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Tara Ariano

S02.E03: Applegate River Lodge

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Ramsay visits the Applegate River Lodge in Oregon, which is plagued by problems stemming from the acrimonious divorce of its formerly married co-owners.

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Another disappointing episode. I'm close to calling it quits on this series. I missed about the first 15-20 minutes, but from what I can tell it's just another poorly run hotel that new throw rugs and bedding will not fix. The problem is these people have no business running a hotel. I get the feeling that for the sons and old man it's just a venue to play music and get your party on with the locals and your stoner friends -- oh, and run a hotel on the side (poor mom). Current reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor indicate the same.

Btw, what kind of lodge has wall to wall carpet? Rustic hardwood floors look better and are more hygienic.

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Did Ramsay ever think about asking the mom why she allowed her sons to just take over parts of the lodge for their own money making? Or why she allowed stoner ex husband to live there? How could this ever work as a functioning lodge if the owners don't understand basic things like cleanliness and letting the guest sleep at night? I don't believe for a minute this place was running well as GR left. If she is almost 1 million in debt, there is no way they are going to make that up by charging people $15.00 to listen to music. And those mushrooms were just so funny, it looked like they were trying for an old Cheech and Chong movie.

 

I wish GR would stop pointing out stains under the backlight and muttering "Semen" in every episode. It makes me want to never stay at a hotel because I'm sure most hotels never wash the bedspread/comforter. I did stay in a couple that didn't have a spread so the full bedding could be washed, but how could you ever know for sure? 

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The feud between the two brothers was resolved waaay too easily. I wonder if it was staged for the show. The rooms were filthy and we never heard about or saw a housekeeping staff. Richard stays on the property and does what exactly? They referred to the mother (Richard's ex-wife) as the owner, but Richard must still own a share because he apparently lives there rent-free and does nothing but smoke weed.

 

"These people are just weird. But they sure are friendly!"

 

Weird hippies from Oregon (less than 20 miles from the California border). It really did seem less of a hotel and more of a hippie commune. Then again, there was probably ample notice that Gordon Ramsay was coming so every stoner within 50 miles showed up for the party.

 

I also seriously don't understand the million dollars in debt part. The photo album shown to Ramsay was quite lovely, actually, and it looks like they built the place with their own hands maybe 20 years ago. Did they take out a huge loan back then for construction materials and are still paying it off? Or did the owner take out loans to keep the place afloat? That was weird too. It wouldn't take a whole lot of convincing to make me believe this entire episode was designed to get on TV despite whatever other stories they were trying to sell.

 

And finally, I hope Richard was telling the truth about his stash being legal because after last night I'm sure the Oregon State Police will be paying him a visit if there's a chance it isn't. Oh yeah... the whole Pa Butt and the Butt House thing was weird too. So much weird. At least it wasn't as depressing as last week's episode.

Edited by Tabasco Cat
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I wish GR would stop pointing out stains under the backlight and muttering "Semen" in every episode. It makes me want to never stay at a hotel because I'm sure most hotels never wash the bedspread/comforter. I did stay in a couple that didn't have a spread so the full bedding could be washed, but how could you ever know for sure? 

 

I know "SEMEN!!" is more disgusting and shocking, but Gordon does realize that there  other bodily fluids that illuminate under black light than just semen, right? (which yes, urine and sweat etc. is still also disgusting) I know it's a hotel, and surely some of that is semen, but not all of it.. there are some non bodily fluids that also glow under black light, like certain laundry detergents even... and tonic water...

Edited by Jjrmt
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I couldn't understand why the mother hadn't demanded that her sons pay rent for the space they used for music and the restaurant. Actually there should not have been music all night if she wanted to run a hotel. Where were the housekeeping staff. A recent online review (Trip Advisor?) said the room was dirty. Sad because the building was stunning :-) as was the location.

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Okay, all this episode did for me was confirm that I will never visit Oregon.  I can't stand stoners and sad old hippies who need to grow up and act like adults.  I feel bad for any guests who stay in that dump.  What a bunch of losers.

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I'm going to say that family has money somewhere, because there's just no way they were capable of enough sweat equity to earn that place, even before they made lace doilies out of their frontal lobes. I'm gonna guess it's mom.

