2011 – 2013
Ms. Hen does not watch TV shows all the time like some people do these days. She has never binge watched anything, because she has other things to do than watch TV all day. But once in a while she gets pulled into a show that gives her anxiety and makes her want to watch it more and more. GRAN HOTEL was one of those shows.
It’s like DOWNTON ABBEY, but in a hotel in Spain with lots of mysteries interspersed into the show. GRAN HOTEL is not like PBS mystery shows where every murder is solved by the end of the episode. There are murders that at times, nobody knows who the murderer is except the viewer. The tension on the show is better than most mystery shows because they are like mysteries in real life, which can go unsolved forever.
Julio arrives at the Grand Hotel to find out what happened to his sister, Cristina who worked as a maid at the hotel and is missing. He meets Alicia, the daughter of the owner of the hotel, and falls immediately in love. She likes him too, but she doesn’t know he’s a waiter right away. She finds out later, but she is already enamored with him. Julio and Alicia try to discover what happened to Cristina, and they have many adventures together.
Sofia, Alicia’s sister, is married to Alfredo, a marquise. They are two weak-willed sniveling fools. Ms. Hen thought they were written into the show to counterbalance Alicia and Julio’s full-hearted braveness. Sofia lies and tells everyone that she didn’t lose her baby because she doesn’t want Alfredo to leave her; this escapade was her mother’s idea.
Dona Teresa, the owner of the hotel, reigns with a mighty hand. She will do anything to get what she wants, including lies and murder. She talks Alicia into marrying Diego, because she thinks it will be good for the hotel. Diego is a dastardly creep as Ms. Hen learned in the first episode. He gets a maid, Belen, pregnant, and wants her to have an abortion.
Belen doesn’t have an abortion, but she convinces Andres to want to marry her. Dona Angela, his mother, doesn’t want him to get married since she doesn’t like Belen. Belen is another crafty vixen, she goes after what she wants and nothing can stop her from her goals.
Ms. Hen thought every actor was perfect for the part that person played. From Diego to Inspector Ayala, Ms. Hen believed that these people actually lived in this world. And the design of the show is impeccable. The costumes, the scenery and the sets are all perfect.
Since the show was filmed in rural northern Spain, there are some chickens and hens scattered throughout the show. Ms. Hen gets excited when she sees herself on TV. When Belen went to steal her child back from the woman who took her away, chickens scurry around the yard where the woman lives.
Ms. Hen spent two months watching GRAN HOTEL. There are three seasons with about twenty-three episodes in each. It’s a huge time commitment, but Ms. Hen thinks it was worth it. If you want to improve your Spanish, or are learning Spanish, this show is a great way to try to understand what they’re saying. GRAN HOTEL is available on Netflix with subtitles. Ms. Hen gives this show five feathers up. She was sad that it had to end.