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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Playboy Club: AKA: I Wanted to See What All the Fuss was About

I'll admit to the fact that I really didn't have an interest in NBC's The Playboy Club when I was first introduced to it during pilot season, despite an admitted fascination with Heff and the Playboy brand. I mean love it or hate it, you gotta admire a man who built up that large an empire. I mean it's not the life for everyone, but hey it's not so the life of a bunny is not such a bad existence, and let's face it, my theory is that everyone woman, whether she would actually do it or not, wants to be asked to pose for Playboy. Side bar Laura Bennanti definitely scored big with this show, she gets the cover and a spread in the month's Playboy, while clothed.

Anyway I didn't have any strong opinions on the show either way, until I found our Sean Maher was going to be on it. The thought of seeing Simon Tam on my tv screen was enough to make me check it out, even though I knew his role, at least in the pilot, was a small on.

So the show is set in the 1960's in Chicago, centered around The Playboy Club. Hugh Heffner does a voice over appearance for the episode which and coupled with the gorgeous sets and costumes, brings a sweet nostalgia for a "simpler time". Though as the show very quickly bring to reality there is no such thing as a "simpler time". There's sex, murder, the mob and even semi closeted homosexuality. Yes, The Playboy Club pacts a whole lot of "Look at me" in it's first episode.  Where it is gonna go from that, remains to be seen.

There were a few seller moments, most specifically when Nick is talking to Bunny Maureen in the alley and tells her he should kiss her to keep up their cover story. She reminds him that the new rule is that Bunnies can't date keyholders and his responds with "I don't recall asking you on a date," before laying one on her. I'm not entirely sure why that moment, of all the moments in the pilot, hooked me so much but it did. It was just so BAMF, with a little swoon worthy peppered in for good measure. I'm all for strong women, but sometimes a girl just wants the man to take them.

 Speaking of strong women, the show seemed to be lacking them, which is funny considering the amount of women featured on the show. The strongest female character seems to come in the form of Bunny Mummy Carolynn, who mostly just comes off as a bitch, who is constantly reminding people she is getting too old to be a Bunny, and it is just a bit sad. Almost like seeing a gymnast who has entered her early 20's lamenting she's too old, because her competition are younger.

There are plenty of secrets, Bunny Alice and her husband's double life, Bunny Maureen and Nick Dalton's cover up, whatever reason Bunny Jainie has for turning down her bar tender boyfriend, Max's proposal. All of which I assume will be further explored in future episodes but in all honesty, the pilot as a whole left me feeling lukewarm. Maybe I'll give the show another try, see how Sean's character flushes out if at all, but I highly doubt it's gonna be something I eagerly await to see the next episode.

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