So there it is. After 12 weeks, and 12 deliciously screwed episodes, the first season of the comedy web-series Gigahoes came to a nice close on Tuesday January 6, 2015, with a healthy dose of the show’s usual naughtiness… plus a ‘what-the-heck’s-gonna-happen-now’ season cliffhanger to hook viewers in for the next bout.
Written and created by Adam Lash and Kevin Gilligan, and ably directed by David Wright, Gigahoes is a mockumentary that’s set in the future and follows the day-to-day business of a sex-bot escort agency struggling to stay competitive in a market increasingly replete with newer and better sex-bots.
I know, I know, I had you all at “sex-bot” but the show turned out to be much more than a series of rude jokes. Not that there weren’t a lot of rude jokes, of course, there were; a veritable deluge of filthy innuendo and even filthier right-in-your-face wobbly bits, in fact. Gigahoes is, after all, a self-described ‘robot sex comedy’ and, given that nature, certainly does not shy away from indulging in what we might call a South Park level of shock value.
Sex with robots means indulging in things you can’t normally do with people, although there’s no accounting for tastes, and ‘vaginal units’ and ‘anal cavities’ get stuffed with all manner of objects. In terms of highlights, I suggest you look out for the ‘dick fight’ (and you’ll know how literal that is when you see it) and for pure gross value… well, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but let’s just say there probably aren’t a whole lot of uses for a chair with a hole in the seat.
Gross silliness aside however, at its heart the show is, for me, primarily about two things: it is about how human interaction with technology evolves when it becomes possible to have an actual physical – and intimate – relationship with technology; and it is about consciousness, about what it means to be alive. And nowhere is that theme of consciousness more apparent than in the ‘gigahoes’ themselves.
We are openly invited to empathize with, feel for and care for the sex-bots of the Artificial Intercourse agency. For that to work, just as it would be with their clients, we have to believe the sex-bots are real. They are designed to be real, after all, to respond in particular ways and while they function to a certain set of parameters ‘at work’, outside of the job they aren’t simply switched off, but continue to walk about, talk and interact with one another. They grow.
The gigahoes are, to all intents and purposes, people, with their own insecurities and worries. They are aware that that their jobs are precarious; they worry that they’re not good enough; they feel jealousy and inadequacy (as can be seen be seen in the rivalry between sex-bot Adam, played with lovable innocence by Lash, and the brash new kid Brandon (in a wonderfully comic performance of vain arrogance from Daniel Florio), a sex-bot more than fully aware of his sexual prowess). Even the two girl sex-bots – the sweet but usable-for-absolutely-everything Jessica (portrayed with such a powerfully erotic naivety by Jessica Park that on more than one occasion I worried for what would have become of my immortal soul if I’d had one) and Charlie (Kimberlee Walker doing an amazing job of convincing the male population that submitting to a woman might just be the best thing that ever happened to them) the dominatrix – seem more like a typical younger sister/older sister pairing than just cleverly programmed automata. Automata don’t bicker or roll their eyes.
Even the way that the AI manager, Steve (played by Gilligan like a less neurotic, less sleazy and rather more likeable Woody Allen), and his partner Sarah (played with sweet humanity by Malorie Bryant), treat the bots suggests that they see them as more than just machines. They are family to them and they do what they can to make them feel better and look after them when that becomes necessary. I imagine that difficulty in distinguishing sex-bot emotion from human emotion will become more important as the series develops. Sex-bot emancipation anyone? Or should that be e-bot-cipation?
Also, in the final episode, I think we see the glimmerings of burgeoning love, actual love, from one of the bots towards one of the human characters (I won’t say which and who; just watch it for yourselves). It was only a moment, but if anything expresses the evolving complexity of humanity’s relationship with technology – and questions what it is that makes an entity truly sentient – it has to be love, right?
Ah, sex, robots and philosophy… I am one happy geek right now! Soon to be a happy haptic geek if the future presented in Gigahoes plays out. As for the future of the show itself, I have my fingers crossed for a second season later this year. Make like a Terminator, guys, and tell me you’ll be back!