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Naked Hollywood 21 & 22

Studio: Adam & Eve » Review by Disco Dirge » Review Date: 1/27/04

XCritic's Advice: Recommended

Genre: Feature
Cast: Dee, Nina Hartley, Asia Carrera, Keri Windsor, Brooke Adams, Randy Spears, Steven St. Croix, Dale DaBone, Mario, Dru Berrymore, Evan Stone, Tristan Seagal, Manuel Ferrara, Rafe
Director: Toni English
Length: 176 mins

Whenever a new nighttime drama/soap rears it's misshapen head, there is usually one of two responses. First, there are the critical crybabies who lament that this latest love fest, filled with sin and scandal, will never find the proper audience, setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy cycle that is as vicious as it is pointless. Then there are those who lambaste the masses for getting involved in such trashy tales of sex and seduction. The censure is usually compounded by a tent revival revolt against the softcore erotica that is peddled as passion, as if the salacious sex is destined to send you straight to Hell. Imagine a detractor's dementia if they got a load (in both the figurative AND literal sense) of Naked Hollywood. Positioning itself as the REAL Sex in the City (only difference is, the hardcore players are younger, funnier and better actresses) and using the ongoing serial format to tell its torrid tales, it is consistently voted one of AVN's Best Continuing Series. Honestly, it's just a lightly scripted excuse to get our four main actresses into all kinds of fucking and sucking situations. The fact that it is nicely put together, competently written and expertly performed (both in and out of the sex) is a very pleasant surprise.

The DVD:
If you are a fan of Naked Hollywood, you know all about its characters, its format and its professionalism. If you are not, then I recommend reading fellow critic Primal Rave's reviews of the 17&18 and 19&20 combos. These reviews will provide insight into the series as a whole and some of the character dynamics. Sadly, for those of you out there following the foibles of our four horny honeys, this is the final disc in the run. As a show, there is a set manner in which each episode plays out. First, we get a recap of the previous episode, filling us in on the plot and sexual situations that came before. After the credits, Nina Hartley is featured as a radio talk show host (for the program Naked Hollywood, hence the title) guiding listeners and callers through some of the themes that will play out in the particular installment featured (in Love and Math – cheating, in Goodbye – having your life uprooted). Finally, each actress is given a hardcore scene lasting anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. As a result, each 90+ minute episode is about a 65/35 split between hardcore action and plot.

The non-sexual interaction between the stars is delicate, subtle and, for the most part, very well done. The storylines and situations are no worse than your average non-hardcore nighttime offering and the acting is first rate (sorry guys, but the ladies outshine you in both the thespian and erotic reactions category). Questions about the amount of character development and plot intricacies over the course of the series would be better answered by someone more familiar with Naked Hollywood as a whole, and the final episode doesn't really wrap things up so much as abandon them. Still, Nina Hartley has a good time with the advice/rant sequences (and, amazingly, they are quite well written) and the rest of the dialogue does have a realistic, girl talk ring to it. Sure, the cell phone calls are sloppily edited and the action occasionally comes completely out of nowhere ("Let me call my friend Dru") but overall, this is a sexy show.

As presented on a flip disc (watch those fingerprints) the episodes offered here are as follows:

Naked Hollywood 21: Love and Math
The main story line here is change. The relationship between the girls is altered when Dee admits to bedding Asia's ex-fiancι. Cold shoulders and icy stares ensue. Nina discovers that the radio station she works at has been sold, and she will be moving to New York to have her own nationally syndicated show. Asia is also picking up stakes. She has a job offer in San Francisco and she has accepted it. Only Keri is unconcerned about the foursome's imminent split.

Scene 1: Nina Hartley and Dale DaBone – after a very sensual sequence of foreplay where both actors really get into each other, Nina gives an exhibition in how to give hot head as she works Dale's dick into a absolute swollen frenzy. Eventually, Dale jumps on top and begins to pound Nina as she fondles her tits. There is a great sequence of deep penetration and you could swear Nina is cuming in waves. There is some female on top and doggie before Dale's condomed cock comes out of Nina's hole and into her mouth again. There is a little mutual masturbation and Dale explodes on her lips and chest. The premise of the tryst was for Nina to get good and fucked to get back at her unfaithful boyfriend. The no-account beau better hide his head in shame after what Nina does to Dale and visa versa. A very exciting scene. 8/10

