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April 20, 2014

Cashmere Mafia: Pilot (series premiere)

by Kristin Sample, posted Jan 7th 2008 8:30AM
Cast of Cashmere Mafia
(S01E01) Meet Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte. Oh wait, I mean, meet (from the left) Juliet, Caitlin, Zoe and Mia. These are the ladies of Cashmere Mafia, ABC's new show that premiered last night but will be running at its regular time on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. So, this show is basically "diet" Sex and the City (you can use "watered down" SATC if you like). And if you watched last night, it shouldn't surprise you that Darren Star is one of the producers behind the show and that Patricia Fields is the costume designer.

Some similarities to the HBO classic series include: four girlfriends who counsel each other over lunch and drinks in New York City, quick (sometimes pithy) dialogue, good acting (for the most part), and great clothes courtesy of Fields. Differences? For starters, it's on network TV, so no sex. The other biggest difference however is that all the women are uber-successful. They all met in business school and now conquer the worlds of publishing, hospitality, advertising, and finance.

I think I'll review this episode by discussing each of the four main characters. Let's start with Mia Mason who is played by Lucy Liu (Ally McBeal, Charlie's Angels, Kill Bill). Mia gets engaged in the very beginning of the episode only to find that she must compete against her fiance for an important job. She, of course, wins the promotion using some sneaky tactics to land clients and her fiance Jack calls it off. Her story was a little predictable but Lucy Liu is great. The last scene with Mia and Jack played really well. I believed her that she wanted to be a wife and have children but that she also wanted to be successful in her career. I thought audiences could empathize with her position.
Cashmere Mafia premiere
Next there's Juliet Draper played by Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings). Just a quick note--can you believe this is the same woman from LOTR? The icy COO of a hotel chain, Juliet finds out that her husband is cheating on her during this episode (well, she knew he was cheating, she just didn't know about this one). Zoe spots Davis kissing Cilla Grey. Cilla is a kind of rival for the four ladies and gives them their name "Cashmere Mafia" at the end of the episode. I wonder what will happen with her. Cilla mentioned that she possessed some information about Juliet.

Just when I was wondering where the "mafia" was in the show, Juliet dropped a bomb on her husband Davis. She's decides to get even by telling him to look around at all their friends because one of those lucky guys will be sleeping with her soon. Caitlin helped Zoe get revenge too. Remember early in the episode when Caitlin told Cilla that she would help out with Cilla's purchase of a co-op? Well, apparently, Caitlin did put in a word for Cilla (it just wasn't the word Cilla wanted).
Cashmere Mafia
My two favorite characters so far are Zoe and Caitlin. Caitlin Dowd, played by Bonnie Somerville (Kitchen Confidential) is the wild one of the bunch. She's a little irreverent and will be the woman who says what the others are thinking. Also interesting about Caitlin is her confusion about her sexual orientation. She even discusses it with her brother who's a priest (that will make for a good dynamic later on).

Lastly there's Zoe Burden, played by Frances O'Connor (Mansfield Park). I think I like her the best. She reminds me of Lynnette on Desperate Housewives (back when Lynette was an advertising executive). Zoe is trying to balance her mega-career and her two children. In the beginning of the episode, her nanny has left her for a family across the street (who offered more money and a whole lot of perks). She's basically in the same position at the end of the episode with her new nanny (no, ex-nanny--that one quit too).

Overall, I liked it. Of course, it's not as magical as Sex and the City but who can really tell after one episode. And with Desperate Housewives all wrapped up for now, this will be my "diva-drama" for the winter. What did you think of Cashmere Mafia?

Who do you think has the largest salary on Cashmere Mafia?
Mia (Lucy Liu)199 (55.0%)
Caitlin (Bonnie Somerville)13 (3.6%)
Zoe (Frances O'Connor)49 (13.5%)
Juliet (Miranda Otto)101 (27.9%)

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17 Comments

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nany

I watched Sunday night but was unaware that it changed to Wednesdays. Was Wednesday also the premier or did I miss the second episode. If so, do you know how I can get caught up?

