June 2016 Explicit Review: The Sex Factor: Episode 1
For those in the porn world who have not been keeping up with things, a company that goes by the the title of X Hamster has created a different style of entertainment, bringing the aspects of the industry few fans ever get to see. The build up to this show has out weighed the finished results to a lot of people due to the time frame of the shows launch, which rumor has it took over a full year to complete the final edit. Some so say that the anticipation is still there I think. With high powered stars like Asa Akira and Kieren Lee leading the pack of hosts and judges in a competition that claims to pay the two winners five hundred thousand dollars a piece, as the guy and girl next door get an opportunity to see if they have what it takes to be a porn star. A concept that came from Buddy Rueben and was acquired by the above mentioned piracy tube site Hamy Media, which owns X-Hamster. Buddy has long had his hand in more than a few projects that have succeeded and gone belly up in both the technology world and the adult industry. Rumor is, he is indeed creating more “reality” porn shows that will continue to push the adult entertainment world further and further into mainstream attraction and pop culture. Some in the industry have criticized this move, saying that porn has been watered down a tad with it’s acceptance into the mainstream world. I for one think that publicity is good no matter what when it comes to the industry and I fully understand were Buddy was coming from, well, at least I thought I did. The aspect of showing the audience things like a Holly Randell photo shoot, or the nature of how the performers in the industry are truly performers and not what most think, is a great idea. I think the concept of showing the critics of porn as well as it’s fans, the intangibles that make up a scene and a production are something that I thought someone would have come up with sooner but as in any business, it is the thinkers and innovators that get rewarded with taking a chance not always those who lie patient with an idea. The Sex Factor features five of the top performers in the industry as the judges of not just talent but also as the mentors that assist the newcomers with what this industry is all about. One of the coolest aspects I think fans can take away from this series like I did, is it is not just about the sex, it is about charisma, professionalism, compassion and desire to help out your fellow performer. To spoil the end of episode one for example, a rather unprofessional David Caspian is the first to be voted off on the show because of a rather dark, creepy and very disturbing set of actions for all to see, including his fellow performers. It is that aspect towards his fellow cast members, or I should say, lack of courtesy for them, which is saying things very nicely, that gets him the ax before anything can even be seen of his talents. That scenario in itself is what makes this show shine in the areas it does. I think it is a valuable lesson for performers new and climbing up the latter in this industry, that if you do not take in to account the feelings and persona of your fellow workers you will find yourself not working at all because no one will want to shoot with you. I think if a viewer is to get into indulging in this series, they have to be willing to look at those perspectives, which sad to say, there are not enough of in this episode. The show lacks that finished product feeling. It just feels as if not enough was put into the production. The first episode has a run time of about thirty minutes and for the life of me, I do not see why they didn’t make an episode longer than one single sex scene that every single adult film company sells on DVD. The aspect of showing fans a depth to our industry was missed big time in my opinion. As I wait to watch episode two I can’t help but think that perhaps we will be leaving filled emotions of not wanting more but wanting to be told simply what we just witnesses. The speed at which the pairings go into mini competitions is mind blowingly fast, maybe a bit too fast. To sum up this introduction I think the cast and judges did amazing. It is in the finished product I have a problem. You can tell there was a little bit too much attempted in a short time span. I don’t think Buddy or X-Hamster put enough emphasis on anything honestly. You do not see enough of the profiles of these lovely new stars trying to break into the industry. You only get to see the veteran stars interject once and a while. The way the teams score points is not explained very well. Now, I know what you may be thinking, this is porn right? Not an episode of fucking Family Feud! But there are other companies who have put on a similar show and product that have a sharper view and more condensed feel for bringing the targeted audience into the auditorium or putting “assess in seats” as the saying goes. I think X-Hamster over did it. They tried to do way too much and tried to stretch thin something that does not have enough of a base to handle more and more things being pilled upon it. With that being said, the performers are indeed one of the shining points in this episode and series so far and I think they are the reason that a fan should tune in to see what happens next in this series.
