Playing It Straight

Watch Playing It Straight

  • 2005
  • 2 Seasons
  • 6.4  (42)

Playing It Straight was a reality dating show that aired on Channel 4 from 2005 to 2012. Hosted by Zoe Hardman, the show featured a group of single men living in a villa in Spain vying for the affection of a single woman. However, there was a twist – some of the men were gay and had to pretend to be straight in order to win the heart of the female contestant.

Along with Zoe Hardman, the show also featured Alan Cumming as the voiceover narrator, and a panel of celebrity judges including June Sarpong. The judges watched the contestants’ interactions with the woman and each other, offering their thoughts and commentary throughout the show.

Each episode featured various challenges and activities designed to help the female contestant get to know the men better. These challenges ranged from physical tasks such as swimming and horseback riding, to more personal challenges such as cooking dinner and sharing stories from their childhood.

At the end of each episode, the female contestant had to eliminate one or more of the men. If all the straight men were eliminated, the gay men would reveal themselves and the female contestant would have to decide whether to continue dating one of them or take home a cash prize.

The show was praised for its unique format and ability to challenge societal stereotypes about sexual orientation. It also sparked discussions about the nature of attraction and the complexities of dating. However, it also received some criticism for its portrayal of gay men as deceptive and for potentially perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

Despite its controversial subject matter, Playing It Straight became a hit for Channel 4 and was eventually adapted and licensed for other countries around the world. It ran for a total of three seasons before being cancelled in 2012.

Overall, Playing It Straight offered a unique twist on the traditional dating show formula and sparked important conversations about sexuality and societal norms. Its impact on the reality television genre is still felt today, paving the way for other shows to address issues of diversity and representation in their programming.

Playing It Straight
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Series 2 Episode 8
8. Series 2 Episode 8
Jameela Jamil presents a tale of love and deceit in the Spanish sun. One beautiful girl must pick her dream partner from eleven boys. If she gets it right they both walk away with £25k each
Series 2 Episode 7
7. Series 2 Episode 7
The theme of the semi-final is the 'modern man'. The boys are under pressure to be strong but sensitive and endure a series of challenges before a surprise double elimination.
Series 2 Episode 6
6. Series 2 Episode 6
This week is all about camping it up in the Pyrenees as the guys are put through their paces by extreme orienteering, serenading Cara around the campfire, and abseiling down a cliff.
Series 2 Episode 5
5. Series 2 Episode 5
After a trip to the Dali Museum the boys must draw two nude life models, the painter of the best picture wins a date with Cara. And Jameela announces a suprise elimination.
Series 2 Episode 4
4. Series 2 Episode 4
The action moves to the gay mecca of Sitges where the locals try to help Cara. Jameela delivers a surprise of two new beefy boys who join the show and then there's a fish-gutting task.
Series 2 Episode 3
3. Series 2 Episode 3
The remaining boys face three challenges - laughing Cara into bed, lingerie removal and a kissing challenge - before acting as models as Cara directs a cover shoot for a gay magazine
Series 2 Episode 2
2. Series 2 Episode 2
The boys are given a tour of a Catalan sausage museum and then take part in a cookery contest to secure a date with Cara while the losers face a good old pelting with rotten tomatoes.
Series 2 Episode 1
1. Series 2 Episode 1
Eleven boys compete for the affections of single girl Cara. But Jameela reveals to Cara that, while some of the boys are straight, others are playing it straight and competing for a cash prize...
  • Premiere Date
    April 8, 2005
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (42)