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Lipstick Jungle Rundown: Episode 1, "Pilot"

Lipstick Jungle Rundown: Episode 1, "Pilot"

Hey hey, it's the pilot of Lipstick Jungle, the show that — as of now — most of you are liking slightly less than its ABC counterpart Cashmere Mafia. I actually like it slightly more, even though the bar's not very high.

I've already shared some of my thoughts on the first episode, but as I rewatched the show last night, a few more things struck me — especially as I compared the show to Cashmere. At this point, the story of how these two shows came to be is pretty well-known (in short: Sex and the City collaborators Candace Bushnell had a fight and went on to make rival series), and it's all the more frustrating now, because I think the best parts of Lipstick and the best parts of Cashmere could come together to make one pretty good show.

From the start, I found the friendships in Lipstick more believable — and more interesting — than the ones in Cashmere. Cashmere has made a point of not showing the friends shopping together or doing other frivolous things, but you know what? I like seeing the superficial side to the Lipstick ladies' relationship. Talking tough and shopping are not mutually exclusive, and in fact, it makes it easier for me to believe that these women actually like each other.

This show might live or die by what people think of Brooke Shields as Wendy, so to see where I come down on that, just


I'm not normally a huge fan of Shields, but I do like her in this role; I found Wendy surprisingly sympathetic. She's definitely not the ruthless, backbiting woman I was expecting. Instead, she's a nurturer, someone who "hugs and fires." I appreciate seeing a character who's both powerful and motherly, but will her story be compelling enough to hold the series together going forward?

I also liked Kim Raver's performance as Nico Reilly, but I had some big problems with her story, starting with the "Do you know how old I am?" line. (If Candace Bushnell were being hit on by a hot 25-year-old, would she really interject comments about her advanced age? Yeah, that's what I thought.) She's stuck in a loveless (or at least sexless) marriage, and the series certainly wasted no time jumping right into her first-ever affair. It might have been nice to have an episode of flirtations and second-guesses first. Also, how weird is it that her young lover instantly knew it was her first affair, as though his sole mission in life is bedding rich cougars?

Victory . . . now, that's another story. Acting-wise, I thought Lindsay Price was the show's weak link. She'd actually be a better fit on Cashmere Mafia, where the situations call for a more soapy persona. (Could I swap her for Bonnie Somerville?) That said, she gets to woo Andrew McCarthy, lucky girl.

Some other thoughts:

  • Worst outfit: Victory's shimmery, '80s-prom-meets-baby-ballet-tutu getup.
  • Was Nico's "Trojan war" reference supposed to be a sex joke? Why are all the sex references on these shows so gross and weird? Is it just the effects of being on a network and not HBO?
  • I know we're supposed to be annoyed at Joe Bennett not doing anything for himself — including opening his champagne — but why was Victory so confused when he sent a car for her? I would think these women get picked up in cars all the time.
  • Nico's husband is really so unobservant that he didn't notice the phone number scrawled on her leg in marker? Also, pantyhose don't just rip like that.

What did you think? Will you be back for another episode? And which character's story was the most interesting to you?

