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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Show: The Playboy Club

The Playboy Club
NBC. September 19, 2011.

Starring: Amber Heard (Zombieland, Pineapple Express), Eddie Cibrian (Sunset Beach, CSI: Miami), Naturi Naughton (Fame, Mad Men), and Sean Maher (Firefly, Serenity).

Plot: This centers around the lives of the employees at the first Playboy club. It’s possibly an attempt to rip off the style of Mad Men, but you can say the same thing about Pan Am (a show that both of us really want to see). We’re not really clear on the plot thing. What’s the story, exactly? Some girl murders a perv and has to hide it? There’s an attractive guy that none of the women can bag? Is there a story here, or are we just supposed to tune in for the Bunnies? There’s a lot of potential for this to just be silly.

Why We Are Excited: Visually, it looks nice. It looks like they spent money on the club and costumes. There is a lot of potential here for smart social commentary, stories about friendship, memorable characters, fun back story, and dark comedy with a premise like this. We both hope the show takes advantage of all of its opportunities. Also, if you are a guy just looking for some eye candy, this is one of the places you can turn come fall.

Why We Are Not Excited: One blogger doesn’t consider Playboy or that brand to be groundbreaking or helpful in any way. Call her a prude (which you shouldn’t, because she’s a Deadwood and Sex and the City fan), but this blogger is just over it when it comes to this topic. A show portraying the Playboy brand as glamorous has a LOT of work to do to win one of us over. When you buy things from the sex industry, you’re not “challenging social mores” or “updating a culture,” you’re supporting an industry of objectification and slavery that will not only cheapen everyone involved, including the viewer, but will also ruin your actual sex life. (See also the porn chapter of "The Brain that Changes Itself" by Dr. Norman Doidge.) Yeah, Playboy isn't exactly hardcore stuff, but it paved the way. Feminist activist Gloria Steinem said, “the series "normalizes a passive dominant idea of gender. So it normalizes prostitution and male dominance" and one of us couldn’t agree more. This show is great advertisement for the Playboy company. HOWEVER, we have not seen the show. Message is more important than content to us. If the show is actually empowering or intelligent, it can win both bloggers over.


Anticipation Score: 1.5/10

Be sure to click on the "##Upcoming Shows## link in the cloud so you can stay apprised. And let us know if you think you will be watching any of them!


  1. I might skip this one and just go with Pan Am. This one seems like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire. Pan Am at least seems different. I'll see what people say about the 2nd episode I guess.

  2. Thoughtful, intelligent summary of all the things that are troubling about this show. The hero-celebrity status of Hugh Hefner has made me sick to my stomach for years.

    On a basic TV level, I'd be really surprised to see this show succeed. For one, it's a period piece that doesn't appear to be working a nostalgia angle on a national broadcast network (and even that kind of show is no shoo-in -- 'American Dreams' only got 3 seasons). I also think the sex industry stuff makes a lot of viewers uncomfortable enough to boycott. I think it's one of those shows that NBC's throwing in there just to stir the pot. There's no way they think it has mass market appeal!

  3. Anonymous: Exactly. We watch Boardwalk Empire too, and both of us are catching up with Mad Men since it hit Instant Netflix. There's no gap to fill here.

    Cat: What's weird is that they seem to be advertising/writing for the mass market and lowest common denominator. The only people who would really give an edgy show a chance are Boardwalk Empire-watchers. But with the "murder" plot and the advertising it to just look cool, we don't think it's aiming toward the smart crowd who would like to see commentary. That's its only chance to succeed, because, you're right, most people won't be into it.

  4. Aaaaaaand Cat just made this blogger miss American Dreams. Sad face :(

  5. This miiiight be a hit for NBC. People will probably think this is original (as a TV show)'ll be for those who do not know about Mad Men. (and also those who would watch both this and Mad Men) Also, it will get viewers who don't have both premium and regular cable. Other reasons = controversy, playboy, female viewers who like the whole bunny thing or love fashion stuff. Plus, Facebook has 112,112 followers (will be more after this) I think 112,112 followers usually = 10 million viewers or something. Also, a lot of viewers on facebook said they enjoyed the pilot..(These are probably the casual TV viewers) I could be wrong though... :)

  6. You know, you're making sense. If the writers are able to come up with a good plot later on, a weak beginning might be ok because of the buzz.

    Mad Men is a really smart, well-made show though (yeah, we finally watched it). Mad Men fans would probably skip it. Can't believe Facebook has 112,112 followers for it...

  7. I was wrong. My second guess was that the lowest it will be would be around 5 million or so.

    And woah...2 Broke Girls did 19.15 million viewers and Two and a Half Men did 27.76 million...and people were making fun of the guys at CBS. (though they did say something like 50 million..but still huge numbers) Numbers are fun to look at and guess :)

  8. Even we watched 2.5 Men this week, haha