Thanks

January 11 2008 at 7:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Renee

I love the show Cashmere Mafia. It has great characters and is very funny. I like the part where the guy says relax to the woman on the show because in reality that happens all the time. I just read a great article talking about the show and the part with the guy saying relax in the wrong manner at http://blogs.dailycents.com/?p=796

January 10 2008 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chuck

Crap! Compare to Lipstick Jungle - that's the show to watch.

January 09 2008 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
OtterPup18

Zoe Burden is amazingly gorgeous! She appears to have stunning beauty and intelligence.

Look at the pic below, she manages to look incredibly sexy while taking a phone call. How does she do it?

http://cashmeremafiaepisodes.com/gallery/displayimage.php?album=3&pos=35

January 09 2008 at 3:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erika

It got some pretty bad reviews, but i thought it was entertaining!

January 08 2008 at 10:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aphoward

She was actually Eowyn in LOTR, Arwen was Liv Tyler. yay for corrections! :)

January 07 2008 at 8:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Walt

In the first five minutes, I knew Lucy Liu's chippy demeanor couldn't last. She did it well, but it was suspicious to say the least. I was amused by the fact that he beau proposes to her, but then backs out in a week because he thought she'd just be a stay at home mom... He works with a cut throat woman day in and day out, proposes to her, but then confesses he assumed she'd change for him? Lame.

Not as lame as the 30+ year old woman who thinks she's gay, though. You have three best friends who are decent looking girls on their own, best friends with them for 15 years and it dawns on you that you want to make a pass at a pretty woman? The character doesn't ring true.

Yeah, the mother that doesn't know how to hire a nanny was a bit funny, although I was hoping for more than that. Oh, and her smile... was it courtesy of The Joker? Spooky. Was that makeup or did she just have someone slice open her mouth an extra half inch on both ends?

True, the only nice moment was the "Look around at your friends" moment from "Arwen".

---

Why this show won't do well: Nobody besides Joker smile girl that has a comedic bone in her body. And if anybody thinks that drama is going to sell ad time on this, they are sadly mistaken. If they had done this for laughs, they might have gotten somewhere. But of the four of them, maybe half are completely unsuitable for comedy. On "Big Shots" all four of the guys can go comedic if they had to.

Like some others, I may watch this because there's little else on, but unless New York City is paying them to film on the streets, I don't think this will go past the first order of episodes.

January 07 2008 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
iamhoff

Seems like Big Shots for women. Me and the GF actually liked Big Shots, and in one fashion CM seemed less contrived than Big Shots...Big Shots seemed to focus so much of the guys on the golf course. I golf, and I do consulting work. But if you are a successful, active business person you do not have that much free time for golfing (at least without the presence of clients or other shmoozing targets). The CM girls seem every bit as successful as the Big Shots guys, but at least their socializing seems to take place either at lunch or after hours. Beyond that, it at least seemed well acted and the women aren't hard to look at. I enjoyed it (GF fell asleep), but with the writers' strike still going it was good to see anything new that's NOT a freaking reality show. We'll put it in the rotation and see what happens. Didn't one of the other networks have a similar show in the works? Which one and has it aired yet?

January 07 2008 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
nick

It seemed more like a female Big Shots than SatC. Both in terms of content and, uh... quality.

January 07 2008 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hot Chick

I thought it didnt have anything to do with Sex "In" the City-except for the lovely clothes! The story lines were mindless-but if you want and like mindless then you are good. I think its identical to Big Shots but with the roles reversed.

Just blah for me. Plus how many ways can they think of for the act of sex. It can be a drinking game. "Dipping the wick" was my favorite.

A little too over the top with the sex analogies (is that what they are called?) and the "power sex" thing going on with all of them.

I love love love LUcy but I love her as a bitch. This made her seem almost like a different person.

January 07 2008 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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