THE PLAYBOY CLUB, Eddie Cibrian, David Krumholtz

Matt Dinerstein/NBC

And the award for most interesting murder weapon in a pilot this fall TV season goes to... NBC's The Playboy Club! The weapon? A high heel to the throat (ouch)!

Yes, there is actually a murder in this new series about Chicago's Playboy Club in the '60s. You didn't think it would just be sexy Bunnies shaking their tail feathers while creepy men watch, did you? Oh, you did. How sweet.

Sure, there are plenty of attractive girls strutting around in bunny ears and cufflinks, but with the controversy surrounding the show (Shocker! The Parents Television Council is less than thrilled), you may be wondering if this show is worth checking out...

First, for the record, we totally believe that the PTC's claims are unjustified, and many of you will be surprised at how relatively tame this series actually is—at least in the first episode.

The Playboy Club (NBC)
Premieres Monday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Castle (ABC), Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
Cast: Eddie Cibrian, Amber Heard, Laura Benanti, David Krumholtz, Jenna Dewan Tatum, Naturi Naughton, Leah Renee Cudmore, Wes Ramsey
We've seen the pilot episode

Here's the rundown on all the club's members: Newbie Bunny Maureen (a stunning Heard) finds herself in over her head when she accidentally kills a mob boss after he tries to assault her. Club hot shot and lawyer Nick Dalton (Cibrian, doing his best Jon Hamm on Mad Men impression) helps her out and the two are now forever connected by this secret. Nick's girlfriend and aging Bunny Carol (Benanti) isn't too happy with her man being so close to the new cigarette girl.

Krumholtz plays the club's manager, Dewan-Tatum is a bunny whose dating one of the bartenders (Ramsey), Naughton's character Brenda has dreams of becoming the first "chocolate" centerfold and soft-spoken bunny Alice (Renee Cudmore) has a particularly interesting secret she's hiding from the rest of the girls. Also, there's a bunch of mobsters running around acting all mob-like and making mob-ish threats.

While we absolutely adore Heard and think she's divine in the role of Maureen, who definitely has some secrets of her own, Benanti absolutely steals the show as Carol, the very first Bunny, who becomes the club's strict Bunny mother in the pilot episode. She's strong and confident and you totally believe it when Maureen says she idolizes her. Nick is obviously supposed to be mysterious and alluring ("He's everything you want and everything you don't," one Bunny says), but we were kind of hoping for a bit more. That being said, the chemistry between Nick and Maureen is smokin'.

We admit, we're total suckers for nostalgia and although ABC's Pan Am wins the '60s-off, The Playboy Club still does a great job of providing viewers with an escape to the past. The voiceover, provided by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, is a particularly nice touch.

And Amber Heard wants you to know, just because these women are working as Bunnies in the Playboy Club doesn't mean they are victims. "These women are not victims by any means. I think we have the tendency in this society to look at women who are empowered by their sexuality and demean them by saying they were forced into it or they have lack of control in the situation but just because a woman is sexual or is owning her sexuality doesn't mean she's a victim," she tells us. "We will see when we meet these women that they were very much in charge of not only their sexuality but their checkbooks and their homes. They were living on their own in a time where women had the opportunities and expectations of nothing."

To this we add: Word.

Verdict: DVR! Though it's in a tough time-slot (going up against Castle and Hawaii Five-0) we're pretty confident The Playboy Club will stay open for business. And we'll be along for the ride.

Fall TV Preview 2011: The Playboy Club
The Playboy Club?
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