Monday, January 7, 2008

Pilot Review: Cashmere Mafia

Cashmere Mafia (ABC)
Premiered January 6 at 10pm

I knew I would not like this one, but I expected more energy and more spark. This is a perky show about four high-powered women running around New York City trying to manage their personal lives. While I will concede that not every show needs to be original, this truly has nothing in terms of intrigue to offer. The most lacking element is the extremely limited time that each of these women is shown actually doing any kind of work. Their reputations precede them, but they do nothing to live up to them. The biggest disappointment is Lucy Liu. I expected something like the razor-sharp, cunning villain she played in "Kill Bill" but instead get a shockingly tame and uninteresting lead. What is worse is that the character arc is still written as if she is the "Kill Bill" villain yet she does not play her that way, which creates a true sense of emptiness. Less than two hours after watching the premiere, I am already forgetting what happened. The only interesting storyline is that of budding lesbian Bonnie Sommerville, but that girl really eneds to stop drinking so much coffee every morning. Her energy level is way too high.

How will it work as a series? It is devastatingly formulaic and highly predictable, and I foresee no real changes anytime soon. It is pretty much on par with NBC's forthcoming "Lipstick Jungle", and I think the two should share the same audience.
How long will it last? In this climate with sparse original programming, this show has a better shot than it would have at any other time. Its launch was wisely delayed from November so that it has less competition and I think ABC will air all the produced episodes but I am not sure if it will last beyond that.

Pilot grade: F

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