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The Girls Next Door: Season 4

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You’re probably wondering why we’ve waited so long to cover the first episode of E!’s reality series The Girls Next Door: Season 4. I would wonder too. But thanks to the nearly bi-nightly syndication of each new episode, there’s no reason to fret, and I’m happy to be able to bring you a little Wednesday coverage of Episode 1: "Patriot Dames"!

But first, a little history. Despite the fact that Hef’s girlfriends Bridget, Holly and Kendra did absolutely nothing worthy of being filmed last season, I still watched the show. I’m not really sure why. Because it allowed me to cease thought completely? Because they always have cute things, like pink golf carts? Because they are brilliantly unapologetic about being Playboy models?

Maybe…but I’m also fascinated with how eerily well behaved they are. What does it mean? Do they have to sign some sort of no-misbehavin’ contract before becoming Hef’s official girlfriends? Before filming the show? Are they ever allowed to do anything interesting, like have a fight or a feeling? Or are they happy with the trade-off of not causing a ruckus in order to live in the mansion for free, get all kinds of fun toys, and not have to work? I mean, Hef has notoriously enjoyed young ladies who share certain characteristics with bunnies…characteristics like being adorable, available, and often naked, but not challenging in any way. So is their goody-goody demeanor some sort of upholding of the Playboy brand?

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Anyway, all questions aside, the ladies have proven that simply being blond, hot, and bikini-clad at least 75% of the time is enough to keep a reality TV show afloat.

Season 4, Episode 1: "Patriot Dames", I am happy to report, uncovered a new layer of depth in at least one of them. We find out that Bridget has a brother, Eddie, who is in Iraq. Yes, we find out, and then we find out again, and then we find out a few more times. We also find out that Bridget is almost incapable of talking about Eddie without crying, but again, it's a nice departure from last season when all the girlfriends seemed to feel nothing but joy and contentment at all times.

Bridget has ample opportunity to talk about Eddie, because the episode was filmed over the 4th of July, and the holiday reminds her of him.

As Bridget wiles away the hours worrying about her brother's well-being, Holly is busy making plans for Hef's 4th of July party by ordering two custom-made Slip n' Slides, complete with bunny logo. And as Holly and Bridget toil and cry, respectively, Kendra, in all of her glassy-eyed glory, does pretty much nothing.

Is it any wonder I love this show?

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If you missed it Sunday, or Monday, or Tuesday, you still have the chance to catch Episode 1 on Friday at 9:30 p.m., Saturday, at 3:00 p.m., or Sunday at 2:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. That'll lead you right up to the next new episode, "Heavy Lifting," in which the girls attempt to makeover the mansion and bring Hef out of the interior design of the 70's. Airs Sunday at 10:00 p.m., and sounds like fun!