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S02.E08: Murphy's Hotel

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The turnaround from god-awful to "saved" seemed especially fast in this one. I guess we're to believe that after a year or so, suddenly the one guy decides to step forward as the leader and all is smooth after that. They're reformed! No more drinking! No more lap dances! uh huh.

I noticed they didn't take out that weird viewing area in the Presidential room. Bizarre.

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First time I've ever seen this show, and GR was happily not quite as horrible as I anticipated.

I hated the makeover, too. Yeah, it was ugly the way it was, but it's supposed to be a period hotel. People are expecting hidious velvet camelback couches. It all needed to be cleaned and de-shabbied, but they took away all the character.

I don't think the guy that eventually took over wanted to AT ALL. I think he just realized the lap dancer wouldn't (too passive) and the chef couldn't (or couldn't be trusted to).

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Brian sounds like every teenager or slacker co-worker who's ever told someone exactly what they wanted to hear without meaning a word of it. But hey, he got a makeover - that's all he wanted out of it.

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The fix was so fast I thought I'd fallen asleep. Couldn't stand any of those posers. Not sure what was the biggest stretch--maybe that the guy in the health inspector's wet dream of a kitchen was a suddenly turned into a chef. And where the hell was the local health inspector? Stay out of that county, people!

 

Their website has a link to the lap dance promo for the show--nice touch, guys. Trip Advisor has an almost even spread from good to awful (unusual) and has some craptastic reviews since Gordon's visit.

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Interesting that this episode lacked the obligatory scene where the owners talk about how much debt they're in, how close to bankruptcy they are and how they'll be living on the streets if the hotel goes under. I'm guessing that the business was technically making a profit thanks to all the custom at the bar, but the hotel part itself was completely dysfunctional.

 

Also interesting that Daniel Webster somehow managed to stay at the hotel 26 years after he died.

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I made an audible noise when Ramsay told the women looking into his room "Thank god I wasn't in my underpants." Which we later saw him take off.

 

I'm continually amazed when these jagoffs think that their staff like them.

Edited by Julia
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If this show continues for another season, I hope they get a new decorator/designer.  Enough with the fakey fake "wood" motif In. Every. Damn. Hotel.  Somebody has a timber fetish.  It may have been appropriate at the pot head's CA hotel but not in CT, VT, AZ etc.  And when the new designer comes in I hope he/she bans any shade of GREEN paint being used in the guest rooms. I think every room in every hotel GR has been to ends up with GREEN somewhere on the premises.

 

I'm with the camp that thinks the historical importance was stripped away with the new look. There's a way to make it CLEAN and FRESH without dumping a trailer full of Home Goods tchotchkes all over the place.  Seriously...did you see any space on the dressers or vanity areas for guests' personal items? When I travel, even if its only for an overnight trip, I'm the OCD type who needs to unpack and hang things up or fold things into the dresser drawers.  I put all my toiletry stuff in the bathroom and set up my iPad or laptop somewhere.  Gordon's re-dos leave no space for this!  I don't need a giant wall collage of TGIFridays cast offs over my bed. I need drawers and clutter free flat surfaces.  And semen stain-free bedding would be appreciated.

 

The Employee of the Month doofus was so clueless.  He and his buddies will sell out or lose the place soon.  From what we saw there is no way he has any concept of being a business owner.  If they wanted to party all night why didn't they just open a bar?  Why ruin the historical hotel?

 

Another question for anyone who lives in or near Murphy's...are there no town ordinances that close bars down after a certain hour?  Those guys were still going strong after 1:30am.  I know places like South Beach go until 5am, but I'd have thought a quaint wine country town would have some regulations to shut it down by 1am.  And were all those people shown outside on the streets of the town or on Murphy's property?  A lot of places I've lived in don't allow big rowdy congregations milling around the street  with "open containers" of alcohol (again, New Orleans and Miami are known exceptions).

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Another question for anyone who lives in or near Murphy's...are there no town ordinances that close bars down after a certain hour?  Those guys were still going strong after 1:30am.  I know places like South Beach go until 5am, but I'd have thought a quaint wine country town would have some regulations to shut it down by 1am. 

Most places I know close at 2:00 AM, so I wondered if they really were "partying all night".

 

I didn't realize until the end that the "viewing wall" was actually a foyer with a door that could be closed if someone inside wanted privacy. I was under the impression that the wall along the hallway was clear plastic!

Edited by Ubiquitous

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Is there some sort of virulent virus out there forcing completely unsuitable people to purchase kitschy or historical hotels and ruin them?  I don't believe we've seen a single episode this season that doesn't feature people running hotels who really have no business running hotels.  They all seem to be impulse buys (or in the case of that pothead's hotel, impulse builds)--is there that much disposable income out there that folks can purchase expensive businesses just for the purpose of playing innkeeper/barkeep?  if so, can a little of that green be sent my way?  Kthnxbye.

