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Goodbye to The Playboy Club

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Every season there are those shows that have no hope. The shows that are DEFINITELY going to get cancelled. The shows that only got made because the network couldn’t find a reality show to slide into that time slot. You know heading in that it’s going to be gone by midseason, yet you defy all common sense and you still ante up.

This show makes those shows seem like sure things.

There is a very real chance The Playboy Club gets cancelled during its’ first commercial break. So, of course, I’m in.

That was my pre-season assessment of The Playboy Club. And while it did make it out of its’ first episode….it didn’t make too much further. So while it’s impossible to say that I didn’t see this coming, I must confess, it stings nonetheless.

But why you ask? Well, I’ve spent the last day and half trying to wrap my head around that very same question and I’m pretty sure I’ve come to a conclusion (yet another perk to my daily 3-state, 3 hour sojourn to and from work (or commute as most people call it…and yes this is another case of a parenthetical statement within another parenthetical statement)).

I guess because I’ve been able to put so much time into analyzing this (because obviously, there really aren’t any more important things I should be thinking about), I not only have one reason as to why I’m so hurt by this show being cancelled, but I actually have two of them. So without further ado (I would say 256 words is enough ado), here the two reasons why I’m so bothered by The Playboy Club being cancelled.

1. Whatever happened to bad TV?
Don’t get me wrong, this was bad TV (really bad TV actually). But I would argue that that is exactly the reason why we need this show. With the explosion of reality TV, bad TV has become a lost art form. Judging by production costs alone, the networks would obviously much rather go out with a “bad TV” reality show than a “bad TV” non-reality show. But I would argue that in that thinking, there is a massive void in our TV viewing selection.

You see, sometimes, I don’t want a sitcom that hits me with some adaptation of a joke that has been used approximately 378 times in 216 different shows since the first time it was used in a 1956 episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show.

And sometimes, I don’t want to watch a drama where I can sniff out the entire story line (definitely for the episode, and quite possibly for the season) about 7-8 seconds after the opening credits have cleared the screen (yes Grey’s Anatomy, I’m talking to you. To be honest, I actually liked Grey’s the first time it was on. I think they called it ER back then).

I don’t want it to make me a better person. I don’t want it to make some huge veiled statement about our society as a whole. But most importantly, I don’t want it to make me think.
Because, sometimes, I just want bad TV. I want mindless TV (Donna Martin graduates!). I want it to be over-the-top (the Melrose Place explosion at the pool). I want to be able to shut off my brain, watch without thinking, be completely entertained and love every ridiculously absurd minute of it.

The Playboy Club was all of those things. And now it’s gone. Thanks a lot NBC! Which is actually a good segue into my next point (it’s almost like I’m planning this as I write or something).

2. Fear of Commitment
How many times have you gone against your better judgement and gone all in on a show? You knew from the moment they announced it that the network wasn’t entirely sold on it. You knew they were just looking for a reason to cancel it. You knew that the only reason they put it in the fall lineup was because they’re already having trouble justifying 7 hours of The Biggest Loser a week on top of the 4 hours of Minute to Win It, and they figured that had to have some original programming…right? Didn’t they?

You knew all of this, yet you still went in on The Black Donnellys, and Journeyman, and Southland, and Kidnapped, and Pushing Daisies, and The Event, and Flash Forward, and Detroit 1-8-7, and of course on The Playboy Club.

And then the network did exactly what you knew they would they do. At the first sign of distress, they cancelled it. And in its’ place, they created a new SVU or they extended Deal or No Deal another hour longer. They got nice and safe…and lazy. Of course, these are the same folks who tried to cancel possibly the greatest TV drama of all time (Friday Night Lights) and the greatest TV comedy of all time (Arrested Development) every single season they were on.

So let me save you all the time since I have a good eye for these doomed shows. If you happen to be watching Terra Nova….yep…you already know…don’t you? Maybe Netflix (or whatever they call it now) an old season of The Wire or something. Sorry to be the bearer of bad new, I guess I just miss The Playboy Club.

Am I the only one? Was I the only one watching the shows mentioned above? Did I happen to miss any? I would love to hear about them..

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