of the episodes holds its own points of interest that are rarely reused in the next installment. This is difficult to achieve in weekly dramas.

    While everyone in the show is unbelievably attractive, they are all flawed in believable ways and even American audiences will find one to relate to and once found, will keep them coming back every week. And on that note, this show has appeal that spans the ocean. A lot of British shows are so British that much of their charm is lost on American audiences. This is not the case with Hotel Babylon. Their references and story lines are pertinent in America too and anyone who considers themselves a fan of sophisticated entertainment will enjoy this show immensely, regardless of location.

    If you get BBC, this is a show to get hooked on, because it won't disappoint.
  • This show went for four seasons. The first season is quite enjoyable. The second is still pretty good, although it wears thin by the end of the season. By the fourth season, the show has become something so distant from it's beginnings that it's not even comparable, and in my opinion is barely watchable. Thus, there's plenty in the first season to draw you in... but it's probably not worth the extended stay, so to speak.

    On the show's strengths --- the first season is well acted, has some amusing minor bits with a range of often unusual and often well-nuanced characters, and establishes the Hotel staff as impeccably sophisticated, and committed to remaining morally ambivalent so as to provide the best service for their clientele --- and this is what makes the show compelling; the glitz and the glamor of the Hotel is well-established with excellent sets, and everything in the first season speaks to the connection between class sophistication and discretion; what makes the show really exceed a lot of other shows which take a peek at the luxurious life of the upper class is that the sophistication/discretion theme is shown in it's worst and best lights, and the show as a whole attends a certain 'moral ambivalence' which makes it rather thought-provoking. The audience is shown exactly how much of 'class' is built on artifice, but it also makes the life of luxury look genuinely seductive.

    While the writing begins to get notably weaker towards the end of season 2, it's not until Max Beesly's character (Charlie) leaves the show that it gets positively wretched and loses all lustre.

    Unfortunately, by the fourth season, the show has lost all tact and elegance; it becomes a show about the blue-collar sensibilities of a sitcom staff amid unreasonably mean-spirited guests who are consistently trying to 'discredit' the Hotel. The writing gets so bad that the shows really aren't comparable. The writers no longer make the luxurious life seem tempting, but rather a filthy indulgence to be seen as a character flaw in the rich. The show also becomes more an attempt at comedy than drama. And sadly, the comedy feels horribly out-of-place; it's a slapstick, rather overacted kind of humor which might work well enough in a show about a wacky motel full of transients --- but it seems oblivious to the foundations of dry wit and subtlety that make the first season work so well. The characters all become caricatures.

    All in all, rather a disappointment. Begins as enticing, but ends up being quite commonplace.
  • I have to acknowledge that the BBC played it smart when scheduling this series. It's not too taxing on the brain and perfect for a Thursday night when you're tired from a week at work and ready to ease into the weekend.

    The series is set in a five star hotel, revolving mainly around the staff that work there and the more unusual problems they face with some of their customers.

    The most interesting character in the series must be Dexter Fletcher's Concierge, Tony. There is definitely something very watchable about the way he's acted and he is undoubtedly the man in the middle of most of the action, due to his job meaning he can pretty much obtain or fix anything or any situation - he's usually a man in demand.

    The main central character is Max Beesley's Charlie, the Deputy Manager. Most of the stories are told through his perspective and, like Tony, he seems to play a central role in most of the stories.

    Tamzin Outhwaite is the General Manager and seems to be a little underused. Her character comes across as quiet hard initially, although throughout the series viewers are given glimpses that she is kinder than initially thought and it is in these moments she becomes more interesting and three dimensional.

    Natalie Jackson Mendoza as Jackie is completely under used. She is seems to have promise as a character and enough charisma to carry a better role but seems to be there merely so that Charlie can have a love/lust interest. It would be nicer to see her with a more rounded role.

    Emma Pierson as Anna, the Head Receptionist is a stereotypical, hard nosed, nasty piece of work. The role is massively one dimensional, although entertaining to watch and probably better for it - it wouldn't be any fun if the viewer discovered she had a terrible upbringing/hard life/problems that made her be so mean - it's just more fun to think she doesn't care less and she's enjoying her life!

    Finally there is Gino the Barman and Ben, the Head Receptionist. Gino features slightly more than Ben and holds his own in a part that is probably the right size for the role. Ben the Head Receptionist hardly appears at all and it would be more fun to see him interacting with Anna as they could be a funny pairing - he has more promise than he is being given the opportunity to show.

    Every week the staff at the hotel have to go to extraordinary lengths to keep all guests happy - this can be from arranging hookers and parties to attempting to prevent suicide bids, all done discreetly so as to avoid bad publicity or obtain good reviews, whilst relieving guests of as much money as they possibly can get away with.