Scene 2: Keri Windsor and Mario – since Monica loves to date married men and give them "sexual" pointers, this scene plays pretty predictably. After some touching and kissing, it's blowjob time with a little penis pounding of the tongue for added intensity. Then it's over to the couch for some manual vagina manipulation and penetration. Eventually this turns into an extended 69 sequence with cunts and cocks a'plenty. After some intense tonguing and a group of extreme close-ups, we finally get to the fucking. First, Keri takes it in the reverse cowgirl fashion and she humps the holy hots out of Mario. Then he spins her over and gives her a powerful pistoning with rapid-fire thrusts. Keri loves this and is very vocal and receptive in her reactions. When Mario is ready to blow, he shoots all over Keri's chest. While not as enticing as other scenes here, it will still get your "attention". 7/10

Scene 3: Dee and Randy Spears – after some pillow talk and foreplay, Randy moves immediately to Dee's delicate pussy and eats her out. Our dark-skinned beauty responds passionately and as he services her, simultaneously playing with her pert tits. The tables are soon turned and Dee is working Randy's rod with full force. After a thorough fucking from below and back – otherwise known as another visit to cowgirl country - Randy maneuvers to get a little deep penetration and he ends up cuming all over Dee's chest, the white really standing out on her amber complexion. It's hard to say if this is a good scene or not. The sex is quite enticing and the couple seems into it. But the plot before and after (Dee's guilty depression) makes the mattress tango a little tacky. 6/10

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Scene 4: Brooke Adams and Randy Spears – After Dee splits, Randy makes a booty call and in walks Brooke. She has a New Zealand accent that adds a little international flare to the proceedings, but she's not vocal for long as Randy's cock fills her mouth ASAP. After a very spirited session of head (both he and she) with a lot of finger action to Brooke's vagina and butt, it's time for some more of that old west workout. Randy eventually mounts Brooke and fucks her hard and deep. Brooke seems to enjoy it and takes a big wad of his joy juice all over her supple ass. This scene is meant to be a fuck buddy experience and it works as one. No muss. No fuss. Just pumping and pleasin'. While not the best scene here (Nina and Dale still hold the prize) it is still rather erotic. 6.5/10

Scene 5: Asia Carrera and Steven St. Croix – hoping a little friend on friend rig friggin' will ease her torment, Asia and Steve go at it like unhinged animals in heat. Second only to the opening action, this is a fantastic fornication exhibition. Beginning with sensual kisses and some rousing foreplay, Asia sucks on Stephen's dick until he is begging. Then he reverses roles and works her clit into a fervor as he lickspittles (and I do mean spittles) all over her vagina. Now, some people may find all the salvia and spitting a little off putting (after all, would you stop halfway through a fiery session of pussy eating to hock a loogie on your woman's cunt?) but this is a main theme in the action and if you find it hot you will soon be overheated. Steve gets on top and starts pounding away and Asia's reactions are understated and exciting. Before long, it's time for a strange session of doggie. Every few strokes, Mr. St. Croix pulls out, lets a long line of spit flow from his lips and hit Asia's asshole and pussy and then it's back in with the dick and time for more long stroking. The VERY wet sequence ends with Stephen exploding all over Asia and the room (he stands above her and let's it fly). As one of the more unusual and interesting scenes on the disc, this session really stands out. But again, be warned. There are lots of liquids here. 7.5/10

Side 2
Naked Hollywood 22: Goodbye
With her final show and days in LA, Nina decides to say her farewells. Dee is still upset about her falling out with Asia. Asia just wants to get on with her new life and Keri is Keri, on the prowl for hot, horny men. At a going away party for Nina, the gals are finally reunited and after some small talk, all is forgiven. The girls all say their goodbyes and the series ends with a final bit of homespun sexual advice from Nina as part of her final broadcast of Naked Hollywood.

Scene 1: Nina Hartley and Evan Stone – hoping to give her on-again, off-again boyfriend a farewell fuck, Nina stops by and catches him off guard. But the embarrassment is soon tossed aside as the couple commences some intense foreplay. Evan gives Nina a nice session of oral and the favor is returned in another Hartley trademarked blowjob (these things are intricate, erotic and very instructional). Evan mounts Nina from a deep penetration superior position and it's a few fun minutes of high voltage intercourse. Eventually he pulls out, tosses his condom to the side and his cookies all over Nina's chest. Overall, a good scene (Evan has that long haired Fabio look that ladies may find wildly attractive) with some sizzling sections. 7.5/10

