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The Playboy Club
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 series directly promotes the Playboy brand and glamorizes the lives of Playboy Bunnies in the 1960s. The show also tries to push a message that the Playboy Bunny lifestyle empowered women of the era rather than objectified them. The sexy subject matter includes some simulated sex and kissing, but no nudity; there are violent moments, too, involving murder, blood, and attempted sexual assault. Characters also use words like "piss," "hooker," "penis," and "ass"; drink alcohol; and smoke cigarettes.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In 1960s Chicago, THE PLAYBOY CLUB is one of the hottest destinations in the city, where only a coveted key can gain you access to the fantasies locked inside. But one of the club's newest "Bunnies," Maureen (Amber Heard), quickly finds herself on the outs with veteran Bunny Carol-Lynne (Laura Benanti) -- and a powerful Windy City crime family -- when she kills a VIP client in self-defense and Carol-Lynne's lover, Nick (Eddie Cibrian), comes to her aid.
Is it any good?
Well before it aired, The Playboy Club was catching flak, both from parent groups who feared it promoted pornography and women's advocacy groups who claimed it was inherently sexist. And while neither of those predictions proves 100 percent accurate, the show certainly tries its darnedest to make serving men cocktails in a tight-fitting Bunny outfit look like an act of women's lib. But let's be honest: That's a pretty tough sell.
Aside from all that cleavage, of course, there's one other big distraction worth mentioning: leading man Eddie Cibrian's blatant attempt to impersonate Mad Men's Jon Hamm, whose Emmy-winning portrayal of womanizing ad exec Don Draper elicits both swoons and critical acclaim. It's an aural resemblance that's so uncanny it can hardly be an accident, which makes The Playboy Club feel even more like a cheap copy of a classier original.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sexism and the way that women are portrayed on the show. What role does gender play in the context of these characters' lives? Who generally seems to be in charge, and who's generally taking orders?
Do you agree with the producers' premise that being a Playboy Bunny empowered women of the era? How have society's views about women's roles changed since the 1960s?
In terms of consumerism, how does this show about Playboy's history help promote the modern-day Playboy brand? What does Playboy stand to gain -- or lose -- from the show's success?
What messages is the show sending female viewers about the importance of being sexy and attractive to the opposite sex?
For kids who love drama
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.