“Lipstick Jungle”

By Jae-Ha Kim
Amazon.com
May 27, 2008

Based on the Candace Bushnell novel of the same name, Lipstick Jungle is what the ladies on Sex and the City might have been like, had they been married characters rather than New York singletons.

Brooke Shields stars as Wendy Healy, a high-powered movie mogul who can’t get through a day without talking to (or lunching with) her best friends Nico Reilly (Kim Raver, 24) and Victory Ford (Lindsay Price, Beverly Hills, 90210).

Nico is the editor of a high-end lifestyles magazine who is making up for her lack of a sex life at home by having an affair with a young photographer’s assistant. Victory, the trio’s single gal, is a fashion designer whose creations have fallen out of favor, but is adored by her rich boyfriend Joe Bennett (Andrew McCarthy).

Each is a fixture on the annual “New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women” list, but their day-to-day problems of juggling careers with demanding personal lives (i.e., men!) are at the forefront of each episode.

Speaking of which, just seven episodes make up this truncated debut season (thanks to the 2008 writers strike), which introduces the characters but doesn’t really delve into what makes them tick.

As superficial fluff, the show is a fun watch. Will Wendy’s former nanny write a tell-all book? How does Nico juggle a husband she loves with a young lover she lusts after? And is Victory really so naive that she won’t figure out that her ambitious assistant stole all her best designs?

Shields is a charming actress with a decent knack for comedy and Price is good enough as the flaky friend. But with lines like, “When they smell fear in this town, it’s over,” it’s Raver who lends passion and credibility to this series–which is much better than the so-so book on which it is based, but not yet up to the quality that made Sex and the City a must-see show.

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