Cable Boxing: ‘Lipstick Jungle’ rests its laurels on a stale formula

Lipstick Jungle

Episode: 101 “Pilot”
NBC, Thursdays, 10 p.m., aired Feb. 7. Starring Brooke Shields, Kim Raver, Lindsay Price, Andrew McCarthy and Julian Sands.

Synopsis: New York Fashion Week is in full swing. Victory Ford is ready to reclaim her title as the “It” designer. Her best friends, Wendy Healy and Nico Rielly, are front and center to support their friend.


Mat: “Sex and the City” creator Candace Bushnell’s drama scored some points with the locals when it used Peter Searcy’s song, “I Believe,” in its promos. Louisville connections aside, the pilot trolls familiar ground: Magazine editor Nico (Kim Raver), fashionista Victory (Lindsay Price) and film exec Wendy (Brooke Shields) are three successful, attractive women struggling with success, personal battles with their respective husbands/love interests, or in Nico’s case, a boy toy.

Sara: I’m definitely getting tired of fawning over the rich on TV when I can’t even afford a top-shelf bourbon here in Kentucky! Why is everyone in such a rush to recapture the magic of “Sex and the City” — I mean, it’s so obvious. One of the first NYC exterior shots was of the Empire State Building. So we gotta put up with three wealthy, fickle, middle-age broads who lack the charm of Carrie, innocence of Charlotte and cougar-capabilities of Samantha?

Mat: The dialogue’s pretty tight, but here’s the thing: Do we really want to watch a show about rich people when we’re heading toward a recession? I’m all for escapism, provided it doesn’t remind me of reality. What do I care if Nico gets her rocks off?

Sara: Was it just me, or did you think Nico’s hot hunk of 25-year-old beef wandered onto the wrong set? “Gossip Girl” is thataway, son. But thanks for playing. I do believe I heard some Goldfrapp during that sex scene, though, which scores major points.

Mat: The scathing critique of Victory’s show was hysterical. “Out with the old, in with the ew.” Brilliant. And when Wendy’s assistant points out the crumb on her breast. Put it this way: I’d watch Shields touch her boob anytime.

Sara: I’ll leave you to that. And I remember Victory from her 90210 days — fashionable she was not.

Mat: Victory was mousy in the beginning — all rhubarb scarves and cupcakes — but it was nice to see her actually grow a backbone and tell off the Japanese buyer who’s set on pilfering her designs. It’s hard to watch a fashion designer freak out, knowing she’s probably responsible for anorexics everywhere. And her paying for dinner was a nice touch. I dated a girl once who liked to buy dinner, but she was older and out of college, and I wasn’t.

Sara: My last date made me pay for my own part of the bill, even down to splitting the queso. I was older and out of college at the time. Hey, wait, you owe me $7.34!

Mat: You’ve got the wrong college kid. I pity Wendy’s husband Shane (Paul Blackthorne). It can’t be easy having a wife that’s more successful than you.

Sara: If you’ve got robust chest hair like that man, it doesn’t matter who brings home the bacon.
Mat: Ew.

Drop us a line at [email protected] or check out our TV blog at