Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lipstick Jungle: Potential is a terrible thing to waste.

Tonight on Lipstick Jungle, we rejoin our three heroines as they learn for once and for all that they absolutely cannot have it all. Or even a little, in fact. Disaster looms at every turn in the form of bribable nannies, picky princes, and thieving assistants. And yet, as the plot flies by fast enough to make my head spin, I'm still very much un-grabbed. Maybe it's the sometimes painful dialogue, maybe it's the sometimes painful acting, maybe it's the danger zone between tongue-in-cheek and taking itself too seriously, but Lipstick Jungle isn't nearly fun enough. Too bad...the cast, at least, definitely had potential. And the pedigree isn't something to be scoffed at, either.

In our most time-consuming plot, Wendy's former nanny has written an unflattering novel based on Wendy's life, calling her "shallow as a bedpan and twice as cold." You know, I could probably say the same about this show. Even worse, an old enemy of Wendy's is publishing the book. (Of course.) And when Wendy relates to her husband that there are anecdotes in the book that she didn't even think the nanny knew about, his absurdly overemoting face tells us that he has something to hide. At least, I think that's what he was trying to convey. It also could've been terror, shock, or possibly his "O" face.

At any rate, things continue to flow downhill when Wendy drags Shane to the possibly penitent nanny's house, and he admits to her that he told the nanny a bunch of damaging stories about Wendy's mothering skills when he was venting. Un! Comfortable! And wait, he somehow thinks that Wendy should leave it alone, since it should be enough that he and the kids know she's a wonderful mother? Um, I think it's probably still worthwhile to avoid slander and public humiliation. But that could just be me. We end with Wendy trying and failing to deliver a smackdown to her enemy publisher, which means that we're stuck with this plot for at least another week. Sigh.

In Nico-ville, she's got a prince to land. Prince William, to be specific. He's supposed to be photographed for the cover of her magazine, but is backing out. And, of course, the photographer's assistant is Nico's new boy toy. Awkward. At least, until the inevitable crazy sex in the photo studio. Which is immediately followed by the completely avoidable post-sex photo shoot. Um, what?! Why would you POSSIBLY let some guy you barely know take naked photos of you? WHY??? Sigh... As far as Prince William goes, it seems that he's really into softcore porn. Starring himself. Okay. So she lands him for the cover, but her boss isn't into the semi-nudity. It seems Nico is officially on notice. Best line, courtesy of her boss: "It doesn't take much for a halo to turn into a noose." Those are words to live by, you guys.

Victory is also having career troubles, and has been forced to fire most of her staff and move her office into her apartment. Her "loyal" assistant is taking a new job, and steals Victory's latest sketches on her way out. Which Victory somehow doesn't notice. SIGH. Later, Victory is reduced to stalking a drag queen and an old lady to get a hat she designed in fashion school, in an elaborate metaphor about how her career isn't moving forward. Don't ask. Trust me. Her rich boyfriend asked and is sorry he did. The words "live out loud" were involved. Later, though, he pays her back in full as far as clichés go. She's all, "I'm not usually the girl who needs to be saved," and he's all, "Who says I'm saving you?" Yes, really.

So, um, apologies to anyone who's getting into this show, but I'm just...not. At all. Can we transplant the entire cast into a new show, as a sort of scientific experiment? Because I really think the problem is the writing, but there's no way to know for sure, since it seems to be making the actors suck, too. Ah, wasted potential.

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