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I watch these shows for the transformation bits, not the family drama. If this was for real, there is no way they are going to change on a dime like that because Gordon Ramsey lectures them. Someone who lets her ex undermine her business by holding awful-sounding jam sessions until the small hours, and man the front desk while stoned, is obviously not really interested in the hotel business herself. They never explained why the feud between the brothers, but the whole lot of them should have been kicked to the curb by anybody wanting to make a go of that place - especially the "music director" brother. Grow the heck up!

 

Anyway, when they finally got to Gordon's big reveal, I thought his striped wall effect in the lobby was hideous, though the furniture was fine. I'm not sure if I'd want to pay to sleep in a tent. Disappointing episode all around. The place was beautiful and actually could be made into a nice resort, although it appeared to be quite isolated with not many amenities around.

 

Is the point of this show for Gordon to show off in a swimsuit?

Edited by peggy06
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Gordon in a Speedo!  The scenery was gorgeous, the lodge could be gorgeous too.  I also was not impressed with big stripes in the lobby after the reveal, but the furniture in the lobby looked nice.

I want to see how Gordon revamped the kitchen; not enough explanation of that.

The Butt-hut, really?  Is pot legal in Oregon?  I also caught a reference to "tweaking" by one of the brothers, a phrase used to refer to meth use I believe.  What was that about?

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I've now watched two episodes of Hotel Hell and I'm really close to bailing for good.  The hotel building was awesome, the stoner clearly worked his butt off and made a beautiful building in a great setting, too bad he didn't actually want to use it as a hotel.  They'd be better off ditching the hotel aspect of the business and just making the place a music venue (although that won't help mom pay off her $1M debt any time soon).

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They never explained why the feud between the brothers, but the whole lot of them should have been kicked to the curb by anybody wanting to make a go of that place - especially the "music director" brother.

 

Oh let me explain the feud, based on a few good guesses. Music brother is Daddy's favorite and endorses Daddy's lifestyle. Music brother also probably has hit harder stuff in the past and was likely brought into the business by mom to keep him busy/under control. Music brother, for all his protests, clearly does nothing with the hotel except jam and party, and knows Dad will back him up because Dad loves to jam and party, and mom isn't going to make anyone fend for themselves.

 

Restaurant brother is mom's favorite and probably didn't want to invest his life in the hotel/restaurant/hippie commune. He's stuck out of family obligation - if he runs off, the place will fail. Because he's pissed, he's also passive aggressive and he and music brother are in a little war constantly over who the good son is. Mom more than likely knew restaurant son was making a profit in the restaurant because its probably keeping the whole place afloat. She's just glad to have someone around who isn't constantly high.

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I think mom should sell the place and try to get whatever profit she can, then just retire somewhere nice and let everyone else fend for themselves.  I have no patience for stoners, especially those who think they are so much better than anyone else yet live off of the kindness of those same people.

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Restaurant brother is mom's favorite and probably didn't want to invest his life in the hotel/restaurant/hippie commune. He's stuck out of family obligation - if he runs off, the place will fail. Because he's pissed, he's also passive aggressive and he and music brother are in a little war constantly over who the good son is. Mom more than likely knew restaurant son was making a profit in the restaurant because its probably keeping the whole place afloat. She's just glad to have someone around who isn't constantly high.

 

Agree about mom wanting restaurant brother around, disagree that it's because he keeps the business afloat, because he uses space and utilities he's not paying for and keeps the profits. If anything, he's contributing to the money loss that's making the business fail. And I kind of doubt that he's as straight edge as he looks standing next to his father and brother. 

 

Me, I think mom is basically bribing restaurant brother with free space and no obligations to keep him nearby.

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Glad to see I'm not the only one who:

- Was not surprised by Gordon's now-obligatory Speedo shot

- Thinks the only thing sadder than a young stoner is an aging one

- Thought the gorgeous building was ruined by those hideous -- and inappropriate for the setting -- black and white zigzags. Isn't this the second venue that's been redecorated with wide black and white stripes? Gordon's decorator needs to expand his/her repertoire. 

- Thought the brothers' years of animosity got resolved way too easily -- but then again, they needed to work in the whole "Gordon didn't just fix our hotel, he fixed our family" claptrap.

 

I'd much rather watch Hotel Impossible, which is hosted by an actual hotelier and is more about fixing the business than interpersonal drama, real or fabricated.

 

Best thing about this show? The commercial for cell phone company that ends with Gordon so pleased, he tells the salesgirl, "I'm not too sure what to do with my arms right now, because this is where I usually start throwing things." Her calm, smiling, "that's terrifying" response is perfection.

