Picks and Pans Review: Hotel

updated 09/26/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/26/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21

ABC (9-11 p.m. ET)

In movies, all-star soap operas from Grand Hotel to Ship of Fools have placed a group of characters in an exotic environment and hoped the sparks could fly. Producer Aaron (Love Boat) Spelling has fine-tuned the TV equivalent; Hotel is his latest offering, set at the fictional St. Gregory Hotel in San Francisco. Amid the complications in the premiere episode, Morgan Fairchild is raped by a gang of wealthy toughs, and gold digger Stephanie Faracy loses her sugar daddy (Jack Gilford) when he keels over into his omelette. Such mayhem is all in a day's work for the series regulars: James Brolin is the hotel manager, Connie Selleca is his assistant, and Bette Davis, on-screen for only a few minutes, is the aristocratic hotel owner. Davis' casting exemplified Love Boat-style exploitation: These shows trot out a few legendary actors like Davis and a lot of famous-for-being-famous TV celebs so that viewers' idle curiosity ("What does he look like these days?") can be satisfied. This clunky and predictable Hotel isn't grand—or even fun to visit.

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