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Snap judgment: 'Lipstick Jungle'

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Lipstickjunglebrooke_l_2At the beginning of last night’s premiere of Lipstick Jungle, Victory Ford’s fashion collection gets panned. “Out with the old, in with the ‘Ew,'” one pun-friendly critic writes. Funny, because that sentiment could express my feelings towards NBC’s estrogen-filled gabfest, too. (Read Ken Tucker’s official C- review of Lipstick here.)

I get that woman can be sexy and powerful and vulnerable all rolled together into one delicious chunk of cookie dough, but in our post-feminist world, do Wendy, Nico, and Victory really have to play to such tired clichés? I was disappointed by the tell-don’t-show strategy of Lipstick. I know it’s not HBO, but women simply talking and high-fiving about how high-powered they are doesn’t do anything for me until I actually see it.

Never mind that the three woman are among the list of “New York’s 50 Most Powerful Women,” because we’re asked to empathize with their plebeian problems. Most sympathetic for me was Brooke Shields (pictured) as Parador Pictures prez Wendy, locked in a power struggle with her emasculated British husband, who’s basically just a chauffeur for their children and all-around Wendy-dissenter. But after Wendy’s deadpan assistant points out that she’s, uh, got muffin crumbs on her chest — ba da bing! — I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. And then there’s cheating Bonfire magazine editor Nico, whose husband barely acknowledges her two heaving breasts. As Nico, Kim Raver didn’t appear to be having any fun when her character turned melodramatically orgasmic when confronted with Herbie the hunk (and in post-coital numbness allowed him to photograph her naked). And let’s not forget fashion-designer Victory, someone who couldn’t possibly be a runway success given that her apartment was two shades too close to becoming an Easter Egg basket. Not to mention that, despite all that talk about being an independent woman, she gleefully accepts private jet rides from Tokyo to New York. It all reeked of… yesterday, not of female empowerment.

It doesn’t help that the script is chock-full of lines that are supposed to make you go, “Dayum straight, sistah!” like when Nico speechifies to a young male businessman, “You know, when a women expresses her concern that an important business matter be dealt with correctly, she’s not throwing a fit — she’s doing her job.” Meryl Streep’s Devil Wears Prada mag maven could’ve gotten the same point across with a curt “That’s all.”

What did you think, PopWatchers? Am I way off with my disappointment over this overstated Sex and the City, or are producers wise to water it down for primetime? And will you continue watching the show?

addCredit(“Lipstick Jungle: Nicole Rivelli”)