“Gran Hotel” (Spanish title of the American version of “Grand Hotel”) was one of the most interesting Spanish series to date. Of course, it’s worth mentioning “El Internado” and “El Barco” that were equally intelligent and unique. When it comes to making a remake, what do we expect from the newly adapted version? Firstly, it should stay truthful and respect the original source, and more importantly, not go too far from the mood and the color of the original. Sadly, as I watched all the three different adapted series, the American version is the only one I found that made every single attempt to murder the most important concept of the show, with no chances to have it resurrected in the future.
Set in 2019 (the original setting took place in 1905) at Miami Beach, Danny Garibaldi (Lincoln Younes) finds a job as a waiter at the most prestigious family-owned hotel called Grand Hotel. With a beautiful surrounding and Miami’s charm hiding the secret beneath it, Danny is here to uncover the truth by solving the mystery of the disappearance of his sister, Sky (Arielle Kebbel), on the day when a hurricane struck the city. In the meantime, he befriends Alicia Mendoza (Denyse Tontz), the daughter of hotel owner Santiago Mendoza (Demian Bichir), who the young man begins developing feelings for and whose family he intends to ruin.
Produced by Eva Longoria, who plays Alicia’s deceased mother, “Grand Hotel” does not have that elegance the Spanish version had. In fact, all the original characters were real, intelligent, and never bragged about their good looks, while the American version seems to target only that part of the audience that is interested in the beauty of actors while the energy or the importance of the characters themselves is nowhere to be found. That alone is disturbing enough to not bother watching the series, which I seriously doubt, will have a long life to live.
Also, there are lots of changes in the new “Grand Hotel”. For instance, it was a father that dies in the original, not the mother. Alicia Alarcon and Julio Olmeida, portrayed by Amaia Salamanca and Yon Gonzales in the Spanish version, are far better in delivering nuanced performances of the two loved ones that had to hide their feelings for each other and work to solve a mystery while Danny and Alicia, played by Denyse Tontz and Lincoln Younes is something I wish I never had to see. As there are many changes being made, “Grand Hotel” can’t nearly call itself a remake but rather a teenage type of show the vast majority of viewers may easily skip.
Overall, “Grand Hotel” would’ve work if they had not tried to invent the uninventable. After watching three episodes, it appeared more as a comedy than drama, which is a big departure from what the original version was. Whether it is the soundtrack or score, nothing can clearly match with anything I’ve seen so far, which is truly disappointing. As for the performances, that’s another story that is well suited for the horror genre which unfortunately Eva Longoria’s produced show unwillingly crossed the mark.