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Tara Ariano

S02.E02: Monticello Hotel

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The employees would happily move on to other jobs. If they were available. So you get invested and lie to yourself that things can only get better.

That must be it because all I could do was watch this show and wonder why people stayed on - especially the cook who was spending a lot of unpaid time trying to keep the kitchen going. Where I come from, working without pay is called slavery, and Lincoln freed the slaves. I understand the employees liking the idea of the hotel being a local landmark, maybe working there gave them some kind of street cred, but jeez. At some point you have to cowgirl up and do what's best for you and your family.

 

I don't know why Ramsay chose this place, other than, I sincerely believe he has a good heart, manufactured shows or not. Perhaps he felt that if he could rescue the hotel, he could save jobs. I don't know. Surely his team has the smarts to do some real research on the hotel and community before they chose one for the show. A drunk owner, a depressed town, a large hotel that needed a lot of work, I don't know what Ramsay was thinking. Sometimes you gotta let the past go.

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Even though Overstock.com is clearly "donating" the bedding and linens in exchange for an on-air promo, the fact that the recipient is a millionaire and not the typical struggling owner on the verge of bankruptcy made it seem ludicrous. There's a huge difference between an owner not upgrading their property because they don't have the funds and an owner who has the money (several times over) but just doesn't give a shit. I wish they'd "donated" the linens to some local homeless shelter or other charity instead.

 

I have never seen an owner on any reality TV show so undeserving of help. The only thing they could do to make him seem somewhat sympathetic was  portray him as an alcoholic. But based on what they showed, the fact that he's a selfish, arrogant, asshole who's exploiting his staff is completely independent of his drinking problem. My sense was that the employees had to be coaxed show concern for him as a person. Maybe the carrot that the producers dangled was that if he got help with his drinking it might make the hotel successful and they would keep their jobs. Which turned out to be untrue.

 

Sadly, I can understand those people wanting to hold on to those minimum wage jobs, because sometimes even a bad situation feels preferable to dealing with the unknown. But they all seemed like reasonably capable people, so I hope that being forced out into the job market led to them finding decent situations.

Edited by bluepiano
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Even though Overstock.com is clearly "donating" the bedding and linens in exchange for an on-air promo, the fact that the recipient is a millionaire and not the typical struggling owner on the verge of bankruptcy made it seem ludicrous. There's a huge difference between an owner not upgrading their property because they don't have the funds and an owner who has the money (several times over) but just doesn't give a shit. I wish they'd "donated" the linens to some local homeless shelter or other charity instead.

 

I doubt Overstock got what they wanted out of the promo donation.  Since this is the only episode I've seen I don't know if they give bedding and linens to every hotel or if they just decided to buy a product placement on this episode.  I guess they didn't pay enough to get any editorial control.

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Overstock also contributed to the previous episode. They would have been contacted about being a sponsor and donating items in exchange for free advertising. Contract is signed, and no, they get no say-so regarding editorial control.

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I didn't understand how Ramsay didn't "know" the guy was a drunk before the waitress showed him the newspaper article. The owner was TRASHED when speaking to Ramsay! I could smell the vodka fumes through my TV screen!

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I didn't understand how Ramsay didn't "know" the guy was a drunk before the waitress showed him the newspaper article. The owner was TRASHED when speaking to Ramsay! I could smell the vodka fumes through my TV screen!

 

Hells yea:  Brotha was saused up!

 

Ramsey - you know I love you - but please, for the love of God...don't ever try to combine Kitchen Nightmares, Hoarders and Intervention in one episode:  It's too tragic.

 

I'm wondering if Wage an Hour people are going after him for the unpaid work?  Seems pretty public a forum...and it had to be known for some time.  Just really curious what caused the abrupt closure of the restaurant and lounge...and figure it is something with legal/regulatory.

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Why doesn't Rich Drunk Guy just hire a general manager and get the place running again? He can still hang out at the bar and get tanked, but at least he wouldn't be responsible for the day-to-day. And the girlfriend needs to buy a clue. Bigtime.

