- For the occupation of gigolo, see Male prostitution
Title card from original trailer
|Directed by||John D Downer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||43|
|Running time||25 minutes|
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Original run||April 7, 2011– present|
|Gigolos on Showtime|
Gigolos is an American reality television series about the lives of five male escorts in Las Vegas. The series follows the men, all employees of the same escort agency, through their daily lives and interactions with each other. Cameras also follow the escorts on their appointments with women, including their sexual activity. The series debuted on the premium cable channel Showtime on April 7, 2011.
Gigolos has been met with critical confusion regarding the legality of the activities it portrays and amazement that women would consent to being filmed purchasing sexual services. Critics were largely negative in the beginning, although a few had offered the series guarded praise.
Showtime ordered a second season of eight episodes and it debuted October 20, 2011. Showtime renewed the series for a third season to begin filming June 2012, but announced it would be without Jimmy Clabots. Season three premiered August 30, 2012. Season four began filming in Las Vegas January 16, 2013 and premiered April 18th, 2013. Season 5 is set to premier on January 23, 2014. Season 5 has now began airing. 7 Episodes in season 5 have been aired so far.
- Nick Hawk (Season 1-present): Rapper, Mixed Martial Arts fighter and entrepreneur.
- Brace (Season 1-present): The eldest escort and developing a product line that may allow him to retire from the business.
- Vin Armani (Season 1-present): Philosophy major, software engineer and has several endeavors of his own.
- Ash Armand (Season 3-present): Described in publicity material as a "raven-haired hunk".
- Bradley Lords (Season 4- present): An ex-Marine and self-professed "cougar magnet".
Garren James (Recurring: Seasons 1-present): Owner of the Cowboys4Angels escort service
- Jimmy Clabots (as Jimmy Dior) (Season 1-2): An actor (Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!) and personal trainer.
- Steven Gantt (Season 1-3): A single father who escorts to support his son.
After season one was taped, sources reported that Steven and Brace had left Cowboys4Angels. Both men remained in the cast for season two.
Production and development
Speaking at the January 2011 Television Critics Association press tour, Showtime entertainment president David Nevins told critics that the sexually explicit Gigolos was part of an overall vision for the network. "We are a pay cable service and I think it's about doing things with some depth and sophistication and taking people places they couldn't go on other networks."
Outside of legalized brothels located away from metropolitan areas, prostitution is illegal in Nevada, carrying a penalty of a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. In the premiere episode, James explains the "legal fig leaf" under which the service operates to new hire Vin: "We are a companion service and clients pay a rate per hour. First thing you're gonna do is collect the money from the client and then from there, whatever happens between you two is two consenting adults. It's illegal for you to take any money after that for any sort of sexual services or whatever." The closing credits include disclaimers: everyone shown having sex on-camera is of legal age; and "No one depicted in this program was remunerated in exchange for engaging in sexual activity."
Las Vegas Police spokesperson Marcus Martin disputed the legality of the sexual activity in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "They can play the line as loose as they want to, semantically, but they're still violating the law." Since the recorded conduct did not occur in front of an officer it does not constitute an arrestable offense, although there could be "repercussions" in the future, according to Martin.
Questions have been raised about the legitimacy of the series and whether the men on it are really working prostitutes. The Daily Beast located one woman who appeared on the series who stated that the show is entirely fictional and that the sex is simulated. "They found me through a website. They wanted to know what skills I had. Then they created a scenario where I would need an escort, and they hired me." She looks upon her appearance as an acting job. She does, however, believe that the men are really prostitutes. Vin Armani stated that the men really do work as gigolos but believes that none of them actually live in Las Vegas.
According to James, the women who appeared in the series did not pay for their time with the escorts and in fact were compensated for their appearances. Some of the women were previous clients of his service while he recruited others. He refused to say exactly how much the women were paid other than saying it was a "small sum". James stated that while the men really are gigolos, they do not escort full-time. "Most of my men have other jobs. They see clients at night and on weekends. Most go to castings as models and actors or have personal training gigs. Women tend to book longer appointments so only seeing two clients per week for four hours at a time is $2,000 per week. Lots of guys get booked at least once a month for a weekend at $5,000 as the fee. Yes, most of the men can make a very good living off just doing this alone but they have so much free time to pursue other things so they usually do."
