With all the hours of programming needing to be filled on broadcast and cable channels combined with the access and ability modern technology creates, the future Andy Warhol spoke of where everyone would be famous for 15 minutes is well in its way to becoming a reality.
Three women whose time in spotlight is hopefully just about up are the recent ex-girlfriends of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner: Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson. People interested in their relationship, which is an undefined combination of personal and business, and what happens behind the scenes at the mansion and magazine can get an inside peek through The Girls Next Door, which inexplicably ran for five seasons on E! and is coming back for a sixth with new girls. Season Four was recently released on DVD, and it shows Holly as the main girlfriend, Bridget a tad aloof to the whole situation, and Kendra the foul-mouthed, unattractive tomboy who exemplifies the limits of what Hef’s money can now buy.
The series presents the daily lives of these girls, which while obviously different from the average American is slightly similar to all the other reality shows that follow around the rich and barely famous, but naturally there’s more of an infusion of sex, although not as much as expected or no doubt hoped for by some viewers. In addition to the parade of good-looking women that pass through the photo shots and mansion parties, this season saw Holly visit her home state Alaska, showed Bridget’s brother return home from Iraq, and Kendra’s mom getting plastic surgery.
The series is odd on a few fronts but it neither offers the best or better yet the worst reality television has to offer, so I don’t see a reason to watch. The girls seem like very nice people, albeit a tad ditzy, but they are nice and well behaved for the most part.
They can’t compete with the entertainment value provided by some of the self-destructive train wrecks of humanity that get before the cameras like the women attempting to date Bret Michaels and Flavor Flav, the people caught cheating on Cheaters, and those who seek out Maury to determine a child’s paternity. The weirdest GND gets is the creep out of seeing the girls’ parents younger than Hef, but Hef seems like a sweet grandfather-type who sincerely cares about the girls. However, the whole thing comes off a bit too calculated, like it’s just a stepping-stone for the girls’ careers, especially now that they have moved on and are appearing on other shows. A better series would have been following Hef around during the heyday of the magazine a few decades back or if the girls were wild and out of control.
Each episode offers a commentary by the trio recorded after they “broke up” with Hef (odd that all three relationships ended at the same time), but it’s tough enough to sit through the show one time let alone a second to hear their reflections. Other bonus features include episode promos and deleted scenes.
Don’t let The Girls Next Door into your home. There are too many better and worse things to waste your time on instead.