TV Review: The Playboy Club

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Turns out, The Playboy Club has more going on than just ripped-off '60s nostalgia and Playboy Bunnies. NBC's new drama is actually a noir-ish melodrama about new Bunny Maureen (Amber Heard), ambitious cocksman/lawyer Nick Dalton (Eddie Cibrian, doing a dead-on Jon Hamm vocal impression that lends him gravitas) and their desperate attempts to cover up the death of a mobster Maureen accidentally killed at the Club. The weapon? Her stiletto heel.

These bunnies aren't your typical gold-hearted broads.

In addition to Maureen's not-so-little secret, there's also the calculating Caroline (Laura Benanti), who has aged out of being a bunny and has transformed herself into a bunny mother-and Maureen's rival for Nick's affections. Plus a self-described "chocolate bunny" and a sickeningly sweet bunny who turns out to be a member of a secret Mattachine Society, along with her "husband" and his lover.

The glossy cinematography-which emphasizes both cheekbones and strong, manly jaws equally-and casual drinking, smoking and carousing might indicate otherwise, but The Playboy Club isn't trying to be Mad Men-lite. This is a shadowy drama all its own, with twists, betrayals and an intriguing cast of characters sketched in just enough during the pilot to keep audiences hopping back for more.

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