E!, Dec. 9, 10 p.m. ET



Here they come again, Hugh Hefner and his nubile lady friends Holly, Bridget and Kendra. The fourth season starts with a preposterously vapid moment as Holly talks about how she needs more desk space. Well, don’t we all? But most of the half hour is spangled with patriotism: Bridget’s brother, coming home from Iraq, visits the Playboy Mansion, and Hugh and the girls plan a big Fourth of July party with custom-built water slides. The girls are at least disarmingly upbeat, hopping around with a kittenish, giggly innocence—the show offers us an enormous house of eye candy, and behind the doors you discover these three Pamela Andersons made of spun sugar. Mr. Hefner is the one at a disadvantage: Any old man surrounded by a trio of young women is bound to suggest King Lear.

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