TV Review: NBC's 'The Playboy Club'


NBC premieres its 1960s-era drama, The Playboy Club on Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. The following are reviews from TV critics around the web, compiled by B&C.

“No one ever expected NBC’s new drama The Playboy Club to be in contention for a Peabody Award, but even as no-brainer entertainment, it really should be a lot better than it is.” — David Wiegand, San Fransisco Chronicle

“What The Playboy Club really sells is retro-style fantasy. It whisks us back to an adult Disneyland, filled with martinis, music, glitz and, of course, buxom young “bunnies” in goofy, curve-hugging costumes. It was a place where, our narrator informs us, “everything was perfect. Where life was magic …” — Chuch Barney, Kansas City Star

The Playboy Club doesn’t quite know what it wants to say about the era or its strange namesake institution. Hef isn’t seen as some sort of swingin’ cultural hero because that would be delusional; neither is he a villain. He’s just there, lurking off-screen — a voice, or an actor’s back, each verging on an SNL impersonation.” — Verne Gay, Newsday

“The setting only fitfully works as a prism through which to contemplate the present — one of the inherent strengths of Mad Men, to which comparisons are also inevitable — meaning that the serialized elements and characters must prove more alluring than what’s initially revealed to keep this bunny going, and going.” — Brian Lowry, Variety

“Livelier, though certainly less profound, than ’60s drama benchmark Mad Men, this snazzy and fast-paced new period piece makes clear from the start that it’s here to entertain.” — John Griffiths, Us Weekly