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Where the Girls are on TV: Toni Collette, Eliza Dushku, Brooke Shields

Where the Girls are on TV: Toni Collette, Eliza Dushku, Brooke Shields

It's the new year, so get ready for Eliza Dushku as a real doll in Dollhouse and Toni Collette on U.S. of Tara. Holiday re-run season is a good time to discover a few shows in their last gasps inlcuding Brooke Shields in Lipstick Jungle and Natasha Henstridge on Eli Stone. Plus, kudos to Kaley Cuoco big brain on Big Bang Theory.

I had my first experience with the cougars of Lipstick Jungle, Candice Bushnell's ostensible continuation of Sex and the City, about a trio of Manhattanites in hot pursuit of money and power.  The gals of Sex and the City, Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Charlotte, (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the primordial storm troopers of New York's trendiest martini bars, differ from the "Lipsticks" in that the "Lipsticks" care more about money and power than they do about libations and Manolos.

Nico, (Kim Raver) Victory (Lindsay Price) and Wendy (Brooke Shields), the trio from "Lipstick Jungle", have done for the idea of high-powered careers, influence and money what the ribald cabal of "Sex and the City" did for one-night-stands, relationships and Sunday afternoon canoodling.

My mother tells me the reason I enjoy Lipstick Jungle is because as a young person I can relate to the characters. I'm still looking around the room trying to spot who she's actually talking to. First off, I'm broke and I hate my job, which in no way pays anywhere near what these city slickers are raking in. I can barely bankroll a sushi dinner and glass of wine these days, and try as I may I can't recall the last time I was a) married to a musician, b) dating a millionaire entrepreneur, or c) engaged in pre-coital canoodling with my handsome African American boss. Sadly, my Maxi Shields are the only Shields connection between Brooke and me.

Speaking of which, cougar Brooke Shields is living proof that life begins after 40 and that not even a lifetime membership to the MILFers can tarnish her wholesome, all-American Crest toothpaste smile. Co-stars Kim Raver and Lindsay Price are definite cougar eye candy and more than sexy enough to make this po' girl keep an eye out for some girl-on-girl jungle lovin' in the Big Apple.

Speaking of monkey lovin', wild woman Chelsea Handler, a mod-ish Jane of the Jungle and my favorite talk show host when it comes time to chewing the fat of Hollywood's most infamous and scurrilous, played host to the gorgeous Aisha Tyler last week. I've swooned over Aisha ever since her days on Talk Soup, E! Television's wet dream for gossipmongers craving the latest Hollywood scuttlebutt. I don't know what Tyler's been up to or who she's been underneath for that matter, but she looked absolutely ravishing as she sidled up along side Handler for her close-up. Tyler forewent dishing out the Hollywood 411 for a stint on Ghost Whisperer playing Melinda Gordon's (Jennifer Love Hewitt) best antique-selling gal pal.

Tyler's death scene on GW left fans utterly vaklempt. Her character didn't have too much to do other than help wrap vintage heirlooms, but at least she was at the epicenter of the most interesting storyline the show as ever penned. New best pal Delia (Camryn Manheim) is a superb replacement to Tyler. From The L Word to The Practice, I've been a fan of Manheim's work for years, but even I'm sorry to say "Cammie's" no Aisha.

Eli Stone continues to dish out new episodes, which is fortuitous since most of the networks won't begin pumping out new content until later this week. Last week's episode of Eli Stone pitted Taylor (Natasha Henstridge) and Matt (Sam Jaeger) smack in the middle of a medical crisis involving their unborn baby. Fortunately, baby and smokin' hot mama Taylor turned out to be fine. Laura Benanti, who plays Beth Keller, is disgustingly hot and continues to impress as she secretly pines away for the omnipotent Eli and Loretta Devine, who plays Patti Dellacroix, is just all around awesome no matter what or who she's doing.

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I'm becoming more a fan of CBS with each passing week. Virtually everything is still in re-runs but on last week's episode of  How I Met Your Mother, during a scene in the park with Ted Mosby, (Josh Radnor) and girlfriend Cathy (Lindsay Price), you could see two men in the background walking and holding hands. Talk about gay and lesbian product placement on the set. 

The Big Bang Theory continues to grow on me. Out lesbian Sara Gilbert has made several appearances playing nerdy scientist Leslie Winkle along side former TV beau Johnny Galacki (Leonard). Last week the cabal of geeks engaged in a titillating debate over whether Peppermint Patty from "The Peanuts" was a lesbian or in fact just athletic. Way to go CBS for slipping in plenty of gay-themed references. Although she's legal, ogling Kaley Cuoco (Penny) from TBBT, or anyone else for that matter born before 1986, makes me feel like a washed up Mrs. Robinson. Cuoco is one of the hottest newcomers to the CBS family. I just feel bad for the poor girl who you just know is eventually going to be partnered up with one of those pocket-protector wearing drips.

The new year is finally here and with it comes a new bevy of shows to choose from.  Edie Falco returns to primetime this spring in Nurse Jackie and manages to inspire a slew of naughty nurse/naughty patient fantasies from this ragged mama, while Toni Collette gets ready to star in the dark comedy The United States of Tara, about a woman living with multiple personalities. I for one hope there's a repressed lesbian with a leather fetish locked away in Tara's diseased mind just dying to break free and ready to take on the mechanical bull at the local all girl bar.

But hands down, the plat du jour of the season will be Dollhouse, staring the gorgeous Eliza Dushku. Dushku will play Echo, a "doll" whose mind has been erased so that those controlling her can manipulate her to either kill or seduce. And I thought my life-sized Charlie McCarthy ventriloquist doll was neat. I used to feed my Charlie doll Hershey bars and face him towards the window before I went to bed because I was afraid he would come to life and kill me in the middle of the night. Ooh the trauma that could have been avoided had mommy and daddy only put an Echo doll under the tree on Christmas morn.

Missed the last Where the Girls are on TV? Read it here.          

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Lauren Incognito