A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series openly celebrates sexual fantasy and sexual pleasure as positive things, which may be considered inappropriate by some viewers. That said, no explicit sexual behavior is seen on camera, and most nudity is blurred (although there are moments of partial nudity when women are in various stages of undress or sporting very revealing clothing). The show's discussions of nudity and sexual fantasy aren't appropriate for children, and parents may want to exercise caution even for older teens.
What's the story?
Showing viewers the reality of the Playboy fantasy, THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR is a series created by Playboy magazine founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner that gives viewers an inside look at the inner workings of the infamous Playboy mansion. The show follows Hefner's three live-in girlfriends -- Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson -- as they live and travel with Hefner and help him host parties at the mansion. The ladies do everything from undressing and putting on S&M outfits and performing stripteases to wrapping Hef's birthday gifts with G-strings. In between are raunchy conversations that include discussing the desire to masturbate and questions about posing nude before bikini waxes became popular.
Is it any good?
Like anything Playboy, the show is hedonistic and narcissistic and underscores (what else?!) Hefner's continuing love of beautiful women and sexual freedom. But even though these women are educated and have career goals (Bridget is working on her second master's degree, while Holly is earning her real estate license and Kendra is taking college courses online), their choice to live in the mansion's harem-like environment and their often-ditzy behavior make it hard to take them seriously. Unfortunately, they personify the stereotype of the empty-headed pinup girl whose mere presence serves to satisfy people's sexual fantasies. As a result, this series offers little more than an invitation to stop imagining and to actually look at real-life women as sexual objects.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the different attitudes our society has about sex and sexual activity. Why are some people very open about sex while others aren't? When do nudity and sexual conduct become pornographic? Families can also discuss how women appear as sexual objects in the media and how this impacts how we look at and treat women in our society.