This year’s choice for hot mid-season television formula is Sex in the City gets married and goes to the office. Combine several high-powered, hottie women execs with contentious, creative work environments and stressed out home lives and voila(!), advertisers line up like in the ultra-competitive days of the 1994 renaissance of sexy, smart doctor dramas.
Tomorrow night will mark the third episode of one of the front runners of the mini powerful-woman genre: Lipstick Jungle. And, at this point, I’m wondering if the ad partnership won’t be the downfall of the series.
I should preface with this: All television shows based on professions boldly simplify, cast unusually sexy characters (think of the “CSI”s with fully made up faces and low cut shirts scouring trash truck crime scenes or George Clooney still delightfully coiffed after a gory 48 shift) and are generally unrecognizable to people in the actual field.
Lipstick Jungle’s marriage to Makeup Artist Chuck Hezekiah of Maybelline is a little reductive even for Prime Time. At each commercial break, he pops up with advice on how to get ‘the look’ of the exec featured in the last segment.
I’m not suggesting that the Ad Council should break in with a series on how to raise our young women, but, when we take a relatively accepted convention (TV sexing up real-life humans) and make it driver of the story, well, it gets a little ugly. Afterall, they weren't exactly paying for ER with hair gel sponsors or CSI with tube top designers.
With such a prominent and potentially-controversial sponsorship, it will be interesting to see what part Maybelline plays in the success or failure of Lipstick Jungle.