A Reflection on Hotel Hell

By: Meg Schmit

Gordon Ramsay is part master chef, part boot camp instructor, part spirited Englishman. Hotel Hell is one of his multiple programs besides Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares, and MasterChef. In this show, Ramsay steps outside the kitchen and critiques the practices of America’s worst hotels. The show is simultaneously addicting and tired.

Admittedly, Ramsay’s wailing on unfit hotel owners and the melodramatic antics of the hotel staff is pretty entertaining. When you watch the ridiculous failings of these hotels, it makes you feel like almost anyone could start up a hotel and do better than them. But there’s something so satisfying about seeing arrogant owners realize their faults, and seeing the décor makeovers of the hotel rooms. It’s the power of transformation, the restoration of right instead of wrong, which makes it such a gratifyingly mindless show.

But, it is without a doubt the most tired, dramatic program of Ramsay’s. There’s no way to not laugh watching the opening sequence with Hollywood-esque theme song, an overtly masculine image of Ramsay, and the wall of flames consuming the screen.

In terms of the actual program, after watching a few episodes – with the exception of a few particularly outlandish ones – the problems and transformation become repetitive. The hotels are always struggling because of their terrible owners, the food is never good, and Ramsay ends up being a therapist to the staff and manager.

This is a show I recommend to put on in the background while doing some homework, but don’t expect to watch it past a few episodes – once you figure out the pattern, it loses its edge, a this article agrees.

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2 Responses to A Reflection on Hotel Hell

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I always found Gordon Ramsay funny. Though its repetitive, I always like Kitchen Nightmares. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Hotel Hell because it just sounded like another glorified Kitchen Nightmares. I’ve watched some clips of it, but I feel that I can only take that show in doses. I would also describe it as a show I would put on while doing homework.

    -Shelby Halliman

  2. mediaphiles says:

    While I’ve never been able to get through any of his shows, I think you make an overall interesting point about the “background shows” (or, the types of shows that are suitable to throw on while you’re cooking but not worthy of our full attention and intellect). For me, any show on E! makes for great background noise.

    – Lydi

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