|Series premiere||Series finale|
|1||8||April 7, 2011||May 26, 2011|
|2||8||October 20, 2011||December 8, 2011|
|3||10||August 30, 2012||November 1, 2012|
|4||10||April 18, 2013||June 20, 2013|
|5||January 23, 2014|
Season 1 (2011)
|No.||Title||Original air date||Synopsis|
|1||"Date Night"||April 7, 2011||Manager Garren James hires his newest escort, Vin, and explains the business. Nick has a date with a teacher from out of town. Jimmy services a married woman for her birthday as her husband watches and offers encouragement. An older woman interviews the men to choose one to escort her to a Black and White Ball. The men bet on who she will choose and Steven wins. The boys welcome Vin to their ranks.|
|2||"All 4 One"||April 14, 2011||Steven, needing money to send his son to summer camp, books two new clients, including a very large woman he connects with through Jimmy. The rest of the guys visit a psychic and Brace is particularly affected by her reading. Later the four decide to service a client simultaneously and turn over their combined fee to Steve. Despite instituting a "no fluids or skin touching but the client's" rule, once at the client's place Brace is unwilling to participate. Steven is grateful for their gesture.|
|3||"Release the Kraken!"||April 21, 2011||Brace wants to transition from escort to entrepreneur with an anti-aging dietary supplement but after a meeting with a supplement company he realizes he has much more work to do. Nick meets with a new client who tries to push him past his limits. Jimmy's new client is a budding dominatrix who outfits him with a "cock cage" that he wears for several days.|
|4||"Three Gigolos and a Baby"||April 28, 2011||A married couple hires Nick to service the wife as a trade-off for the wife's hiring a woman for her husband. She enjoys herself but her husband is uncomfortable with the situation. Jimmy cooks dinner for his girlfriend Kelly, whom he told about his escorting career after a month together. Later two of his college friends come to town for a bachelorette party. One has kids and she leaves them with Nick, Vin and Steven. Brace begs off baby-sitting by saying he has a client but in reality he treats himself to a spa day. Jimmy tells his friends that he escorts and they are both supportive.|
|5||"Dance Dance Gigoloution"||May 5, 2011||Jimmy reports that Kelly has broken up with him, jealous of the women he services. The guys do a photo shoot to update the Cowboys4Angels website. Brace's growing guilt and unease over being a gigolo lead him to seek solace, first from a priest, then from a former female escort. Jimmy and a client have sex in a limousine. A client hires Vin to dance with her in a salsa competition and they take third place.|
|6||"Birthday Sex"||May 12, 2011||Steven reminds the guys that they have forgotten his birthday. To make it up to him they take him to a shooting range and then to a go-kart track but he remains morose. Finally they set him up with a regular client of Jimmy's and, during their session, surprise him with a cake which he then has sex with at the client's request. Jimmy has an appointment with an executive in her office. Nick experiences some stomach problems so Brace takes him to get a colonic, which Nick does not enjoy.|
|7||"One Shot, One Opportunity"||May 19, 2011||Nick gets a chance to perform his original rap song for a music producer. The producer is impressed and wants to work with him in Los Angeles. Brace teaches a shy housewife how to be more aggressive for her husband. Steven meets a new client whose fetish is simulating being dead during sex. Vin's client wants the "boyfriend experience".|
|8||"The Ties That Unbind"||May 26, 2011||Vin services a wife while her husband tapes them for their private pornography collection. Later he has relationship issues with his girlfriend, Leilani, when she asks him to move with her to Arizona. Fed up with Jimmy's slovenly ways and constant didgeridoo playing, Nick orders him to move out.|
Season 2 (2011)
|No.||Title||Original air date||Synopsis|
|1||"Gigo-loan"||October 20, 2011||In the Season 2 premiere, Brace is hired by an uninhibited 20-something for a wild marathon date; Vin helps ease the pain of a lonely woman; Jimmy copes with a personal crisis.|
|2||"Get Down on the Strip"||October 27, 2011||Steven pleasures a client in public; Nick gears up for his first live rap performance; Jimmy must choose between coming through for a client or making it to his best friend's big night.|
|3||"The Boyfriend Experience"||November 3, 2011||A woman confuses Steven's services for a real relationship; Brace faces the possibility of fatherhood; Vin considers asking his long-distance girlfriend to move in.|
|4||"Really Smooth Operators"||November 10, 2011||Steven is reunited with his first girlfriend; the other guys explore a new "manscaping" technique; Brace grants a bucket list wish for a woman diagnosed with cancer.|
