Judge Gordon Sullivan wants someone to write plotlines for his real life.
In Vegas, blondes are always wild!
The old saying goes that for every beautiful woman there's a man who's grown tired of her. I guess that's double (or maybe triply) true for Hugh Hefner. Despite his advanced age, the man has access to some of the most conventionally attractive women in America. The Girls Next Door has documented this fact in painful detail. However, as that show makes clear, sometimes Hef tires of his lovely ladies and sends them packing. Despite being his No. 1 Girl at one point, Holly Madison was given her walking papers. Luckily for her fans, we live in an age where walking off one reality show often means walking right onto another, and to continue her fame we've been given Holly's World, whose first two seasons are being brought to DVD together. It's hardly classic reality TV programming, but for fans of Holly and her brand of peppy spunk, Holly's World: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 offers enough personality and manufactured drama to satisfy.
Facts of the Case
After leaving the Playboy Mansion, Holly Madison decides to find success in that den of sin and excess, Las Vegas. She stars in Peepshow at Planet Hollywood (a fact briefly glimpsed in an episode of The Girls Next Door) and gets into adventures with a new gang. These include things like a run-amok photoshoot and a trip to find friend Josh's birth parents. All nineteen episodes of the show's first two seasons are presented on three discs:
Holly Madison's got personality to spare. I'm not entirely sure it's her own personality—some of her laughs are a bit too forced, her smiles a little too clueless—but she fills out lingerie and isn't afraid to speak her mind. Her life and personality are pretty much the center of Holly's World (which should come as no surprise), and the trials and tribulations of making it as a media darling provide ample grist for the reality TV mill. Wisely, though, Holly doesn't carry the show alone. She's been surrounded by a cadre of likeminded young people. They're all young and attractive as well, with enough in common to give them something to talk about and enough conflicts to add a bit of drama between them here and there. The plots themselves are kind of silly—Holly has to throw the first pitch at a baseball game or plan a birthday party—but the lite-drama and glitz of Vegas shenanigans make up for the been-there, done-that reality plots.
On the plus side (I assume) is the fact that these episodes are proudly designated as "uncensored." So, when Holly changes in the back of a limo, we get to see her silicone enhancements in all their glory. On the other hand, it's not entirely clear from the show's presentation exactly how much we're getting. Holly's World was given a "backdoor pilot" with a one-hour special to test the waters for a Holly-centric show. That special is missing (which for fans is kind of sad), but the set opens with a half-hour episode ("Blonde Ambition") that doesn't fit with the continuity of the rest of the series. Perhaps more dedicated fans can parse what's missing or included, bur for a casual viewer, the omission of the special and the inclusion of another episode is confusing.
With that said, this is a solid release. These nineteen episodes are given bright and shiny 1.78:1 anamorphic transfers. Colors pop—especially the bright neon of Las Vegas—and detail is kept strong. Dark scenes are not that frequent, but black levels are solid. The audio mixes are pretty standard stereo mixes that keep a fine balance between Holly's bubbly dialogue and the show's use of music. The main draw of the extras are all the deleted scenes and outtakes which grace most of the episodes. These are extended bits of Holly and Company, usually in goofy situations or making light asides. We also get a music video for the song "Report to the Floor."
The Rebuttal Witnesses
There is nothing redeeming about Holly Madison or her world. Although she's not the awful role model that other reality TV stars aspire to be, she's hardly someone curing cancer or saving the world. As far as reality TV goes, she's not really doing anything special, either; we've seen this drama before. For those who like Holly Madison that's fine, but for those who don't, the show offers nothing at all enlightening.
Holly's World: The Complete Seasons 1 & 2 is just another satellite that's spun off of Hef's enormous Playboy empire. It proves that fame has everything to do with how many people are watching (rather than the quality of what you're doing), but doesn't rise above the rest of the reality TV world. Those looking for insights into Madison's life will be disappointed by the shallowness of the drama, and those looking for misbehaving will be disappointed by the show's generally tame vibe. For those still left, the show is presented here in one decent package that collects both seasons with some extras.
I may not like it, but Holly's World is not guilty.
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