EXPECTATIONS: I hate Hugh Hefner so, of course, my expectations are extremely low. I expect this will be another glamorization of women being emotionally and sexually harassed in the business as well as a white-washed revisionist history. Let's do this...
The Playboy Club, you are trying too hard. As much as I love some of the historical...er...insight? For instance, with the Mattachine Society, I can see how there's potential to do a lot of good. However, I think I know where they'll take it and do even more damage to the queer community. Not just the queer community but they will most likely reinforce ridiculous stereotypes about what it means to be a "man" and to be a "woman".
It's got a cast made up of very pretty people. As much as I love me some Eddie Cibrian and Amber Heard, the show is trying far too hard to be as sophisticated and classy as Mad Men (which I am absolutely loving by the way; go Peggy). I'm almost positive they took Nick Dalton and tried to turn him into Don Draper, from the way he talks to the way he walks. It can't even come close, especially because he's a hypocrite without even trying. Draper is just plain ironic. Nick Dalton, Cibrian's character, comes off as a heroic man who is respectful of women. So what's he doing in a place that does nothing but objectify and sexualize women? Not to mention, he's a keyholder. NOT ironic—he's being the hypocritical "hero".
The parts that were supposed to be sensual felt awkwardly forced and they try too hard to be witty, especially for the women. Thanks for trying to create strong female characters (I guess) but you fell short, Hodge. Very short. Right from the get-go, what seems to be an attempt at a strong female role model turned out to be the typical, sinister, resentful older woman you can find in almost any Disney film. The "poor girl who 'can defend herself'" was also poorly written because it seemed like it was just a face to appeal to fans of the women in Mad Men. Everywhere Heard's character turned, she needed Dalton to save her even when it wasn't really necessary.
Playboy isn't known to be all that classy but there was so much potential for this show and it was all shot to hell in the first episode. The show is misogynistic, cheesy, abused a bunch of tropes, and the conflicts were ridiculously cliched. Yeah, the period wasn't known for respecting women but if Mad Men can pull it off, The Playboy Club could have too. I might keep watching to see if it improves, especially because I want to see how they play out the Mattachine Society storyline, but I don't think it'll get better so most likely not. It looks like it's headed into a "scandalous" direction and purely for that reason alone.
IF YOU LIKED THIS, YOU'LL LOVE: I don't know...Jersey Shore?