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21.6.18 0925
The W - Movies & TV - The Playboy Club 1x1 - "Pilot"
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John Orquiola

Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 1453 days
Last activity: 1453 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
There is no nudity. Of course not. It's NBC.

The thing I really found disheartening is that the pilot failed to make The Playboy Club a character in The Playboy Club. We, the audience, were not given "a tour", we didn't get a sense of the layout of The Club, or get immersed in it as a place we'd like to spend time in. A GoodFellas-style tour of the Club would have been ideal. Instead, it's just "a place where stuff happens". Like attempted rapes, murder, and sweaty sex in the bathrooms. All kept hush hush, of course.

Yes, The Club has girls dressed as bunnies. Yes, they are very attractive. Yes, they are "empowered", because they "earn more money than their fathers". No, they're not prostitutes. No, you can't touch them. Yes, there is booze, and food, and cigarettes, and everything costs $1.50 no matter what it is. Yes, there is live music -- Ike and Tina Turner! -- and the "chocolate bunny" pointedly goes out of her way to say that "Hef doesn't care what color you are, as long as you're interesting." The real Hugh Hefner provides a wheezy voice over narration, while an unconvincing stand in plays "Young Hef" from the back.

And yet, all of that still somehow failed to make The Playboy Club cool. Mad Men, which The Playboy Club would like you to pretend does not exist despite all the ways it draws from Mad Men's cache, did a couple of scenes in The Playboy Club in Manhattan in season 4 and made the Club seem ten times cooler and a more desirable place to be. Why is that? Because Don Draper was at The Playboy Club in Mad Men, and Don Draper is cool.

Eddie Cibrian tries so hard to be the kind of cool Don Draper is and misses the mark completely. He's a mannequin in a suit. No character, to wit, no charm, despite the fact that he's a hotshot DA or something with connections to the Mob, who sleeps with the mother Bunny at the Club, and brings the newest Bunny, Amber Heard, home after saving her from being raped by a mob boss and watching her accidentally kill him.

Man, that is lame. The Mob storyline (pure fiction, Hef himself confirmed on Twitter) is lame. And boring! There are also subplots like the bartender who sleeps with one of the Bunnies but now can't, and another Bunny who is secretly a lesbian and who is "married" to a gay man as they try to filter the funds she makes at the Club to opening up an underground homosexual society.

Also, all the Bunnies live at the Playboy Mansion when not working at The Playboy Club. In fact, every taxi in Chicago in the 1960s apparently only knows two destinations: "Playboy Club" and "Playboy Mansion". No need for street directions. They all know where to go.

On the plus side, the girls are very attractive -- they ought to be! -- though Laura Benanti as the oldest Bunny who's in charge of the other Bunnies is the most interesting of the female characters. In fact, she's probably the most interesting character. Amber Heard tries to sell what little character she has to play. I mean, a mob boss tries to rape her and she kills him, but she's rather non-plussed about it. None of the men in the pilot are anything more than poor, lacking Draper clones.

But there's a pleasant surprise for Whedonites: A couple of cast members from Serenity are on the show. Sean Maher is the gay guy married to the lesbian Bunny. And the manager of The Playboy Club is David Krumholtz, who was Mr. Universe.

(edited by John Orquiola on 21.9.11 2149)

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.48

Big Bad

Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 2 days
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.65
The fact that the black bunny is actually the black bunny from Mad Men who has the relationship with Lane Pryce just shows exactly how creatively bankrupt this show is.

"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball

Since: 18.2.04
From: The Houston 'burbs

Since last post: 1376 days
Last activity: 900 days
#4 Posted on
If this show even makes it to the end of the season, I would be shocked. What an awful show.

Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 15 hours
Last activity: 15 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
I tweeted Hugh when he was going to sue the hell out of NBC for this and he replied back or one of his handlers did. They replied the Playboy Bunnies and the Club is under their umbrella, but everything else is NBC and they think its great. So, the only good thing I can say about this show is I chatted with Hugh Hefner or someone at the Mansion about it. Even still, the idea of murder at the Club seems so stupid. It would have been better to have a bunny who was on good terms with Hefner to tell her story of working at the club, warts and all. Instead, we get another show that has to have a mystery around it for no good reason.

The Wee Baby Sheamus.

Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
Mr Heel II
Lap cheong

Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 108 days
Last activity: 7 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.48
When you have a show full of women parading around in sixties underwear and I can't get interested in it, you have a really bad show.

REALLY bad show.

AND it's against Hawaii Five-O? I'll be surprised if it gets HALF a season.

Bring on Pan-Am.

Since: 7.3.02

Since last post: 628 days
Last activity: 614 days
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.81
I didn't watch it but the only reason I hope it doesn't get cancelled (and lasts several seasons) is just to spite the idiots at the Parent's Television Council that are against it.

Sadly, though, I can't see it lasting a season.
John Orquiola

Since: 28.2.02
From: Boston

Since last post: 1453 days
Last activity: 1453 days
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.48
There is an audience for Playboy but they mistook that audience as the same audience who wants a Mad Men on NBC, if such an audience actually exists.

Meanwhile, they didn't attempt to make The Playboy Club attractive to the actual, proven audience for Playboy on basic cable, the same people that made The Girls Next Door a hit for several years.

And then there's the fact they made a generic show. Take away the Playboy name and the girls dressed as Bunnies - and what little titillation that ended up providing - and you have an uninspired mob mystery show.

Everyone's predicting cancellation. The premiere numbers were something like tied with the lowest prime time premiere numbers for an NBC series. Plus the word of mouth of the pilot is generally negative. Cancellation is likely a self-fulfilling prophecy at this point, even if there's a sudden improvement in the show's creative direction.

(edited by John Orquiola on 22.9.11 1002)


Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 15 hours
Last activity: 15 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.00
It needed to be more than a mob mystery wrapped in Playboy bunnies. It needed to take the NYPD Blue route and go full boar. Take the 10PM timeslot and tease some ass. Its the 21s Century, we have the internet, cleavage no longer works.

The Wee Baby Sheamus.

Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
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What more do I need? X3 to not suck, heh. From all reports about the storyline (and we have the director's track record staring us in the face) I don't have much faith in the movie, even with as cool as the trailer has looked.
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