Scene 2: Dru Berrymore and Rafe – in the context of the storyline, this is one of Dee's friends and her fuck buddy. In real life, this is a husband and wife duo from Europe and their personal relationship shows through in the sex. Dru is an attractive girl (without much of a chest, sadly) while Rafe looks a little ragged. Anyway, once they commence to gettin' it on, it's really no holds barred. We are treated to foreplay, a corporeal blowjob, some cowgirl histrionics and an ass pounding sequence of doggie. But once Rafe starts exploring Dru's anus with his fingers, it's time for the one and only bout of anal featured in the two shows. And it is hot! Shot from below and seeming to go on endlessly, Dru and Rafe are really into this trip down the Hershey highway and it's not long before he pops his cork all over Dru's ass. Another nice scene with bonus points for the butt banging. 7/10

Scene 3: Dee and Dru – the one and only lesbian exchange on the disc is also a winner. Dru and Dee heat up the kitchen as they kiss and caress each other. Then Dru drops Dee's dress and it's cunnilingus for everyone. Eventually, they move over to a ladder along a bookcase. There, Dru squirms as Dee eats her pussy and then Dee is given the same tongue-tied treatment. A large purple dildo with vibrating action (you can actually hear it over the ersatz light jazz soundtrack) is introduced into the girl-on-girl fun and Dee takes every buzzing inch of it. After more manual and motorized stimulation, the gals climax and share a passionate kiss. Lesbian scenes always seem to suffer from a lack of closure (AKA, no cum shot) but here we feel that both gals got their g-spots worth. 7/10

Scene 4: Keri Windsor and Manuel Ferrara – as if to give the nymphomania of Keri/Monica a kick in the ass, this scene between her and a party pickup (the meaty Manuel) is a real scorcher. About every imaginable position and sexual possibility is explored here. The couple begins on a stairwell where they strip and explore each other. Before long, Keri has Manny's massive member deep down in her throat. Eventually moving over to a couch at the top of the landing, it's more dick, balls and taint attention for the lucky man. Keri goes all out in the oral arena. Our Latin lover eventually gets a fist and finger full of Keri's swollen pussy as he Manuel-ly manipulates and probes her privates. There is toe sucking and some fierce footsie – Manny's cock corralled in Keri's feet is something oddly compelling. Once the fucking starts, it's incredibly hot and heated. There's some doggie with ass slapping, female on top with a dose of reverse cowgirl, a fantastic sequence where Manny makes Keri perpendicular to the floor and pile drivers her snatch with his thick tool. After a little sideways spoon fucking and another bout of deep penetration, Manny unloads all over Keri's chest. Throughout the scene, our actress is animated and very vocal. She is really into it and it makes for a sizzling sequence. 9/10

Scene 5: Asia and Tristan Seagal - the last sex scene of the disc and the series is kind of a let down. Asia takes the almost inarticulate wimpy boy (he is so undersized compared to the Amazon like Asia it's not remotely funny) into a kitchen area for some fun. After a little hugging, touching and squeezing, it's time for Asia to hit the counter on all fours as Tristan eats her ass and pussy with lots of manual manipulation. Asia then gets onto the floor and, with Tristan's belt wrapped around her neck in a faux fetish feeling, she gives the well-hung weasel a dynamite blowjob. Asia leans over the countertop and takes Tristan's tool from behind. The direction here, from below and up is perfect and captures the act well. Eventually our foreign paramour unloads all over Asia's chest and Naked Hollywood has had its final fuck forever. But as indicated before, it is not very intense or sensual. The scene between Keri and Manuel is much better and this underachieving sequence becomes our final recollection of the series. While it is not bad, most all the other scenes are better. 5.5/10

Naked Hollywood is a very enjoyable effort by Adam and Eve and director Toni English. Instead of ham-fistedly meshing hardcore with soap scenes, there is a genuine flow and vision to the production. While it is true that every set has a model home feel that belies a lack of personalization on the part of the cast, you can still easily imagine the actors and actresses residing within their movie homes. Everyone here is attractive, genuine and hardly ever artificial, both in normal and sexual situations. Asia Carrera has a wonderfully exotic and erotic way about her and Nina Hartley instantly dispels the notion of performers being past their prime, simply because they no longer fit the industry notion of youthful vitality. If there is one reservation, it's that the hardcore often stops the narrative cold (which, of course, is the purpose behind these titles) and it takes a lot of disbelief suspension to get back into the "story". Still, the Naked Hollywood series shows that not all feature based pornography has to be an awkward mingling of amateur theatrics, inept scripting and out of place fucking. It is a fun, sexy and satisfying package.

The Video:
Naked Hollywood is presented in a 1.33:1 full screen image that is good, but not great. There is a distinct direct to video vibe to the transfer that tends to undermine the series more mainstream aspirations. Most of the scenes are under lit as well, relying far too much on natural lighting to create ambiance and atmosphere. What we often get are deep shadows and lack of detailed nuance. In a couple of sequences, some odd green and orange gel lighting occurs that turns the actors private parts a kind of sickening vomit brown. Though it cannot possible be the desire on the part of the production to have their performers look putrid, it happens here a couple of times.

