TELEVISION

Gigolos: The First Season

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Gigolos is a so-called reality TV show that’s been airing on Showtime since 2011. They’ve had 5 short seasons, with a 6th having been announced for next year. The show centers around a group of men who work for a company called Cowboys 4 Angels which provides “Straight Elite Male Companions For Women” (with a heavy emphasis on the fact these guys are straight). Specifically this show focuses on a group of men who live and work in Las Vegas. We see them interacting with each other, get a glimpse into their personal lives, and see them going out on “dates” with their clients.

The biggest problem with the show is that, like all so-called reality shows, it is obviously fake. Right off the bat, there’s the fact that having sex for money is illegal. They attempt to get around that by saying that the men are simply paid to “spend time” with the women who hire them, and that any sex they have during that time is simply two (or more) consenting adults who just choose to have sex. Yet, the majority of these encounters that we see have explicit requests and directions for sex. There’s also the fact that these clients are often portrayed as just average women with regular jobs, including some who are married or engaged, yet they have no problem being filmed on camera getting naked and having sex (no penetration is shown, of course). And many of these “average” women have large luxurious homes to invite the men to.

And there’s the fact that some of the women I happen to recognize as either hardcore porn stars or nude models, yet they pretend to be average women on the show, so I know it’s fake. Nevertheless, its entertaining in its own way. So far only one season has been released on DVD, which is what I’m reviewing today.

Episode one opens with us meeting Garren James, the owner of Cowboys 4 Angels, who looks like he’s no stranger to plastic surgery. He claims his company operates in 10 cities (the website only lists 9) and that his group of guys working out of Las Vegas are his best workers. The first gigolo (or “escort”) we meet is Nick Hawk, as he’s taking a shower in his home (full frontal male nudity is on display) and then going to meet his date. A woman named Rebecca who describes herself as a teacher, she says she’s twice-divorced, and speaks about how it’s “more classy” for women than it is for men to go pick up prostitutes on the street (whatever). They have sex where this teacher moans and performs like a porn star. Later we see Nick at a bar where he meets up with the other gigolos he works with. There’s Steven, who is a single father with a 5 year old son, and a strained relationship with his Baby Mama. Then there’s Brace, an older man, he looks to be at least around 40, but he’s the most buff of the group. He’s got short spiked bleach blond hair, and a very fake-looking all around tan. A former professional bodybuilder and martial artist, who says he’s had so many women in his life “it’s a blur”. And then there’s Jimmy who looks like he’s stepped straight out of a GQ Magazine ad. We see him go out on a date, he’s hired by a married Black couple, identified as Rodney and Allure who pay him to come to a hotel room where he’ll have sex with Allure while Rodney watches (and cheers them on). The main story of this episode is the introduction of newcomer Vin Armani, a very light-skinned (half)Black man. Garren meets with him and likes him, and gives him the instructions about how he can’t take any money specifically for any sexual acts, then says Vin has to meet with the other guys. Apparently Vin must meet their approval before Garren officially takes him on. The guys meet at a gym where they’re working out. There’s a few jokes about what a “Black Vinnie” looks like, and Nick says Vin will be on “ghetto time” which is 20 minutes late. Vin comes in they all shake hands and talk. They say that sometimes they get certain “ethnic requests” from clients that they can’t fulfill, so they may need a guy like Vin. But first the 4 guys all have to meet with a client, a wealthy older woman who wants to interview each of them and decide who she’ll pick for a date. The guys take bets on who’ll get picked, and Steven wins. Later they meet with Vin again, and welcome him to the group. Vin compares himself to Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks for breaking this barrier. Ooohkaaay.

The main story of episode 2 is that Steven needs to raise a bunch of money to send to his Baby Mama for their son’s summer camp. So we see him fretting about his financial issues. He has two dates on this show. We see him meet a woman named Sage at a hotel. She says she a massage therapist and mother of two with not much time for dating, so hiring an escort is her “sexual outlet.” Then later he goes to a large home to meet a woman named Valerie. Valerie is big. I daresay she’s obese. Yet she gets naked and Steven doesn’t seem to have a problem rising to the occasion, and they bang it out right there on the living room floor. The other gigolos find out about Steven’s money problems, so Nick has a solution. He has a client named Freya who wants to have a gangbang with 4 guys at once, so Nick says the rest of the guys should do it and give the money they make to Steven. They agree, go to meet Freya at her house and talk about her fantasy. She says she’s a nurse who is divorced and hasn’t had much sex since then and now wants to experience having 4 guys all over her. For the record, a little research shows that Freya is actually a paid escort and a Dominatrix and fetish model herself. They all head to the bedroom where Nick, Jimmy, and Vin eagerly strip naked and get to work on Freya, but Brace is unable to perform. HE takes his shirt off but mostly stands around watching, saying he just can’t get into be naked with all these other guys around. At one point Vin gets pissed that Brace isn’t “working” like the rest of them, and a small argument breaks out but Nick defuses it. Still, with the $3000 that the other guys got paid for the sex, they give that to Steven and it’s enough to pay for his son’s camp, and he’s so grateful to the guys for doing this for him.