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Even though Overstock.com is clearly "donating" the bedding and linens in exchange for an on-air promo, the fact that the recipient is a millionaire and not the typical struggling owner on the verge of bankruptcy made it seem ludicrous.  There's a huge difference between an owner not upgrading their property because they don't have the funds and an owner who has the money (several times over) but just doesn't give a shit. I wish they'd "donated" the linens to some local homeless shelter or other charity instead.

 

RIGHT!   this was just some spoiled rich asshole who has everything in life handed to him.  Ramsey, the sponsors, his employees, are all guilty of enabling him.  When Ramsey first met with him, and the guy talked about the employees taking advantage of him, Ramsey HAD to have known the real story.  

WHY give charity to the rich, when there are people who could use it?   I'd love if Ramsey would tell an owner like this that he didn't deserve the free stuff, and that it was all going to be donated to someone who was REALLY struggling.  

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Who the hell are the production runners for this mess?  First they let this cretin get by.  Then they totally drop the ball by editing the show in the normal weepy maudlin redemption arc manner.  Yet there was no redemption.  Even on camera despite him drunkenly leering about "getting help"   Did they really think his barely articulated "realization" concerning the chef as his future sponsor held any credibility with a nose that was ready to guide Santa's sleigh that night?  Not to mention the gin sweat? 

 

But no.  Instead of having some awareness, out comes the five fake stages of Reality show makeovers.  Delusion, Anger, Grander Delusion, Tears and Joy (at beneficial product placement).  Cue the music and hand said douche the keys to his newer grander shinier kingdom.   It was so sappy that I kept waiting for them to go stand outside and a golden retriever to run towards the owner in slow motion with a sunset behind him causing every hair to gleam and glisten and Ramsay to declare, we found Skippy at that farm your parents took him to and he decided he has had enough of playing with all his animal friends and having so much room to run and roam. 

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Well, this episode was depressing. And did it both anyone else how they pronounced Monticello?

I really hope they managed to turn this place around. ETA: I guess they sort of did? At least enough to stay open.

I didn't like the owner, but I felt bad for him in some sick, twisted way. I loved the staff to infinity and beyond. I thought they were so likeable.

Edited by SpaghettiTuesdays
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Thinking about this some more, I wonder if Ramsay wanted to help, knowing that the owner was an alcoholic. His brother has substance problems and I know Ramsay has tried to help him several  times over the years (I think he's given up on him now). Ramsay has also had owners on Kitchen Nightmares with substance probables. Rather than jump down their throats about the problem, he always seems willing to talk to them, to try to set them straight, so the restaurant can be set straight.  Between his father and his brother, maybe Ramsay has a deep subconscious need to help people with substance problems.

 

But God help you if your walk-in is dirty...

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And did it both anyone else how they pronounced Monticello?

Drove me insane!!!! I've been to Thomas Jeffersons house and it is pronounced mon-tee-CHello!!!

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Drove me insane!!!! I've been to Thomas Jeffersons house and it is pronounced mon-tee-CHello!!!

 

Me three! Every time they mispronounced the hotel name, a small part of me died inside.

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So THIS is what GR is replacing Kitchen Nightmares with? Why?  All I could think was "Maybe he's thinking of starting in the hotel-with-restaurant business and wants to study the problems first." Otherwise.... why this?

 

It was bad enough to see undeserving restaurant owners get free equipment, menus, great advice, free publicity, etc. But at least most of them made good storylines. So far, Hotel Hell--particularly this awful episode--has the faults of KN but none of the good parts.

 

Like others, I hated the d-bag owner with his $10 million, his expensive cars and jewelry parked in the lot to flaunt his stinginess to his employees. Their "devotion" or any affection for him was, imo, completely misplaced. Even when he wasn't drunk (imo, about half the show, the other half..yes) he seemed like a manipulative, uncaring ass. He wasn't even good-looking, he looked so smarmy and creepy.

 

WHY did he deserve Gordon's help? Surely, the producers had many places to choose from. This was a dramatic wreck, it's true, but not watchable. (I loved how the follow-up said, "and (what's his name) is going to rehab NEXT WEEK." Yeah, right, sure. Because that's just like an alcoholic, it's always "tomorrow". He didn't listen to anyone and didn't even care that he might KILL someone with his next drunk driving episode.)

