Welcome to the “1960s” Screening Room, where we’ll find Don Draper look-a-likes and an abundance of A-line dresses. We’ll be watching The Playboy Club (aka Mad Men in Chicago, complete with bunnies and hit men) and Pan Am (aka Mad Men in the sky).
This week’s episodes:
The Playboy Club – “Pilot”
Pan Am – We’ll have to wait till Sunday to “be greeted by the international beauty and grace known as the Pan Am stewardess”.
Set in Chicago, 1963, The Playboy Club revolves around the Bunnies and patrons of the original Playboy Club. But these Bunnies aren’t just pretty girls with awesome 60s makeup (seriously, did everyone in the 60s look this glam?) and silk bunny ears. Each girl has a secret of her own (one is a closeted lesbian, another is dating the bartender) and the men aren’t without secrets either. In a world where you can be anyone you want to be, let’s hope the characters continue to be as well-outfitted and glamorous as only someone living in the fictional 60s can be.
While we may have characterized The Playboy Club as ‘Mad Men in Chicago’, within the first few minutes the show has managed to distance itself from our other favourite 60s drama.
We first meet Cigarette Bunny Maureen, a new addition to the Playboy Club, in a baby blue bunny costume, fresh-faced and innocent. Oh, and then she accidentally kills a mob boss using only her stiletto. Gotta give the girl props for that. Swoon-worthy, scotch-drinking lawyer Nick Dalton comes to her rescue, and for a future state’s attorney, he sure does know a lot about disposing of dead bodies.
We don’t really find out much about Maureen, other than that she has fabulous hair (seriously – even after getting rid of a dead body and being found out by Carol-Lynne, her hair remains near-perfect) and she aspires to be a singer who wears a red dress that does strange things to her breasts.
The same goes for Nick Dalton, who turns out to be a former (?) Bianchi (mob boss who Maureen killed. With her stiletto. Again, kudos.) henchman and needs their support to win state’s attorney.
Also, he wears pressed white button-ups, skinny ties, smokes, and drinks scotch.
Carol-Lynne, who goes from Original Bunny to Bunny Mother is clearly the Joan of the Playboy Club. Sassy and cutthroat, but with a wicked sense of style, I see her becoming one of my favourite characters.
Other characters of semi-importance: 1) club manager Billy, who wears terrible ties, knows how to keep a secret, and has issues with Carol-Lynne. 2) Maureen’s roommate, Bunny Brenda, who aspires to be the first “chocolate centrefold”. 3) Bianchi’s son, whose presence can only mean three things: more boring suits, questionable ties, and trouble (being the son of a missing/dead mob boss, and all).
4) Bunny Janie, who is dating Bartender Max and can’t marry him for reasons that remain unknown. And finally, 5) Alice, who has a (fake?) husband because they are masquerading as a straight couple, while they’re really attending Mattachine Society meetings, a gay rights group.
So what kind of fashion can we expect from Playboy Club?
1) Suits. Lots. And boring ties.
2) Glam 60s fashion…fur wraps (!), fur collars (!!), head scarves (!!!)
3) Vintage 60s lingerie:
4) Nightgowns masquerading as cocktail dresses:
5) And, of course, the classic bunny costume:
Shake a tailfeather, ladies. You’re not paid to just stand around being pretty. Oh, wait. You are.