Stormy Daniels welcomes OUTtv viewers to a McMansion full of gay singles, and perhaps their latest guilty pleasure, as host of the reality dating series For the Love of DILFS (★★☆☆☆).
Splitting its diverse cast into hot, young Himbos and distinguished Daddies, the show blurs the lines between pursuer and pursued as the two groups circle each other in hopes of finding love, and leaving with a $10,000 prize.
DILFS falls squarely into that FBoy Island subset of reality series that send sex-crazed singles in thongs and bikinis to frolic in tropical locations — in this case, a Ft. Lauderdale waterfront estate dubbed DILF Mansion.
Executive-produced by Artie Shaw and Topher Cusumano, who also directed several episodes of season one, the series doesn’t necessarily innovate or add anything radical to the format.
In fact, the show’s bizarre conceit of having Daniels guided in her matchmaking duties by unseen gay relationship expert “Dr. Dilf,” constitutes a miss. Dr. Dilf delivers directives over the phone, honking like a grownup in a Peanuts cartoon, and Daniels — playful, professional, and looking fabulous, in spite of some unfortunate two-toned hair extensions — can’t help sounding preposterous enacting their one-sided conversations.
The production value of what surrounds her, with the exception of the multi-million dollar mansion, registers as early-season Drag Race, well-considered but rough around the edges.
Where DILFS succeeds in bringing something fresh to the format (in the three episodes available for review) is in how it takes advantage of the ways gay men date differently.
For one thing, these guys, like most guys, are not at all subtle in signaling who really turns them on, or who doesn’t. While more than one seeking single in the mansion talks about having tried every other possible way to meet Mr. Right, and being open to all the romantic possibilities, it’s still physical attraction — inexorably, ruthlessly — that plays the most visible part in how the pairings ebb and flow.
Personalities are the flip side of that coin. Despite the obvious, contrived un-reality, a good share of the cast comes across as being earnestly themselves.
And, though organized by type, the Himbos (“muscular, kind-hearted, ready to party, and maybe a little chaotic”), and Daddies (“distinguished, insightful, nurturing, and maybe too set in their ways”) represent a decent array of bodies, backgrounds, and motivations for being on the show.
Even the Himbo who introduces himself as Tony Cannoli, and appears to be a walking, pompadoured cliché of a Jersey Italian mama’s boy, has moments of sincere longing and connection with his first Daddy date, Alex.
Unapologetic porn performer and sex worker Alex — “I make my entire living fucking people” — brings an interesting dilemma into the house for Tony, or any other Himbo who might be interested in getting serious.
The show finds space to, of course, have fun with the subject of dating a sex worker, but also for serious, brave discussion about living beyond or adverse to societal norms.
Then again, if that’s too heady for you, there’s always self-described “bad bitch” rapper Tokeyo, a Himbo who derives all he needs to know on his first date with Daddy Gordon from Gordon’s response to Tokeyo’s dating dealbreaker: Are you Team Nicki Minaj or Team Cardi B.?
That’s a serious, brave discussion for Tokeyo, who also stirs up drama with his real frenemy from WeHo, Phoenix, who also happens to be cast as a Himbo. Phoenix dates around a bit, as do most of the other guys, which is exactly the messiness you’d expect and want to see on a show like this.
One or two pairs, though, appear destined for more than a Dr. Dilf-prescribed hookup, offering an opportunity to watch the reality show version of true romance blossom, at least until some queen tries to come between a Himbo and his DILF.
Every week a new Himbo or Daddy enters the house, and one of the old ones is kicked to the curb. Episode two adds Andrew Christian underwear model Matt Palmer to the Himbo harem, sparking a feeding frenzy that could cast established couples asunder.
Sex and suspense linger over DILF Mansion like a steamy night in paradise — or like last call at your local dive. Choose your adventure.
For the Love of DILFS episodes are available for streaming on OUTtv, with new episodes dropping every Tuesday. Visit www.outtv.com.
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