Lipstick Jungle Reviews: Living In The Shadow Of A Hit Series

With the official 'Sex and the City' movie coming out this May and two shows vying to claim it's place on television, 2008 seems like the fabled year that SATC fans could stop watching re-runs. Or not. The trailers for movie are undeniably lame, and 'Cashmere Mafia,' the brain-child of SATC's producer Darren Star, has been universally panned.

So 'Lipstick Jungle,' the new series premiering this Thursday on NBC, is the season's last remaining hope. It's major selling point is that it has Candace Bushnell fighting in its corner. The author of 'Sex and the City' was devastated when Star, whom she'd known for over 20 years, beat her to the punch with 'Cashmere Mafia.' Mafia's been floundering for several weeks. Question is, will Lipstick join them at the bottom of the Hudson?

Lipstick Jungle" isn't perfect, but the dialogue is sharp and funny, and for once, we're given female characters who don't sacrifice their dignity or personal power for the sake of another lovable, goofy story line that's guaranteed not to intimidate female viewers. These women are making tough choices, they're good friends to each other, and they feel fairly genuine in the show's first two episodes. Here's hoping the show's producers will stick to their guns (even if their overbearing network bosses disagree) and stay committed to these unapologetically strong female characters.

So, that's kind of yay. But if this show's supposed to be about money, what do the people who know about money have to say? And by that, I mean The Wall Street Journal:

"Lipstick Jungle" has some good things going for it, including actresses in roles that call for slightly more maturity than we're accustomed to, and juicy enough meanies to give it a little suspense.

Notice the use of "some," "slightly" and "little". That's like President Bush talking about the economy.

But hey, the three main characters are supposed to figure 8, 12 and 17 on The New York Post's list of New York's 50 Most Powerful Women. So what's the Post's take? Adam Buckman compares 'Cashmere Mafia' and 'Lipstick Jungle' and finds that both suffer the same Achilles heel: a total lack of realism:

And when the day is done or even when it's not, they can be seen together taking leisurely midday strolls in Madison Square Park, enjoying delicious lunches at New York's finest restaurants or gaily rehashing the day's adventures over after-work drinks at any number of chic watering holes.

Which begs the question: If these busy ladies who lunch and quaff are so pressed for time, wouldn't they have more of it if they weren't getting together with each other three times a day?

'Lipstick Mafia' has no aspirations to cinema verite. But if you're making fluff, it had better be entertaining. What does New York Magazine, the champion of 'Gossip Girl,' have to say?:

Okay, like every fight between tough bitches, the battle royale between Cashmere Mafia and Lipstick Jungle could only remain buried underneath rumor, speculation, and outfit comparison for so long... One has four sexy, powerful New York women who have fabulous lives and wardrobes, and one has three. But how do they really compare to one another? Short answer: Cashmere sucks, and Lipstick merely gives you an over-the-pants hand job.

There you have it folks! Catch it on NBC this Thursday at 10PM EST. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. Maybe it's you. Or maybe (just maybe) it's Maybelline.