A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that, even though it's on network television, this adult drama's sexual content is relatively graphic and iffy even for most teens. No naked body parts are shown, but in one scene, the camera does come very close to revealing a naked man's genitalia. Things don't get much better when it comes to role modeling. One of the three main female characters decides to cheat on her husband simply because he's stopped showing interest in her sexually. Expect a fair amount of social drinking and label-related name-dropping as well.
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What's the story?
Based on the best-selling book by Sex in the City author Candace Bushnell, LIPSTICK JUNGLE focuses on the lives of three women -- one married with children, one married and childless, and one single -- living and working in New York City. Wendy Healy (Brooke Shields) is a movie industry exec, Nico Reilly (Kim Raver) is a magazine editor, and Victory Ford (Lindsay Price) is a fashion designer. Viewers aren't told exactly how they came to be friends, but they're close enough that they meet up regularly for lunch, Pilates, and rooftop rap sessions.
Is it any good?
Lipstick Jungle is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the success of Sex in the City (HBO's iconic version of Bushnell's first book) and compete with ABC's Cashmere Mafia (a show produced by SATC creator Darren Star). But, much like a fake Fendi you might buy from a Manhattan street vendor, Lipstick Jungle is a poorly constructed copy.
While Cashmere is snappy, bold, and ridiculous -- and knows it -- Lipstick strives for a more natural dramatic style, yet ultimately comes off as too contrived. Part of the reason is the awkwardly written dialogue that presents the lead characters as two-dimensional archetypes -- rather than relatable human beings with complex emotions -- who sometimes sound like they're reading lines from a bad play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the realities of being a woman and having a career, and whether a modern gal can truly "have it all." Is a working woman with children able to give 100 percent of herself to her job, her spouse, and her kids -- or will one of them get short shrift? How does that struggle work out in real life, as opposed to TV shows and movies? What's your take on each of the three main characters? What are their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to their personal and professional lives? Is the corporate jungle still a "man's world"? If so, what are some of the particular challenges that ladder-climbing women might face?
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