I read "Lipstick Jungle" by Candace Bushnell a year ago after my dad got it for me for Christmas. It seemed like an obvious gift since I love Sex and the City and I was an aspiring Working Girl. To use a line from 10 Things I Hate About You, I was "underwhelmed" by the book. I think I made it less than halfway through the book when I discarded it for the new Jodi Picoult novel.
Last Thursday, the TV spinoff of the successful novel premiered on NBC at 10 p.m., and I was excited. I even had the premiere on my Outlook calendar at work. And to say I was disappointed is to say the very least, so I will borrow again from one of my favorite characters Bianca Stratford and say I was more "underwhelmed" by the TV show.
The premise of the show is a lot like Cashmere Mafia. The dramedy follows three high-powered female executives in Manhattan who seemingly have it all. And although this plot seems like the perfect one for a Working Girl like me to watch and hope someday, just someday, that will be me trying to juggle my personal life and career, I did not once wish I was Wendy Healy, powerful movie executive, played by Brooke Shields, who is in the process of losing her husband because she is the main breadwinner of the family, and he's the less accomplished counterpart in their marriage. One scenario I truly hope to avoid in the future.
Nor did I look up to Nico Riley, editor-in-chief of the fashion magazine Bonfire, played by Kim Raver, who seemed cold and calculating especially when she scolds Wendy for firing someone then hugging them after firing them (I'd love a nice hug after getting sack, so I'm on Wendy's side on this one). Nico denies shedding a tear at a baby shower, and I didn't think her character could get more stony until she cheats on her boring book obsessed professor husband with a twenty-something hottie and she sheds a few tears on her way back to the office to climb that ladder. Not exactly the role model I'm looking for. Sorry, Nic.
Victory Ford, up-and-coming fashion designer played by Lindsey Price, was the only character that I liked a teensy bit. Her latest line of clothing had less than thrilling reviews, which prompted the cheesiest line in Thursday night television that I've ever heard: "'Out with the old, in with the ewww' - that's just mean!". Despite her tacky lines, Victory is spunky, single, and was very adamant that her investors not bring in a new designer to help veer her clothing line in a different direction.
The show is beyond cheesy and instead of making the cheese funny like Bushnell did in Sex and the City with a character like Carrie Bradshaw, Bushnell brought us three one-dimensional characters who cry a lot (Nico and Victory both shed more than enough tears for Wendy, and even if Wendy didn't shed a tear she sure did frown a lot). What am I supposed to take away from that? It's only the first episode and these women are waterworks central! Aren't these supposed to be strong-willed women? Not only that, where is that great friends vibe that Sex and the City brought us? I don't think I even really believe that the "Lipstick Jungle" girls like one another. They might eat lunch together and meet at a penthouse for some champagne late night, but are they BFF 4eva? I can't tell.
With that said, I think I'm going to smudge this "Lipstick" off my Tivo recording schedule.