Hotel Babylon

Common Sense Media says

Brit guilty pleasure is best reserved for adults.

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most characters don't have many morals to speak of. Staff members demonstrate a fair amount of greed in their efforts to get guests to spend a lot and give big tips. Characters have affairs, use drugs, hire prostitutes, and engage in various other unhealthy activities.

Violence

Violent events like suicide, shootings, and fistfights occasionally play a role in the plot.

Sex

Implications abound, ranging from the presence of adult toys (a bare-breasted blow-up doll, for example) to sex sounds heard through a hotel room door. Nudity is mostly limited to shots of naked women from behind, with brief glimpses of their breasts. There's plenty of kissing, and prostitution is common in many episodes.

Language

"Bitch," "ass," and "s--t" are common.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, smoking, and drug use are common among both hotel guests and staffers.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that since this racy British drama follows the wealthy, self-indulgent patrons of a fictional five-star London hotel, topics like drug use, drinking, prostitution, and extramarital affairs are common. What's more, because plenty of scenes focus on the staff's efforts to promote their guests' lavish lifestyles -- all in order to increase profits and tips -- the show glorifies greed. Strong language (including "s--t"), prevalent sexual content (including brief partial nudity, with short glimpses of breasts), and mature issues like suicide and gun violence are typical fare. Bottom line? It's a guilty pleasure waiting to happen ... for grown ups.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's the story?

Based Imogen Edwards-Jones' novel, the British drama HOTEL BABYLON centers on a five-star London hotel where high-paying guests are given the royal treatment -- and staff members pull out all the stops to make sure their every desire is satisfied. What the patrons say goes -- their favorite foods magically appear on the room-service menu, and, most importantly, their reputation-ruining secrets are handled with the utmost discretion. Heading up the hotel's capable staff is General Manager Rebecca Mitchell (Tamzin Outhwaite), who is willing to sacrifice almost everything -- even her marriage -- for her share of the Babylon's profit. Deputy Manager Charlie Edwards (Max Beesley) is hungry to rise to the top, but he's hampered by a complicated past and strong morals that sometimes puts him at odds with guests and his peers. Other characters include gold-digging receptionist Anna Thornton-Wilton (Emma Pierson); tips-obsessed concierge Tony Casemore (Dexter Fletcher); star-struck receptionist Ben Trueman (Michael Obiora); and the hardworking head of housekeeping, Jackie Clunes (Natalie Mendoza).

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

If you're looking for a new guilty pleasure laden with sex, lies, and the possibility of hidden videotape, then Hotel Babylon is probably worth a reservation. But since it's full of drug use, drinking, illicit sex, and illegal activity, save it for when the kids (even teens) aren't around.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether series like this are just intended to be guilty pleasures, or whether they're trying to make a larger statement about society. What do the characters value? How would you describe their personalities? To what degree does our society value fame, fortune, and power? How do we explain our obsession with celebrity? Why is money so important to us? Have you ever witnessed a person's quest for money or fame override their own moral judgment? What do you think of that?

TV details

Cast:Emma Pierson, Max Beesley, Tamzin Outhwaite
Network:BBC America
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Hotel Babylon was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byoncrzyfml1 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
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Parent of a 17 year old Written byhormiga December 22, 2009

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