TripAdvisor’s worst nightmare – Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures

Gavin Gaddis

Oscar's Hotel

“Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures” is a bit of an enigma. If one were to take the cardboard miniatures and intentionally old-school charm of Wes Anderson and combine them with the rapid-fire jump cut pace of popular YouTube comedians, you’re approaching the aesthetic of “Oscar’s Hotel.”

 

The series, created by YouTube personality KickthePJ (PJ Liguori), documents several days in the life of Oliver (Chris Kendall), cousin to the titular Oscar (Andrew Abelson), who is put in charge of aforementioned hotel for a week with no formal training. As one would expect, wacky hijinks ensue.

 

Take the newest episode “The Fountain of Forgiveness” for example: Oliver awakens with amnesia in a cave next to a scatterbrained hermit crab named Hermit (Grace Helbig). He has cryptic messages written on his arm and gradually decodes their meaning while Hermit attempts to be a gracious host.

 

Both “Fountain” and last week’s “Box Death” have far fewer guest stars and cut-away gags. These calmer character-driven episodes are easily the shining point of the series so far, both because of their star power (Helbig and Olan Rogers respectively) and they have a sense of closure with well-written endings.

 

A lot of people worked on this series, and I feel there’s a bit of a downside to that. In one episode the viewer can only take so many YouTube and Hollywood celebrities using/wearing/voicing beautiful creatures produced by the Jim Henson Workshop before they are overloaded.

 

I would not be surprised if told every guest star shot their scenes in a single day.

 

At a run-time averaging just over 11 minutes per episode and six episodes in this season (available only on Vimeo for $9.99), “Oscar’s Hotel” has an uphill battle to get in my good graces, especially when each episode dedicates a good 20 percent of its length to end credits.

 

“Oscar’s Hotel for Fantastical Creatures” is a sign of the crowd-funded times. It’s beautiful, flawed and does not care if I watch it or not. The fans who pre-purchased it are satisfied, that’s all that matters.
There is much potential inside that hotel, it could easily carry a full 12 episode half-hour season if proper funding channels had been used. As it stands, I suggest buying the show if only for the gimmick of seeing your favorite YouTube stars in something with actual production value.