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**Note from the Editor: We weren’t planning on covering this show, because let’s face it. How long is it gonna last? But then we watched it and scoured the Earth for the perfect woman to take it down to Chinatown. And no that’s not a stab at Lucy Liu. Please welcome the newest recapper to the TVgasm family, Internet Sensation with Cashmere Mafia!!
It’s finally here! The low-rent Sex and the City nobody ever cared about. This series comes as a complete surprise to me as I had no idea Americans had such an insatiable appetite for badly written shows about fashion crazy, career women in Manhattan. From the plucky, cavalier musical intro to calling in Pat Fields for wardrobe, this show wants to be SATC so badly it careens right past derivative and goes for straight-to-DVD sequel. Like if SATC were Bring It On, this would be Bring It On 7: Tore Up from the Floor Up starring Jamie Lynn Spears.
But if you like seeing women being broadly lumped into two categories (from L-R: crazy, bitchy, crazy, bitchy), enjoy being beaten over the head with the Can-women-be-powerful-AND-feminine? lead pipe, and have no interest in these topics being explored with any regard to reality, then this is the show for you!
And look who’s up to bat: Lucy Liu (I can’t believe she fell for the “Asian Carrie Bradshaw” line her agent gave her), Miranda Otto (still smarting from getting straight up de-nied by Aragorn), some blonde girl, and…awesome! Mary Louise Parker! (Oh, wait. That’s not MLP, just her low-rent proxy. Figures.)
So let’s get started, shall we?
Queue B-roll of glamorous Manhattan footage. Enter Lucy Liu and Beta Boyfriend. Equal parts power pants and whimsical girly girl, she confidently debates with him what day their anniversary was. Today or tomorrow? See how perfectly she melds power and romance? She’s always right and cares about relationship milestones! Whadda gal! Got it ABC. Let’s move on. But wait, not yet. Homeboy has to propose to her in front of the park musicians that they saw on their first date one year ago exactly. (or was it 364 days ago? WHO’S RIGHT?? Gah. We’ll never know.)
Who in their right mind would cast Lucy Liu as someone who smiles so much? It’s creeping me out.
Hold up a sec. This is romantic to her? First of all, who remembers street musicians from a year earlier? Unless they are naked or harass you verbally/physically, I’m not buying this remember-the-buskers forever scenario. But, as noted earlier, this is not a show dedicated to realism. Let’s proceed.
We arrive at the office with Mia (Lucy Liu) and BB (Beta Boyfriend) and discover these two like to mix business with pleasure. Just my style! But not really. They’re just both executives for the same publishing company Barnstead Media. Boring. And now enter Boss Man, a stuffy dude with a British accent. And he comes bearing reality show analogies! It’s like now they’re in the show Survivor and at the end of the week one of them gets voted off the island and winner takes all. Seriously he says that. What he’s trying to say is that by Friday one of them is promoted and becomes publisher and the other becomes emasculated and is out.
Okay, I put in the emasculated part, because technically we don’t know it’s BB that’s gonna lose, but who are we kidding? This is a show about strong! sexy! females! Male whitey doesn’t stand a chance. (And again with the realism: Like you would esteem an employee enough to put them in your top two in consideration for publisher and then FIRE them if they didn’t make the cut? I didn’t even go to B-school and I know that would be a retarded business strategy. But clearly for the sake of story line, BB is toast.) And then the two of them joke about Mia bowing out of the competition, which is such a hilarious joke because three minutes in and we the audience have already gotten it that Mia is a total ball buster. Like she would step down. Haha. Funny!
I’m gonna serve you your balls on a platter by the end of this hour. And I’m going to be dressed like a twenty year old when I do it, dammit!
So now that we’ve seen her in Power Pants mode, we’re switching back to Emotional Female mode. In fact, this whole show is an exercise in flipping back between the two. Because the first thing she does now that she’s in a competition to be publisher of a monolithic publishing company is URGENTLY email her friends to meet her for lunch so she can gush about the fact that she’s engaged! I so heart women and their non-linear decision making!!
So now it’s time to meet the coterie and put some nuance into the Bitchy/Crazy dichotomy Mafia sets up for us.
“Don’t fuck with me fellas. This ain’t my first time at the rodeo!”
1) Juliet, a COO for a hotel chain, is Stone Cold Bitchy. While we will learn that Mia is Apologetically Bitchy, (Because doesn’t the average woman apologize like a thousand percent more than the average man?) Juliet is the unapologetic ice queen.
Like Blanche from Golden Girls, only younger blonder.
2) Then we have blondie Caitlin who is Slutty Crazy. In fact, in her vignette we learn that she only needs a man because her Blackberry doesn’t have a vibrator attachment. Bitch, please. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that.
3) And then there’s Harried Working Mom Crazy. Because, let’s be honest, there’s no way a Working Mom isn’t a little unhinged, y’all! We meet Zoe having a conference call on her bluetooth while hiding from her kids in the armoire. Say no more! Hiding from your kids in the closet means the same thing in every language.
Mommy hates the sound of your voices.
