In a binge marathon mood, I was looking for a show that didn’t insult my intelligence and I stumbled upon a show I had watched for two episodes. when it was on the air years ago. After the binge, I can say I can kick myself for not supporting this show when it was on the air the first time.
‘Lipstick Jungle’ is a fun, wickedly smart show that wasn’t given enough time to build its audience. The show revolves around a Manhattan trio of smart, savvy women who have forged a tight friendship while balancing their personal and professional lives.
When the show opens up magazine editor Nico(Kim Raver) has her eye on her boss’s job as the company CEO. In a moment if weakness and insecurity she has an affair with younger photographer Kirby.
Movie executive Wendy (Brooke Shields) feels conflicted that her job prevents quality family time. Her musician creative husband is the dad at home who has built a relationship with the children that Wendy never saw coming.
Victory (Lindsay Price) is a fashion designer trying to get back on track while looking for a new boyfriend after her short relationship with a New York tycoon falls apart.
I binged both seasons and could have kicked myself for not supporting the show better. It’s far smarter than Sex & The City ever was. Yes, I know that breaks some kind of New York City girl rule. These women actually come across far more relatable and believable.
Even more importantly, you the viewer, are thoroughly entrenched in the small details of these women’s lives. Each episode always closed with a real look at relationships in an honest sometimes uncomfortable way. Brooke Shields slays you as Wendy Healy. You really feel like she could be your friend. Her failures and triumphs ringer truer than any crisis that Carrie went through.
The men are not villains, but living breathing likable,complicated characters that you find yourself cheering for. They are more than just sex partners or desirable toys. Joe Bennett, the billionaire and Shane Healy, Wendy’s lovable husband warm every part of your heart. You get to know these men and hope and wish only great things for you.
For these three powerful women, the road to success in all aspects of life can be rather bumpy from time to time. Luckily, they have each other for support along the way.
The writing on the show was crisp and realistic. When Nico hits a life changing altering event, the writers deal with the hysteria that sets in with a tact that I have not seen on television since. The closest we ever saw Carrie experience those emotions that Nico goes through, was the episode that had Carrie try on a wedding dress and she had a panic attack. Each of the actresses deliver great performances. They sell the story from their eyes.
An actor is good if he or she makes me believe they are actually going through whatever his or her character is going through. I believed them. Andrew McCarthy delivers a great 2 minute silent scene in episode thirteen in Season 2 that is just stellar. When you watch him you actually feel all the emotions he is going through. Dahlia Morales played by Rosie Perez is a joy. She does her job and that’s that. Fallout be damned. Paul Blackthorne as Shane Healy makes you laugh out loud. You don’t know whether you want to kick him or hug him.
Check out the humor…
Is there anything morally questionable? Sure, but the actions are dealt with the levity, class and morality that leaves you thinking about the choice.
Funny enough, the show is based on a book written by the same woman who wrote ‘Sex & The City’. Yet, that’s where the comparisons end. The ‘Lipstick Jungle’ is far more sophisticated and would likely work better now than it did in 2008.
Check out this scene, then go binge the show. You’ll thank me later.