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Carol J. Clover,
Warts and all peek at Vivid Video, one of the world's most successful porn shingles
"Porn Valley" is a fascinating, weekly reality doco about Vivid, LA's most successful porn shingle. Run by Steve Hirsch and his sister Marcie, the company has a stable of porn starlets who are exclusively contracted to it, just like the old days of the Hollywood star system. Their staff directors are Paul Thomas, an industry vet, Chi Chi Larue, a good-natured gay and straight porn vet who also moonlights as a female impersonator; and coming up the rear (excuse the pun) is David Stanley, Mr. Thomas's protégé. The series focuses primarily on the adventures and misadventures of Vivid's stable of proud sluts who spend lots of time bitching, screwing, getting their lives back on track, pacifying "suitcase pimp" boyfriends, keeping boss Hirsch happy, proclaiming their love of penis and pussy, working hard to keep their fans happy, and getting tested for STD's and drugs. It is a credit to the producers and to Vivid honcho Hirsch that the series is more than a self-serving puff piece on how wonderful porn is and how fabulous it is to work for Vivid. This is a show featuring the good, the bad, the ugly, the smelly, and the stupid. The frequent auditions for future Vivid contract girls are amazing to watch, as are the typical problems production managers encounter working with porno models. For my money, the gorgeous Savanah comes across in the most favorable light, while the rest of the gals are an uneven but interesting lot. Almost a companion piece to the Seymore Butts series, "Family Business", "Porn Valley" is great stuff that goes as far as you can go on non-X cable.
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