 

So these three have been friends for fifteen years.  Is that from when they met at their frat?  Timing seems about right since they all seemed mid-thirties now.  What tattoo did that one guy have that was so necessary to be seen right away that his buddy started ripping his sleeve off?  What was up with the cook guy?  To claim that the walk-in was completely cleaned out every week, but also knew there was still moldy stuff stored there from previous chefs?  Why wasn't he the one cleaning out the walk-in?  Why did his frat brothers just give him a pass on his incompetence?  Does he have the incriminating photos of crimes past?  What is a "Frog's Ass?"

 

Sadly, I will probably never have the answers to these questions.

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is there that much disposable income out there that folks can purchase expensive businesses just for the purpose of playing innkeeper/barkeep?  if so, can a little of that green be sent my way?  Kthnxbye.

 

That's the one thing that never fails to drop my jaw with this show (and Kitchen Nightmares too.)

 

"Well, I borrowed $500k from my parents a few years back to buy the place." Well aaaaalrighty then. Must be nice.

 

"And since then, I've gone further into debt on my own for about $500k more." Wait, really?

 

"And the place is losing about $10k a month at this point. If Gordo can't help us..." Seriously? WHAT?!?!?

 

As an inhabitant of... you know... the real world, it never ceases to amaze me how anyone (setting aside the obvious incompetence for a second... anyone) can get away with that kind of shit. Let alone to such a degree, and for so long. How? How do you keep attracting investors, or getting loans, or otherwise scraping enough cash together from month to month to avoid someone -- anyone -- forcing you to close the doors? In what kind of crazy alternate reality is that even possible?

 

The really mindboggling part for me is that I'm not even accusing the show of making it up, or even exaggerating it. I do believe that, somehow, this kind of thing is actually happening, and happens all the time. I'll be damned though if I can wrap my head around exactly how. How is it that certain people are able to skirt (what normal people like you and I are taught to be) "the rules" like that?  I can understand the Trust Fund Babies who never even have to worry about it because their parents gave them more than they could ever flush down the toilet. But people who spent their entire life savings just to buy/open the place... how do those people get away with running their shit into the ground to the tune of a mildo or so in debt over several years? In my world, or at least the one described to me throughout my own life, that kind of shit just doesn't fly. It's just not possible, or at least so I was taught. Apparently, I've been grossly misinformed.

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In my world, or at least the one described to me throughout my own life, that kind of shit just doesn't fly. It's just not possible, or at least so I was taught. Apparently, I've been grossly misinformed.

In the (apparently) altenate reality that I live in - vendors and utility companies get downright bitchy in about 45 days past due date!

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I would think a "Frog's Ass" would be a drink commemorating the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, where Murphys is located.

 

1 count Bacardi 151 Rum;
1 count Bacardi Light Rum;
1 count Malibu Rum;
1 count Jamaican or Caribbean Coconut Rum;
Splash of Midori (a green melon liqueur).

Shake it all up with some ice and strain into a rocks glass.

The taste is tropical, slightly sweet and smooth. If Kermit tried this one, he would have to admit, “It’s easy being green!”

 

Yep, sure is.

Edited by Brattinella
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It's always the elderly parents, too. I wonder if for some of them it isn't just their last-ditch attempt to keep their unemployable children from moving home. 

 

I'm kind of assuming these three are trust fund babies who bought a run down property at fire sale prices and used it to prop up their waning ability to get women to talk to them at bars.

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Wow, Brattinella, that doesn't sound half bad!  But at three+ shots of ETOH per glass, that's a lot of booze and money to comp "everyone in the place" with.  No wonder they are popular with the bar crowd!  All you have to do is get one of the owners drunk, and keep them happy, and you'll get free drinks!

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The decorations are terrible in these hotels. And what good is cleaning and decorating two rooms and leaving the rest as is. It would make more sense to decorate one room and put them in touch with a local decorator to help with the rest. Of course, much like the other shows like Bar Rescue, the majority of the show must be spent on showing the owners being jerks.

 

So no one was running the hotel, the kitchen used both the old menu and old food from the previous owners, no one of the three owners every ventured inside their own hotel rooms to see if they clean and now everything is perfect because of Gordon's visit? 

And no I don't need to see Gordon taking a shower or getting out of bed in his undies every episode. It adds nothing at all. I would like to see him talk to them about a cleaning regimen, show them how to cook all of these stunning dishes and perhaps have them work with a consultant in the hotel business. 

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For some reason it amuses me that Gordon came down on the one guy who was giving lap dances. Meanwhile he walks around only wearing black briefs and nearly showing off his bare bits.

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I love watching Gordon pack his suitcase at the end of the show... he's carefully folding items as he talks, but then just drops them messily into the suitcase willy nilly.  Too funny.

