FinaleWatch: 'Lipstick Jungle' says goodbye
Lipstick Jungle has been straddling the cancellation line for a few months now, teasing both fans and detractors alike with its uncertain future. Tonight it says what looks to be a final goodbye, and for those of us who have stuck with the show from the beginning I can attest: it will be missed.
Let's do this one last time, shall we?
Wendy is busy as usual, preparing for Shane's departure and Victory and Joe's engagement party, all while juggling being an independent producer. While casually meeting with new Parador head and good friend Sal, he mentions an amazing upcoming Bonfire story on Lucy McKay, which Wendy decides to try to acquire the film rights for out from under Parador's nose (with Sal's encouragement, I must add). They get into a bidding war and things get even more complicated when Griffin accuses Nico of tipping Wendy off to the story. Nico asks Wendy to out Sal as the tipper, but Wendy refuses to throw anyone under the bus and it's a little bit unfair that Nico asked, in my opinion. I know they're best friends, but is Wendy really supposed to burn a personal and professional connection in Sal just to get her out of jam with her new boyfriend/boss? At the engagement party, Wendy decides to tell Griffin that Nico wasn't the one who gave her the Lucy McHale tip, and when he shifts his focus to Sal she tries to deflect suspicion away from him as well. When Wendy gets word later that Parador outbid her for the rights, Joe offers to help and she lets him know that she is aware of his financial situation (which Victory accidentally slipped to her in a moment of desperation).
Things at home for Wendy are shaky as well, seeing as Maddie has decided to fully enter the realm of teenage-dom and lies to Wendy about having a study group with a girlfriend when she's really having more of a "grownup" study group in her new college beau's dorm room. If you know what I mean. At the engagement party, Wendy and Maddie's trials heat up when Maddie shows up drunk and upset. Wendy quickly escorts her off the premises and When Wendy inquires about why she's acting out Maddie explodes, saying that she knows her father didn't leave just to go on tour, he left because he and Wendy are getting a divorce and she knows it's all Wendy's fault. Say what now? Wendy tries to tell her she's wrong, but Maddie is too busy getting rid of all that warm, flat dorm room beer in the closest trash can. Ew, and ha. Back at home and cleaned up, Maddie realizes the error of her ways and apologizes to Shane over the phone for not saying a proper goodbye before he left. Aw.
Nico (wearing a fabulous gray coat that I covet, I must add) gets to her office only to receive a sweet voicemail from Kirby in Aspen...which turns out to be bittersweet when she hears a giggling female voice in the background. Ouch. Lucky for her, Griffin is there to ease her pain with a kiss...but only for a second, because he immediately presents her with a legal letter declaring to the company that they're dating. Heh. Nico is concerned about letting anyone in the company know they're dating for fear that rumors will run rampant. To top things off, Nico is getting snubbed in every corner, work-wise. She ends up hiring PR maven Dahlia to help her get back on the map, which she does immediately when Dahlia lands her a spot on the Today show. Granted, it's the almost unwatchable (except for trainwreck purposes) fourth hour of the show with Kathie Lee Gifford, but something is better than nothing, I suppose. Unsurprisingly, Kathie Lee steers the conversation towards Nico's past with younger man Kirby (with a little bit of help from Dahlia, I suspect). Nico says some very kind and touching things about Kirby, so good thing he's watching the show to see it! Too bad for her that Griffin sees it as well, and doesn't take her fawning over her ex very well considering she's having so much trouble signing the letter about their nascent relationship. After the engagement party, Nico arrives home to find Kirby in her apartment. He lets her know that he wants her, and he's willing to do anything to make that happen. She smiles and looks extremely hopeful, and it's right then that I forget any fond feelings I had for Griffin because this is Kirby. And Kirby is ridiculously hot. Go, Nico and Kirby!
Fresh from the glow of her romantic engagement, Victory's mother and father come to town for her engagement party. Her father, it must be pointed out, was also Kevin Arnold's father on Wonder Years (a.k.a. prolific actor Dan Lauria). Which is awesome. Her parents are solidly middle class, and the show wants you to know it, with them insisting on staying at Victory's house rather than the fancy hotel Joe booked, and wanting to eat leftover airplane food (!) rather than go to a fancy lunch at the chef's table of a chi-chi French restaurant. I suppose since it was private plane airplane food, it probably was a bit better than the snack mix and yogurt I got on my last commercial flight. But still...chef's table! In the kitchen! Joe goes over the top trying to give them his real (expensive) New York experience and gets touchy when Victory kindly points out that her parents don't want that and he doesn't have the money to pull it off right now anyway.
After spending the day together Joe gets worried that her parents don't approve of him and says that if she wants they can just stay dating and not have a big ceremony to diffuse any conflict. Victory is taken aback, and in no uncertain terms tells him that's not an option. Joe's fears are confirmed when, at the engagement party, Victory's father lets her know that he is more than wary of Joe. Victory tells him the fact she loves Joe should be enough to win his support. At the end of the night, Joe lets Victory know he's aware Wendy knows about his financial difficulties, and nicely lets her know he'd like things like this to be only between them and not her girlfriends. Wow, a conflict that a couple on TV talks about right away and then resolves! It's like someone has been reading my mind, and I love it. Joe then says that he'd like to have their wedding in her hometown church, something he was not amenable to earlier. Then they make out like teenagers. Aw, sweet!
The show ends with a very nice montage of some of the best moments of the series, which is when I realize it's really over and NBC was just giving us some sort of snow job with the tease of calling this a "season finale." I have to admit, I got a little bit misty. At least all three ladies got a happy ending, or something that looks like it would turn into a happy ending eventually. When this show began I'd never thought I'd say this, but...I'll miss you, Lipstick Jungle.