America’s Sexiest Bartenders appears in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Because the program used a wide variety of photographic styles, it became tough to come up with a general evaluation of the picture, but it was better than usual for Playboy material.
Sharpness mostly looked good. Wide shots came across as slightly soft, and a few scenes were intentionally fuzzy due to the visual motifs. Nonetheless, the snippets mainly were nicely defined and accurate. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I noticed only a little edge enhancement. No source flaws interfered with the presentation.
Of all the stylized elements, colors were affected the most heavily. Though the program usually went with natural tones, it occasionally went with more exotic tones. Overall, the hues came across as appropriately rendered and without too many concerns. Blacks seemed reasonably dense, while low-light shots showed good clarity. The visuals jumped around a little too much to excel consistently, but the program earned a good “B” overall.
I found little to admire from the stereo soundtrack of America’s Sexiest Bartenders. Actually, this was a stereo mix in name only, as I never heard any indications of information from the side channels. As far as I could tell, the audio stayed firmly located in the center channel.
Audio quality was acceptable and nothing more. Speech consistently came across as reasonably natural and crisp, and I noticed no problems with edginess or intelligibility. Effects were a minor component, as they had little to do in the production. They were clean and accurate when they appeared. Music played a much more active - though still background - role. The various songs ran virtually constantly through the program, but they lacked much vivacity. The music showed somewhat flat range and didn’t impress. Granted, no one watches a Playboy video for the immersive audio experience, but I still thought this track didn’t deserve anything above a “C-“.
As we head to the supplements, we find a few useful materials. A collection of outtakes includes raw footage of the participants. This section lasts 28 minutes and 10 seconds as we see all the featured models in shots taken from their photo sessions as well as the various “on location” bits. Since most of us watch Playboy videos to see good-looking naked women, the outtakes are significantly more satisfying than the main show. We don’t get any of the banal interviews or clothed segments; it’s all naked, all the time.
Interestingly, the outtakes also give us a more honest look at modeling than the glossy main program. We get a view of the nuisances involved. For example, as part of Magee’s session, she uses a drink gun to shoot water on herself. This results in sexy photos but it’s clear Magee doesn’t enjoy the experience, as the water makes her physically uncomfortable. Candid moments like this make the outtakes even more revealing than they’d have been if they just featured the standard nudity.
Next we get a Photo Gallery that presents pictures as a running video piece. We get a whopping 122 shots of the program’s models in this 10-minute and 32-second segment. I’d prefer an option to view them as normal stills, but I can’t quibble with the quality of the pictures or the number of snaps.
The set also offers some trailers. This includes promos for 50th Anniversary Celebration, 50 Years of Playmates, No Boys Allowed 2, 2005 Video Playmate Calendar and Video Centerfold: 2004 Playmate of the Year Carmella DeCesare.
America’s Sexiest Bartenders stands as middle-level Playboy product. The show includes a mix of generally attractive women in moderately interesting situations, but it suffers from a lack of focus. It can’t decide if it wants to be a documentary or the usual collection of sexy vignettes, and it doesn’t serve either side well. The DVD presents pretty good picture with mediocre audio. Not many extras appear, but the outtakes are very good and help make this a more satisfying package. It’s not one of the better Playboy releases, but it’s good enough for a rental. A purchase may be warranted if the models really suit your taste.