This week at the Television Critics Association panel for NBC's The Playboy Club — the new drama set in the 1960s and revolving around Hugh Hefner's infamous Bunny cocktail waitresses — executive producer Chad Hodge said, "Really, the show is all about empowering, and who these women can be, and how they can use their position to get what they want." His comment is a clear indication that this show will not be NBC's answer to Mad Men, as far as accuracy in portraying how these women really lived. Didn't this guy bother to read Gloria Steinem's infamous essay "I Was a Playboy Bunny" for research?
NPR's Linda Holmes attended the TCA panel and also viewed the pilot. She says that it "looked from the start like the network's straightforwardly network-ish attempt to capitalize on Mad Men, more than anything." And perhaps that is why Hodge is desperately trying to work the whole feminism angle, since Mad Men's creator Matt Weiner claimed the same of his own show. What Hodge doesn't seem to understand, though, is that Mad Men is considered to be feminist, not because it's "empowering," but because it's "a painfully accurate portrayal of the treatment of women [in the 1960s]." Which, according to the people who have seen the pilot, The Playboy Club is certainly not, despite a voice over by Hugh Hefner that claims, "Bunnies were some of the only women in the world who could be anything they wanted." Holmes likened it to your run-of-the-mill prime time soap.