Winding down a tumultuous year for Playmates, I've come to sort of enjoy 2008. Although I was criticized at times for labeling the Class of '08 as a bunch of no-names who'd just become a crowd of mediocre entries, I realize now that I was right... but I have to add to that statement. 2008 has been a great class because the competition is all at the same level, and it's a great year because each and every model has so much potential in her that it would damn well be worth seeing any one of them a little bit more. Some extra Regina Deutinger? Laura Croft? How about some more footage of Juliette? Yes, please.
So, closing off Playmate calendar years has traditionally been a great honor by the models selected. You get to join the company of great December Playmates like Tiffany Fallon, Karen McDougal, Elisa Bridges, Barbara Moore, Kata Karkkainen... the list goes on and on. December's a great month for pictorials; the theme is obvious, the sets are simple and festive, and the costumes and lighting are formulaic but always welcome.
So in 2008, we have a set of twins, Jennifer and Natalie Campbell, who are a slim, spunky bunch of 22 year olds from Colorado. It's a trick tried last in December of 2003, which was coincidentally the last time Playboy introduced a set of twins as Playmates of the Month. The Teles twins were exceptionally beautiful and exotic, and were truly a nice treat at the end of a long year of ups and downs. How do the Campbell twins compare? Well, they offer mixed emotions for me personally.
First and foremost, you can't deny that the Campbells look like something we haven't seen in a while. They're wholesome and adorable, and look young and vulnerable in every single photo. Picture 5 is one of my favorites, with the twins getting physical and interacting well. That has always been the main thing I look for in a twin pictorial moreso than in a regular girl-on-girl feature: the chemistry. Sisters should have a nonsexual but intimate interactivity throughout the pictorial, and should be playful and flirty, just like the Teles twins or the exemplary Bernaola twins in 2000. That's something that the Campbell girls need to work on -- they simply are too standoffish about their relationship in the pictures. They barely ever touch each other, and it seems almost like one girl was photoshopped and copied to the other side of the picture.
On another note, I just feel like these girls look too young and inexperienced to be Playmates. Individually, it feels to me like either Jennifer or Natalie would not have a striking chance at becoming a full fledged Playmate, but combined, they made it this far. How is that fair? Just because they are identical twins, it hardly means they look better multiplied. They have very mediocre posing talent, and instead look like a couple of robots that were positioned by the photographer into the right spots.
That all doesn't take away from the fact that these, again, are very, very cute girls. The Campbells look like perfect little porcelain dolls in some photos, which is a complement because of how bright and lovely they seem. But without that little sexual tinge, they can't really pull off the "Playmate" factor that the other girls could this year.
In the end, the Campbell twins are just so stale together that it's hard to even give them the "twin bump" that two girls enjoy by simply appearing in the same pictorial. Where's that grinning, playful touching of the belly or the splashing of the water or the pillow fights? Nothing specific, but twins are there to make room for active posing, and there's none of that here. Where's the winter/Christmas pictorial theme? Where are the expressions on these girls' faces? We all need more than cheap tricks, Playboy.
Jennifer and Natalie Campbell
Misses December 2008
Well, the year is over, and that means I'll be recapping all the Playmates and Cyber Girls of 2008, ranking them and opening the floor for debate! There's plenty to mull over, and lots of candidates for the coveted PMOY crown this year. Also, congrats to 55th Anniversary Playmate Dasha Astafieva, a truly deserving girl. I'll have more on that when we lay our eyes on her sure-to-be-fantastic pictorial in a few days.