There is tragic news in regards to this review, as this episode guest-stars an actress credited as Valentina Vaughn. IMDB lists her birth name as Tristan Camille Kaufman, although her official obituary lists her last name as Graas, with “aka Kaufman.”
That’s right, I said her obituary, as while I was looking for an image of her to include with this review I learned that she died on March 8, 2021 just seven days before her 38th birthday. I haven’t been able to find the details of how or why she died, but I know that’s too damn young for anyone to die. At the time she appeared on this series, she’d been a Penthouse Pet in 2005, and went on to appear in a punch of adult fetish & lesbian videos, plus a couple of times on the Howard Stern Show.
In this episode, written by Jess Roman (based on the novel by Clara Darling) and directed by Jared West, Valentina (as I’ll call her for the rest of this review) plays Nikki, a woman who has just been hired as the new bartender for Club Embryo. Melissa (Jayden Cole) was in the process of interviewing candidates for the job, but when Edward (Kavan Reece) meets Nikki he impulsively hires her. Which surprised Melissa at first, but when she meets Nikki she immediately agrees with the decision.
See, the plot twist of this episode is that everyone who sees Nikki is intensely sexually attracted to her, to the point where when they meet her they can’t help visualizing her naked (which we see several times throughout the episode), which distracts them from whatever they were doing. Regina (Brandin Rackley), who is initially skeptical when Melissa talks about Nikki but quickly becomes aroused by her too, calls this “The Angelina Effect” as in like Angelina Jolie (who was in her prime as a sex symbol around that time) she’s a woman who is so sexy that even straight women want to have sex with her.
So the episode revolves around several of the characters, including Avi (Daniel Messier), Peter (Steven Ross), Delilah (Kayden Kross), and Rick (Shan Scott) trying to get Nikki’s attention. The only person who appears to be completely immune to Nikki’s charms is Elizabeth (Justine Joli) who has her own concerns as she starts getting sexy texts and gifts of lingerie from a secret admirer.
After failing to get Nikki’s attention at the club one night, Regina is still so turned on that she seduces a man named Dean (Peter Brackett) who was the DJ that night. She makes him call himself Nikki as he fucks her against the wall in the club after hours.
And Avi, who at one point says he’s so turned on by Nikki that he would “drag my dick across 10 miles of hot asphalt just to sniff the tires of the garbage truck that carted off her dirty panties,” hooks up in his office with Debbie (Heather Smith) a client of his, who’d previously appeared in episode 17, who was also turned on by Nikki, and they both look at pictures of her on her phone and his laptop while having sex.
I’ll note that Frank Mercuri and Chris Johnson also appear in this episode, reprising their roles from that earlier episode as John and Gary, Debbie’s business partners, but they’re only seen briefly.
In the end, it turns out that Elizabeth’s secret admirer is Nikki, who wants Elizabeth precisely because she’s the only person who isn’t trying to seduce her. Elizabeth gives in and they have lesbian sex in her office. The next day, Melissa reads a letter she’s received from Nikki, simply saying that she’s no longer working at Club Embryo because her “work here is done, I got everything I needed,” which just leaves everyone (except a smiling Elizabeth) confused and frustrated.
It’s not a bad episode itself. Valentina is convincing in her role. Much is made of the fact that her character is not an obvious bombshell or anything and so it’s surprising even to her suiters why everyone wants her so bad, and Valentina definitely comes off as a woman who just has some kind of mysterious sex appeal. And the three sex scenes are hot enough, especially the lesbian scene with Valentina and Justine. But plot-wise, this episode feels random. Nothing really moves the main characters’ stories forward. Like nothing is even made of the apparent connection between Regina and Avi that ended the last episode. And if you’re wondering why I haven’t mentioned Bella in this episode, it’s because she’s not in it!
That’s right, no Heather Vandeven. The second to last episode of the series and the STAR doesn’t even appear. Hopefully, this series will stick the landing with the finale.
Chacebook rating: THREE STARS
Jason Majercik is selling Life on Top SEASON 1 & SEASON 2 (FULL SERIES: 26 Episodes) (7 DISCS) for $89.99. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for his softcore inventory list
Categories: SOFTCORE TELEVISION
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