Lipstick Jungle: Season 2

When ABC and NBC went head to head in the broadcast network battle for a “Sex and the City” clone, it was always going to be a tough call which one would survive: NBC’s “Lipstick Jungle,” based on a novel by Candace Bushnell, who wrote the original “Sex” novel, or ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia,” which was executive-produced by Darren Star, who held the same role for “Sex” on HBO. The latter series deserved it more, but in the end, it was the former that scored renewal at the end of its first season. While Season 2 of “Lipstick Jungle” started off promisingly, with Mary Tyler Moore turning up to play Brooke Shields’ mother and Charles’s death, it still ultimately suffered from the same problem which existed in its first year: you can’t readily buy into the three leads – Shields, Kim Raver, and Lindsay Price – cultivating friendships with each other. (They do at least acknowledge that the women have very different natures in both their business and personal lives.)

Shields and Price get the best plot lines, with Wendy (Shields) getting fired for making a decision that’s morally right but legally wrong, and Victory (Price) trying to stand on her own two feet, i.e. without Joe (Andrew McCarthy), despite her former publicist (Rosie Perez) trying to damage her reputation, but Nico (Raver) never fails to be in a miasma of melodrama, and since she’s never been a terribly sympathetic character to begin with, you almost root for her to fail at times. The show’s diehard fans will no doubt be sad that there will be no Season 3, but after watching “Lipstick Jungle: Season 2,” the average viewer probably won’t be terribly surprised.

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TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: NBC newsflash

Angela Bromstad, President of Primetime Entertainment, and Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming, just popped up on stage to offer the following tidbits of information, some of which were announced awhile ago but which we haven’t yet covered on Premium Hollywood:

* “Southland,” the new drama from John Wells (which was formerly known as “Police”), will premiere on April 9th, Thursday at 10 PM.

From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at the police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, “Southland” is a fast-moving drama that will take viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. Michael Cudlitz plays John Cooper a seasoned Los Angeles cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman. Cooper’s honest, no-nonsense approach to the job leaves Sherman questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Cudlitz and McKenzie are joined by other cast members including Regina King who plays Detective Lydia Adams. Adams lives with and is the primary caregiver of her mother. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) is an unhappily married father of three. Michael McGrady plays Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger. Sal oversees fellow gang detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy). Arija Bareikis plays as patrol officer Chickie Brown, a single mom who dreams of being the first woman accepted into SWAT.

* They have ordered 3 more episodes of “ER,” bringing the season total to 23. The series finale will now air on April 2nd, with a one-hour retrospective preceding the two-hour finale. Why the additional episodes? “Why not?” asked Bromstad. She then clarified, however, that it allows John Wells time to get “Southland” ready.

* They have officially signed on for additional seasons of “The Office” and “The Rock”

* NBC has signed Don Cheadle and his company, Crescendo Productions, to a two-year, first-look television development deal.

* Due to its success up against “American Idol,” they will indeed be picking up another season of “Biggest Loser” for next season.

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NBC reportedly wipes off “Lipstick,” lays waste to “Enemy”

According to James Hibberd, NBC has given up the ghost on Christian Slater’s schizophrenic spy drama, “My Own Worst Enemy,” and their Brooke-Shields-starring estrogen-fest, “Lipstick Jungle.”

Cancelled? Looks like I picked the right day to start drinking again.”

The loss of the latter is not entirely surprising, given that it couldn’t seem to find a terribly strong fan base no matter where the network placed it on its schedule. As for the departure of the former, however, it begs at least two very important questions:

1) Why does NBC insist on premiering shows in the post-“Heroes” timeslot and, when they don’t succeed there, refuse to try them out in any other timeslot? They did it to “Journeyman,” and they did it to “Studio 60.” (Granted, “Studio 60” was eventually aired elsewhere, but not until after it had already gotten its walking papers.)

2) How much money must NBC have invested in “Knight Rider” to keep that dog of a series afloat but kick “My Own Worst Enemy” to the curb?

  

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Old Show, New Season: “Lipstick Jungle”

I can’t really tell you that I was a huge fan of the first season of “Lipstick Jungle,” neither when it aired nor after it was released on DVD; I liked it well enough, but while I enjoyed the three female leads individually, I had some serious issues with the premise that they’d actually be friends. Still, when it was announced back in June that Mary Tyler Moore would be appearing in the show’s second season, playing the mother of Brooke Shields’ character, Wendy, I didn’t hesitate in deciding that I’d be interested in checking out the season premiere.

If you watched the first season of “Lipstick Jungle,” then two of the three primary storylines of the Season 2 premiere will not surprise you…well, not in general, anyway.

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