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Favorite GR line of all-time:  "These people are WEIRD!"  LOL

 

This hotel was absolutely stunning, and the setting was picture perfect.  Richard may be totally useless now, but at some point 20 years ago, he had a good eye for detail.  I also believe, like other posters here, that that hotel is destined to fail.  there's no way they're going to turn things around and get out of debt.  If the sons turned over all their money to Mom each month, it would still take decades to pay off their debts.

 

I kept wondering if there was any housekeeping staff at all, or if Mom was tasked with doing the cleaning. 

 

This "hotel" is just an excuse for partying and drug use.  I think Gordon should just wait until the property is taken by the bank and buy it himself.  As he said during his swim, he'd love to experience the location with his own family.

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Richard may be totally useless now, but at some point 20 years ago, he had a good eye for detail.

 

Richard said he designed the hotel himself and apparently did the building of it as well.  My guess is he smoked just as much pot back then as he does now.  His goal was to build the hotel, once that was done (and done really well) he was done.  He had some sort of vision of creating this cool place where people could hang out and jam, smoke some weed and generally just hang out.  He achieved that, the problem is he stuck his wife with a ton of debt that he doesn't care about.

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I thought this was a better episode than the others in that it had an owner we could actually root for (i.e. Mom). I'm still very pessimistic about the lodge's chances, but if the Mom found it in herself to kick everybody else to the curb, she would stand a fighting chance.

 

The censors were working overtime on this episode what with the blurring of random logos and all the pot (because we can't let the kids see what marijuana looks like!). And I think they also blurred Gordon's speedos which is hilarious.

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I suspect the hotel was kept 'afloat' due to dad...having an 'herbal' side business?  That much weed AIN'T for personal consumption.  In Oregon, I believe medical marijuana is legal...and it seemed like 'Pa Butt' made the distinction that it was medicine.

 

Pa Butt had a buttload of medicine on hand.

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I checked out the Applegate River Lodge's website.  There's no way they're making enough money to pay a $1M mortgage.  They have seven rooms at around $130-$140/night average.  Out of that money they've got to pay staff (we weren't shown any but there has to be more than mom and two sons and their wives working there).  The restaurant prices aren't that high.  They do have a fair number of concerts scheduled (a combination of unknown through mid-level jam bands) but their ticket prices are, at most, $25.  I doubt anyone is paying to stay in the tents (seriously, wft was Gordon thinking?).  They do host weddings (and I think it's a beautiful place to have a wedding) so they can make some money there, but overall this place just can't bring in enough money to satisfy their debt.

 

I think dad's weed supply is purely for personal, "medical" consumption in that I don't think he's selling it.  Share it with his sons, the musicians and hotel guests, sure, but I doubt he's dealing weed.

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- Thought the brothers' years of animosity got resolved way too easily -- but then again, they needed to work in the whole "Gordon didn't just fix our hotel, he fixed our family" claptrap.

 

I'd much rather watch Hotel Impossible, which is hosted by an actual hotelier and is more about fixing the business than interpersonal drama, real or fabricated.

Maybe I should check out Hotel Impossible - it sounds like the show I thought this would be. I know, I know, even on Kitchen Nightmares Gordon got into the family issues, but on this show it seems to be a dominant theme. They never got to any nitty-gritty ideas for making the hotel better ttill the three-quarters mark of the show. Gordon Ramsey isn't a therapist let alone a psychologist, so why would I want to watch him trying to resolve family issues? It's boring and repetitive already, and is of course much too pat, as it would have to be for the format. I wish the show would get back to the practical stuff.

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Seriously, what IS the point of this show? Ramsay is not a hotelier, he's never (as far as I know) been part of that industry, and while I'm certain he thinks he knows everything about anything, the current story's reference to the "softness" of his knowledge of how a hotel actually runs appears to be spot-on, if perhaps a trifle charitable.

 

Does Ramsay really need the constant ego-stroking of a weekly Speedo shot? Can't he just take a selfie like everyone else? I don't understand how someone this relentlessly pissy becomes a household name. I mean I fundamentally don't get the process of how a person becomes a "brand" anyway, but how can being mean to people for a living be a career path?  

Edited by Sandman

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In Oregon, I believe medical marijuana is legal

 

It is.  That was a large amount of weed, but I believe the amount allowed on hand for medical pot is quite substantial.

