Is Playboy Retro-Fab Or Retro-Sleaze?

Illustration for article titled Is emPlayboy/em Retro-Fab Or Retro-Sleaze?

It's not hard to see that Playboy, the new NBC show, is taking a cue from the retro-sexism of Mad Men. But can they pull it off?

When Amber Heard ran a picture of herself in her retro-Bunny costume, it set off alarm bells — especially when Variety revealed that the actors had unusual-for-Network - sex-and-nudity clauses. But then, what else would we expect from a show that chronicles women working in the early days of the Playboy empire? There's no question this is fertile ground for exploration: the times, as we know from Mad Men, were turbulent and fascinating; and Playboy was, as Hugh Hefner has pointed out, at the forefront of integration and social change — all the while representing retrograde sexism in its most unvarnished form.

And that's the problem, really: Playboy is not a thing of the past, but a contemporary company who must have licensed their name. And no one could argue that the company has evolved with the times. It's hard to imagine that they'll turn the same jaundiced eye on the enterprise that's made Mad Men so engrossing. But if they take full advantage of the subject? Who knows. Let's hope it's more head than just tail.

Playboy On Primetime: NBC Hopping on 'Mad Men' Train With Retro Show About Hef's Glory Days [Fox]

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this could be interesting, but i assume it won't be. but i highly recommend gloria steinem's badass essay about her badass time undercover as a playboy bunny.