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Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Year: 2008-2009
Cast: Hugh Hefner, Bridget Marquardt, Holly Madison, Kendra Wilkinson
Director: various
Release Date: July 12, 2009, 2:26 pm
Rating: Not Rated for (adult situations)
Run Time: 06h:29m:56s

ìI hit it, and I made it on 2nd base, so I guess Iím not too bad.î - Bridget Marquardt

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 It's hard to believe this is the fifth season chronicling Hef and his three blonde beauties, and they're just as appealing now (in more ways than one) as they were during the first season.

Movie Grade: B+

DVD Grade: C

It seems like weíve been watching Hugh Hefner and his three beautiful, blond, bedmates interact in the Playboy Mansion for much more than five TV seasons. However, Foxís release of The Girls Next Door: Season Five is a reminder that not only does time fly when youíre having fun, but that all good things must come to an end. This is the final season that Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson lived together with Hef in the Playboy Mansion, and itís arguably one of the funniest, most interesting, and even titillating batches of shows the girls have given us yet. While theyíre on to bigger and better things, in regards to both their careers and, in Kendraís case, personal lives (sheís newly married and pregnant), this gorgeous trio will always be remembered for five years of being The Girls Next Door.

Iíd love to say that Foxís 3-disc set includes all 21 of the seasonís episodes, but for some reason, we only get 16. Itís strange enough that the episodes are ordered differently from their original air dates, but the glaring omission of the final two Transitions episodes. Even if these are tabbed for a stand-alone DVD of some sort, thereís no reason that the showís die-hard fans shouldnít have these in a box set of the season that the showís originally aired during. The episodes that we do get spread out over these 3 DVDs begin with Change of Undress, with Holly deciding that the Mansion needs a major makeover.

Of course, plot is the last thing on most of the showís male fans, and there are plenty of scantily-clad ladies to go around here. Thatís rarely more evident in the next pair of shows: the two-parter, Girl Crazy. The focus is on Holly again here, as she embarks on a trip to find the perfect Playmate for Playboyís 55th anniversary. Kentucky Fried is one of this seasonís funniest shows, as Hefís blond beauties accompany him to the Kentucky Derby, where they donít exactly fit in with some of the higher-class patrons in attendance.

Another two-part storyline is next, with Pleading the 55th involving the continuing saga of the search for the perfect 55th anniversary Playboy Playmate. When Holly invites her chosen few to the mansion, Hef takes a good look at them and narrows the field. Some test shoots take place during Pleading the 55th, Part 2, and a final is decision is made by its conclusion. If youíre a fan of beautiful women playing a good ole fashioned game of softball, then Catcher in the Raw is the episode for you! This is followed by a look at the 2009 Playboy Calendar shoot in Glued to Their Sets, a trip to the ski slopes in Kickiní Aspen, and a great celebration in Happy Birthday, Anastasia.

The third disc kicks off with Tying the Naughty; another great episode which finds the girls heading to Vegas for a wedding. Then comes the best title in this set, Fangs for the Mammaries, which comes with some unintentionally huge laughs as we look at Bridget producing and starring in a horrible-looking film. The Spa Who Loved Me chronicles a day at the spa with the girls and their moms, and The Big Easy Does It involves a trip to New Orleans. Itís the final two episodes in this set, Scuba, Scuba, Do! and Third Timeís The Charming that both work wonderfully as great lead-ins to the final two-part Transitions shows, and frustrate us with the knowledge that once weíre done watching these, we wonít be able to see those horribly-omitted final bows for Kendra, Bridget, and Holly. Still, despite this horrible decision by Fox, they have put together another fine set in terms of audio, video, and valuable extra features, including commentary tracks and plenty of great deleted scenes.

Chuck Aliaga July 12, 2009, 2:26 pm