The poster you see above achieved a certain infamy after it was banned from the London Underground for being too racy. The official explanation was that the Underground has a policy of not allowing adverts which feature people as sex objects. I guess 12 semi-naked men, down on all fours, held on dog leashes by Jerry Hall qualifies.
The plot of the “reality” show is that 12 “unrefined” young American boys get sent to England to compete to be Jerry Hall’s “kept man”… the prize being $100K and other swanky stuff like a sportscar, a penthouse overlooking the Thames, designer suits, and so on. Oddly enough, the men on the poster are not the men from the show (unless there was a second season I don’t know about), but they are similar, so you get the gist.
With each episode of the show, Jerry Hall (the Ex-Mrs. Mick Jagger, if you didn’t know) puts the boys through a new “challenge” designed to test their skills on gentlemanly pursuits ranging from cooking to polo to painting. Oh yes, and runway modelling in underwear and swimming across the Thames in underwear. It seemed to me the show had less to do with learning how to be refined, and more to do with satisfying the erotic whims of a middle-aged b-list celebrity. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. ;)
It was interesting to look at the spectrum of guys chosen for the show. Occupations ranged from model/waiter/actor to firefighter to unemployed. Hair ranged from scraggly to shaved. And personalities… Well, on the one hand you had Ricardo, a man so in love with his body that you wonder why he’s on the show. He already has everything he needs: namely himself. Ricardo was the archetypal example of that incredibly hunky guy you love to look at… so long as you never have to hear him speak. I know it’s a bit of a cliche, but my personal experience backs it up… there is an inversely proportional relationship between brain and muscle. Ricardo (and his “bro” Slavco, the other professional model on the show) were walking examples of the “standing around looking beautiful is all I know how to do” crowd. They never said so on camera, but I’m sure when they were axed from the competition, they must’ve said, “I bet Jerry is a lesbian! How else could she have turned down this”! (lifts up his shirt to reveal washboard abs).
At the other end of the spectrum, John was a squat, short pudgy guy with unkempt hair and terrible street style… who stayed on the show basically because he was so incredibly earnest. You got the feeling he’d probably never even seen a horse, let alone played polo on one. In many ways he was the “soul” of the show. The guy who’s there to prove that it’s not al about looks, and if you try hard enough, you can overcome the odds. Of course, he got axed too.
Ultimately, it came down to lanky, bookish, blond-haired Austen and class-clown Boston boy Seth. I have to be honest and say that I was rooting for seth from the very start. Of all the guys there, he was the one who really seemed not to give a rat’s ass about winning, and was just there to have a good time. Maybe it was all an act, but it gave him an air of “reality” missing from the others. Even though he screwed up at every turn, his sharp wit kept him in the game, and eventually won him the competition. If Austen hadn’t been such a snooze around Jerry (apparently he’s as wild and crazy as Seth in real life), maybe things would’ve turned out differently.
In any event, it’s all over now. :( What will I do with my Wednesday nights?
More info: Jerry Hall’s Kept
More info: Seth’s Blog