    Having not worked in a five star hotel I cannot definitively state how accurate the goings on are - I did use to work in top class restaurants when at Uni however and from my experience in those it is probably more accurate than people realise! Basically this is a good, stylised piece of TV. It won't make you think, it (probably) won't be up for any Baftas, it won't change the world but it will more than likely entertain if you want to just sit down, switch your brain off and watch something fun for an hour or so.
  • mjaxxon2320 September 2013
    Warning: Spoilers
    Rebecca, Charlie, and Jackie should have stayed. They were the life of the show. When they left I almost stopped watching. But watching on netflix is key. Rebecca and Charlie should have had a longer relationship. Jackie and Charlie should have had a longer relationship. How will the rest of that cast carry the show? Smart, witty, great writing. Now I'm looking for another good show to watch after Rebecca, Charlie, and Jackie left. Why did they leave anyway? For the most part, the cast is very appealing and seem to compliment each other well. I'm in the middle of season three wondering if I can stomach the rest of the series without those three characters. I shall try.
  • This is an Good not great BBC show that has some of the best looking women I've ever seen. The plots are good, & it doesn't have have all of the edited FCC crap that we have here in the U.S The only way to see this is on DVD. The women in this show are extremely attractive, especially the gorgeous Emma Pierson who plays the extremely sexual & flirtatious Fanny. She is so good in this show I hope to see more of her. She is so nice to look at that everything she says sounds like poetry. I'm exaggerating to most people (she's a 10 in my book), but one look at this women & you will be hooked. The entire cast is one of those casts that just has that "IT" chemistry, this is that cast. The stories can be endless when you have it set in a hotel. I hope this show goes on and on as anyone could walk into your hotel. I especially remember an episode where a woman strips down to her underwear & has an absolute phenomenal body. If this were an American show, many of these stars/guest stars would work steady. One of the best things is that there is a wide variety of cast members as well. It's not like "Friends" where it is 6 white people. Give this show a try and prepare to enjoy it. The only I don't have it rated higher than 7 is because there seems to be about 10 minutes too long & it meanders in places where it doesn't need to be. A very enjoyable series that puts all the reality crap that is on the air to shame. I'm glad I picked this up & most would enjoy this as well.
  • Hotel Babylon is a slick bit of business, superficial yet entertaining enough to a degree; the show does benefit from Max Beesley's observant second-in-command, aloof and cool, all-seeing on the lobby floor, his interior monologue serving to give us a sense of a philosophical insider's perspective. Dexter Fletcher benefits from being one of those street-wise, connected types who seems to have a remedy for every problem. Oddly, despite her glitzy status as manager, Tasmine Oouthwaite came off sexier and more personable in the gritty drama The Fixer than she does here, where her character is often hard yet brittle, with only intermittent flashes of humanity. Again, the goings-on are slickly rendered with the break-neck pacing, cross-cut story lines and slick production values to keep us distracted.

    As the series went along though, two problems became increasingly apparent. One, the hotel crew are always up to something, some sort of cover-up or switcheroo, whether in the name of their clientele or themselves or both in some instances, which may in reality be part of the territory but they come off as a kind of a deceitful, slapdash bunch, hardly as all knowing, professional and savvy as they're made out to be, all ultimately deserving the sack. Secondly, the characters generally do not come off as likable or honourable, more obsessed with making a buck. There is one episode where the Raymond Coulthard character cheats in a wine-tasting competition, going up against an old rival. One could have empathy for him if he was dealing with some n'er-do-well who deserves comeuppance, but Coulthard's catty character is merely desperate and out of his depth, compromising a colleague to aid in the deceit. Do we like this guy? Nope. We're not given enough character development to think otherwise. Ditto for the self-absorbed lobby receptionist, who's petty, venal and superficial. True, people like this can be found in any workplace, but watching them week after week minus any other redeeming traits gets a bit tiresome.

    I realize these are picky complaints but if our protagonists were bit more rounded or at least made empathetic or charming in spite of their foibles, then the series might have had some resonance and depth, raising it beyond the trifle that is, dissipating from the mind as quickly as a wafer disappearing from the tongue. Nothing lasting beyond the initial sensation.
  • Mr__Underhill21 April 2009
    3/10
    Fluff
    How do I define fluff? To me it is a show that isn't funny enough to make me laugh, yet the characters are too shallow and stereotypical to make me want to take it seriously.

    Hotel Babylon tries to poke fun at the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" but to me ends up cranking out more of the same politically correct caricatures that that are rampant in Hollywood-style sitcoms.

    Perhaps this is what Seinfeld would have been like if it was void of humor and had a hidden agenda of bluntly preaching overly cliché morals in each episode.

    I'm also noticing a trend that all British series today seem obsessed with the idea that no day ever goes by without some man committing a major sexual offense, and that it is the duty of a TV show to constantly remind people about it in every episode as a kind of public service announcement, even if the show is supposed to be a comedy.
  • What is going on at the BBC? In the past couple of weeks we've seen the launch of Hope Springs, Personal Affairs and now a new series of Hotel Babylon and not one of them has got the slightest thing going for them. To call them lightweight is an understatement - I'm sure some of the actors must be tied to stage weights to stop them floating off into the atmosphere. From script to performance all three shows are dire and are an insult to any reasonably intelligent audience. The direction on the latter of the three shows mentioned is gimmicky in the extreme, an attempt, I would imagine, to take one's mind off the poor quality of the material. There was a time when the BBC was synonymous with great television. Nowadays, shows of quality are the exception rather than the rule. The BBC have had the licence fee to themselves for far too long. Maybe they'll up their game a bit now that it looks like they may have to share it with the other main broadcasters.