 

I'm a Ramsey fan, but I won't .. can't .. keep watching this unless they get more likeable and deserving owners.

Edited by Padma
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I didn't understand how Ramsay didn't "know" the guy was a drunk before the waitress showed him the newspaper article. The owner was TRASHED when speaking to Ramsay! I could smell the vodka fumes through my TV screen!

 

GR knew. News stories on the 'net say the owner was arrested for DUI the night before Ramsay arrived, and right on the street in front of the hotel. The production crew had already arrived and set up for the start of filming the next day and witnessed the whole thing. There's no way they didn't tell GR about it. They might even have been worried that they wouldn't be able to film for some legal reason or other.

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RIGHT!   this was just some spoiled rich asshole who has everything in life handed to him. 

Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say he was a Gigolo, who conned his way into being rich, and once he got the money turned into an even bigger asshole. So in some sense he DID work for his money.  Just in a disgusting way.

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Actually, I think it would be more accurate to say he was a Gigolo, who conned his way into being rich, and once he got the money turned into an even bigger asshole. So in some sense he DID work for his money.  Just in a disgusting way.

 

Sort of a shame the old woman didn't have family around her. I wouldn't want to be at the end of my life and be the only thing standing between this piece of slime and a fortune.

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About the smarmy, creepy, douchebag owner, I can picture just how he turned out this way. 

 

His mother worked at the hotel and took him to work with her.  Mom was probably a single mother who couldn't afford child care.  Baby boy admires the cocktail waitresses who seem so glamorous, and who probably doted on the cute little guy.  A poor boy being raised by a single mother would feel 'less-than' in school, but when he went to the hotel he was fawned on by the pretty ladies who were (what seemed to him) much older than he.

 

Philip learned to ingratiate himself with older women.  The fact that he was a boy and they were grown women who were just being nice to a child didn't matter, he'd found out how to feel good about himself; important even.  Focusing on such superficial relationships helped him become a full-blown Narcissist.  Even his later turn into alcoholism could be attributed to his preference to cocktail waitresses.  Let's face it, a good cocktail waitress earns a lot of her income from getting her clients to drink more.  Keep the clients drinking and the tips keep coming.  Little Philip would have associated drinking with the good life and a good time.

 

Philip then becomes a bartender at the tender age of 18.  Pushing alcohol is his job, but the cocktail waitresses are still getting most of the tips.  Thankfully for him he's adept at schmoozing older women, he's been at it since he was a child.  Glom onto the hotel's owner, marry her, and reap the rewards.  When she dies he has his childhood playground all to himself.  But since he's never really figured out how to be a real adult and he can't really run the place by himself, he focuses on the woman who's now his current and longtime girlfriend, the much older hotel manager.

 

Philip has become an alcoholic and is being enabled by his girlfriend.  Girlfriend gets a taste of the high life, but at the expense of constantly feeding Philip's Narcissistic Supply (Google it).  Feeding a narcissist is like filling up a bottomless pit.  There's never enough.  I bet Girlfriend brought Gordon in hoping to improve the hotel and hopefully take some of the pressure herself.  Of course it didn't work out. 

 

Philip probably thought that Gordon would blame the staff for the problems, and not only did that not happen, but the staff dared to speak their minds about what was really going on.  Philip reacted according to the Alcoholic's Handbook, which was to say whatever he had to say to get out of the intervention but with no intention of getting treatment for his alcoholism.  Once the cameras were gone he switched into the Narcissist's Handbook, which was to succumb to Narcissistic Rage by removing the annoying people who didn't think he was Lord and Master of all things.  He shut down everything except the room rentals, thereby removing the chef who stupidly (in his mind) offered to mentor him in sobriety.  No way a narcissist would allow a peon to enter into a relationship of being an equal or mentor with the Great Philip!  I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he has completely replaced all the staff and brought in new people.

 

Girlfriend should move on and get counseling, but even though an alcoholic can be helped, a Narcissist can't.

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Zahdii, you captured perfectly what I was thinking was really going on with Philip, but I was just having some problems articulating this sequence of events.  I absolutely think you nailed it.

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+1. Don't know this guy from Adam's off ox, but I can absolutely fit what you're saying in with what we did see.

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