So somehow these busy, power-wielding women manage to drop everything for a Girls’ Power Lunch. And now that Mia is with the gals, she’s not so sure that she wants to upstage her man. But Caitlin reminds us that this is 2007 and she should “Bring it”. I’m glad she reminded me that it’s 2007 because this has all of the relevance of a show from 1967. We also have a non-interesting exchange with a woman who comes over to their table named Cilla. She is not part of the group and totally brings with her the Frenemy vibe. Given the lack of content in the exchange this can only mean they’re saving her for something super catty down the line. Awesome!
Next up: “Intimate” engagement party for Mia and BB! Now in my world “intimate party” means me and two friends watching Rock of Love, but if you are a member of the “Cashmere Mafia”, “intimate party” of “nearest and dearest” means you get together fifty people at a restaurant/bar you rented out on Park Ave and have the most boring time ever.
The best part is when the husbands of Juliet and Zoe school BB on what it’s like to make a lifetime commitment to be emasculated everyday for the rest of your life. Never say the R-word, they warn. It’s like the C-word! Okay, so we all know the C-word and it does suck, and like Liz Lemon in 30 Rock lamented, there’s no male equivalent to use back. So what is this awful, verboten R-word, pray tell? What could possibly be on par with the C-word? Why it’s “Relax” of course! And I couldn’t agree more! I can’t even tell you how many necks I’ve snapped after some dude stepped to me about relaxing. And then in a deft comedic moment, as Mia and BB are stepping into the cab leaving the party, he unwittingly tells her to relax about something and immediately she retorts, “Watch it!”, causing him to chuckle merrily.
Oh, you modern women and your hatred of relaxation!
Next day we see that Slutty Crazy Caitlin is STILL asleep at nine am, when she is supposed to be meeting her new client. La veritÃ© just doesn’t stop! We all know that Crazy Sluts don’t wake up before nine am! Turns out the client is a La-la-latina hottie (who I know is not Vanessa from Six Feet Under, but my brain always wants her to be every time she pops on screen.) Anyway, Alicia/Vanessa and Caitlin meet and the sparks are a-flyin’. Awkward banter, shy smiles. Yes sir! Not even halfway through the pilot and Mafia is already priming the pump for future lesbionics. After all, we are watching a show in 2007, and in 2007 ambitious sluts don’t discriminate between genders.
Then we have Juliet leaving the most awkward “sexy” message for her husband. She ends it by saying, “Big kiss.” Seriously, do married people talk like this? And by the way, her smug tone is dead giveaway that her pitch for sexy time is gonna backfire. And we don’t have to wait long for that. Next scene and we have her husband Davis rendezvous-ing with none other than Frenemy Cilla from yesterday’s power lunch! Ho, snap! Promises of girl-on-girl, extramarital affairs and this is just the pilot. I must say, if this is their starting point, I can’t wait to see where they go from here! Wheeee!
Please go here.
So the Lucy Liu and BB battle could not be a bigger snoozefest. They are wooing the same clients and obviously he can’t compete with Miss Sexy Power Pants so he gets mad and basically accuses her of playing like a man AND a woman, which means she expects to be treated like a man but uses her sexuality when it serves her. Really? It’s funny to me that he’s gotten this far in his career and HAS NEVER worked with a woman before. Basically it’s a segue for them to have nauseating sexual banter. Like, I feel like “I can’t decide if I want to ravage you or lock you in here till Friday”. Watching this show makes me want the writers to strike forever. Is American Gladiators really that bad?
Caitlin, ever pushing the envelope, shows up to…confession? WTF? She’s wearing hooker heels, pacing outside the church, freaked out about confessing that she might be gay because she found Vanessa from Six Feet Under attractive. W.T.F. Crazy Sluts don’t confess! Especially when there’s nothing to confess! Apparently this set up is to show us that her brother is the priest and he’s, like the coolest priest EVS! He assures her God won’t damn her to el infierno as long as she finds the “right person”. I didn’t realize that the Catholic lobby used their influence to get their new platform on shitty ABC shows, but point taken. When I explore my lesbian side, I know where to go.
Don’t worry. God loves lesbians. As long as they’re the kind who comb their hair and put on lipstick.
And now everyone, it’s time for the Lesson of the Week, which is that crazy women make bad decisions. Since Zoe is one of the “crazy” women, she is completely oblivious to the fact that she is hiring the worst nanny ever. The nanny’s demands include, but are not limited to, 900 dollars a week, a cell phone with unlimited texts, and premium channels in her room since she’s living there. Of course, rational husband is all, “She’s demanding.” But, crazy Zoe is all, “You’re perfect! Start now!” Oh, Zoe. This decision will come back to haunt you! Don’t you know you’ve been chosen to teach us crazy!
As Zoe races off, she sees Davis, Juliet’s philandering husband and Cilla making out on the street. (Stupidest. Husband. Ever.) This brings Zoe, Mia and Caitlin together for a Mafia meeting. Now they lay some of their tough talk and organized crime slang on us. Mia suggests they “punch his balls”. Caitlin refers to sex as “dipping his wick”. (Wait. She’s not a lesbian already?) No wonder they’re the “Cashmere” Mafia. These bitches are weak. Then they decide to have a sit down with Juliet on the night of her benefit instead of bashing Davis’s kneecaps in. Seriously weak.
