Cashmere Mafia (2008– )
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A slower, less witty version of CASHMERE MAFIA is LIPSTICK JUNGLE. Equally as good. Just slower and less witty. It survived to see another season. CASHMERE MAFIA is history. Fortunately, I've got a DVR and I don't mind watching shows over again.
Being a guy who appreciates strong, assertive women, the main characters of CASHMERE MAFIA were exactly my cup of tea, and the metronome scoring for the first episode was a dead give away the pacing of the show was going to be somewhat rapid. It was. Shades of GILMORE GIRLS. I like lots of movement, lots of dialog.
As for the show's realism, I have no idea. The upper East Side is not my stomping ground. However, realism is not why I'm sitting in the balcony. I came to be entertained, and I was. CASHMERE MAFIA is a very, very good show, and a short lived one, too. I will, however, enjoy my own reruns.
I do wonder, though, how a show about four strong, assertive women working at a meat packing plant would do? I mean, I try keeping an open mind about things but I just don't relate all that well to the upper classes. Yachts, corporate jets, and homes in the Hamptons just seem a little irrelevant. Maybe that's just me.
Mia(Lucy Liu) who loses her fiancé who couldn't deal with not being able to keep up with her. Zoe (Frances O'Connor)who tries not to neglect her children, while balancing her career. Juliet (Miranda Otto) who has to deal with a rebellious teenage daughter, while her husband has an affair. Caitlin (Bonnie Sommerville) who discovers that the person with whom she might spend her life with, might be a woman.
Poor "Cashmere Mafia" just premiered on ABC and has already to prove itself. With four women as leading ladies and stories which focus on sex, friendship and love, the show draws comparisons to successful cult favorites like "Sex and the City" and "Desperate Housewives", not to mention the upcoming similar themed "Lipstick Jungle".
While "Cashmere Mafia" might look like a cheap knock-off of "Sex and the City" , the show actually tries to achieve something else and differentiate itself from its successful ancestors by addressing real life issues like gender rivalry or successful family/business management. Unfortunately the show suffers from stereotypes and a pretty clumsy execution of a concept that might look promising on paper.
Especially the plot which revolves around Caitlin realizing that she might be gay is executed in the most unbelievable way you could imagine. While it's not a bad idea to include a Lesbian/Bisexual in a show which focuses on four women, the execution of the whole storyline lacks of realism. In the beginning of the episode Caitlin breaks up with her boyfriend just to fall in love with a woman the next morning, who magically appears to be a Lesbian as well. The moment in which Caitlin realizes that she might have an interest in this woman is executed very ridiculously with silly music in the background, a long focus on Caitlin's face with a dorky smile.
The dialogue of the show feels forced at times, especially when the male writers want to underline how close and "female" these four women are. The actresses do their best, but lack of chemistry. So far they don't really feel like close friends, but if you look back at the premieres of shows like "Desperate Housewives", you see that it wasn't there from the beginning either. There is still the possibility that they develop more chemistry over the course of the series.
The show is not really male-friendly. The male characters are pretty much undeveloped in opposite to the women and fall into clichés. There has to be a cheater, a man who can't deal with his girlfriend being more successful than he is and the loyal puppy-husband. It's understandable that they focus more on the ladies, but it wouldn't have harmed the show if they treated the male characters equally well and had made them a little bit more complex.
After watching the pilot, the show feels like an underwhelming mix of "Desperate Housewives" and "Sex and the City". Two characters of the show even strongly reminded me at characters of "Desperate Housewives". Juliet is very similar to Bree since she is the readhead who tried to keep up appearances all the way through the pilot, while Zoe feels like a younger Lynette since she has to struggle with the same issues.
The show definitely has some potential to get better, but so far, the show hasn't really been very impressive nor realistic. It definitely needs a chance to grow and I am not sure whether audiences give the show enough time to get better.
So far, I like the series. The second episode was better than the first, and the show definitely has potential to do better than it's currently doing.
The four main characters are successful women, but they all have their flaws. Sometimes, the show does make me wonder if these women work - the show is also supposed to be focused on their work lives, but we do not get to see them work very much. (Mostly, it's just been Mia working.) The chemistry between the four best friends could be better, but considering it's only the first few episodes... chemistry can be developed over time. (The actresses are great in their own roles - it's only when they're together that you may question if they're really best friends.)
Basically, while I do like this show, it could be a lot better - and hopefully audiences will give it a chance! (There were several other series that didn't get a warm reception initially, but in the end turned out to be hits.)
For one, the female leads are all intriguing. Their characters all have interesting, new story lines, and the actresses pull it off rather well (especially Miranda Otto). One thing I might say though, is that while the characters are great in their own respective story lines, they lack chemistry between each other. But considering how the cast of DH and SATC didn't really seem that close to each other in their own pilots, I'm guessing that this might change as time passes by.
Speaking of DH and SATC, viewers might think that this is a bad knockoff of those shows, but it's not. Though the format is a bit clichéd in that it has four strong female leads as in SATC and DH, Cashmere Mafia strives to portray their leads as more ferocious than other shows. To be honest, rather than SATC and DH, I was reminded of a female version of "Big Shots". And while I gave up on BS for lacking sympathetic characters (I only liked Joshua Malina's character), I think Cashmere Mafia somehow finds a way to make their leads sympathetic on top of being strong and vicious.
Though I did like this pilot and the characters, I'm not sure whether viewers will give this show time to grow. Just as people are quick to criticize clichés, they are also quick to criticize the different. And with CM's cast of stronger, more cutthroat, and different women, I'm not sure if viewers will be ready for this. Here's hoping they are.
Thus far (i.e. after the airing of only the pilot), I think the show has the potential to capture the chick-flick audience- provided the plots of future episodes are original rather than predictable rewrites of other women-taking-charge shows.