It’s unfair to NBC’s new The Playboy Club to compare it to Mad Men just because the two are both set in the early sixties, showcase copious amounts of smoking and boozing, and feature Naturi Naughton as a self-proclaimed “chocolate bunny." It’s a lazy and simple comparison, even if frequent Mad Men director Alan Taylor shot Playboy’s pilot and the show is built around a bullet-headed dapper don who has a thing for both the ladies and maintaining a double life. In fact, it’s best if we never mention Mad Men again when discussing The Playboy Club. It’s reductive and demeaning. Because, honestly, The Playboy Club is perfectly capable of being a terrible show all on its own.
The dawning of the fall television season is a time of great hope, expectation and, if you’re Will Arnett, inevitable, crushing disappointment. Every autumn, as the leaves turn, the big four and a half broadcast networks (we see you, CW!) unveil their latest offerings, the result of years of development and countless all-nighters bearing a strong aroma of flop-sweat in their wake. And yet despite the well-intentioned efforts of many, the great majority of these new programs fail, some with a bang, some with a whimper, and some with a WTF. In fact, the only seeming guarantor for television success these days is to have "NCIS" in your title.