Friday, February 29, 2008

"Bombay Highway" - Lipstick Jungle, episode 1.4

With Cashmere Mafia having concluded its strike-shortened run, we now have an entire post to consider the much more entertaining Lipstick Jungle. "Bombay Highway" begins with Nico revealing something to Wendy and Victory that we've known all along....

....namely that she's been having an affair with 25-year old Kirby, the photographer's assistant now suing her for sexual harassment. Nico's boss Hector, assuming its a nuisance suit, puts his full support behind Nico. But Nico is feeling guilty not only because her attempts at damage control have cost Kirby his job but because she's actually in love with her husband Charles (Christopher Cousins). In my first poist about this series I said that Charles, a professor, seemed to have wandered in from another show. But Charles (whose lack of interest in sleeping with his gorgeous wife is explained this week) finally gets developed a bit this week.

Charles is one of those cool professors, the kind who hangs in a coffee shop and doesn't freak out if somebody's a little late with a paper. He's so lovable that Nico, in a moment of weakness, signs a false statement that Hector's lawyers have given her. The statement paints Kirby as a sexual predator and the lawyers think it's the quickest route to making the lawsuit go away. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the irony is that Nico seems to need what she's getting from Kirby and Charles. Charles provides stability, and its the sexual confidence the affair from Kirby provides that enables Nico to score a coup at work with the concept for the Prince William photo shoot. (The idea that women need to be satisfied in their personal lives in order to be happy at work is positively radical when you compare it to Cashmere Mafia, where everyone's personal life is a mess) When a certain grad student leaves one too many messages on Charles' phone, Nico begins to reconsider how to get what she needs emotionally.

The rest of the episode is devoted to a elaborate party that Wendy is throwing to generate buzz for an art-house movie. Victory is asked to design a dress for the movie's star, a Spears/Lohan tabloid sensation. Victory views the job as a chance to get back on the fashion A-list. The party ends badly when the atarlet breaks up with her boyfriend and flips out, but what's important is the relationship between Wendy and Victory. Victory views herself as the little sister of the group; her inferiority complex is exacerbated when Wendy dismisses her opinions on Nico's marriage because Victory hasn't been married herself. Victory calls her on it and the two hug it out. It was good to see Victory show some backbone, and her dress does get the attention it deserves.

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