Friday, August 26, 2011

The Playboy Club.

You know what could be a really good and interesting show? This Playboy Club show that will be on TV this season.

You know what is certainly not going to be a really good and interesting show? This Playboy Club show that will be on TV this season.

I will put money on it. I read an article about it the other day and it would seem that the people behind the show are trying to play up the Third Wave Feminism idea that by using their sexuality, these women are somehow taking ownership of their lives and embracing themselves! Yay! Rainbows! Unicorns!

But I think that in reality that is probably just something that was said by one man - who was trying to sell a TV show - to another man - who happened to be trying to buy a TV show. And I think they probably left out the part about Third Wave Feminism. I think the conversation went like this:

SELLER: Like Mad Men, but set in The Playboy Club.

BUYER: I like it. Will women have a problem with it?

SELLER: I hadn’t thought about that … No. We will make it about how being a half-naked waitress is empowering.

BUYER: I like it.

My problem with the show isn’t that is going to be cheesy – though it certainly will be - my problem is that they’re probably going to completely do wrong the one thing that Mad Men has always does right, which is: embrace the attitudes and inequalities of the times. I mean, on Mad Men they didn’t want Kennedy to beat Nixon! Can you imagine? Pregnant women smoke! Don Draper is an asshole! Men drink at work! Women get paid less for the same job! Not that they can get the same job, because – you know – they’re dames!

But I fully expect The Playboy Club to skip all of that and act as though the weird, off-kilter reality-bubble/oxygen lung in which Hugh Hefner chooses to live is somehow real and okay. When Mister Hefner was 20 or 30 or maybe even 40 … sure, you can live that way if you want. It is a life-choice and yours to make sir, but at a certain point don’t you just become the thing that you were making fun of in the first place? Lame, uncool, powerstructure, old, white men? You know what Hugh Hefner should have done? Grown old gracefully. That’s what a man would do. I’m not saying that I don’t get it I would love to have Playboy playmates hanging around my house, however, at a certain point, when they could be my grandchildren or my great-grandchildren, I like to think I would say, “I just feel icky right now.” But more power too you Hef! Whatever.

Anyway, we have digressed.

The point is, The Hef has welded together a not-real philosophy of love-and-acceptance out of leftover 1960s-peace-love spare parts, thrown in a touch of 1970s decadence and he has used it to justify regular, run-of-the-mill creepy-old-man-ness. And I think The Playboy Club will end up being the same sort of Frankenstein hodge-podge of self-defeating earnestness. And also – I’m just guessing – it will also be pretty poorly written.

All that being said, I will totally watch the first episode. Just to be fair. And because I like looking at half-naked waitresses (Did I just invalidate my own argument? Shit.).


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