My time consists of very few activities: working, sports, drinking, binge-watching, and trying to combine them all. I’ve been stuck on the same mindless shows forever, so I figured I try out something new, and it surely did not disappoint. Allow me to introduce you to Hotel Beau Sejour.
Murder! Alcoholism! Rape! Intrigue! Subtitles?
Yes, I’m pretty sure I just lost 90% of the audience. This Belgian crime drama on Netflix has everything you need to get you out of your show hole, except the English language. But seriously everyone, give it a chance and keep reading, you won’t be let down.
Hotel Beau Sejour chronicles a teenager, Kato, who discovers her own slain corpse in a hotel bathtub. She is in somewhat of an afterlife limbo, where she can still be seen by a select group of five people. Together with these select few, Cato attempts to solve her own murder. Could her murderer be one of the people that see her? Could it be a stranger? Along the way, the town unravels as secrets of drugs, infidelity, and crime run rampant.
I’m not going to give any spoilers away, but sh*t just spirals out of control, with every single episode leaving you longing for one more (Yes, Netflix, I would like to continue watching, stop asking me). Normal shows can have that lull in the middle of the season, trying to set-up the remaining episodes, but not Hotel Beau Sejour. Each episode climaxes at the right point, leaving the audience mystified.
Beware! There is a hint of supernatural reality in this show. Many may be deterred by this alternate universe, struggling to accept the fact that Kato is a ghost and only a select few can see her. But it is an essential plot line and no different than accepting the reality of Stranger Things. While it may be a farfetched concept to the blind eye, it plays nicely with the overall plot of the show.
There are a few loopholes surrounding the purgatory dimension Kato resides in. She still must eat, drink, and get transportation. She even can be physically hurt. This may seem out of line with the guidelines set up in the beginning, but it gives her more of a human quality that can relate to the audience. Despite being a supernatural entity, the humanization of Kato allows the audience to accept her fate.
Overall, I give the show and 8. I think that’s the equivalent of four smiley faces, or a fresh tomato bought from Fiesta, whatever your rating system may be. The writing and film style is great, but with a multitude of plot lines, sometimes the show can be slow. The acting is wonderful if you can understand Flemish, aside for the occasional English, “F*ck you!” The cinematography is great because I don’t really understand what cinematography is. Just give Hotel Beau Sejour a shot, I mean, you’ll have plenty of times after the Rockets end up losing the series to the Spurs.