First off, I think I need to give the readers a bit more information as to why they should tune in, because I think that their is enough in this show to keep them entertained, I really do. The show features some performers we are all familiar with, especially those of us who follow their favorite stars on twitter. The competition has eight woman and eight men competing to see who becomes a performer in the world of adult entertainment with a a huge dollar payout going to the winners basically, one guy and one gal. During the initial production which was filmed about a year ago, all parties included had never been shot, or had only a few films under their belts. The selection is simply amazing in more ways than one. The ladies consist of Veronica Vain, Khaya Peake, Ella Eve Knox, Blair Williams, Adrian Lee Ray, Kaelin Blake and Dani Darko. The gentleman are indeed a very diverse and rambunctious crew led by Buddy Hollywood, The Colonel, Johnny Black, Donnie Rock, Hero D. Protagonist, Sonny Keegan, David Caspian, and last but not least Barry Newport. I myself loved the fact that these fresh faces were picked, these were real people who had a real look. I think that is something that is growing stronger and stronger as we head into the future of the adult film business. The company totes a line that these folks are indeed “real civilians” and it shows in both good ways and bad on the show but most importantly, it is entertaining to watch. I think your traditional porn fan will be delighted to see such things in episode one like the orgasm competition, something that anyone who has been on a set in the porn world can tell you, is a must in some cases. This form of entertainment showcases the production value and the way that people need to be able to perform and act in order to turn “fantasy in reality.” Asa Akira rocks as always in simply every which way possible. She reminds me of the old school days of Spice TV and such amazing hosts of programming and talk shows like Stephanie Swift and Misty Rain, she simply understands the things it takes to be successful in all forms of entertainment. The judges also include the one and only Tori Black who speaks of her alter ego as simply the “woman of your dreams and nightmares”, something so important for a performer and I believe as the series goes on, we will see just how valuable being able to market and portray your character professionally is in this business. Lexi Belle simply adds on the pizazz of the performer whose sexual charisma is so essential in this business, as she indeed joins some of the competition to show how things are done. She gives an insight to these young hungry actors as to how you need to have passion in order to be successful and sought after like she is by over two hundred thousand people on twitter. The final judge, miss Remy LaCroix, adds on the final piece to the perfectly assembled puzzle of porn star judges with her fast attitude and rock star life style. Remy had success almost instantly in this business and her insight, is that it is not just about having hundreds of thousands of followers on social media but also making scenes that earn money and add value to any company she shoots with, no matter the aspect of how she shoots, or her character. The one thing about Remy is that you get Remy and she brings about value to a production, something that is as important as anything in the adult film business. The creme De la creme is Kieren Lee. This man is simply style, elegance, professionalism and raw sexuality mixed into one. Of all the times I have seen him, Mr. Lee never looks less than a million dollars with or without clothes, he also knows this business from behind the camera almost better than anyone and if there were indeed one male who could show these tenacious young stars in the making what matters most is is him.
With all that said, I think the casting was perfect, the theme is beyond unique and exceptional but the execution by the production team, that is the only failure I saw. The blame has to go to X-Hmaster on this one. The performers, judges and competitors indeed showed some true flashes of brilliance but I think stretching things to ten episodes makes it hard to keep the fans attention. As I wait here in Miami for Episode three, which will air on June 2nd, I just have to say my interest gets a taste but not a big enough bite. It is almost like getting the appetizer without any main coarse and then going straight to the dessert at a dinner party. The episode begins with only a taste of what lies ahead. We get to see some amazing shots of the crew partying it up porn star style. Lots of scrumptious looking jacuzzi sex and even some one on one encounters with the cast mates outside of work, something that reminded me of days past and picking up that beautiful girl at the bar and heading to some nasty little rendezvous were the clothes fly off and great stories of life occur. But they did not spend enough time focusing on that aspect. Just as the fans attention is being fixated on all this amazing flesh, indulging in carnal passions, we see Remy LaCroix beginning to bust lose and shake her gorgeous body for the camera, we fade to black and are left reeling, wanting more. We get to see the “reality” aspect of the contestants come in to play after we are shown just snip its of footage. One of the more haunting scenes, is watching David Caspian randomly walk into the living room with other performers stark naked and commencing to jerk off. A view that was indeed brought out for the shock factor and I truly understand that. You could see in the interviews, that the ladies were simply puzzled and mortified in some ways. It was that instant I knew he would be the first to go and no matter how good looking he is, or how well he performs, he would not survive. In the first competitions both sexes wage a battle in lip locking and the big O, well at least the scripted big O. The kissing segment is sexy and passionate and we get to see a few of the judges endulge in the action. The new comers are not as wily as the judges in terms of on screen knowledge and seeing them show the newbies the ropes is indeed a huge bonus in this episode. The next competition in guys versus gals is seeing who can give the most amazing performance in terms of a fake orgasm. To me, I think the segment was a cool view into the making of a film. It gives away a bit of insider info that most stars never have a real orgasm on film and I think some fans will see that as a bit of a turn off. Myself, I found it very cool and I think the true fan will appreciate that.
