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'Hotel Hell' recap: Ramsay ain't afraid of no ghosts

Season 2 | Episode 7 | “Curtis House” | Aired Sep 1, 2014

HELL-O again, all you Hotel Hellions! If you noticed that there wasn’t a recap last week, it’s because I was dropping my daughter off at college and experiencing a little Hotel Hell of my own. Seriously, we came back to our room one night to find not one, not two, but three hairs adorning the pillows on my daughter’s freshly made bed. I immediately thought that they surely must have just remade the bed without changing the sheets until I noticed that the hairs were about four inches long and my daughter’s hair is about 20 inches long. We played a quick game of WWGRD (What Would Gordon Ramsay Do?) and shouted a few bleep words before demanding the bed be remade while we went to the hot tub in bright blue Speedos.

I’m kidding. Much like the latest episode of Hotel Hell, there were unfortunately no blue Speedos in sight. And thankfully, very much unlike the latest episode, no ghosts, either. That’s right, ghosts. This week Ramsay travels to Woodbury, Connecticut, to Curtis House, the state’s oldest inn, and adds another distinction to his already impressive and lengthy resumé: Ghostbuster.


The Curtis House is run by feuding brother and sister team Chris and TJ, and the shenanigans the ghosts pull (dishes flying! fireplaces exploding!) are the least of the inn’s problems. Here’s a short list of the problems that Ramsay identifies right away:

  • Guests’ credit card information is recorded in an antiquated registration book
  • Ants crawling on the dinner plates
  • Visible mustard-colored stains on the pillows
  • Rusted and mildewed soap holders in the shower
  • Families of dead insects littering the windowsills

After meeting Shirley (aka “Babe”), the front desk clerk who’s worked at Curtis House for over 40 years, Ramsay checks into Room 16, a room that is haunted by a ghost named Betty who pulls blankets off guests in the middle of the night and who causes the bed canopy to crash on Ramsay’s head as soon as he arrives. His first impression? Dismal (which is apparently Betty’s first impression of him as well).

Mother’s Day lunch is being served in the dining room, and Ramsay tucks into his selections of crab cakes (which HotelHellRagthe server tells him are “hit or miss” and which after one bite Ramsay declares a definite “miss”), calamari (“Limper than my Grandad’s dick,” proclaims Ramsay), and a burger that Ramsay can’t even find underneath all the sloppy mushroom crap covering it. When Ramsay goes to check out the kitchen in action, he finds Chris (one of the owners) in a filthy shirt, slopping food around on plates and wiping them off with a dirty rag (see photo—no, that’s not a dirty baby diaper).  Most alarming, however? The fact that no one in the kitchen is talking to each other or bothers to ask him how his lunch was. Everyone basically ignores him. IGNORES CHEF GORDON RAMSAY. Isn’t that considered treason in some countries? Or maybe blasphemy?

After snooping around and finding old, frozen food (wouldn’t be an episode of Hotel Hell without it), Ramsay tells Chris that he cooks like he hates the place. “There might be ghosts upstairs, but there’s a dead man walking in the kitchen,” he says. Chris gives a shoulder shrug and a  “go to hell” look that would make a 14-year-old girl proud, and Ramsay stalks out.

The next morning, after an obligatory shot of Ramsay’s blurred-out bare ass as he steps into the shower (seriously, are ass/Speedo shots now part of his contract?) he calls a staff meeting and reprimands Chris and TJ for not communicating. The staff admits the management’s bickering and rudeness is the cause for all the problems of Curtis House. Prep cook Cheyenne says there are no standards in the kitchen. Chris says, “Fuck Cheyenne.” Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and side with the staff on this one.

Ramsay sends Chris and TJ to the office for a time-out to try to work things out, and server Opal tearfully tells Ramsay that Curtis House is toxic and is destroying her. She’s done. After Opal tells Chris and TJ that they’re basically horrible people and leaves, Chris finally breaks his code of silence and tells his sister, “Everyone thinks you’re a mean, horrible bitch.” He’s obviously awesome. Just don’t ask Cheyenne.

Ramsay has an intervention with the bickering duo and brings them to a room filled with disgruntled guests, who are (as usual) happy to detail for them (and for the Hotel Hell cameras) how disgusting the rooms are. Shockingly, Chris has never heard complaints like this before! Ramsay is fed up with the lack of care from Chris and TJ and turns to their mother, Trudy, for help. She brings in a group of family members for intervention No. 2, and they all tearfully tell Chris and TJ things they’ve probably said a million times before, but that the duo are now contractually obligated to listen to. When Babe breaks down reading her letter about how their bickering and stubbornness have taken all the joy out of Curtis House, Chris finally shows he has a soul and starts to cry. Former bitch TJ admits she wants to be there for Chris and when Ramsay asks him if he wants to make the inn work, Chris says “Absolutely.” HUGS! APPLAUSE! HAPPY BACKGROUND MUSIC! Give Babe a raise and let’s get this place transformed!

After a typical all-nighter, the HH team has turned the dated and impersonal decor into a warm, inviting space (I could do without the lemon-yellow throw pillows in the lobby, but that’s just me). There’s a gallery wall full of old-timey silhouettes of the family and staff (anyone else wondering when they sat for those?) and a brand new computer to replace to antiquated reservation book (which Babe looks at like it’s an actual ghost).

Room 16 has been updated and redecorated (and I’m assuming the windowsills are now bug-carcass free), and there’s even a pillow monogrammed with ghost Betty’s name on the chair. Cute. Not so cute is the creepy moving-eye portrait hanging on the wall. Ramsay even has a paranormal expert to come investigate the room, and she declares Curtis House to be an official member of the Haunted Connecticut Tours.

The restaurant has a new, family-inspired menu (Chris’ country fried steak!), which the newly supportive and tight staff predictably oohs and ahhs over, and which Chris magically is able to recreate when the doors reopen. The relaunch is successful, with guests admiring the new rooms and delighting at the menu, and after being touched by the power of the almighty Ramsay, Chris and TJ are working together and have all but forgotten the horrible names they’ve been calling each other for the past few months.

It’s almost like there’s a supernatural power to Ramsay, isn’t there? BRB, I need to go rewind to see if he got slimed.

Hotel Hell airs Mondays at 9/8C on FOX. 

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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