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I finally caught up to this episode. I know I am not the first to say it but that redecorating was a travesty. For a building on the National Historical Registry, it was ham-handed vandalism. Just to add insult to injury, did you all notice that the new framed pictures looked like he grabbed just a bunch of copies of a few generic tree pictures with no connection to the history, framed them and randomly plastered every horizontal surface. Not sure I can stomach this show anymore.

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I love watching Gordon pack his suitcase at the end of the show... he's carefully folding items as he talks, but then just drops them messily into the suitcase willy nilly.  Too funny.

 

Was I seeing things, or did he at one point pack a navy blue sundress?  It made no sense but I remember him tossing something that looked like it had a 1/4-inch strap involved, and otherwise was like a round tablecloth.

 

So these three have been friends for fifteen years.  Is that from when they met at their frat?  Timing seems about right since they all seemed mid-thirties now.  What tattoo did that one guy have that was so necessary to be seen right away that his buddy started ripping his sleeve off?  What was up with the cook guy?  To claim that the walk-in was completely cleaned out every week, but also knew there was still moldy stuff stored there from previous chefs?  Why wasn't he the one cleaning out the walk-in?  Why did his frat brothers just give him a pass on his incompetence?  Does he have the incriminating photos of crimes past?  What is a "Frog's Ass?"

 

Sadly, I will probably never have the answers to these questions.

 

Don't forget, the part where the mustachioed one characterized himself as a "young adult".  I LOL'ed (and thought, "if by 'young adult', you mean "grown-ass man', then sure, knock yourself out").  Generally in my experience that's the mark of a big tool, the guy's pushing 40 and touting how nice he is at/towards the "soccer moms".  I was like, um, dude, do you own a calendar?  Maybe thirtysomethings nowadays still READ young adult literature; that's a reflection of the aging of the intended focus of the discipline, not how sprightly-youthful you are.  If those women are soccer moms you could be a "soccer dad", talking like they're tired and raddled wrecks while you're a hot stud is moronic.

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What on earth did I just watched!?

 

I mean those three stooges are the poster child for white male privilege in America. Just bad, bad, bad taste in my mouth after watching this show. And it just ended? Gorden gives a speech and the end? It just felt so anti climatic; the head stooge didn't prove he was going to change his way. To quote Dr.Phil here to predict future behavior is going on past behavior.

 

Just...wowwww...

 

Also did they remodel the ENTIRE hotel? I notice they only showed one room in the "modern" area. So I wonder if they only did a few rooms and the guest entrance.

 

I seriously though had hugh laugh when the head stooge was complaning about Gorden using terms like "wanker" then only to add at the end. "I respect him though!"

 

Was that meant to be taken seriously!?

 

I hope allah blesses these three stooges with 20 daughters.

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Brian sounds like every teenager or slacker co-worker who's ever told someone exactly what they wanted to hear without meaning a word of it. But hey, he got a makeover - that's all he wanted out of it.

Exactly! The fact that he got zero blowback from his slacker friends convinced me they knew he was just playing along for the cameras. But...ugly décor that had no respect for the history and potential charm of the place. Served them right, imo, that minimal effort was expended for them.

 

In the whole season there was, what, one (maybe two) places that seemed hard-working, committed and actually deserving of a boost from the HH cameras? How about next season make -everyone- like that?

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A fitting end to the season, because it touched on almost everything that has made this show go downhill. It wasn't great last season, but it didn't seem to be such a constant insult to viewer intelligence. Most of the owners, as they were presented, were so clueless it's hard to believe they could've stay open long enough to be rescued. The turnarounds, thanks to miracle worker Saint Gordon, happened ridiculously fast. As in this episode, where one heart to heart talk from Gordon completely reverses what has obviously been many years of incredibly immature, self-indulgent, assholish behavior.

 

And just how fast are the physical makeovers supposed to happen? At least on Hotel Impossible they show you the work being done, which makes it plausible. This episode featured yet another stunningly inappropriate and amateurish redesign. I love old hotels, and if I'd booked Murphy's based on its history I would've walked into that lobby and thought WTF? That tacky sign saying "Murphy's" looked like it was made in high school wood shop. There was nothing "period" about it. Might as well have been blinking neon.

 

As for the all-night partying, a hotel bar that's the main drinking spot in a small town might get noisy on weekend nights, but it's not going to be 'Fellini Satyricon." What we saw totally had the feel of a bunch of extras told to act wild and crazy for the camera. (That said, whenever I consider booking an in-town hotel I always read online reviews to see if anyone mentions late night nosie from either the hotel bar or neighboring bars or clubs.  So I think that if you stay at a hotel in the middle of the town's main drag, especially on a weekend, it's buyer beware. And bring earplugs. And headphones.)

 

If the show returns, I'm hoping for owners you'd actually want to root for, less fake staged drama, and less GR screaming insults into people's faces. And please Gordon, keep your damn pants on.

Edited by bluepiano
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