So then…I shriek, “NOOOOOOOO!” with such volume and anguish, you’d think a pack of wild zombies had just eaten my entire immediate family AND the last pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
But no, this shriek is due to a devastation so profound, I’m literally frozen in torment.
Let me explain from the BEGINNING:
I’ve already burned through fabulous period TV series like Downton Abbey, The Paradise, Mr. Selfridge, and Call the Midwives.
NetFlix keeps asking if I’d like to watch Grand Hotel – but I keep resisting because it’s filmed in Spain, so I’d need to read English subtitles!
As a world-class multi-tasker, I’m always doing something else WHILE I’m watching TV, so having to read the screen just won’t work. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.
But then one day, I take a little lunch break and figure, “Well, I’ll just watch the first episode while I eat, then go find something else to watch while I work on spreadsheets, open mail, do computer work, etc.”
So I’m watching the first episode of Grand Hotel about this luxury hotel in Spain owned by a wealthy family in 1906 and their interactions with the hotel staff –
and I’m all “la-la-lala-la” when suddenly BAM! Major plot twist!
Then BOOM! Another twist!
Then a murder mystery!
So of course I have to see what happens in the next episode, which is also action-packed and mystery-intensifying with more plots and subplots.
BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA! Shit is going down, people!
So now I have to see the NEXT episode, and I can’t do anything else because I have to read the damn subtitles – but honestly, I’m RIVETED!
Every chance I get, I zip over to the big screen TV to watch more episodes of Grand Hotel.
My family’s perplexed since they’re not used to seeing me watch TV without doing something else. And quite frankly, when they suggest using the big screen TV to watch one of their shows, they’re a little taken aback when I scowl and hiss menacingly.
But here’s why:
This is unlike any other period show I’ve ever seen. In addition to the gorgeous costumes, the class differences between the hotel’s owners and staff, the antiquated customs of the early 1900’s – there are mysteries to solve, schemes to expose, and culprits to discover.
Grand Hotel is one of the most addictive series ever! There are mysteries upon mysteries at this luxury hotel! Some last several episodes, some last a whole season – so we have the satisfaction of seeing some mysteries solved, but always have several others brewing.
There are some good people – and some VERY, VERY bad people – and sometimes you don’t know who’s who. There’s a large cast of characters and there’s always something going on with all of them!
The show’s like a thriller, packed with suspense and action surrounding murder, blackmail, kidnapping, and many more secrets I can’t mention due to the possibility of Spoiler Alerts!
Over the 3 seasons of the show, there are many romances, but the one featuring the two main characters Julio and Alicia is SPECTACULAR. It’s very suspenseful because there are so many genuine DANGEROUS obstacles in their path. They’re gorgeous, smart, brave, clever… You’ll literally SWOON every time they’re on screen together.
I am madly in love with Julio –
AND madly in love with Alicia –
AND currently working on a time-travel machine so I can go live with them in 1906 Spain for a thrilling threesome while we solve mysteries together.
Oh the scheming! There are so many fabulous, over-the-top characters who conspire dastardly deeds and don’t hesitate to throw other people under the bus (or motorcar, as the case may be). You hate them. And you love that you hate them.
As you get to know the motivations, history, and obstacles of certain characters, you can’t help but laugh when they find themselves in certain situations. It’s not broad slapstick humor – or searing wit. You’re just laughing because you know these characters so well – even the twitch of someone’s eyebrow can set you off.
Holy Hell, you guys. Lots of drama. It’s not quite melodrama – but there are some scenes that get pretty close – and you know what? I LOVE IT! It’s frothy and fun and awesome!
If you set your timer back to 1906 in Spain when husbands ruled the wives – marriages were sometimes arranged – the poor had to kowtow to the wealthy – judges could be bought – then you’ll enjoy this romp through the troubles and turmoils of everyone connected to Grand Hotel.
WILL YOU LIKE IT?
I realize this might not be everyone’s cup of poisoned tea, but if you’re interested, it’s available on NetFlix streaming. There are 3 seasons, which total 66 episodes of about 40 minutes each.
If you start to watch it and don’t like it – DON’T TELL ME. I’ll be as offended as if you’d called my precious newborn “hideous and stinky.”
But if you like it – DEFINITELY TELL ME. We’ll gossip about the characters for hours, swoon over Julio and Alicia, and scream “Siiiiiii-mo-netta!” every time we see each other!
“THE SHOW SOUNDS AWESOME, DARCY, BUT WHAT MADE YOU SHRIEK ‘NOOOOOO!’?”
Because I’m on episode 58 of the 66 episodes, fully invested in all the characters –
fully enthralled in all the suspenseful mysteries –
fully engaged in the romantic entanglements –
when SUDDENLY AND WITHOUT WARNING…
…the English subtitles stop.
As in my beloved and reviled characters are all still speaking rapid-fire Spanish on the screen, but I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE SAYING!
I punch remote control buttons for language and subtitles and everything else, but the subtitles DON’T come back!
I have 8 episodes left to go on a series I’m OBSESSED with – and I have no way to know what’s happening!
The subtitles just disappeared in the middle of an episode! What if the translation company just STOPPED TRANSLATING the series in episode 58? Maybe they ran out of money! What if THERE ARE NO SUBTITLES for the rest of the series?
My heart rate increases. The room spins.
I’m about to run screaming into the streets, grabbing the first Spanish-speaking person I find, kidnapping them back to my house, and forcing them to translate word-for-word EVERYTHING that’s being said!
I’m screaming “NOOOOOO!” so loudly that my 16-year-old daughter Chloe comes running in, certain that ninja warriors are attacking me.
“What?! What?! What?!” she shouts.
“My…my…Julio!…Alicia!” I stammer, pointing to the TV. “Siiiiiii-mo-netta!” I wail.
Chloe calmly clicks into Settings and changes the Accessibility button to Closed Caption.
My subtitles come back! I hug her enthusiastically! I jump and dance and cavort about!
All is right with the world.
Honestly, I was ready to fly to Spain and hunt down each actor and actress to find out what happened in the last 8 episodes. But thankfully, my subtitles return and I watch the rest of the series.
It is FANTASTIC!
I absolutely adore binge-watching this charming, mystery-laden, romantic, captivating period piece.
And this portion of my life will henceforth be known as, “Hey, remember that time Mom went off the rails for two weeks and did nothing but watch Spanish-language TV?”
— Darcy Perdu
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(Have you seen Grand Hotel? Do you want to join me in my time travel machine back to 1906 Spain? PLEASE tell me the names of your favorite binge-watching shows because I’m in serious withdrawal over here now that I’ve finished Grand Hotel! HELP!)