07/21/2014 11:15 EDT | Updated 09/20/2014 05:59 EDT

'Hotel Hell' Review: Go With Gordon Ramsay On This One


The words "poop on the wall" and "mosaic of semen" aren't exactly the descriptors that have me excitedly reaching for the remote, but because "Hotel Hell" stars Gordon Ramsay, I pressed play with only the tiniest bit of hesitation. Thankfully, the Season 2 premiere was fairly tame and no "CSI" sprays and black lights were needed.

"Hotel Hell," which first premiered in the summer of 2012, is like many home and restaurant improvement shows before it, except in this case it's hotels. Yep, that's about it. Each hour is predictable and formulaic -- but that doesn't make it any less entertaining.

If you've seen anything Ramsay is a part of, be it "Hell's Kitchen" or "MasterChef" or "Kitchen Nightmares," then you know his penchant for swearing. Ahh, he's a man after my own f**king heart. Out of the kitchen and into these dumps, however, Gordon seems a little less like he wants to Hulk smash his way out of there and is more about trying to understand what, how and why it all went wrong. He seems to genuinely want to help, but there's still a s**t ton of bleeping, though, so rest assured.

In the premiere, Gordon heads to a boutique hotel in Las Cruces, New Mexico. From the outside -- when Ramsay eventually finds the establishment as there is no sign; good start -- it looks prison-like. And it only gets worse. It's a beige nightmare with weird plaster walls and no personality and the restaurant's menu is absurd, not that it matters because the food is terrible. All of the hideousness is thanks to the awful practices of an amateur manager and a clueless owner, who would rather sing Cher songs to her guests and customers than make sure their stay is satisfactory. The only redeeming qualities are the rest of the employees who, for some reason, haven't run for the middle of the desert every time "If I Could Turn Back Time" is warbled.

Gordon works his magic, of course, but not before instigating a confrontation between the owner and manager. Because Ramsay doesn't need to throw any tantrums and get all rage-y; he's got the hotel staffers to provide that drama and entertainment! Sure, we don't get to know the inner workings of a hotel and that's fine. That's not why people are tuning in. It's a good old-fashioned makeover show, one that begins with a hot mess and ends with a pretty pig that's had some lipstick slapped on it.

Everyone loves a happy ending so unless you're made of stone, the transformation Gordon and his team achieve for Meson De Mesilla is impressive. The owner has an odd way of showing her gratitude but it's all part of the package for Gordon -- and audiences. (Oh, and speaking of packages, Gordon strips down to a Speedo in this premiere, so consider yourself warned/informed.) Overall, though, as far as skimpy summer programming goes, "Hotel Hell" is mindless fun, worth checking into each week.

"Hotel Hell" premieres Monday, July 21 at 9 p.m. ET on Global/Fox.

Gordon Ramsay Moments