As most people are aware, the reality TV machine turns out a lot of crap. As most people are about to find out, “Gigolos” is no exception.
Showtime’s latest attempt to establish its footing in the reality genre, the new series follows a group of dapper male escorts on their sexual adventures in and around Las Vegas. To the network’s credit, the idea does carry a certain intrigue. It’s always interesting, after all, to peer into a world that few people will ever see or experience. All the better if it happens to be a world where sex is had for money.
Where the show goes wrong, however, is in its attempt to look and feel like every other mediocre reality series out there. Given the nature of its subject matter, “Gigolos” could have been a real eye-opener — a bold look into a business that exists outside the bounds of most people’s moral inclinations. Instead, any actual reality is hidden beneath layers of scripted dialogue, forced character interactions, and an overwhelming sense that what we’re seeing here is nothing like what happens in real life. The conversations are awkward and rife with cheap devices meant to further the plot of each episode. The gigolos themselves, as captivating as their lifestyles may be, are rendered boring and two-dimensional once passed through the reality machine, and any edginess they may have displayed is tossed out in favor of the predictable, pseudo-emotional garbage that makes for a good testimonial. The whole thing feels less like a documentary and more like a Tila Tequila spinoff where she gets a job as a call girl. Then again, people freaking loved “A Shot At Love,” so maybe Showtime is on to something.
Well, duh. The network’s executives are clearly aiming to recreate what’s popular. Why make something original when you can make something that’s proven to generate cash? It’s just too bad they chose a subject that actually could have been something worth watching.