Op-Ed

Lipstick Jungle: A Hopeful Goodnight, Not a Sad Goodbye

Lipstick Jungle

Lipstick Jungle

DALLAS, Jan 11, 2009 / FW/ — Last night was the season finale of Lipstick Jungle starring Brooke Shields, Kim Raver and Lindsay Price and according to the NBC website, this was the last episode filmed and there had been no word whether the series will be renewed or not.

With advertising dollars in scarce supply and the networks canceling non-performing shows left and right, fans of Lipstick Jungle are worried that Wendy, Nico and Victory are going to get axed. They actually have a cause for concern.

Lipstick Jungle was originally shown on Thursdays (Season 1) and Wednesdays (beginning of Season 2), but due to low ratings it was moved to Friday nights. Last November 2008, rumors surfaced that NBC was going to cancel the show. But, the move to Friday nights helped with the ratings and thus NBC Chairman Ben Silverman was quoted saying that they “may” order more episodes if the ratings were to improve.

And last night, for the season finale, although there were things left hanging in the storyline, the final few minutes showed scenes of everyone in the series, as if it was goodbye.

Personally, I hope that NBC renews the series. The move to Friday nights might be unattractive to a big chunk of the audience, but since the show caters to the 30-something and older crowd, Lipstick Jungle might have found a home.

To many, Lipstick Jungle might not be as groundbreaking and as refreshing as Sex & the City and they would be right in saying that. Yet, to be fair, Lipstick Jungle discusses social issues that were never touched at Sex & the City. Case in point, the love affair between Nico Reilly (Kim Rave) and Kirby Atwood (Robert Buckley), a May-December relationship in reverse, Nico is old enough to be Kirby’s mother.

There is also a career woman adjusting to be a stay-at-home mother, like Wendy Healy being played by Brooke Shields. During the 20th century, a house-husband was revolutionary; but this is the 21st century wherein Shane Healy (Paul Blackthorne) and Wendy Healy (Brooke Shields) are in a role reversal. After years of being a successful studio executive, Wendy Healy was fired from her job while Shane’s career as a musician was taking off. This scenario of reverse role reversal (excuse the pun) had never been done before, and it is good to see it.

As for Victory Ford (Lindsay Price) asking Joe Bennet (Andrew McCarthy) to marry her instead of the other way around was also something to think about. Factor in the new development of Joe Bennett, the billionaire is broke; the series is also touching on current events.

During the first season, I stopped watching the show because I got tired of watching Candace Bushnell give fashion advice during station breaks. I felt that the producers and writers of the show thought of the viewers as fashion zeros. Quite frankly, I thought it was an insult to the average woman’s intelligence.

I started watching it again because it was my job as a fashion editor to know what’s going on in the industry be it real, virtual, on the big screen or on the small screen. I sighed with relief when I did not see Candace Bushnell during commercials telling me how to dress up or put on make-up.

And, because I missed several episodes, I went to NBC.com and found out that it was offering full episodes of all their shows online. So, I watched everything from the very beginning to be sure I did not miss anything. That was a good move by NBC. Because of the online offering, they got another viewer – ME! Now, with Lipstick Jungle in hiatus, chances are I will re-watch the episodes again at NBC.com, with the hope that come September, Wendy, Nico and Victory will be back!

[MARI DAVIS]

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