Last week, Fox started off with a series in “Hotel Hell” that was essentially an even drearier version of Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” — mostly because we were watching miserable employees and business owners failing on a grand scale. While we didn’t like it at first, we actually did start to appreciate the two-hour format of the premiere — we had an hour of problems, and an hour of solutions.
Really, this format was a case of “you don’t know what you got until it’s gone.” The Cambridge Hotel was the second spot on Ramsay’s journey across America Monday night, and the hour-long format really just felt too short to know everything that was going on. It felt as though the first 45 minutes was all problems, and the transformation into a great hotel overnight really felt a little bit more forced. The owner had all sorts of problems, and we really didn’t get to see as many solutions to them as there would have been otherwise. The only moment that really felt emotional was seeing Ramsay offer to pay for one of the restaurant worker’s college in an effort to make some of his dreams come true.
If “Hotel Hell” does get a second season, we really hope that Fox actually considers making all episodes into two-hour “documentaries” that give us a better sense of all of the hotels. There really is so much here to cover in comparison to kitchens, and it just needs the extra time. Plus, this would actually save Fox a little bit of money since Ramsay would have to feature fewer hotels in a season.
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