Wasting no time whatsoever, the pilot episode gets off to an expository start by introducing us to our three main characters via a ham-fisted newscast that informs us that our lovely leading ladies have all pushed their way onto the list of New York's Most Powerful Women. The Brooke is portraying Wendy Healy, and she's the president of Parador Pictures. The Raver is portraying Nico Riley, the editor-in-chief of Bonfire magazine. And The Price is portraying the ridiculously named "Victory Ford," a fashion designer who likes to have her models wear tiny hats made of feathers. There are men in Lipstick Jungle as well, but they all seem to be relegated to the background as good-looking annoyances who don't really understand or support their ladies.
All the ladies have issues, of course, and we spend this first episode getting a glimpse at them. Victory's basically a really bad designer, and her latest fashion show is a resounding dud. Wendy is nurturing some silly movie based on the life of Galileo, with Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Her adorably rumpled husband has issues with his wife's career and how she's the breadwinner instead of him. Nico is surrounded by mean and nasty men at the office and her husband ignores her, which makes her embark upon an affair with a much younger man.
Wendy and her husband seem to be on the brink of a potential separation, seeing as he resents her success and hates that he's a househusband. She wants to work it out, and he does too, but it's not looking good. Victory gets wooed by a blandly squinty Andrew McCarthy, who starts out kind jerky, but winds up being rich and romantic, which is really the best combination a girl could hope for, no? Nico doesn't tell her girlfriends about her shagfest with her boy toy, but I'm fairly certain that will NOT end well.
The Brooke gets all the good lines, The Raver gets all the hot sex, and The Price gets to make out with Andrew McCarthy. I think she got the crap end of the deal, don't you?
Hey look! It's 9 to 5! Oh, I love this movie! All the shoes and the hair and the -- oh, wait. It's the beginning of Lipstick Jungle. My bad.
We begin in New York. The streets of busy, stylish Manhattan, to be precise. Various shots of lovely legs are seen hurrying along, and at the end of all the legs are high-heeled and somewhat slutty-looking shoes. One pair in particular looks like it belongs on a leopard-clad version of Cruella de Ville. Then, of course, we see a cute little pair of flats at the end of a pair of skinny legs in jeans. They're skipping and tripping and clearly not nearly as fabulous as the other sexy high-heels we've just seen. To hammer this point home, the owner of the shoes drops her bag on the ground and the contents appear to include a script or two, some cough drops and a few children's toys.
"And turning our attention to women at the top of the field," says a newscaster's unctuous voice, "Wall Street Magazine's list of the 50 Most Powerful Women came out today." The owner of the dropped bag gathers up her belongings and stands to face the TV screen on which the newscaster speaks, just as a picture of Brooke Shields in all her glory appears. "Wendy Healy, the president of Parador Pictures, is number twelve on the list," continues the newscaster as the bag lady flips her hair and we see that, of course, it is none other than Wendy Healy herself, distractedly pulling pieces of hair out of her mouth and skittering off to wherever it is she's supposed to be.
After a shot of the lovely Chrysler Building, the newscaster tells us that Nico Reilly, the editor-in-chief of Bonfire Magazine has just moved up from number twenty-five on last year's list. Nico has a better choice in shoes than dear Wendy (they're a fairly high animal print number with red soles), but she looks as if she's never far from a car service, so it's understandable that she's dressed as if she's going to a cocktail party at Ivana Trump's right now. Nico is clearly very powerful and busy. We know this because she's in the back of a town car and she's looking at her Crackberry. I look at my Crackberry all the time too. But I do it on a bus. That's how you know I'm not powerful or busy or the editor-in-chief of a magazine named after something kids do on homecoming weekend.
At the bottom of the list is poor, sweet little Victory Ford, who is wearing a hideous pair of leopard print wedgies that I'd like to douse with gasoline and set aflame. Apparently, Victory used to be a super-hot designer, but she stumbled in last year's Fashion Week, so this year she barely made the cut. Perhaps if she didn't insist on paying homage to Swan Lake by slapping headbands on her models that seem to be made from white feathers, she would've been further up on the damn list this year. Victory is hoping to regain her Vogue-bestowed title of "The Golden Child" at her new show during this year's Fashion Week. Anna Wintour just cracked her latest facelift by raising an eyebrow and ordering Assistant Five to fire Candace Bushnell immediately, even though she's not actually a member of the staff.
Cut to a Fashion Week. How do we know it's Fashion Week? Because the big-ass sign stapled to a gaudily decorated tent TELLS us it is. Inside the tent, Wendy sluffingly makes her way along the front row and greets Nico, who seems to have been there awhile and is wearing a golden tinfoil trench coat, even though she's technically inside now. They call each other beautiful and tell each other how great they both look and Wendy apologizes for being so late but she had to walk from 50th street because even though she's the head of a big production company, she is NOT the editor-in-chief of a magazine, so she does NOT take cars or taxis to big fashion events!