In episode three we see Brace meet with a woman named Trista, who says she’s a professional model from Miami. She and Brace met 2 years earlier and hit it off, so whenever she comes into Vegas they get together. She says she usually doesn’t hire escorts (because she doesn’t need to), but she likes paying Brace because its his job and that she likes older men like him because they’re more experienced. So we see them have sex. For the record Trista is a model under her own name, but she’s also a hardcore porn actress under the name Kendall Brooks. Nick is hired by a Black woman named Sami, she’s a “marketing executive” who says she has no time for dating because she works 80-100 hours a week, so that’s why she’d hired an escort. She and Nick have wild sex, but he gets freaked out when she starts hinting about wanting to do some anal-play on him, which he’s not into. And Steven his hired by an aspiring dominatrix named Samantha, who locks his penis in a “cock cage” and pays him for how many days he can keep it on. When the other gigolos hear about this they all think it’s hilarious (Vin says “that’s some fucked up White people shit”). Steven only last a few days when he goes back to her to get the cage unlocked, and then there’s some light-domination where she puts a blindfold on him, a ball-gag in his mouth, and then spanks him. There’s also a storyline of Brace meeting with an investor has he tries to develop his own vitamin/health supplement.

Episode 4 mostly revolves around Nick and Jimmy, whom we learn are roommates sharing a condo together. We meet Jimmy’s new girlfriend Kelly, who seems cool with his job. She’s also fine with having sex on film, as we see her and Jimmy together in his room. Nick gets hired a married couple, Julian and Candi. Candi says she’s previously paid for a female hooker for Julian to have sex with so now it’s Julian’s turn to return the favor, so they pay Nick to have sex with Candi while Julian watches. Unlike Rodney in Episode 1, Julian doesn’t look too happy watching his wife having sex with Nick, and afterward says that Nick came off like a bit of a prick, but Candi assures Julian that he’s better than Nick. Later two of Jimmy’s friends from college, Amee and Kristin, come to town for a visit. Amme has too young children and Nick agrees to watch them in the condo while Jimmy takes the ladies out on the town. Nick calls in Steven and Vin to help him (Brace lied and said he had a client, but he really just went to a spa because he doesn’t like kids) and so we get the hijinks of the three gigolos trying to entertain these little kids, while Jimmy tries to figure out how to tell his friends what he does for a living now.

In episode 5, Jimmy is initially still with Kelly. They have sex on camera again, but in the end she tells him she can’t handle the idea of him being paid to have sex with other women so she dumps him. Awww… We later see him meet a woman named Amy, who is one of his regular clients, described as a 24-year old housewife who is very “open” with her husband. She picks Jimmy up in a limo and they have sex in it while being driven around the city. Vin gets hired by a woman who needs a partner to join her in a salsa dancing competition. He’s nervous about it, although Nick says “He’s half-Black and half-Mexican, he should be able to dance”, and we see him and the woman taking several lessons together and then joining the competition where they come in 3rd. The ongoing plot in this episode is Brace’s self-doubts about his current lifestyle. He’s shown to be a very spiritual person with lots of Buddhist and Christian symbols all over his house, he even goes to a church and talks to a priest. In the end he meets a woman named Austin, a bleached-blonde women with breast implants who looks to be in her late-40’s/early 50’s, and is described as a former escort. Brace says that the two of them are Friends With Benefits, and she understands his lifestyle. After some pounding sex with her Brace feels a lot better.

