Kendra: Seasons 2 & 3
MPI Home Video // Unrated // $29.98 // September 27, 2011
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 8, 2011
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"The Girls Next Door", an E! series that followed Hugh Hefner's main three girlfriends - Kendra, Bridget and Holly - ran five seasons and became a hit for the network, turning all three girls into semi-celebrities. After five seasons, Hefner decided on a "change of cast" and the girls went their separate ways: Holly went to Vegas, Bridget hosts a show on the Travel Network and Kendra...well, Kendra has a show about Kendra learning to be an actual adult.

At the end "Girls Next Door", Kendra announced to her mother that she was "leaving the mansion." Her mother looked on with horror and asked why. She clearly realized her daughter had spent the last several years not doing anything much for herself.

The last episodes of "Girls" had Kendra moving into her own house, the first episode of "Kendra" has her attempting to try and actually clean the house (in a later episode, she throws her underwear on the floor because, she explains, that's how she's able to find it) and go grocery shopping - throwing everything into her cart, she's surprised when the total adds up to $400.

The series also introduces Kendra's husband, Eagles wide receiver Hank Baskett. While the two clearly have nice chemistry with one another, they couldn't be more different - he's reserved and polite (and patient with her), she's wild and, well - not quite as well-mannered (upon meeting his parents, she gives them an autographed copy of a Playboy issue where she appeared naked.)

The second and third seasons of the series do see the show shifting tones - still goofy, still ridiculous, but somewhat more dramatic/emotional due to the birth of the couple's first child and the fact that she reportedly suffered from postpartum depression. This is never really discussed in the show, but is evident at times throughout at least parts of the second season.

The other difficulty that plays out throughout both seasons is Hank's football, as the family finds themselves moving across country on a few different occasions, including Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minnesota and twice in Philadelphia. The stress of always not knowing where they may find themselves next month or next year really does appear to take a genuine toll on the two (especially towards the end of the third season after the second move from Philadelphia), and while this is never, ever going to be a show with depth, it at least takes it a few steps above what was a one-joke, fish-out-of-water concept following Kendra trying to do something as basic as grocery shop (although speaking of "fish-out-of-water", the series could have made a little bit out of the very California Kendra finding herself in Minneapolis and Indianapolis.)

Some episodes work a little better than others; sending Kendra to Fashion Week in New York with a couple of her friends - one of whom continually appears "just shocked" by Kendra's manners and appearance - quickly becomes tired. Still, other episodes that follow the couple as they deal with changes, such as season 2's road trip episode (not surprisingly, which stops in Vegas to cross-promote the channel's blander fellow spin-off "Holly's World" and visit with former "Girls Next Door" star Holly) "All We There Yet?" are more enjoyable.

Again, classic television this isn't, but the series at least takes a welcome turn in the second and third season and starts going deeper than a handful of unintentional blonde jokes - there's still goofy moments, but thankfully the producers decided that there had to be more than that if the series was going to run too much longer.

Uncensored. Includes all eps from seasons two and three.

Season 2

13 14/Mar/10 Date Night
14 21/Mar/10 Three Girls and a Baby
15 28/Mar/10 The Big Game
16 11/Apr/10 With a Little Help From My Friends
17 18/Apr/10 Are We There Yet?
18 25/Apr/10 Welcome Back, Kendra a.k.a. Me Tarzana, You Kendra
19 02/May/10 Let Them Eat Cupcakes
20 09/May/10 The Eagle Has Landed
21 16/May/10 GILF Trip
22 23/May/10 Here's Looking at You, Kendra a.k.a. Bend it like Baskett
23 30/May/10 Chips Ahoy
24 06/Jun/10 True Confessions

25 07/Nov/10 Welcome to Philadelphia
26 14/Nov/10 Let the Games Begin
27 21/Nov/10 Fashion Weak
28 28/Nov/10 The Unkindest Cut
29 05/Dec/10 Interception
30 12/Dec/10 Bye-Bye, Bye Week
31 19/Dec/10 Come Out As You Are
32 26/Dec/10 It's All Relative
33 02/Jan/11 Out With It
34 09/Jan/11 Reunion

VIDEO: "Kendra" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen by MPI. The presentation quality is generally terrific, although there are some moments where sharpness varied slightly. Still, the majority of the episodes looked crisp and detailed. Some minor shimmering and a few slight artifacts are spotted, but the picture largely appeared clean and clear. Colors remained bright and vibrant throughout, with no smearing or other faults.

SOUND: "Kendra" is presented in stereo and the audio offers clear dialogue, with no distortion or other issues.
EXTRAS: Deleted scenes.

Final Thoughts: Sweet and occasionally rather moving, "Kendra" makes a pretty significant change from goofy blonde riffs to focusing more on Kendra and Hank's relationship and the difficulties that the couple faces as their relationship progresses. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality, but minimal extras. Rent it.

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