The Audio:
The aural aspects of Naked Hollywood are equally effective. The music is low key and non-intrusive (it is an inoffensive light jazz fusion muzak that really adds nothing exciting to the scenes). The actors are easy to hear except when they decide to mumble or whisper their lines, which is not often but occasionally. There is no separation or channel challenges, so if you don't mind just sitting back and watching some hot sex with decent sonic circumstances, Naked Hollywood will fill the bill nicely.

The Extras:
First of all, hats off to Adam and Eve for not giving in to the mass merchandising mindset of other adult companies and larding their DVDs with informercial ads, nonsensical sales pitches and ersatz so-called "extras". What we get with the two episodes of the series (a three hour deal already) are six trailers (three on each side, see below) each brimming with enticing action, DVD-Rom links (unavailable to this critic) and two 15 – 20 minute bonus scenes. While these sequences have nothing to do with the show (these are not Naked Hollywood – The Director's Cut) they do provide some potent, passionate hardcore dynamics. Here is a breakdown of the scenes:

Side 1: Love and Math
Scene: Jewel De'Nyle and Randy Spears
Scene From: Weekend Getaway (2002)
Directed by: Nicholas Steel
Randy and Jewel are semi-dressed. Each is wearing a flannel shirt. They are outdoors on a wooden bench near a mountainous park area. Jewel unleashed Randy's rod and gives him a very spirited and intense blowjob, with lots of moaning, deep throating and gobs of spit. She eventually climbs on top of his well-polished "peak" and does a series of hard squat thrusts on his cock. Randy REALLY enjoys this. Eventually it turns into doggie, and again, there is massive pumping. In the reverse cowgirl position, Randy fills Jewel's ass with his big dick and they fuck like this for the rest of the scene. When he is ready, he pulls out and shoots all over Jewel's face. She takes his fresh from her ass cock in her mouth and sucks him dry. This scene is very extreme, as the two performers are really going all out most of the time. Both border on appearing pained for how hard they are working. A very nice bonus bit of mouth and butt action. 7.5/10

Side 2: Goodbye
Scene: Kim Chambers and Scott Styles
Scene From: Adult Stars at Home 2 (2002)
Directed by: Luc Wylder
It needs to be said right up front: this is a TERRIBLE scene. Awfully constructed, horribly lit and directed and presented in a strange, almost solarized color scheme that renders Kim and Scott pale pink/orange. It is piss poor all around. There is no depth of field or natural skin tones. In the ugly looking video mess, Scott eats Kim, fingers her gingerly, she returns the favor with some oral action and a lot of hand manipulation. She gets on top and fucks him. They go face-to-face and fuck some more. Then the faux Cribs aspect kicks in (this sequence is from a set of titles which purport to showcase adult stars "at home" hangin' out and humping away. Right) and the couple walks around their home showing their shower and their bedroom. There is reverse cowgirl, some doggie, and a money shot all over Kim's ass and tattoo. Again, if it had been better lit, or less random (there is no flow to the sex, just a "Hey, let's do this arbitrary position" ideal) it may have worked. As it is, it's worth skipping as even the hardcore action is unappealing. 0/10

Trailers on Episode 21: Sex Island, Crystal Dreams, Taboo of Tarot
Trailers on Episode 22: Pure Bliss, Carnal Witness, Secret of Harlot Hill

Final Thoughts:
If you like your porn with a decent dose of story, some sensual softcore intimacy and professionally helmed, hot as Hell action, you could do a lot worse than the Naked Hollywood series. From the examples offered on this final DVD of the show's long run, it is an impressive and provocative adult soap opera that will definitely make you want to go back to visit other installments. While some could accuse it of being overly polished people all fucking in a very friendly, hermitically sealed wholesome fashion, that's fine. Those closed minded to a more sensuality oriented adult experience will indeed be missing something special. For couples, this is perfect. There are hot looking women to entice the men and non/actual erotic female bonding and go-girl sisterhood for the ladies (not to mention the plethora of man meat). This disc definitely gets a Cohabitation Certification. On the Disco Dirge Peter Meter, the DVD warrants a 7.5/10 and is recommended very highly. So if you find yourself channel surfing and happen upon those Skin-emax titles that promise the pussy but only deliver the tease, toss your cable remote aside and pick up a chapter in the Naked Hollywood series. You and your libido will not be disappointed.

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