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Thursday, September 29, 2011

On "The Playboy Club," lying to your children and black squirrels in our midst

There is so much content not allowed access to my brain (weather, football, Republican candidates, etc.) that it should come as no surprise to you that I didn't know that Hugh Hefner (spell check knew to spell his last name with one f, I didn't) started the Playboy Club in Chicago. And the only reason I learned this fact is that earlier this summer I passed a film crew on the street as I was walking to the beach with my two sons (who I hope never have subscriptions to the magazine) and learned from a deckhand (or whatever they call helpers on a shoot) that they were filming in Evanston for ABC's new Playboy show. I lied to my boys, told them National Geographic was shooting black squirrels in our midst.

We walked by that shoot way back in June and I brushed it out of my mind, but now I can't avoid the topic - every media outlet is writing out, debating about, reviewing the new show. And because I am so grossed out by the concept of bunnies, I am thrilled to see the show getting panned and Hugh getting slammed. Below is the most damaging part of Nancy Franklin's recent review of the show from New Yorker Magazine and I'm thrilled to share it and a link to the rest of the review.

“The Playboy Club,” in its bid to be taken seriously, also calls attention to Hefner’s self-proclaimed progressiveness about race a little too often. Hefner’s philosophy, in fact, is a narrow one, his idea of sexual freedom unimaginative and regressive. He’s a man who “loves” girls but appears not to notice the existence of women. A look into Hefner’s world is like watching a grown man playing with Barbie dolls—it’s a spectacle that can really be appreciated only by other grown men who like to play with Barbie dolls.

Click here to read the full review.

I rarely celebrate bad reviews but this show comes a little close to home (literally) and hopefully my boys won't see it and realize their mom was lying about the black squirrels in our midst.


  1. Wait! I'm prepared to argue that Hugh Hefner represented an important part for sexual liberation in the late 1950s. It now seems antiquated, but he was a cultural revolutionary who pre-dated the modern women's liberation movement. Like many men of his time, I think he was surprised to receive the ire of many women for his views. Of course, since he's not changed, he can only be viewed as sad. I'd not heard of the new show. I hope it's a period piece, akin to "Mad Men."

  2. Zac, that is a great point but I just can't label the bunny job as liberating as the bunnies were like barbies - frozen in time with pre-motherhood bodies in a playful, "touch my private areas" costume. It's the same argument I hear people make about strippers, "it's so liberating for women." If that were the case, why aren't more strip clubs owned by women (I actually need to look up the stats on that) and more or any female Hefners starting Playboy like empires? The show is a period piece and is shot in Chicago mostly, which is fun for the city, we'll see if it lasts.