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Pilot Watch: Cashmere Mafia

With several new series set to premiere this Winter, I'm resurrecting my occasional pilot watch feature to share my first impressions of the upcoming shows. First up is the highly anticipated ABC series Cashmere Mafia, which premieres this Sunday, Jan. 6, before moving to its regular Wednesday time slot.


What's it about? Four business-school friends turned powerful New Yorkers conquer the boardroom and the bedroom.

Who's in it? Lucy Liu, Miranda Otto, Bonnie Somerville, Frances O'Connor

The good: The show has its roots in Sex and The City, with writer Darren Star serving as the show's executive producer, so that's not a bad pedigree for another series about female friendships. The pilot has a few genuinely funny moments, especially from Somerville and Otto, the latter of whom looks and acts like a junior Bree (Van de Kamp) Hodge. The outfits from SaTC costume designer Patricia Field are alternately brilliant and horrible, but at least they're never dull.

The bad: The first episode introduces far too many convenient plot lines to make a coherent story: There's an engagement, then a broken engagement; an affair, its discovery, and revenge; a nanny introduced and quickly dropped; a lesbian plot line that evolves from a quick glance to a kiss in mere minutes. It's so frenetic and covers so much ground that when one character said "I'm late," I half expected the next line to be "I'm due in June; the baby's yours." (The second episode calms that pace down somewhat.) The show is supposed to be about the characters' office lives, but after two episodes, I still didn't know what three of them actually did. And, maybe worst of all, the four main characters don't have the easy chemistry of the SaTC ladies or even the Desperate Housewives.

Will I watch? Well, there's not much else on, so why not? Honestly, though, the second episode was a bit better than the first — though still not great — and so I suppose I'll give it a few more shots. The show only completed seven episodes before the strike started, so it's not a huge commitment.

To check out a preview and a gallery of photos, just read more.

Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

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