Let’s prank text that poo-poo head!
Back at home with Crazy Mom, the Juliet drama has prompted Zoe to get all insecure about her own man’s fidelity. He gives her a Paul Newman line about hamburgers and steaks and it sets her up to make a really gross comment later about how he wants his steak done. Listening to these girls be sexy is like seeing your parents make out. Like, no.
So all this grown-up talk is interrupted by Brooke, the new live-in nanny’s, club night alarm. I’ll admit I haven’t been out since circa 2003, but a club night alarm?? Will someone please tell me that this is made up and that there is no such a thing as a “club night alarm”?? She said it’s to give you that “extra strength” when you’re going out late. Clearly for the sake of the show they just needed something louder than coke to get Zoe out of bed. Because now Zoe can see whats-her-tits in lingerie and this drives home the error of her ways. Zoe makes a fuss about Generation Y and Generation ID to her husband, which in case you don’t know means Generation “I Deserve”. From the look she gave him, Zoe thinks her husband should have known what that stood for, too, and this makes me laugh so hard because when I say something really lame at least I know it.
So the Vanessa/Alicia and Caitlin first kiss scene comes and goes without any excitement, mainly because these two radiate the sex appeal of house plants. The best part is that Caitlin apologizes for her lack of experience by saying she is “flying without instruments”. This sounds like she’s apologizing for not having a cock and I feel like I’m the only one that gets how funny this is because Caitlin and Alicia just stand there.
Ow! My head!
Dramatic Intervention/ Benefit for Juliet night arrives. New York’s finest are all wearing black for the occasion and wouldn’t you know that Juliet totally knows her man cheats on her! Not with Cilla, that burns, but those High Class Couples totally have the don’t ask-don’t-tell arrangement. Duh. Amateurs. And then I take back anything I said about the show being offensive before this moment because Juliet mops the floor with those other scenes. Amateurs.
She defends her man by saying, “Look at what a man gives up to be with us. We make more money, we rise higher, we take up more space.” We take up more space? What’s that supposed to mean? Last time I checked these four women weren’t Roseanne Barr, Camren Manheim, Rosie O’Donnell and that girl from Hairspray. Lucy Liu is like eighty pounds soaking wet. And seriously, what year is this again?? Don’t keep throwing 2007 in my face if you’re going to use your Power Pants-ness to justify cheating like it’s 1957! I’ve snapped lesser mens’ necks before for way less, so watch it!
So to get back at her man, Juliet changes her dress to red for some reason. I think it may be mafia code. And then at the banquet table, right before Juliet gets her award for being a COO (wha?) she whispers to her husband that she knows about Cilla and is going to take a lover. Way to blow that stereotype that women are passive-aggressive right out of the water. Cashmere Mafia: trailblazing paths for women everywhere!
Don’t cry out loud, honey.
And then in what is the most bizarre sequence of the show, the jaunty “Antics!” music begins and we watch Zoe clumsily flee from the benefit to go to her daughter’s recital and she must be on some drugs because this bitch starts actin’ a fool. She can’t get in because she’s late, so she sneaks in through the backstage and without a care in the world, she barges in front of the girls waiting in the wings, waving at her daughter onstage. Then she trips over the set, knocks it over and when she sees her husband, waves to him from the stage and when she finally gets to her seat next to him practically shouts, “I MADE IT.” Is this what happens when Generation I Deserve finally makes you crack? Poor Zoe. Whats-her-tits really did look good in that lingerie.
Finally! Friday has arrived! And now for the results of Survivor: Barnstead Media Island…Mia won! Surprising no one, not even BB, who comes in with the idea that he’s retained his dignity, but he lost the first time he went out with Bossy Boots approximately one year ago. But, here’s the curve ball of the day, at least for Mia, he’s dumping her! These two have the same level of passion as I do with model trains and antique doll houses, so I’m thinking these kids can wrap this up pretty quickly. Mia gives an unconvincing “But it’s not winning without yooooouuuu” line, but I’m already mentally casting a new, vaguely familiar looking actor for her next unsuccessful relationship attempt.
He should be free soon.
So back at Girls’ Power Lunch, Mia muses over whether or not she really did win, because now BB is gone forever. Like, did he go kill himself? What relationship, especially one on the fast track to marriage, ends in a two minute conversation at the office and then the person disappears forever? (Granted, I can’t seem to make relationships ever end, but still this makes no sense.) Doesn’t it merit at least ONE more conversation to split friends or something? I’ve stopped trying to understand this show because it makes my brain hurt.
So, once again Frenemy Cilla pops over and says, “The Cashmere Mafia. That’s what they call you, you know.” And…What’s your point, Cilla? Are they supposed to be insulted? Are they supposed to go make hoodies now with their team name? And she signs off with, “See you around campus, girls” confirming that there is some sort of unspoken rivalry and each clique is a “school” and they have their power lunches at “the Peach Pit” and getting to be publisher is like getting a gold star for the day! I get it! Well, here’s to hoping the Hoboken Hos come over take all these bitches down next week. Can’t wait for that!
Oh, Lucy. No one won this round.