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Could Lipstick Jungle Be A Show You Actually Watch?

Illustration for article titled Could iLipstick Jungle/i Be A Show You Actually Watch?

f you're reading this site you probably don't think Sex & The City needs a sequel. You likely think it needs to be banished from the universe and purged from the popular lexicon. Because you have a vagina and a masochistic streak, you'll see the movie, of course. But you probably aren't one of the five million or so viewers of Cashmere Mafia, the new Lucy Liu vehicle out from Sex & The City executive producer Darren Star, precisely because you know what will happen when you see it: you'll find yourself actually missing Sex & The City, the show, because for all the mindless consumerism it wrought, for the way it seemed to dangerously channel the ambitions of so many young women towards the pointless pursuit of pretty things and glamourous jobs, for the way it ruined New wasn't actually that bad a show; it's the onslaught of tertiary Sex & The City propelled products — like Cashmere Mafia — that are so fucking offensive.


So anyway: we fully intended to feel the same way about Lipstick Jungle, the Candace Bushnell project that will premiere next week to compete with Cashmere Mafia viewers, the show that tore apart the lucrative friendship of Bushnell and Darren Star. I mean, seriously: Lipstick Jungle: if there is a title more obnoxious, more shamelessly pandering to the sick set of values perpetuated by Sex & The City than Cashmere Mafia, that would be it, right? But according to a story in today's New York Observer — the newspaper that started it all by printing Bushnell's wretched columns every week! — there may be a reason to give Lipstick Jungle a chance. Specifically, an executive producer and director who intends to make it somehow palatable to dudes, thirtysomething star Timothy Busfield:

"I really wanted this show to be about the little problems," he said. "I do not like necessarily, even in our show, when we get too hijinks-orientated. Too high profile. I'd love the show to be, at its core, about the difficulty of the working mom, a leader in the workplace, who still is a mom and wife who provides for her husband and kids. My dream moment is to see Brooke come home after an enormously long day and have to load the dishwasher. Those little problems—not the business going under, or flying to Scotland to get J.K. Rowling ... That stuff? Great, we have it. But the matters of self-doubt and overcoming self-doubt, that is what the show is about."
Mr. Busfield, who was raised by a single mom, has encouraged the cast to bring their kids to the set (Ms. Raver has a 5-year-old son and 3-month-old baby) in the name of creating a happy work environment. "If Kim breaks to nurse, no one is allowed to make her feel bad or rush," said Mr. Busfield. "This is a show when women can bring their kids. I don't expect you to leave them at home, I'll wait for you to finish pumping if you need to."
He also expects the show to offer sympathetic and complex male characters. "I felt the men were a little two-dimensional on Sex and The City," said Mr. Busfield, adding, "I think men's reaction to Sex and The City is like women's reaction to The Three Stooges.
"I want the male audience," he continued. "I want them to think, What can I do better?" He laughed. "They laugh, but the actresses know I want to shoot them like John Wayne. They're all John Wayne to me. Shoot the costumes, get the moments, let me see the spurs."


Now, if you read the rest of the story, you'll be less likely to give it a chance. There's Candace talking about New York "making it" success blah blah, and some actress cooing about how "glamorous" the whole thing is, and something about the launch party taking place in the Saks shoe department, and a little piece of dialogue that sounds puke-inducingly like every exchange involving Samantha from Sex & The City.

But shit, people, there's a writer's strike on. What else are you going to watch, Millionaire Matchmaker?

Okay, seriously, Millionaire Matchmaker is kind of awesome, but still.

Carrie's Sister [New York Observer]

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I'm recycling my The West Wing DVD boxes right now, and am so in love with that show again. And Timothy Busfield is adorable on it. And Allison Janney rules.