The Velvet Fantasy

copyright 2005 by Pat Powers

Velvet is one of those TV series from the eighties that was obviously dreamed up by a network executive who had one hand in his trousers during the early development phase. Its plot summary reads like an Internet bondage fantasy story whose bondage elements somehow failed to materialize.

It's the story of a quartet of glamorous young aerobics instructors who work for a chain of aerobic studios ("Velvet, Inc.") that's actually a front for a secret government agency that opposes bad guys of all kinds.

Because the women are aerobics instructors, there are plenty of opportunities to see them and their students writhing around in their spandex bodysuits ... I mean, engaging in healthful exercise. What's more, the design of the Velvet studios contributes to the general babeliciousness. There's a central office where the Velvet instructors meet, and surrounding it are various studios, and the wall that faces the central office is glass so that the classes can be observed. (Drapes let the instructors conceal themselves from the student bodies.)

What this means is that whenever the Velvet headquarters is shown, you get images of the aerobicizers from every angle!

Did I mention that Aaron Spelling was the executive producer of Velvet? Or did you just assume that?

What's more, there's a secret door leading to a secret meeting room that's activated by stepping on a set of scales and adjusting it to 365 pounds (because any person weighing that much would be attacked by slavering guard dogs before they even attempted to exercise, much less weigh themselves, I guess). And in the secret lair room they communicate with their spymasters and learn of their secret missions and say things like, "Let's Go!"

OK, I know that a secret organization fronting as a legitimate organization is standard fodder for spy melodramas, but the setup in Velvet just screams "bondage fantasy! I'm a bondage fantasy! I've painted myself purple and I'm dancing on a harpsichord to tell you I'm a bondage fantasy!"

I mean, can't you just see the white slavers sitting in the central room, watching all the aerobics babes working out, and saying, "That one moves very nicely, I think she'd make a fine slave. Pull her files, set up the usual snatch, and deliver her to me some time in the next two weeks"?

Of course, in my version of Velvet the glass between the exercise rooms and the office is one-way mirrored glass, so the exercisers can't see in but the office people can see out.

Can't you see the former aerobicize instructor, now decked out in full mistress gear, standing over the naked former aerobicizer, now chained and gagged, saying, "You don't think your piddling little fees cover the expenses of our organization, do you?"

Can't you just see the newly captured slavegirl, naked chained and gagged and secured to a bolt in the central office, staring at her fellow aerobicizers through the one-way glass able to look into their eyes but they can't see her, unable to make any sounds that will penetrate the glass to warn them of her peril and theirs?

To be honest, I don't think Velvet was intended as a bondage fantasy on any level by the people who created it. The story concept had tremendous potential for damsel in distress situations, but that's not why they created it. They were in their little spandex-clad aerobic-dancing spygirl fantasy world and never even considered it. I guess you could call Velvet a hermit crab kind of bondage fantasy. They built a beautiful shell for a bondage fantasy, for reasons of their own -- so who could blame a bondage fantasy for coming along and putting it to good use?