I am I do not know. I do not know. You should be able to read the room, right? Of course, it’s tough to do when you’ve been running and filming for months, or even a year or more ago, in the case of, say, a documentary about extravagant Christmas celebrations held in one of the world’s most famous luxury hotels. And when a post-close closet is noticeably naked, I understand you don’t have much choice but to show what’s left in it.

However, it should be noted that Christmas in New York: Inside the Plaza (Channel 4) strangely matches the national mood. In an average year you can get away with an hour of subtle swell that hardly escapes being an actual ad for any luxury establishment that has gently allowed for a very coordinated look behind the scenes. In a normal year, we were undoubtedly able to settle on the couch with a bucket of Baileys, shutting our minds and admiring the views on display at the iconic Manhattan Hotel, built in 1907 with the hope of getting all over Waldorf-Astoria, which I did duly, She became a favorite hunt for Vanderbilts, Presidents and Frank Lloyd Wright. We were perplexed because the hotel’s 600-plus staff – which also hosted movie stars, the Beatles and Truman Capote in black and white – were preparing to pamper 21 floors of guests, each paying between 800 and 23,000 pounds a night during a season. Holidays.

There is a lot to be puzzled at. Lasting beauty of interiors. The size of the food and the amount of effort required to prepare it (“lobsters will be tight”) for the traditional buffet for 400 at Palm Court on Christmas Day. Dessert specially designed for the average guest who lives nearby: recreate her neighborhood with gingerbread and mint candy. The story of an entire suite reconfigured to accommodate the desire of a visitor from the Middle East to enjoy the “desert experience”, with a fire in the middle of the room. As the head chef at the Plaza Hotel said when placing an off-menu order for vegan waffles, “It’s never a” no. “

What could cause a pleasant mixture of sad sighs (why was my life so free of mezzanines, mosaic floors, and stained-glass ceilings? To say nothing about the rarity of Flemish oak panels), the cries of joyful disbelief and the expression of the eye, has a slightly different effect at the end General, which means deprivation and pain for many. In 2008, he showed clarity in many ways to the deep and growing gap that exists between the haves and the have-nots; Now it’s impossible to ignore the merit of screaming guests, for example, unlike the lives of the 600 people they serve. “They create this magical experience that you see in the movies!” Mika says, cheerful. “They” include Jane, who on his 30th birthday worked as an interior engineer at the hotel, and who has been partly occupied by the need to keep replacing the crystals that guests take, as souvenirs of their stay, from the 1,650 chandeliers. The rooms and suites are outstanding. Taylor, whose plaza enjoys her pet dog as much as she does, “borrowed a crystal at home” herself.

Also among “these” is Edith, the first maid, who was recently widowed. Coming to work, awaiting the call that her husband was dead, between appointments with guests needing a female escort, and presenting a Christmas gift to another guest dog, Sassy Bean, “was challenging. The guests couldn’t see what I was experiencing … life … It’s difficult. It’s not easy. But we are strong. “

Colleague butler Benny, who fled his home country of Poland through Denmark, then Germany decades ago, before making his way to the United States and being granted political asylum there, is dedicated to Blaza and everything it represents. “There are times I think if I hadn’t left my country, what would have happened? You don’t have to feel enslaved, unappreciated, or degraded, because the world has so much to offer wherever you go … The United States has given me everything.”

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It is these scattered moments of depth and insight that drive New York Christmas back from the edge of mere advertisement. Whether it’s enough to save the entire genre as we move, newly rough, through the aftermath of this tough year, only the time and speed with which capitalism can fix the necessary folds will explain.