Hollywood is always ready for a reboot. Audiences, not so much! Case in point? “American Gigolo,” the new Showtime series based upon the 1980 movie of the same name, which debuted earlier this month to a less-than-welcome reception from critics, viewers and even the writer/director of the original film, Paul Schrader. As Ann Manov of The UnHerd reported, “A hodge-podge of sequel, prequel and remake, the show seems so singularly hellbent on destroying its source material that one wonders: why on Earth was it made? Schrader is apparently wondering, too: though credited as a ‘corporate consultant’ on the final product (his salary was $50,000), he has called the show a ‘terrible idea’ and vowed not to watch it. A wise choice. There has surely never been a more terrible remake.” Yikes!
Airing weekly through the end of October, the new series sees Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead” and “Daredevil” fame stepping into the designer shoes of high-priced male escort Julian Kaye, a role made famous by Richard Gere four decades prior. Told in part via flashbacks depicting scenes of Julian’s childhood, the storyline largely follows the character as he returns to normal life after a lengthy wrongful prison incarceration for a murder he didn’t commit. As was the case with the original film, the series is both set and filmed in Los Angeles, with scenes captured at The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, the Santa Monica Pier and on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
The sprawling residence where Julian’s longtime love Michelle Stratton (Gretchen Mol) lives with her husband, Richard (Leland Orser), and son, Colin (Gabriel LaBelle), is a standout, though. A masterpiece of design, the modern farmhouse-style property is a true star in its own right – so much so that it landed its “American Gigolo” gig less than a year after it was built!