Photos courtesy of NBC

Join The Conversation
shopping42 shopping42 8 years
I do enjoy Lipstick Jungle- C.M. wasn't for me but this kinda of gets your mind off things-kind of like a fantasy-especially after a bad day!!
juliema3 juliema3 8 years
kim is fabulous! Everyone who loves her should also go check the website. she's the current spokesperson.
lorenzo lorenzo 9 years
Hmmmm, trying to be Sex in the City much? I think the best part of this show was watching Nico's boy candy. I def heart his game...and would play along if he wrote his number on my leg like that tooo...NICO, CALL HIM! I'll TIVO the next episode...not sure about following this one
demeter demeter 9 years
I really love this show more than Cashmere Mafia. CM is a bit too pretentious for me but I really liked the relationships on this show a lot more. Victory is my favorite character, unlike everyone else here...I thought she was the better actress. I'm not a fan of Kim Raver and in the show she licks her lips WAY too much to the point of annoyance. Brooke Shields was alright, though I saw somebody different in this role. All in all Lipstick Jungle > Cashmere Mafia Though I really don't see it continuing for more than a season unfortunately.
shopping42 shopping42 9 years
I would rather watch the sopranos!!!CM held my interest at 1st. did not watch lipstick jungle!!
Mel475 Mel475 9 years
I am not in love with it but I liked it better than CM. I felt like the relationships were a bit more sincere and likely. But like others, I'm tired of the whole relationship vs. career being the entire aspect of the show. It happens, we get it, but make something more happen. Both CM and LJ are relying too heavily on stereotypes and are not providing enough fresh perspective. SATC also had these issues but they were the core focus of the show. We (or at least I am) are interested in the people, their relationships, etc. Stop with all the working mom vs. stay-at-home mom, career vs. relationship, men vs. women and give us some real, interesting storylines. I don't mind if the above dilemmas pop up here and there - that's life - but come on, give us a little something more. I like LJ better but not by much. I've deleted CM from my Tivo, I'll give LJ a couple more tries...
Allytta Allytta 9 years
wow, the first bid of article was great, but after "read more" it's total BS. you're so bitter.
rubiene rubiene 9 years
just by seeing the previews. lipstick jungle is said to be really different from sex and the city. people just have to clam down with high expectations. look at ugly betty. love the show first season but gosh they have given so much stories there that the second season is kind of where is this going. remember. this is not a movie that you will see the whole outcome right away. it's an episode per episode story. high and low but it will be great. more surprises for sure. sex and the city was quite different why? never in television have shown women that way. besides it was a low key not all good first season. it was intriuging that is why it became a hit! why? it is liberating to a lot of women. lipstick jungle is an everyday character of somepeople. nothing new but hey... this is a good show! REMEBER IT IS NOT SEX AND THE CITY! every novel is different! even from the same author of the book! BROOKE IS doing a great job acting in this show. so are the great talents aroung the show. give her credits for being one of the historical beauty and great role model for young ones. 4th generation italian royal blood. long credits of work in hollywood. princeton university graduate. stayed away from trouble. TIME magazine face of the 80's. youngest model ever graced and indemand worldwide with top magazines and yet she is infact a down to earth person who doesn't really see herself just a beauty or a mannequin. we all grow old. as she said once...people from the industry doesn't want her to change, do this do that and yet survive from the business scene. now she is a WOMAN and still people dont want her to change from the past of herself. not fair! I AM IMPRESSED OF BROOKE SHIELDS other than some actors in the business.
ktacce ktacce 9 years
i'm officially a cashmere mafia girl. watched lipstick jungle on thurs and then watched my tivo'd cashmere mafia and cashmere just felt way more like home! and the clothes on LJ were nothing special, but CM is always so fabby!
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
I, like others here, watched about half of the show (and I watched it online so there were no commercials) and wondered when it was going to be over. It was mildly cute, but the fashion wasn't anything groundbreaking, the characters weren't too exciting to me and I just wasn't to into it. I definitely don't relate to the characters that seem much older than the SATC or CM characters. For instance, seeing Brooke Shields' awful forehead wrinkles at points does not help. I would NOT want to see this show in hi-def.
just_kelly just_kelly 9 years
I'm disliking the "if you have a career you have relationship issues" motif that is popping up all over the place... is there ONE happy marriage in either show?
else411 else411 9 years
I like Wendy and Nico. Victory not so much. It sounds silly, but I'm confused where they picked her up at; cause she seems 10 yrs younger than them and she's doesn't work with them. Wendy and Nico both work for the same company just different divisions. I'll watch it for 3 episodes same as CM before I make a choice.
Hootie Hootie 9 years
I agree with syako: "I'm sorry but I barely could sit through the whole thing - I made myself do it though, and I'll be honest, I will not be watching this show at all ever again. It was all too forced, too cheesy and too predictable. BLAH BLAH BLAH"!
davisdavis davisdavis 9 years