 

I feel like this episode did nothing but reinforce the stereotype that Oregonians are all stoners...or hipsters.  It's not true, I swear!  Born & bred, so I know of what I speak.

 

The location was just beautiful, and showed off some of our incredible vistas.  I'd visit the lodge if I thought any of the improvements lasted longer than a month.

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The feud between the two brothers was resolved waaay too easily. I wonder if it was staged for the show.

 

No way.  This is "reality television", nothing is ever staged, phony, or production influenced.  

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OK, I don't know how to respond directly to a recap, but this

 

This vibe is absolutely off-brand for this show (there's a reason the only musical genre we approved for your editors' use is titled "Grand Orchestral Shit Storm") and, unfortunately, not Gordon's strong suit. We understand that your hands are tied by footage of hotel guests jamming in a semen-covered hotel lobby wearing dancing mushroom costumes, but we should at least try and play it straighter on the post side (please start by losing the Disney World Haunted House music when Gordon first enters the hotel). Focus groups most typically associate Gordon's brand with words like "gruff," "outspoken," "opinionated," and "clacking old granny," whereas words like "absurd," "incongruously comedic," and "tonally eyebrow-raising" are more typically associated with the brand of Fox Business News.

 

is very funny.

I think the reason that Ramsay is kind of humorless about drugs is that his dad was a violent (abusive) alcoholic, and he's been trying on and off for years to get his brother clean (I'm pretty sure his brother is in jail just now).

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If Ramsay's father was abusive, I understand him even less than I thought I did; he's already spoken publicly about being so shabbily treated by the infamously vile-tempered Marco Pierre White (under whom Ramsay worked as a young line cook) that he broke down and begged to be fired. What a hypocrite!

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I think the reason that Ramsay is kind of humorless about drugs is that his dad was a violent (abusive) alcoholic, and he's been trying on and off for years to get his brother clean (I'm pretty sure his brother is in jail just now).

 

If Ramsay's father was abusive, I understand him even less than I thought I did; he's already spoken publicly about being so shabbily treated by the infamously vile-tempered Marco Pierre White (under whom Ramsay worked as a young line cook) that he broke down and begged to be fired. What a hypocrite!

 

Gordon talks about his brother a lot when he did a UK prison show (which was great yet sad series by the way). His brother has been in and out of jail because of his addiction. They had a rough upbringing and Gordon's relentless drive and inability to say No to stupid business opportunities can be attributed to it.

 

The relationship between Gordon and MPW is complicated. Gordon was a kid back then and more shy and quiet. Gordon really only developed a voice after he left and after MPW quit the industry the first time. While Gordon has a lot of loyal proteges, he is frenemies with Marcus Wareing, his most famous one. I like Gordon, but he's no saint. 

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You know, the more I think about it, the more I don't really have a lot of sympathy for the mom here. I mean, she's comping rooms right and left and losing money like crazy, but she is the one allowing her sons to pull the shit they're pulling. If she can't even have a conversation with guests at the desk because it's so loud, tell her stupid son that these parties are not going to happen anymore. It's not like she was seeing any money from them anyway, so just cancel them. And, she could have charged the other son some rent or something for the restaurant. She did this to herself as much as anyone did it to her. She's a grown woman and she could have taken some responsibility for her decisions instead of just being a victim doormat.

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These shows, both Gordon's and the Restaurant Impossible and Hotel impossible shows, have reinforced my suspicions and increased my anxiety about sleeping or eating on holiday.  Your hotel glasses are cleaned with a windex like product, and bedding except for sheets are not changed daily.  The stains are horrifying.  I remember being someplace with 2 dogs and I wouldn't let them sleep on the floor.  I made them sleep on the bed with the spread on the floor as it was just too creepy.

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I'm so glad I can't afford to travel and stay anywhere (not that I would, because the critters need feeding here!).  Funny how my own dirty house doesn't offend me (much), but the thought of a stranger's filth?  Yikes!

 

This place had such a gorgeous setting.  What's not to love about tall trees and a river, eh.  But the story of this family seemed a little skunkweed to me.  

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I read that GR has a degree in hotel management.  The mother didn't need a degree to charge the sons rent. I bet the stoner dad is a barrel of laughs when he drives (let's hope he doesn't!)

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As much as I love Gordon, I may have to quit watching as well. My sister and I dvr'ed it and at the end, we were like "wtf, that was barely anything". Which is true. I feel like it was an hour of baloney.

