Rashida Jones’ 2015 documentary Hot Girls Wanted drew praise as well as controversy: the film explored the lives of young women trying to break into the Miami porn scene, and many actors at the time criticised the alarmist, narrow perspective on the adult entertainment industry. Despite this, it’s coming back as a six-part docuseries, this time exploring the broader topic of how sex and technology intersect today.
It’s produced by Rashida Jones, Jill Bauer and Roma Gradus. As Indiewire reports, one segment follows a cam girl who also describes herself as a “psychiatrist” to her clients “I might be doing it naked, but I’m making a difference,” she says. Another, titled “Love Me Tinder” examines how dating apps have changed dating and how we approach sex. “Women on Top” includes Suze Randall, the first woman photographer to shoot for Playboy in 1975, and Holly, her daughter, who’s going a similar route, but surrounded by a modernised porn landscape. Across the series, aspects of social media and the internet will be explored in parallel with how we consume and interact with porn, relationships and sexuality.
Riley, the ‘talent agent’ of Hussie Models from the first documentary, also makes an appearance. Feminist filmmaker and XConfessions founder Erika Lust also shows up in the trailer, detailing how pornography has become an educational tool, as well as describing how her work is “more emotional”.
Another episode traces the life of Marina Lonina, a 19-year-old woman accused of live-streaming her friend’s rape on Periscope. Despite facing 40 years, she served a nine-month sentence.
Given the backlash to the first production, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On must take the opportunity to illustrate an engaging, thoughtful depiction of a huge, mutli-faceted industry, leaving the scare-statistics to take into account the variety of perspectives and actual hard facts out there.
All episodes will be available to stream on Netflix April 25.