|5||"Poker? Heck Yeah, I'll Poker"||November 17, 2011||Brace gets Botox injections before servicing a professional poker player. Vin is booked by a lesbian as a birthday present for her bisexual girlfriend and they have a threesome. Jimmy shoots a music video for Nick's song.|
|6||"An Ex Marks the Spot"||November 24, 2011||Brace's ex-wife, her twin sister and her sister's ex-husband visit Brace, hoping he will be able to release the lingering anger from the marriage. Nick's client is a dominatrix who hires him to dominate her. Steven services the friend of a bride who refused his services at her bridal shower.|
|7||"Giggle-O's||December 1, 2011||Vin takes on a female bodybuilder as a client, then his mother visits for his birthday. Jimmy tries his hand at stand-up comedy. Initially he falters and attracts a heckler, but he rallies and starts getting laughs.|
|8||"Brotherly Love"||December 8, 2011||Nick's brother visits Las Vegas and declares his interest in becoming a gigolo. Vin meets fellow escort and adult film star Zeb Atlas. Later he sacrifices sex with his girlfriend to be ready to service a client. Brace's appointment takes an unexpected turn when he discovers that his client is transgender.|
Season 3 (2012)
|No.||Title||Original air date||Synopsis|
|1||"The Steven Clown Affair"||August 30, 2012||Vin's session with an event promoter sees him trying out a new vibrating sex toy, which wanders off in the middle of things. Brace meets a spray tanning technician who exchanges spray tanning for sexual favors. After missing an appointment, Jimmy calls Garren to report that he is leaving the agency at his new girlfriend's request. Steven's client is a children's party planner and he indulges her clown fetish by donning whiteface and clown shoes. Garren brings in a new gigolo, Ash.|
|2||"Searching for a Fire Power"||September 6, 2012||Ash has his first session following his relocation to Las Vegas, with Bambu, a professional fire dancer. Later she invites him to a show and suggests they perform together. Nick has a mold made of his penis to launch a line of Nick Hawk sex toys. Ash meets with Garren, who expresses concern over the fire dancing idea; Ash thinks by performing he can turn Bambu into a repeat client. Brace takes a client shopping for a vibrator and edible underwear and services her in the back of a limousine. Nick has a session with an animal lover and is unnerved by her array of exotic pets.|
|3||"Ride Her, Cowboy"||September 13, 2012||Ash meets a client and convinces her to have sex in a public restroom. Garren sends the gigolos to a dude ranch to compete for a date with a wealthy rodeo rider, leading Brace to confront his childhood fear of horses. Nick wins the competition and the date.|
|4||"Grin & Bear It"||September 20, 2012||Nick's horseplay aggravates an old back injury of Brace's. Brace takes his revenge by setting Nick up with a furry client. Steven helps a client assemble and test out a sex swing. Vin services a recent divorcée looking for her first sexual experience after her marriage.|
|5||"Courtesan Session"||September 27, 2012||Vin teams with two female escorts to entertain a voyeuristic couple for their anniversary. He later meets with a group of female escorts to discuss developing a software program to increase their safety. To pay Brace back for the furry prank, Nick enlists Garren to trick Brace into believing he has a client who wants him dressed in full drag. Brace gets dressed up to meet the "client" in a bar only to be met by the other gigolos instead.|
|6||"Spanks a Lot"||October 4, 2012||Ash takes a class in domination to learn how to handle a client who is into submission. He arranges for all of the gigolos to take some training in both the dominant and submissive roles. Brace and Nick overindulge in partying and employ a mobile detoxification service to recover. Garren sets up the stable with a woman who wants to become a regular client. Nick impresses her and wins the assignment.|
|7||"Black C. Down"||October 11, 2012||Darkness descends on Vegas when a client refuses to hire Vin because he is not "black enough." To please the client, Garren summons a new Gigolo to Vegas, which leads to a discussion on race amongst the guys. Meanwhile, Steven goes head-to-head with his nicotine addiction when Brace bets him $1,000 that he cannot quit smoking for one week.|
|8||"A Decent Proposal"||October 18, 2012||Steven contemplates a long term job that would take him on a European tour. Vin is tasked with pleasuring a lesbian client who hasn't been with a man in years.|
|9||"Lock, Stock & Two Swollen Testicles"||October 25, 2012||Steven is confronted by a client's jealous boyfriend. Ash's date teaches him some spicy salsa moves. Meanwhile, Brace considers undergoing a vasectomy.|
