2.01.2008

Lipstick Jungle - Jenn's Review

Please note that the following review was written after viewing the original pilot back in August. A few of the characters have been recast and, from the looks of the previews, some other minor changes made as well.

After viewing this pilot, I was anxious to see "Cashmere Mafia." While many critics are giving the (slight) edge to "Lipstick," I personally enjoy "Cashmere" more. While it's certainly not Emmy-worthy, I find it to be fun and the cast more likable.

However, I will definitely be tuning in on Feb. 7th to see if all the changes made to "Lipstick Jungle" were for the better.

Without further ado, my original review:


The opening gives us two contradictory quotes: one from Rudyard Kipling (“Now this is the law of the jungle as old and as true as the sky; And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die”) and the other, Katherine Hepburn (“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun”). Then cut to multiple shots of animal print-clad high-heeled feet.

We get it. It’s a “jungle” out there. And these women are the ones “ruling” it. Point taken.

“These women aren’t looking for Mr. Big, they are Mr. Big.”

That’s the official tagline from NBC. How true that actually is, well, let’s just say it leaves plenty of room for debate. The main message I got from this pilot was “That’s just the way it is.” That is referring to the misogynistic view of women in the workplace. Well, let me take that back. It’s referring more to women of power in the workplace. We hear all the old clich├ęs – women are “too emotional” and “involved with their work” to ever realistically attain a CEO-level of success.

OK, so if you couldn’t already tell -- too many years spent in college scrutinizing message/meaning in films (especially when it comes to portrayals of women) resulted in my overly-nitpicky analysis of this particular show. I should really take it for what it was meant to be: a hour of frilly, supposed girl-power message-filled fun.

So let’s just look at it from a strictly entertainment point of view.

The Pros:
- Casting did a semi-decent job with the three leads. Kim Raver (Nico) came off as the most believable.

- Cameo alert! Edward Hermann (aka Grandpa Gilmore) graces us with his presence as big CEO boss to both Nico and Wendy.

- Cameo alert part 2! welcome back Andrew McCarthy! Long time no see. He’s a smarmy, egomaniacal billionaire with a thing for lil Miss Victory. Luckily, he’s got some endearing qualities; there may be hope for him yet.

The Cons:
- We’ve seen a lot of these plots/scenarios before: nice gals finish last, women with careers on the rise while personal lives are in shambles (or vice-versa) women can never make as much money as men, blah blah blah.

- The name of Lindsay Price’s character? Victory Ford. Seriously?

- As if they didn’t think we got the message before (say, from the opening scene), Joe Bennett lets Victory know why it’s a rarity that women are billionaires unless they’re spoiled heiresses (“too emotional to make the right decisions,” etc). The delivery seemed slightly forced (maybe because even he couldn’t believe what he was saying)

The Verdict: Give it a few episodes before making a final decision (but really, with the limited choices we have these days, it might fill the guilty-pleasure quota)
Personally, the longer Andrew McCarthy sticks around, the more inclined I might be to watch.



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