With that in mind, I can't fathom how the lodge lasted as long as it did. Pothead Dad and Stoner Son chilled with their friends, Chef Son made some money, and poor mom was left with pretty much nothing but scraps and cleaning up after the others. If I was her, I'd have run off a long time ago. But I guess family ties are strong. I couldn't believe all the stains, though, and GR's "mosaic of semen" had me rolling with laughter and gagging at the gross factor. It was a pretty location and a beautiful building, though. I hope they're doing better.

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I don't understand how that restaurant son was making $150,000 per year.  It didn't look very big or very good.  I call BS on that statement.

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Gordon talks about his brother a lot when he did a UK prison show (which was great yet sad series by the way). His brother has been in and out of jail because of his addiction. They had a rough upbringing and Gordon's relentless drive and inability to say No to stupid business opportunities can be attributed to it.

Glad someone saw and remember this show. It was his best show by far. That was real and raw for the most part and as you said, really sad and grim. Ramsay actually cared about those men and the project and it showed in his demeanor.

It was miles away from the big pile of nothing that's Hotel Hell with cartoonish characters and Ramsay caricaturing himself. 

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I don't understand how that restaurant son was making $150,000 per year. It didn't look very big or very good. I call BS on that statement.

"Special" brownies and other baked goods? :)

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I don't understand how that restaurant son was making $150,000 per year.  It didn't look very big or very good.  I call BS on that statement.

 

It's probably overpriced and he has a captive clientele and no expenses. If this were a restaurant with restaurant costs, he'd probably be losing more than that.

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That's nuts, buying all the food, alcohol and supplies for the restaurant and not getting something in return. No wonder she's so far in debt, she cannot manage money nor her employees/family.

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In defense of the mom, many of us continue paying the mortgage, etc long after the kid should contribute.  She divorced the loser dad but had very strong ties to the place they built.  I can agree with her wanting to hold onto it for herself and her kids.  She wrote off the stoner music kid like she did the dad, but knew the restaurant kid was making money, just not how much.  She wanted him to have a living because he was working and I'm glad Gordon made it clear she wasn't being selfish, they had to work together. No one has mentioned that Gordo went off on the restaurant kid harder than anyone else but I think he did that because he was the only hope in turning things around.  I loved how he acknowleged ButtDad by dismissing him in the last meeting saying in a loving way, letting him know you're hopeless. You have to be businessmen! (adds British accent).  Loved the water Speedo, I have an old TV so I didn't see the blurring of the bulge.

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Most surprising thing to me in this episode was that people were willing to pay a $15 music cover charge to hear what sounded like a bunch of stoned locals jamming and not a real band. I would assume that it's the same crowd (also locals) every night. There's either nothing else to do at night within 50 miles or everyone is really, really stoned. Probably both.

This is the second of three shows this year in which one of the hotel owners played music at the hotel. Never a good sign. Duke called himself a "Music Director." Is that really a job in a hotel of that size, where probably Duke and his friends are the only act?

Edited by bluepiano
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I would hazard a guess that the locals only showed up because Ramsay was there. I am not sure I'd want to be "caught on tape" high as a kite and dancing like Elaine Benes.

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I would hazard a guess that the locals only showed up because Ramsay was there. I am not sure I'd want to be "caught on tape" high as a kite and dancing like Elaine Benes.

Hey, it is Oregon. I know, not all Oregonians are like that. But I live in the northwest and I can tell you that many are.

Otherwise, this episode felt even more fake than usual, especially GR getting the two brothers who have allegedly been at each other's throats since birth to kiss and make with one little "guys, get it together" speech. The glowing tributes to Saint Gordon that concluded the show felt endless. I know he has a huge ego, but I wonder if even he could watch that without feeling embarrassed.

Edited by bluepiano

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I feel like this episode did nothing but reinforce the stereotype that Oregonians are all stoners...or hipsters.  It's not true, I swear!  Born & bred, so I know of what I speak.

 

Fourth-generation Oregonian here, and I can also vouch for that. I live in Portland but Portlandia irritates the hell out of me: "oooh, we're all just so unique and quirky!" Although I like Grimm, the show makes it look like we all live in charming vintage bungalows and Craftsman houses. I wish!!

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Although I like Grimm, the show makes it look like we all live in charming vintage bungalows and Craftsman houses. I wish!!

 

IKR?  My little sister had a dayplayer role on Grimm.  That's all I got for that show.

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