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Laboriously Unreal

Laboriously Unreal

Design and Hotel Impossible

(p.97) 4 Laboriously Unreal
Housekeeping By Design
David Brody
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines Hotel Impossible, a Travel Channel reality show in which hotel guru Anthony Melchiorri travels to hotels facing fiscal distress and crafts a management, labor, and decorative makeover to save them. Brody examines the show’s narrative arc and its perpetuation of the neoliberal dream of taking care of the self in a capitalist-driven marketplace. He focuses on the episodes of Hotel Impossible that deal with the subject of housekeeping, and describes how housekeepers generally remain silent regarding decisions about housekeeping practices. Through his analysis of Hotel Impossible, Brody explores how popular culture represents design’s impact on housekeepers.

Keywords:   Hotel Impossible, reality television, popular culture, housekeeping, design, capitalism

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