Cashmere Mafia: Conference Call
(S01E02) I'm still not sure about Cashmere Mafia. And with Lipstick Jungle coming soon, they had better step up their game. I liked tonight's episode a little more than the pilot but I'm not as taken with the show as I'd like to be--the way I was after the first episodes of Desperate Housewives. DH had more compelling storylines and carefully mixed the comedy with the melodrama. Cashmere Mafia definitely had its funny moments last night (i.e. when Mia said that Juliet was an ice queen...sometimes) but parts of the show are just overdone.
Mostly, I think I want more interesting, quirky, accessible characters. The stories that CM has come up with for these women (who could potentially be very compelling) are shallow and contrived at times. More on this after the jump.
Let's talk about the stories that don't quite work first. I should rephrase that. These stories work, they're just work too well which makes them predictable.
First there's Mia's storyline. I thought that Mia Mason would be the mainstay of the show but I'm unimpressed by what the writers have given her so far. Last night she had to fire her freeloading mentor who was good at blowing off work and schmoozing people. Was it really a hard decision to fire this guy? I would have preferred it if Mia actually had to fire someone who didn't deserve to be fired and then had to deal with the guilt. All that said, the scene at the party with Caitlin, Grant and Mia was pretty funny. However, it was ruined by Mia taking another woman under her wing after said woman gives her an awkward compliment. She even got a pair of sunglasses! Yeah, that was believable.
Second is Caitlin's storyline. I think with Caitlin (who I like as a character) the problem is not the predictability but the shallowness of the story. And while Bonnie Somerville's comedic timing is really good, I just don't believe that she and Lourdes Benedicto are attracted to each other. It like "let's just act like what we think lesbians act like." I don't believe that Caitlin is even questioning her sexuality, no less a possible lesbian.
There are, however, some really good things about Cashmere Mafia. Most of them have to do with Zoe Burden played by Frances O'Connor. (I'm surprised at what an adept comedienne Frances O'Connor is. I keep thinking "Is this the same actress from Mansfield Park?" Totally unrelated but if you like Jane Austen and Frances O'Connor, you should rent Mansfield Park.)
Zoe continues to balance her insane work life (even the people she works with are funny) with her home life. I loved the stay-at-home mom trying to steal Zoe's husband. And after the conversation between Zoe and her husband Eric, I actually care about their relationship.
I'm still on-the-fence about Juliet's character and story. Sometimes I really like Juliet (i.e. the scene at the therapist's office) and other times she's just plain annoying (i.e. when she got a makeover courtesy of Caitlin). I just don't know if there's room for two icy neurotic redheads on television. Bree Hodge has that market covered.
Overall, it kept my attention about 70% of the time. What about you? Is Cashmere Mafia worth staying up till 10 to watch? Do you like these characters?