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Seaside Hotel - season 1

Production year: 2013 | 6*45 | Genres: Fiction
Seaside Hotel is enjoying the best viewing figures for fiction on TV 2 for decades!
Origin country: Denmark
Production company: SF Film Production ApS
Original title: Badehotellet
Original language: Danish
Formats: HD | 16:9

Set in a small Danish hotel on the North Sea coast in the summers of 1928 through 1933, Seaside Hotel follows the lives of the hotel’s wealthy regulars and the local staff as the mood swings from optimism to crisis. As the big world beyond Denmark’s borders heads for disaster, the tragicomedy captures the spirit of the times — Europe’s harsh economic climate, society’s refusal to face facts, unrealistic dreams of living the good life — while reflecting the times in which we now live.

Summer 1928. The roaring twenties are in full swing in Denmark, too. The government is the most business-friendly for years, and there is optimism and confidence in the future. The regulars arrive from Copenhagen laden with luggage and fizzing with holiday fun. Oh, how splendid to see the old place again after a year away! Aurland from the ministry, has brought a radio along this summer: the newfangled device that conveys news from the capital faster than any newspaper could ever do and reports on banks in trouble due to questionable loans. But the odd bungling amateur from the world of high finance can’t possibly dent the holiday spirits that manifest themselves in sea bathing, sumptuous repasts and sensual escapades in the summer night.

Fie, the eighteen-year-old daughter of a miller, arrives at the hotel to work as a kitchen maid for the summer. Her pretty face earns her immediate promotion to chambermaid by Julius Andersen, the morally dubious hotelier. He has just had electricity installed at his hotel. One day under somewhat precarious circumstances he happens to touch a bare wire and is electrocuted, leaving Molly, his rather self-conscious wife, to cope with the hotel on her own. Fie rapidly reveals her exceptional talents for hotel management, becomes her assistant, and is asked to stay the winter to help Molly to prepare for the following season. Fie’s decision to stay is also influenced by her encounter with headstrong young Morten, a local lad who delivers fish and vegetables to the hotel.

The guests include Madsen, a merchant rolling in money from profiteering, who brings his wife and two daughters. The elder, nineteen-year-old Amanda, would far prefer to have spent the summer with her girlfriend, who is holidaying at the fashionable Hornbæk resort closer to the capital, partying the summer away with oodles of people of their own age. Repeated telephone calls across the country provoke Amanda into accepting a bet to see which of the two girls will have sex first. Sadly, the range of suitable men at the seaside hotel is not great, so Amanda sets her sights on Morten, who has had several run-ins with Amanda’s father, who started by ploughing into Morten’s chickens on the very first day as the family arrived at the hotel in their car. The merchant regards the contemptible young man as completely off-limits for his daughter. He has chosen a very different match for her: the failed aristocrat Count Ditmar, who has in turn identified the wealthy profiteer as a suitable business partner for his venture to purchase land on the coast to develop into seaside summer homes. But the young count has a guilty secret: he is being blackmailed as the result of a homoerotic adventure, and when the blackmailer turns up at the hotel threatening to tell the merchant about the whole affair, there is a showdown resulting in the blackmailer’s death. Ditmar manages to conceal his involvement from everyone including the merchant. Meanwhile Amanda succeeds in seducing Morten at a time when Fie has rejected him because of his clashes with Madsen. When the latter learns of the presumptuous liaison between his daughter and the farm boy he exacts revenge by pinning the death of the blackmailer on him.
The first season concludes with Amanda winning her bet but losing Morten, who rejects her, Fie, who only came for the summer but ends up staying the winter, and Morten facing murder charges.

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