Years ago, there used to be a TV commercial for an audio tape in which the announcer asked, “Is it real, or is it Memorex?” The presumption being, of course, that the sound quality of the tape is so good listeners can’t tell whether they’re hearing an actual, real performance or an audiotape recording. That analogy describes a little bit how I felt recently when I happened to catch a couple episodes of the Showtime “reality” series, Gigolos.
Have you seen this show? For the uninitiated, here’s the scoop. The show takes place in Las Vegas and is about five guys who work for Cowboys4Angels escort service. They spend plenty of time escorting women out of their clothes, and much of the show is scenes of the guys with their “dates,” showing the ladies a good time in and out of the bedroom. Showtime’s official site for the show describes it like this: “Showtime presents an extremely rare and uncensored look into the personal and professional lives of five hot guys in Vegas who like to hang out, have fun and get girls, but in their case they get paid for it.”
I can certainly be on board with looking at hot guys. Having them frequently taking their clothes off doesn’t hurt, either. Oh, and did I mention, they’re extremely hot. Their bodies, I mean. Their faces aren’t exactly tough to look at, either, and they spend a lot of time in every episode having lots of sex with various women. So OK, so far, so good. But the thing is, Gigolos is served up as a “reality” show. As in, this is really how life is for these guys. You know, like how we know what Kim Kardashians’ life is like (if, in our weaker moments, we’ve kept up with the Kardashians). Or how we know the struggles people go through who strive to be The Biggest Loser? Or who try to break their hoarding habits. You get my point. With Gigolos, though, there is ample speculation that this reality show is about as real as Victoria Beckham’s bubbies.
According to thedailybeast.com, Gigolos is so fake that “it raises the question of whether the profession exists.” In the article about the show, writer Richard Abowitz says he reached a woman who appeared on the show who says she views her appearance as nothing more than “an acting gig.” She says it’s entirely fictional and that the sex was simulated for the camera. Hmmm. Well, that certainly doesn’t bode well for the “reality” of Gigolos.
Then again, do I care? Do I really feel duped by learning that some elements on reality shows aren’t real at all? The people in Survivor competitions aren’t actually “surviving” in the classical definition of the word, meaning “to remain alive or in existence.” After all, it’s not like the producers would let someone die on one of those islands. So should I really get my panties in a twist from learning that the Gigolos might not actually be gigolos? Ummmm . . . nah. Instead, what I’m going to do is sit back and watch Nick, Vin, Brace, Steven, and Ash romp about Vegas, take their clothes off, have hot sex with beautiful women, and tell me all about it.