Photos Courtesy of: Pictureboi/emmreport.com
The contestants engage in some rather uncalled for antics when it comes to trying to offset the other performer but I think that is the “reality” the producers were looking for despite the aspect of the judges when it comes to encouraging your fellow performer. I think that view also shows fans a little insight into the personalities of some of the stars of this amazing business and shows a bit of the person behind the character in both good ways and bad in this instance. With the ladies and fellas deadlocked going into the final round of competition, we finally get to see a little action as the ladies are pitted against the gentleman in order to see if they can make the guys hit the “money shot” in an instant just like they would have to on a live set in front of a bunch of people, one of the toughest things to do in a film shoot. Blair Williams takes things heads on as one of the only gals to get topless in order to topple her male counter part. It is simply sexy and erotic in so many ways. The Colonel displays some of his supreme assets as he shows why he got cast, which to be honest, I had my doubts about him and he truly surprised me by his performance. Seeing who wins and loses is a real treat to watch in this segment and it does have you rooting for some people as well as being shocked as to who lasts the longest and who does not. I think it shows a rather important aspect that reflects on the performers video bios, that some contestants talk a good game, while others let their assets do the talking in this climax of episode one. As the ladies win the trifecta of competitions they are allotted the ability to vote off one of the male members and it is indeed no surprise who gets the ax. I think some valuable lessons of the industry are indeed on display for all to see with this episode and I think fans will walk away at least seeing something that I think will vest their interest in future episodes. All though I do not think that the production team did enough to blow the audience away, they did enough to squeak by in order to make the introduction to this series palatable. As Bender Cain the President and CEO of Explicit Inc. can atone to, having a few people who are on the cast being personal friends of his, not everything is always as it seems when it comes to performance and promises in this business. He told me that the stars gave it all and that despite the fact things have changed hands so many times in this production, something good was bound to come out of things with people like Buddy Hollywood and Khaya Peake adding their own flair to the project as contestants. I do implore that you be your own judge when it comes to this series and there are certain mind sets and things you will have to get over in order to get the full indulgence of what the creators were looking to portray to their audience. One thing is indeed for sure, the fans are getting to see a piece of this business they may ever see anywhere else and if that is not enough to gain a following from porn fans all over, I don’t think anything will. Stay tuned for episodes two and three, I know I indeed will. I am in all honesty hoping to see more in the next two episodes because I have to say as I did into the introduction into this article, this show feels stretched thin already in episode one and the fact that X-Hamster is making the series ten episodes makes me feel as if I am watching a film at the theater that could have been done in one chapter apposed to being broken up into parts two and three for the sake of just making money. I think that type of production is ruining mainstream Hollywood, the book industry and televison. If we begin to do the same in adult cinema I don’t see us lasting as long as the much more funded mainstream industry. If the show continues on this path I do not see fans tuning in for more than five episodes. That is not me being harsh or showing bias, that is me simply stating that fans are smarter than we sometimes give them credit for in the industry and the true fans who pay for their porn and support this industry can smell a spoon feed production and mile away, that is just the truth of the fans, plain and simple.