In episode 6 it’s Steven’s birthday, which all the guys initially forgot. They make it up to him by taking him to a gun-rang and then later go go-cart riding. They later surprise him when he’s meeting with a client, a woman named Kira. She and Steven have sex in a hotel room, involving whipped cream, and the other four gigolos surprise them by bursting into the room with a birthday cake. There’s also a scene where Brace and Nick go to get colonics together, something Brace does regularly but it’s Nick’s first time. And in one of the most infamous scenes on this show, Jimmy his hired for a “lunch date” with a woman named Courtney at her office. Her office is a small relatively bare place. Yes, we’re supposed to believe that this woman was not only willing to hire a gigolo, but have him meet her at her job, and show it all on-camera. Jimmy arrives meets the secretary outside and then goes into the office where the two briefly talk and then have sex on her desk, which Courtney says has always been a fantasy of hers. While they have sex, there’s a few time Courtney starts moaning loud and Jimmy covers her mouth, reminding her that the secretary is right outside and can here them. A couple of times the scene cuts to outside the office, from an apparently hidden black and white camera, showing the secretary at her desk, turning to look back at the office as she hears the sounds. Now obviously that was all set-up, what did the secretary think when the Jimmy walked in being followed by a camera crew, and they all go into Courtney’s office and close the door. And who set up the “hidden” camera out front? I mean, c’mon! Anyway, after the sex Jimmy and Courtney get dressed and she sure seems satisfied, and asks Jimmy to come back the next day, which he agrees to.

In episode 7 we get a couple of more porn stars posing as average women. Vin is hired by “Marie”, a singer who doesn’t have time for dating or relationship because she’s always on tour performing across the country, and after a brief conversation they have sex in her hotel room. I immediately recognized her as Claudia Marie a porn star who also sings in a band, so I guess it’s not entirely a lie…
And Brace is hired by a woman named Briana, who says she’s been married for 2 year too a much older man who is a lot more sexually experienced than she is, and therefor she wants Brace to teach her some ways to please him sexually. And so they have sex in her bedroom at her mansion. No word on where he husband is at the time, but he’s presumably fine with her hiring a gigolo and letting herself be filmed in their home having sex. I later found out this “housewife” is actually adult model Brianna Costello. So there ya go. And Steven is hired by Chloe, a 23-year old “real estate student” with a Sleeping Beauty fetish. She wants Steven to go to her hotel room where she’ll be laying on the bed pretending to be asleep, or dead, and she wants him to undress her and start having sex with her while she keeps her eyes closed and doesn’t move. Eventually she “wakes up” and they have regular sex.
Also in this episode we learn that Nick has aspirations of being a rapper. Garren hooks him up with a record producer from L.A. and they go into the studio to record a rap song that Nick has written called GIGOLO.

In episode 8 we only get one client appointment. Vin is hired by married couple Jimmy and Barbi who like to film Barbi having sex with other men. So Vin has sex with Barbi while Jimmy films it.
The rest of the episode revolves around relationships. Vin is dating a woman named Leilani. She seems cool with Vin’s job, and also doesn’t mind having sex with Vin on camera. One day while having lunch together they talk about the future, Leilani says she does want kids someday, but Vin admits it’s not something he’s ever wanted. Later Vin is hanging with the rest of the guys and brings up his relationship and they discuss the problems with dating while working as a gigolo. Jimmy brings up his past relationship with Kelly and how she couldn’t handle it, but Vin think Leilani is different. Nick reveals that was married years earlier when he was in the Air Force. Brace was also married once but got divorced when his wife cheated on him. And, of course, there’s Steven’s history with his baby mama. So overall the guys aren’t all big on relationship. Later, while having sex with Leilani again, Vin says “I think I’m love with you,” to which she replies “I appreciate that.”
Ouch.
Vin tries to laugh it off, but that’s clearly not what he wanted to hear. Still, later, she reveals that she’s got a job offer in Arizona, so will need to move. She asks Vin if he’s willing to move with her. He thinks it over and talks with the guys again, but ultimately tells her no, so they break up and she leaves.
There’s also the issue of Nick and Jimmy’s living arrangements. Nick constantly complains about Jimmy’s messiness, and eventually kicks him out of the condo. This is the last episode of the season and it tries to go out on a high note, with each gigolo speaking to the camera about looking forward to the future, yada yada yada.

I don’t even know how I’d rate this show. It’s pretty ridiculous but I’ve watched it all the way through Season 5, so what does that say about me? What I really wish is that they’d drop the whole “reality” shtick and just produce this as a scripted softcore series. We know it’s fake, so don’t even pretend. As a softcore series with some well-directed sex scenes it would be totally hot. But it is what it is.

A 6th season has been announced but no start date is forthcoming.

available on amazon

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