Critical Condition: Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel | TVNZ OnDemand, from Monday

☆☆☆ “The first episode of ABC’s Grand Hotel is startlingly good. It’s glamorous, sexy and mysterious. In the first few minutes, a terrible storm hits Miami, sending the staff and guests at the fabulous Riviera Hotel scurrying for cover; it’s also the perfect cover for a crime when a young staffer goes missing under sketchy circumstances … Grand Hotel‘s sharply defined and enjoyable characters means Grand Hotel has potential for dozens and dozens of juicy conflicts.” — TV Guide.

☆☆☆☆ “It wastes no time diving straight into a tangled mess of melodrama, ranging from missing people to secret pregnancies to a bratty pop star who demands overnighted pastries from his mom … Even when the characters feel flimsy — an inevitability with a show boasting such a long cast list — there’s enough zip in the story to keep Grand Hotel moving along at a clip.” — Variety.

☆☆☆☆ “Basically, Grand Hotel plays like a more straightforward, dumbed-down version of the hotel shenanigans in Jane the Virgin … Or think of it as Downton Abbey, with its upstairs/downstairs component involving the hotel staff and the family in charge, only if they fabricated excuses for both to be undressed as much as ABC standards allow whenever possible.” — CNN.

☆☆☆☆ “What’s so shocking about Grand Hotel is that it’s not particularly shocking. If not ‘shocking’ means disappointing, then maybe that’s your call, but the promos did indicate trash: Lots of beefcake and wet T-shirts and wanton lust under the hot Miami sun. Instead, there is almost none of that here. Everyone at this hotel is largely civil, and nice.” — Newsday.

☆☆ “Though it’s built on a foundation of soap stalwarts–sex, power, money, family, body-con dresses–executive producer Eva Longoria’s disappointing Grand Hotel lacks any such presence. It chronicles the fractious Mendoza clan’s efforts to hold on to the last family-owned hotel in Miami Beach … The plot, adapted from Spanish series Gran Hotel, is predictable and the dialogue hacky. But a good soap can make silly writing work. What it can’t overcome is poor casting.” – Time.

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