Lipstick Jungle

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Mollie: D+ | Grade It Now!
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All About Reese

Nico drops by Kirby's "downtown" walkup, which is pretty much exactly as I imagined it would be. (Except -- is that a rotary phone? Is Kirby even old enough to know how a rotary phone works?) Nico is drunk and giggly, but she can still multitask: while she removes Kirby's clothes, she starts laying down rules that he must follow if their fling is to continue. For example: they have to act like strangers in public; he can't contact her at home. To demonstrate how seriously he's taking all of this, Kirby writes down Nico's rules on a chalkboard. His shirt is already off, and I should note that we'll be seeing a lot of shirtless Kirby in this episode. There's one advantage of visiting him at home. Nico finds this cute, I think -- the writing and/or the shirtlessness -- but I can't say for sure, because I'm so distracted by the noisy, obtrusive music cue that kicks in to accompany Kirby's chalkboard act. Sometimes I think this show is just a really trumped-up vehicle for new and unremarkable pop songs.

Speaking of music -- and speaking of taking your shirt off -- it's time for the theme song! Woo! The captions have gone back to the boring "Take your share" translation, but I don't think I trust them, because they also claim that the vocalist sings, "We do what we want, too," where she is plainly saying "We do what we want to do." I guess the more significant question would be, why bother captioning this at all? This is not for listening! It's for dancing! It may be the most fun we'll have all hour!

Breakfast time at the Healy house. Wendy puts on a CD of Shane's weird funk music -- clearly labeled "SHANE HEALY DEMO," so we won't be confused -- while Shane pours a bowl of "Cap'n Munch." (More work went into making that mock-up cereal box than went into making that ridiculous book jacket two episodes back, even though the book jacket was a plot element and this is just set dressing. One hopes this means they fired the old props master.) Shane is embarrassed by this musical stroll down memory lane, as well he should be, because it sounds like the bumper music they play on the Weather Channel during "Local on the 8s." Maddie is suspicious of her parents' flirty vibe. "I like this music," she comments, probably hoping to snap them out of it. "You should," says Wendy. "You were conceived to it." That right there is an entire chapter of my "Wendy Healy Stinks At Parenting" best-seller. This stuff just writes itself. Maddie, disgusted, hurries off to school. At Shane's request (and mine!), Wendy removes the CD from the stereo, but then she slips the CD and case into her bag and runs out the door.

When Kirby wakes up on his sofa bed, Nico is sitting at his kitchen table, admiring his artwork. This episode is relying on the old "Character A is a great artist, and we know it's true because Character B says so" trope in all three of its plotlines -- a tired cliché hat trick! Kirby, like Shane, is self-deprecating about his talent. Everybody roll your eyes as Nico intones, "They're not mediocre, Kirby...they're really good..." Fortunately, we won't be hearing any more about Kirby's supposed genius for a while, as he now notes -- less acidly than he might -- that he hasn't had much luck getting artistic work since he got fired by Patti Blume (Patty Bloom?). Nico apologizes for getting him canned, but Kirby can't stay mad when Nico's sitting in his apartment wearing one of his shirts! Then Kirby notices that more adultery rules were added to the chalkboard while he was sleeping. My favorite one is "No pet names." I'm not sure I see the point of that. Especially when your real names are "Kirby" and "Nico." At that point, it seems to me, you should be embracing the opportunity to call each other anything else. Sensing that it's time to be serious, Kirby asks, "When am I going to see you again?" in a plaintive tone that seems uncalled for, considering that Nico is in his apartment and not in any hurry to leave. But hey, he still doesn't have a shirt on, so I suppose we're not meant to be listening too closely to what he's saying.

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Lipstick Jungle

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