Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

HBO Max orders makeover competition to find The Real Magic Mike

Not the real Magic Mike, on multiple levels.
Not the real Magic Mike, on multiple levels.
Photo: David Becker/Getty Images for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas

Good news for anyone who’s ever wanted to spend even more time asking themselves why they, for some reason, do not exist as the same general meatshape as Channing Tatum: HBO Max has just ordered a new makeover competition, inviting men who have “lost their magic” to attempt to become “real-life Magic Mikes.”

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First off, we’re pretty sure HBO actually means “real-life Magic Mike XXLs,” since—and you’d be forgiven for forgetting this, given the later re-branding efforts to transform the franchise into fun road trip movie landa lot of the original Magic Mike is about fairly sordid stuff like drug addiction, distribution, and abuses by unscrupulous strip club owners. In contrast, The Real Magic Mike (Working Title) is all about taking a bunch of regular-ish guys and getting them to “bare their souls and more,” which is to say: Prepare themselves to be sexy stripping men who act completely unprofessionally while shopping at convenience stores.

Channing Tatum and Steven Soderbergh will both executive produce on the series, which will culminate in one contestant receiving $10,000 and a chance to strip at the actual Magic Mike stage in Las Vegas. We’re most fascinated, though, by those qualification requirements. What does it mean to have “lost” one’s “magic”? Is it as simple as allowing yourself to get flabby, or did casting agents really devote a bunch of time into staring into dudes’ eyes, looking for a glimmer of that all-important trait of having given up on life? (Given that the cartoon that they distributed to show off their prospective contestants looks like a background character from Dilbert, that certainly seems to be the case.) And, Jesus: If that was the requirement—why the hell didn’t we get a call?

The Real Magic Mike will debut on HBO Max later this year.