Drugs, Sex, Murder: Why “Hotel Cocaine” is Your New TV Obsession

It’s 1978, and you find yourself in one of the hottest clubs in the social scene…taking place in the Mutiny Hotel. It has everything, including, dancing, celebrities, and most notably…cocaine! Danny Pino stars as the manager of the hotel, Roman Compte, while Mark Feuerstein plays owner Burton Greenberg. Roman seems to have everything he wants: a girlfriend, his daughter, and running one of the hottest clubs to date. What he did not count on was DEA Agent Zullo (Michael Chiklis) ruining his flow.

“Hotel Cocaine” was created by Chris Brancato (“Narcos”) and executive produced by Maurice Compte. If you are asking yourself why that last name is familiar, it is because it is loosely based off of Maurice’s father, Roman. Certain areas were added to enhance the drama of the series. For instance, Roman never had a brother. However, in the series, you will see Roman’s estranged relationship with his brother, Nestor Cabal (Yul Vazquez). While Zullo recruits Roman to get information on Cabal, who happens to be the biggest cocaine importers, I found this sibling relationship to be…awkward. This is not in a bad way. I say that because you can see how much Cabal does care for Compte and his family. That is what makes this dynamic so interesting. Compte is fighting to keep his life in tact without having to fall back into a life of crime. With Cabal, however, he slowly finds himself in a new world of misery.

Before I continue on that front, let’s talk about Burton. He really is the levity of the show. In a series that is so serious, it is nice to have a few scenes where you laugh. Feuerstein plays the part of Burton brilliantly. While he may bring some light to the Mutiny, Burton also has his secrets as well. You’ll find out just exactly HOW Burton got the Mutiny Hotel. Also, as it was spoiled in my interview with the cast, you will get to see how Burton was an inspiration of a classic 1980’s song. I will leave you with this: do NOT take your eyes off of the Burton story. Trust me!

Roman’s right hand woman is Janice Nichols (Laura Gordon), who also is in charge of the Mutiny Girls. You have to admit, I would like to have someone that goes to bat for me the way she does for Roman. She also will do what she needs to do to protect Roman. You will see that coming, as to not give too much away. She will pull out all the stops if she needs to.

As we circle back to Cabal and Compte, the pilot shows just how much Compte is willing to risk everything to have the life he wants…even if that means falling back into his brother’s ways. The intensity that happens leading up to the final moments of the episode will have you ask, “How will Roman get himself out of this?” The twists and the turns will want you coming back for more, and it only will get even more intense each episode.

One final note that really impressed me: the opening credits and theme song. It fits the vibe of the series, and it was composed by Swizz Beatz. Once you hear it, you will know you are about to hit Hotel Cocaine!

The actors on this show are incredible at bringing the pages to life. Pino and Vazquez work so well off of each other, while Feuerstein brings the hilarity and seriousness to his role. Gordon plays Janice with that sexual fire yet has skeletons in her closet. The guest stars also set the tone of the series; especially those that are playing celebrity personas. However, I do appreciate the fact that they are not the focal points. Their characters tie in with the main players.

As the series says, “Every pleasure has a price.”

You will see why when you catch, “Hotel Cocaine,” premiering on Sunday, June 16th, on MGM+.

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