Big Love, Girls Next Door

HBO,Mark Sullivan/

Okay, we're only kidding with the headline. No one's actually copying from anyone else's homework, but in case you hadn't noticed, there are some freaky-deaky similarities between E!'s addictive reality show The Girls Next Door and HBO's addictive drama Big Love. Dr. Anna Graham (whom many of you know from her in-depth analyses of Lost) pointed out this interesting coinky-dink to me, and in case you don't believe her, here are a few comparisons to ponder:

GND has… an alpha male with three girlfriends living at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills. Hef's the head of Playboy Enterprises, he's a pillar of the community (Playboy Jazz Fest, anyone?) and, well, he may have a mild allergy to monogamy. His work obligations keep him so busy, his girlfriends got their own reality show to fill the time.
BL has… an alpha male with three wives living in a three-home compound outside Salt Lake City. Bill Henrickson's the head of Henrickson's Home Plus, which is surely an honored member of the Sandy Chamber of Commerce. He loooves commitment, but his sense of purpose drives him to work and fight for his family incessantly, leaving his wives together to cope and perhaps become closer to each other than they are to him.

GND has… Holly, the foxy lead girlfriend who is successfully working toward being a photo editor at her man's magazine; she's also superproficient at organizing events, outings and gifts; and she makes a point to warmly welcome, protect and encourage the rotation of Playmates and Bunnies who are ensconced at the Playmate house across the street.
BL has… Barb, the foxy first wife with a part-time teaching gig, who is superproficient at managing the household and is an outstanding mother to all the Henrickson kids, the younger wives, her teenage daughter's friends and the underage sister-wives of her husband's family's cult leader.

GND has… Bridget, the brainiac middle girlfriend, who has her master's degree and a particular sensitivity about her status within the threesome, a sensitivity that sometimes seems like the behavior of the typical middle child.
BL has… Nicki, the evil mastermind of the threesome, who has a remarkable capacity for fixing appliances and who's a tad touchy about being neither the first nor the newest wife, a sensitivity that sometimes seems like the behavior of the typical middle child. Or possibly a mood disorder. It's hard to tell with Nicki.

GND has… Kendra, the newest and youngest girlfriend, who's all about uninhibited sexuality and the joy of irresponsibile youth. She's young, she's fun, she's not the most punctual, and she thinks Hef is a god among men.
BL has… Margene, the babysitter turned third wife, who is only marginally older than Bill's oldest children. She can be counted upon to screw up every responsibility delegated to her by the sister-wives, and she thinks Bill is just about the second coming of JC himself.

Bill and Hugh, Margene and Kendra, Nicki and Bridget, Barbara and Holly: We salute you. You're crazy fun, and you all make for some damn fine television.

—Additional reporting by Jennifer Godwin

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