I know how to pick ’em. Cancelled shows, that is. I’ve picked several losers in the past few years to start watching only to see them get canceled shortly after. Meanwhile, NPY’s picked star shows like Heroes, Lost, and So You Think You Can Dance (maybe the reality show doesn’t count). I’ve picked the likes of Lipstick Jungle, What About Brian, Beautiful People, and Moonlight.
So I am quite familiar with the feeling one is left with–dangling–when a show ends in its prime, without running its course.
I had also blogged about four novels I wanted to read this summer that would make it complete (in the literary way) where Lipstick Jungle rounded out the list.
After enjoying the show so much–in large part due to the beautiful actors–I was initially so disappointed with the novel. The three leading men in the novel were misfits and losers and it annoyed me that they had such personalities in part for comedic/chick-lit effect. Book-Shane was a Grade “A” douchebag and Book-Bennett was a petulant man-child. I did become intrigued by Book-Charles who got more backstory and favourable portrayal than did the other men. Oh, and Book-Kirby was such a disappointment after a television version of Kirby. What Book-Kirby said was so ditzy I could not suspend my belief and buy it that an intelligent woman like Nico could get beyond his drivel and sleep with him not once but quite a few times.
I’m not too sure I’ve seen such horrible male characters since infamous Amy Tan’s leading men in “Joy Luck Club”. However, JLC was an iconic piece that is widely known while Lipstick Jungle probably languishes in a special chick-lit purgatory and no one knows how misogynist the author seems with the likes of those husbands.
I appreciated how the work life of the characters were elaborated upon in the novel such that you do develop some empathy for the women’s sacrifices to get where they are. On the show, it seemed like their work success came like magic. Still, you would probably guffaw over the fiction that was the description of their jobs, corporate life, and social life in general. It’s still chick-lit and an utter fantasy.
It was quite clear to me that Candace Bushnell liked her Nico character. Initially, I was not impressed that she was given a daughter that essentially straps her to her loveless marriage. But Book-Kirby was so awful, you were rooting for her marriage to succeed. Bushnell wrote lovingly about the bond between Nico and her daughter. I suppose it may reflect on my “practicality” but I couldn’t help admiring the Nico-Seymour marriage even if it wasn’t passionately loving. They were still an unbeatable team and after the verbal description, I can’t help but think of Book-Nico and even TV-Nico (actress Kim Raver) as “racehorses”.
A large reason why I tuned into Lipstick Jungle, the television show, is the casting of Lindsay Price as Victory Ford. How an Asian character ended up with a good and proper American last name was never addressed because I suppose it doesn’t fit into the show to have such exposition. I tried to take note and it seemed to me there was less detail in the novel about Victory Ford’s physical appearance. Could this have been a progressive and proactive measure to leave the casting open to interpretation? I’d like to think “progressive”. As much as I was curious what the back-story might because, I probably would have inwardly groaned if there had been an “Asian episode”….