If the men in my life treated me like the men in this series treat women, they'd shortly find themselves, well, not in my life. Not that I can stand any of these women. They're supposed to be successful, yet they never speak up for themselves? Wendy's million dollar, triumphant negotiation is a parlor trick? Victory finds douche-baggery romantic? (Seriously, the dude gets romance points for waiting in the cold instead of the car? No.) Nico can speak directly to neither her boss nor her husband and simply communicate her wants? She sabotages her rival by SALTING HIS DISH? Ooooh, that's leadership material right there, honey. I was so, so irritated with the show. I was looking for a comedy about successful women navigating their careers and personal lives. But I didn't like any of the characters, and I didn't believe any of the women would be succesful.
alysun alysun 9 years
Am I the only one who did like LJ. I thought it was cute and fun. I mean nothing is ever going to stand up to sex and the city but for now this will do for me. Plus with nothing else on TV due to the strike it is a great girly, fashion filled show.
GoneZaggyGirl GoneZaggyGirl 9 years
I'm shocked so many people didn't like it... I loved Lipstick Jungle... A LOT more than CM, especially Nico's storyline because the 25 year-old was so hot and the bathroom scene and the scene at his apartment were excellent. I also enjoyed the juxtaposition between the 'failing' designer and the multi-millionaire, her as confident, him fascinated by her independence. And what better than bringing back the hunk from Pretty in Pink? Loved it! But the real new show to watch: Eli Stone. Hysterical. And enlightening.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
you know, i think that one of the hardest things for me with LJ is that i read the book and i hope that it follows the plot line but doesn't keep itself stuck to it entirely. i loved the tone of the show though. it was good - w/o being campy where i feel that CM is sometimes. i can't wait to see how the show develops. i know who these characters are and with CM - as much as i like the show - after 4-5 episodes i still don't know what everyone's name is and what they do!
amers230 amers230 9 years
i def. liked it better than cashmere mafia, but i wasn't that thrilled with it. like everyone else, lindsay price's character bothered me. although to be fair, part of it is her name. the entire show last night i'm thinking "god, her name is the same as a car dealership around here!" when i finally voiced that sentiment my mom corrected me (the car dealerships are victory honda and village ford apparently) but the damage was done. i'm now going to associate that character with cars lmao. i'll probably tune in next week to see what happens but i don't have high hopes for the show.
msgolitelee msgolitelee 9 years
i am willing to give the pilot a chance, i will watch on the web tonight. but what is up with those god awful names like Nico and Victory? ugh
juiceejuice juiceejuice 9 years
i'm not sucked in to either of the shows yet. they're just okay and have to make due since there's no other shows on. anyways, one thing that totally bugged me was the outfit that brooke shields was wearing to the fashion show. I mean, come on, she's going to a fashion show, she's some big shot and she wears that? I know it's superficial of me, but I couldn't get past it. It was so ordinary - soccer mom, pta lady, I dunno, couldn't pinpoint it, but there was certainly something lacking in that outfit. it sucks that that was the first scene, cause it bothered me throughout. I mean, the outfits on CM are over the top and this one was underwhelming. other than that, the other thing that bugged me as some of you guys mentioned was that they weren't really comfortable with their success. you would think that they've come so far and reached such a high point in their career, that they wouldn't be so insecure anymore. i kinda enjoyed lindsay and andrew's relationship. it's the only thing i like so far. too bad they can't combine LJ and CM, now that would be a great show. that shot of the chrysler building in the opening totally made me think of SATC. and buzz, kim's lover knew that it was her first affair cause she told him that she doesn't cheat on her husband.
shafiii shafiii 9 years
ugh i couldn't sit through the episode either the clothes were drab, the people we drab, and the story was even worsee. i cant stand brooke sheilds and the show was so blahhh im a cashmere mafia fan and i'm staying loyal, cause this was a disappointment to someone who didn't even have expectations.
nancita nancita 9 years
I watched it because I just wanted to watch some new TV but I thought it was pretty unrealistic and cringe-inducing. All night I was like "is that the girl from 90210?" and it was: Lindsay Price. She is definitely the weak link.
DCStar DCStar 9 years
Eh - I'm not thrilled with Brooke's acting, and the Nico/younger guy storyline is completely ridiculous! I mean, he was so obsessed, it was unbelievable.
metrolover02 metrolover02 9 years
I feel aspleep halfway through this show but I had low expectations from the get go. Brooke Shields character was so unbelievable, she lacked energy, and she is getting too old to play that role. As for the other two women, cute, but no thanks. I will stick with my Cashmere Mafia and skip the blase story lines.
stefsprl stefsprl 9 years
Neither show is great, but in this world of strike-induced awful reality tv shows, I'll probably keep watching both just because there's nothing else to watch! That being said, I thought they were pretty evenly matched except for the chemistry between the women. I don't get the friendships amongst the four in CM...the three in LJ just seemed to mesh better. But, I love Bonnie Sommerville and I had the same thought as Buzz -- put her in LJ with Brooke and Kim and I would love it!
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