Lipstick Jungle

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Mean To Me

Did you miss your sixteen chances to catch the first episode of this exciting new series? No worries! Episode 2 starts with a recap. The first thing we see is the newspaper headline about Victory Ford's failed Fashion Week outing, "No Victory for Victory." Obviously, someone thought that was clever enough to show again. This does not bode well. Then we see Victory herself, weeping and whining about said article. Then we see her simpering at Andrew McCarthy that she doesn't need to be rescued as he prepares to sweep her away in his big jet. By this time, she's already my least favorite character, and I haven't even seen the others yet. I think Victory is this show's Charlotte. And if you're making Sex & the City but with only three women, why in heaven's name would you still have a Charlotte? We also catch up with magazine editor Nico, who lost the last two letters of her first name in a tragic machinery accident. (Or maybe her parents were big Velvet Underground fans?) Important to know about Nico: she's gunning for a promotion and cheating on her inattentive husband. Finally, Shane, the emasculated husband of Wendy (the Brooke Shields one), pledged unconvincingly to get over his my-wife-is-the-breadwinner issues. On to the episode!

Monday morning begins at Wendy's house with the screeching of a fax machine printing out "Weekend Box Office Totals." ["Wendy's not rich enough to have an internet connection at home to check that shit herself and without killing any trees?" -- Wing Chun] A small, cute, pajama-wearing boy fetches the printout and skips into his parents' room to deliver it to Wendy. He hands it to her just as the lyrics to the show-opening tune kick in, and the singer announces, "I want to crawl back inside my mother's womb." The rest of the scene can't quite shake those creepy overtones, but here's what we see: Wendy is excited about the studio's weekend take, and her little boy is hoping the good news he has just delivered will mean he gets pancakes for breakfast. Except by "pancakes," he really means "attention and love," and by "for breakfast," he really means "from his distracted mother." Or so I assume. Shane sleeps through the whole thing, because unlike some people, he doesn't have to get up and work.

If you were under the impression that this show would be classy, the segue to the next scene will disabuse you of that notion right quick. Over an exterior shot of an apartment building, we hear a woman gasping and moaning. Cut to a close-up on Nico's face as she bounces up and down and grunts with effort. But the shot widens, and we see...she's on some sort of exercise equipment! That is almost as funny as "No Victory for Victory"! And it's poignant too, because as Nico multitasks -- exercising, reading the newspaper, and huffing and puffing into her earpiece about scheduling business meetings -- the husband she's not having sex with comes along and swipes a section of the paper she's holding (silently, although she offers to interrupt her call to talk to him). We're probably supposed to feel bad for neglected Nico, but if my boss called me in the morning and then made me listen to her sex and/or exercise noises, I would find another boss, I'll tell you that for free. ["Hey! That was an emergency! And I was making those noises because I was moving a piano as far as you know!" -- Wing Chun] The bookish husband walks off without a word, and Nico lingers on a full-page ad featuring a sexy young man in nothing but underwear. Did you notice that Nico's having libido issues? It's subtle, but that's why I'm here to explain it for you.

Victory lives in a brownstone, free spirit that she is, and she spent the night sleeping on her couch, which I guess is also a free-spirited thing to do. A call from her new suitor, Joe (that's Andrew McCarthy), wakes her up. He starts right in with the obnoxious-rich-guy let-me-sweep-you-off-your-feet thing, which I'd barely be able to tolerate in the best of circumstances. Before my morning coffee, I would definitely hang up on him. Victory just explains that she can't do lunch in Miami today, private jet or no, because she has to cope with her collapsing business. "I just pink-slipped fifteen employees! I moved my office to my house!" Joe is bored by this, because he couldn't care less about the things that matter to Victory. He also doesn't care about the traffic he's holding up by meandering very slowly across the street while he whines into his cell. I am rooting for the angry driver behind Joe to accelerate and break his legs, but for some reason, Victory agrees to have dinner with him that night. "He's the devil," she sighs as she hangs up the phone. No, Victory, he's just an asshole. The devil doesn't bother with people who have no self-respect to lose.

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Lipstick Jungle

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