NBC's going to have a tough time with critics from both directions on its new show "The Playboy Club." Radical feminist Gloria Steinem casually dismissed the series in a panel discussion at the Television Critics Association confab in Los Angeles. Steinem, who once went undercover as a Playboy bunny, strongly suggested the show was exploiting the past to feed the male need for nostalgia in tough economic times.
TV critics weren't buying NBC's claim the show was female-empowering. “I hear someone use the word ‘empowering’ but I’ve heard from my female readers that a show centered on Playboy…they don’t see it as empowering,” said one TV critic. “And your central story involves a woman who needs to rely on a man to get through the crisis that she in the middle of. How is this show empowering and how are you going to be able to sell female viewers on this show -- a show centered on a nudie magazine -- as empowering?”