I’m not sure how often Sparrow’s Hotel was deliberately funny. I don’t think I liked it ironically — whatever that even means anymore — but many times when Sparrow’s Hotel made me laugh, it seemed like a total accident. That’s fine. Accidents can be pretty funny. I do a million dumb things every day that are probably funny as hell if you look at them the right way.
But every so often Sparrow’s Hotel would do something unexpected and legitimately funny. It would last like a second, so you weren’t sure if it actually happened, or you dreamed it. It’s like you spotted Bigfoot but couldn’t whip out your phone in time to take a picture, so all you had was your word. We do, however, have evidence of the greatest trick Sparrow’s Hotel ever pulled.
The visuals of Sparrow’s Hotel were the butt of many jokes. It didn’t seem as if the series were crafted in a “retro” style. It was more as if the show were made in 1990 but left unaired for some reason, and afterward remained in some studio’s cellar to rot forever. Then some intern discovered the series 20+ years later. The station he worked at needed three minutes to fill each week. And so the legend of Sparrow’s Hotel was born. Any truth to the rumor that the show was released on Laserdisc or Betamax rather than DVD or Blu-ray?
Anyway, yes, they look terrible and cheap, but there’s also a weird charm to them. Hating Sparrow’s Hotel because of how it looks is like hating an ugly puppy. Nobody benefits from it, and it just makes everyone sad. But the people who work at Sparrow’s Hotel love their craft and are tireless. They live to serve.
Then episode 7 happened. Sparrow’s Hotel underwent “renovations” — both in-show and out. The hotel gets cleaned up and suddenly looks like something from this century, albeit early this century. Like, the second it became 2001. It’s such a goofy gag that I won’t accept any explanation other than the show was created purely for this purpose. (Well, maybe I would accept that the early parts of the show really were found in some musty basement, but parts of the footage were destroyed, so more needed to be created to finish it out.)
What a silly show.