THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR: SEASON ONE
Image A Sound A Extras D+
"Meet the Girls," "New Girls in Town," "Happy Birthday, Kendra," "What Happens in Vegas," "Fight Night," "Operation Playmate," "Just Shoot Me," "Midsummer Night's Dream," "Under the Covers," "Ghostbusted," "Grape Expectations," "I'll Take Manhattan," "My Kind of Town," "Clue-Less," "It's Vegas Baby!"
STACKED: THE COMPLETE SERIES
Image B+ Sound C Extras D
"Pilot," "Beat the Candidate," "A Fan for All Seasons," "Gavin's Pipe Dream," "The Ex-Appeal," "Nobody Says I Love You," "Two Faces of Eve," "Darling Nikki," "Crazy Ray," "iPod," "Heavy Meddle," "Goodwizzle Hunting," "After Party," "Romancing the Stones," "You're Getting Sleepy," "The Third Date," "The Day the Music Died," "Poker," "The Headmaster"
by Ian Pugh I'm pretty sure it was Jon Stewart who described "lad mags" like MAXIM and STUFF as "porn for people too timid to buy porn," and under that category we could probably also file PLAYBOY reality series "The Girls Next Door" and the Pamela Anderson sitcom "Stacked": softcore pap for those too afraid to have God's honest filth appear on their rental history or cable bill. I'm inclined to believe those same people are apt to use the phrase "turn your brain off" while justifying their love of these silicone parades--which in this case means, what, "shut up and masturbate"? PLAYBOY and Anderson are both cultural artifacts and thus demand scrutiny; protest, however, and you'll just be dismissed as a double-plus-bad thought cop bringing intelligence to a discussion where it isn't wanted. You know, the brainiac killjoy who has to say, "Why are you watching this garbage?" The programs themselves shout you down, in fact, before you have a chance to complain: each invokes Shakespeare on a whim ("Girls" in a party and episode named for "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Stacked" in one of its sarcastic faux-intellectual quotations)--not for any genuine comparison, but as a surrogate for intelligence, introduced for the sole purpose of deriding it as impertinent. You're the idiot, apparently, for harbouring the desire for something substantial out of one of the most widespread and influential media of the last century.