Review: Boring, Vapid 'The Men Of West Hollywood' Disappoints

by Padraic Maroney

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday January 20, 2022

'The Men Of West Hollywood'
'The Men Of West Hollywood'  (Source:Crackle Plus)

West Hollywood is one of the gay Meccas in the United States. Having previously been showcased on reality shows like "Vanderpump Rules" and "What Happens at the Abbey," it was only time before a show came along to specifically highlight its residents. If only it was showcased through the lens of guys who weren't only worried about how they — and everyone around them — looks.

The producers have recruited a cross section of the WeHo movers and shakers. They are a group of artists, models, influencers, wannabe models, and nightclub promoters. Most recognizable from the main cast are former Andrew Christian model Murray Swanby, and "Human Ken Doll" Justin Jedlica. Rather than just letting the gays have our moment in the sun, the producers are inclusive, with a handful of straight guys rounding out the cast. The sexual breakdown is three straight guys and four gays (at least, based off of the first three episodes available for review).

Faster than you can say "prostitution whore" (to quote one of the cast on the not-dissimilar reality show "Real Housewives of New Jersey") the drama starts; but it's mostly the straight cast members who are the messy, dramatic ones. David Barta, who, like Swanby and Jedlica, is no stranger to reality television, is the focal point of the early episodes, due to his pseudo-relationship and career aspirations to be an Andrew Christian Trophy Boy. The reality overlords want to position Landon Wetterstrom as the show's would-be breakout, as he is the willing to do anything for screen time, including bringing cameras to his waxing appointment — though most of it involves him looking for a new woman to bed.

Unfortunately, none of the cast is very likable. It's hard to take them seriously when multiple arguments take place at a pool party that results someone getting pushed into the pool and someone angrily clacking a fan as their defense. "Men of West Hollywood," with its constant cut away to confessionals, feels like a bad "Saturday Night Live" sketch. It doesn't offer anything salacious to whet viewer's appetites, nor is it campy enough to launch memes that would allow it to enter the pop culture conversation. These guys have obviously been raised on "The Real Housewives" franchises, but they offer catch phrases aplenty but no table-flipping moments.

If you look at any of the cast's social media, you will see that much of the show was filmed prior to the pandemic. For a show where so much of it involves getting together at pool parties or bar nights, it would be interesting to see how any subsequent seasons might play out in the current world. If there are future seasons, maybe they could also invest in people who have more to offer than just being pleasing to the eyes. Despite what this shows, there have to be "Men of West Hollywood" who are more than just skin deep, right?

"Men of West Hollywood" is available to stream on Crackle beginning January 20, 2022.

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