'Cashmere Mafia' a show about not much

Cashmere Mafia , 10-11 p.m., ABC. Then Wednesdays at 10 p.m.)

By Barry Garron

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Think of “Women’s Murder Club” without the murder or “Big Shots” with designer bags and you’ve got a pretty good handle on ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia.”

The credits list Darren Star as an executive producer, but there’s no confusing this show, with its four beautiful women friends, with Star’s “Sex and the City” or even a tamer, network version of that show.

The premise is that four women who met during business school have remained best friends for more than a decade. There’s Mia (Lucy Liu), whose recent engagement to co-worker Jack (guest star Tom Everett Scott) faces an immediate test. Within days, one will be promoted to publisher and the other will be fired. All might be fair in love and war, but not, as it turns out, at the same time.

Then there’s Wall Street honcho Zoe (Frances O’Connor), married to the only nice guy in New York, architect Eric (Julian Ovenden). To balance the scales, she is plagued by nanny problems. There’s Miranda Otto as Juliet (in real estate, I think), whose husband, Davis (Peter Hermann), is cheating on her. And finally there’s Caitlin (Bonnie Somerville), who gets busy channeling Tila Tequila to discover whose team she should be playing for. (Her brother, a Catholic priest, is tolerant, even sympathetic and supportive. Got to find out where that church is.)

The clothes are glamorous and the settings are chic, but the lives of these women are parodies of businesswomen, or perhaps stereotypes. For every moment they spend doing actual work, they spend hours texting one another, getting makeovers and referring to men as subhuman sex objects, more or less.

Despite all of that, these women might still be fun to watch if only writer-creator Kevin Wade had provided them with wittier, smarter dialogue. In this show, cattiness poses as humor and relationship dilemmas are considered business as usual. Meanwhile, good men are hard to find, but great parking spaces are everywhere.

For a series like “Cashmere Mafia” to survive, there would have to be practically no other dramas to watch and, whaddya know, that just might be the case, as more scripted shows fall victim to the writers strike.

Following its premiere Sunday, “Cashmere Mafia” will move to its regular slot at 10 p.m. Wednesdays.


Mia: Lucy Liu

Zoe: Frances O’Connor

Juliet: Miranda Otto

Caitlin: Bonnie Somerville

Davis: Peter Hermann

Eric: Julian Ovenden

Jack Cutting: Tom Everett Scott

Alicia Lawson: Lourdes Benedicto

Brooke Adaire: Anna Camp

Cilla Grey: Noelle Beck

Darren Star, Kevin Wade, Peyton Reed, Gail Katz; Co-executive producer: Susie Fitzgerald; Produced by: Jane Raab, Alysse Bezahler; Producer: Abram Hatch; Co-producers: Cathy Frank, Michael Stricks; Director: Michael Pressman; Creator-teleplay: Kevin Wade; Directors of photography: Frank Prinzi, Peter Deming; Production designers: Stephen Hendrickson, Jane Musky; Editor: Timothy Boettcher; Music: Daniel Licht; Set designer: Richard Devine; Casting: Bonnie Finnegan, Steven Jacobs.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter