A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hotel Hell, part of Gordon Ramsay's reality franchise, features the celebrity chef working with bed and breakfast and hotel owners to turn their failing businesses around. Despite his trademark salty vocab ("pissed," "bitch," "crap"; stronger words bleeped with mouths blurred), angry exchanges, and insults, Ramsay works hard to help folks turn things around. He's occasionally shown taking his clothes off (his bare bottom is blurred), and adults are shown drinking over meals and during cocktail hours.
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What's the story?
In HOTEL HELL, British celebrity chef/restaurateur Gordon Ramsay visits hotels that are experiencing financial trouble and helps owners turn them around. Ramsay travels around the U.S. to stay at bed and breakfasts, historic inns, and various hotels that are struggling to survive. After checking in to a room and trying a meal, he offers his trademark blunt observations about what he thinks is lacking. He also spends time touring the grounds, interviewing owners, watching the interaction with clients, and meeting with current and former staffers to identify the concrete reasons why the business is failing. Diamond Collection hotel inspectors are also invited to share their opinions. Then it's up to the owners to make it work in hopes of offering clients an enjoyable stay, turning a profit, and -- if they're lucky -- becoming a Diamond-rated establishment.
Is it any good?
Hotel Hell offers a voyeuristic behind-the-scenes look at the various aspects of the hotel industry and highlights how a business should be managed in order to satisfy guests while turning a profit. But, like most of Ramsay's shows, Hotel Hell's primary entertainment value lies with the chef's trademark short-tempered reactions to what he perceives is people's inability to understand and respect the type of work and commitment that goes into running a successful hospitality business.
While the show underscores lots of positive things -- including the importance of good organizational communication, team building, respect, and good customer service -- its strong language, along with Ramsay's inexplicable (but humorous) need to take off his shirt (and occasionally other articles of clothing) in front of the camera, makes Hotel Hell iffy viewing for tweens. But teens and adults who like this sort of thing will most likely find it fun to watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Gordon Ramsay. What's his appeal? Do you think he's as mean in real life as he seems on his shows? Why do people like watching him yell at other people? Is he a role model?
Why do you think hotel owners agree to appear on reality shows that expose the problems with their business? Is it in exchange for the help to improve it? Or is it for promotional reasons?