|10||"Gigolos"||November 1, 2012||Brace decides to get testosterone injections and Nick considers going into the adult film industry.|
Season 4 (2013)
|No.||Title||Original air date||Synopsis|
|1||"A New Direction"||April 18, 2013||The best in the business are back for another season of tricks and treats. There's a new man in their midst, a former Marine who makes the others step up their game. The heat is on for these hard working, hard playing guys on and off the Las Vegas Strip.|
|2||"Bro-Choice"||April 25, 2013||Brace is hired by a woman with an unusual past. Ash is visited by a classical violinist client. Bradley informs his conservative brother about his new career.|
|3||"The Spurt Locker"||May 2, 2013||Bradley asks for help from the other guys when he's challenged to surpass a client's wildest fantasy. Brace and Ash go to a yoga session.|
|4||"Make Mine a Double"||May 9, 2013||Brace is worried regarding a clients intentions after she hires him and Nick. Ash spices things up by teaching a client about tantric sex.|
|5||"Don't Judge a Gigolo by His Cover"||May 16, 2013||The crew competes to win a calendar cover by participating in an intelligence test. Brace helps a client overcome personal issues.|
|6||"Just for Licks"||May 23, 2013||Vin goes to the dark side to achieve a client's fantasy. Ash and his life partner discuss an open relationship.|
|7||Episode 7||May 30, 2013||Nicki gets ready to AVN Awards and meet with one of his biggest fans. Vin's date has an obsession with calcium.|
|8||Episode 8||June 6, 2013||Ash and Vin discuss collaborating on a cologne business venture together. Brace is met with an aggressive client and Nick receives a weird request.|
|9||Episode 9||June 13, 2013||Garren meets with the group to shoot a promotional video. Vin's recent client is a retired art teacher who needs a boost in her life.|
|10||Episode 10||June 20, 2013||In the Season 4 finale, Vin and Ash work to keep Bradley in Las Vegas and Brace marries his friend.|
In a somewhat more positive review for Variety, Brian Lowry thought that "the series proves reasonably compelling while relying on typical tricks of the trade". Expressing the same amazement that people signed releases to appear on the series, Lowry concludes that even a cynical viewer can find something about Gigolos to admire, even if begrudgingly.
Salon's Tracy Clark-Flory wondered whether the usual blurring between fiction and reality on reality television had been blurred by Gigolos to the point of pornography. Despite acknowledging how the worlds of pornography and reality television have already blended, she still found that Gigolos' "genre confusion creates a jarring dissonance" and that its combination of explicit sex scenes with the staples of reality television (e.g. confessional interview segments) "makes for a confusing mix of contradictory cultural expectations".
Claire Zulkey of The A.V. Club graded the first episode a B. She found that the sex scenes have "a certain clinical feel" and that the non-sexual scenes are "odd and stiff", with the scenes in which viewers learn more about the escorts being the least interesting. Gigolos, she concludes, is the show to watch for those who want to see sex but don't want to watch an actual pornographic film.
- "The Men of Sin City Are Back on Showtime(R) - Season 2 of "Gigolos" to Premiere Thursday, October 20th at 11 PM ET/PT". The Futon Critic. September 7, 2011. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Keck, William (2012-05-07). "Keck's Exclusives: Richard Grieco Shakes Up Gigolos!". TV Guide. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
- Daly, Sean (April 13, 2011). "Showtime places gag order on stars and producers of new reality show 'Gigolos'". New York Post. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Maerz, Melissa (March 16, 2011). "Sex and more sex: 'Gigolos' on Showtime in April". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Stanley, Alessandra (April 6, 2011). "Gross? Maybe. But It Got Me on TV, Right?". The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Gigolos 1.1
- Lawrence, Christopher (April 3, 2011). "Quirky cast, jarring sex make Vegas-based 'Gigolos' entertaining". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Abowitz, Richard (May 9, 2011). "Are Gigolos Real?". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Clark-Flory, Tracy (April 8, 2011). "Who's paying for the sex in Showtime's "Gigolos"?". Salon. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Lowry, Brian (April 6, 2011). "Gigolos". Variety. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Clark-Flory, Tracy (April 10, 2011). "How reality TV ruined porn". Salon. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- Zulkey, Claire (April 7, 2011). "Gigolos". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 14, 2013.