Girls, you’re going to Carrie that weight
I HAVE this idea for a comedy about a group of Manhattan women, their friendship and the hardships of being wealthy and successful. It should involve a creative type from Sex and the City and a title that partners a girlie adjective with a dangerous noun. Stiletto Minefield, maybe. Or Nailfile Undertow. Exfoliation Brush Ring of Fire. OK, maybe not that one.
But we can’t assume Lace Battlefield will be a hit. Neither Cashmere Mafia nor Lipstick Jungle , from Sex and the City producer Darren Star and Candace Bushnell, columnistinspiration for Carrie Bradshaw, respectively, have done much. Cashmere Mafia was quickly whacked after lacklustre ratings. Lipstick Jungle hung on for a second season but is unlikely to be mentioned in the same breath as Desperate Housewives , Grey’s Anatomy and Sex and the City unless accompanied by the phrase ‘‘ nowhere near as interesting as’’.
Based on Bushnell’s novel of the same name, the series focuses on three women ( not four; see, totally unlike Sex and the City ) as they juggle careers, relationships and families. Frazzled movie executive Wendy Healy ( Brooke Shields) is a highpowered career woman and mother. The Miranda of the affair, driven Nico Reilly ( 24 ’ s Kim Raver), the editor of a Vanity Fair - esque magazine, faces a glass ceiling and an uninterested husband. Meanwhile, the collection of free- spirit fashion designer Victory Ford ( Lindsay Price, who was in Beverly Hills, 90210 : the nobody’s watching years) flopped, but at least she has piqued the interest of a billionaire who is not above using his secretary to woo her.
Lipstick Jungle is not awful — the running gag about the director trying to add layers to a romantic comedy is cute — but beyond the likability of the cast, there’s nothing compelling. The women of Sex and the City may have been successful, but the uncertainty of dating and sex is a universal problem.
Lipstick Jungle and Cashmere Mafia devote too much energy to the specific hurdles of being in the upper echelons of management, which is something few of us, no matter the sex, can empathise with.
Sex and the City had its share of clunky writing ( six years on and I still cringe at Carrie’s ‘‘ you don’t move to Napa’’) but the rarity of a frank female- centric show gave it a freshness these clones lack.
Even Victory’s love
Joe Bennett, feels as if someone decided the show’s Mr Big- type powerful love interest needed a personality akin to Grey’s Anatomy ’ s McDreamy. He’s even played by Andrew McCarthy who, like Grey’s Patrick Dempsey, is a 1980s teen heartthrob refugee.
The problems of female relationships and motherhood could provide an interesting scenario to explore in a television show. But overt sexism from employers and husbands who resent their higher- earning wives are pat shortcuts that don’t tackle any new questions.
Perhaps Nappy Bag Viper Pit will.