Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Keeping Warm with "Cashmere"
I never thought I’d say this but the best way to keep warm this winter is Cashmere. Sure, I blame the fact that thanks to the writer’s strikes there is absolutely NOTHING to watch on American TV this season aside from Donald Trump’s celebrified combover, Elisabeth Hasselbeck trying to sound remotely intelligent and your favorite episode of syndicated “Friends” (for the 565th time you’ve seen it.) But ABC’s “Cashmere Mafia” isn’t that bad. It’s completely implausible, utterly ridiculous and filled with so much product placement sometimes it’s hard to see the characters’ faces behind their human-sized Gucci bags, but network television’s answer to the tragic end of “Sex & the City” also has quite a few redeeming qualities.
While I am a confessed “Gossip Girl” addict (yes, I admit it’s a guilty pleasure), at least in “Cashmere,” these are adults who SHOULD be having sex, drinking alcoholic beverages and using esoteric vocabulary. When 17 year-olds are doing such things, while the entertainment factor may be high, the morality factor is at an all-time low. Plus, these women can at least fill out a b-cup and the men they sleep with actually have jobs, mortgages and don’t live with their parents.
Here we have sex, the city … and a few other things like children and careers in between. These women are intelligent, career-driven, highly motivated individuals who have better things to do than chase penises all around Manhattan. They do that too of course, but it’s not a priority.
These “working women” actually work! While Samantha may have had plenty of office sex, Charlotte rolled in and out of various gallery openings and Carrie had a love affair with her ibook typing away late at night, most fans of the show cared less about what these women did for a living then WHO they did in their free time. Lucy Liu’s character Mia’s plotline focuses mostly on her inter-office relationships and struggle to prov that “successful female” and “superbitch” are not indeed synonyms. Frances O’Connor’s Zoe works late into the night at the office, often having to miss dinner or miss her children’s activities.
And let’s face it. Most of the women watching this show can’t afford their own Gucci bags or Jimmy Choo shoes (cough cough) so where’s the harm in watching them parade around the small screen once a week? At least the clothes look better on these actresses than on lanky supermodels who haven’t eaten a carbohydrate in 13 years (or who may have only been alive for 13 years.) On this show, love means never having to wear the same thing twice.
I must say the first episode tried way too hard, but any good show takes a while to get into. Part of the reason a show is successful is because viewers relate to the characters, get to know them, want to welcome them into their homes week after week. “Brothers & Sisters” is perhaps one of the best shows on television today (or actually not on television today but hopefully SOON – WGA gett your asses in gear please!) but it took at least 4-5 episodes to understand why the hell such an all-star cast agreed to participate in the program. Give it time. TV critics see the first couple of episodes (in addition to around 100 other shows they have to review) and give their verdict. Had I given mine after the first couple episodes, it would have been the same. “Cashmere Mafia” will not go down in the history of television, but it’s entertaining and features an escape from our daily lives to a world where women rule, wear hot, expensive clothing and are surrounded by good-looking men between the age of 30 and 45 … what’s not to like?
Quote of the week: “Can’t kick away the ladder once you’ve climbed to the top.” –From “Cashmere Mafia”
Quote of the week deux (because Oscar Wilde was just too cool): “The only thing that sustains one through life is the consciousness of the immense inferiority of everybody else, and this is a feeling that I have always cultivated.
- Oscar Wilde
Event of the week:
Les Révélations 2008 Photo Expo at Chaumet
In America, it’s all about who wins. In France, it’s “it’s not who wins, it’s how you play the game.” Or rather how you LOOK when you’re playing said game. Every year, a special committee of France’s prestigious Cesar awards Academy pre-selects 32 “young hopefuls,” new male and female talents who made their mark on the big screen in the past year. Later, five will be selected in each category, but before Feb. 22 rolls around and the official winner is announced, all 32 young stars and starlets get to enjoy the spotlight. This year, photographer Stéphane Sednaoui created a series of portraits of the young talents, on display at Paris’ luxe Chaumet boutique at the Place Vendôme. On Monday, the talents, their agents, casting directors and a select few journalists were invited to a cocktail in celebration of the photo expo followed by a lavish dinner at the Hotel Meurice. All of the young talents – well almost all, I noticed “99 Francs” star Jocelyn Quivrin was not in attendance – came out for the occasion. Actors Andy Gillet and Fu’ad Ait Aattou provided delicious eye-candy, and actress Clémence Poésy was stunning (though a bit too slim if you ask moi) in a flowy white Chanel top and black skirt. Thomas Dumerchez, whose performance in Gael Morel’s “Après Lui” kept me teary-eyed for days after the screening, was quite charming and if Nicolas Cazalé was just a wee bit taller, I’d probably be planning our Franco-American wedding right about now. “La Graine et le Mulet”’s Hafsia Herzi was darling – apparently the 450 awards both she and the film have received and will continue to receive this season haven’t gone to her head. The meal was pretty much the same menu I seem to find at every Cesar-related dinner: a foie gras appetizer followed by some sort of fish followed by a chocolate dessert. The Meurice room was beautiful, the food delicious and the service impressive (do they have special training days for the staff to teach them to never let more than .0004 seconds go by between the time a guest finishes his/her bread roll to the time the waiter appears with a new replacement roll, I wonder?)
Celebrity look-a-likes of the week:
Clay Aiken and Kenneth the Page from “30 Rock.”
They talk the same, look the same and both share a questionable sexuality yet to be confirmed.
Clémence Poésy and the Olsen Twins
I found the third Olsen – separated at birth, but sure to cross paths during fashion week in Paris, are Clemency Poesy and her equally blond, emaciated long-lost sisters across the Atlantic. They all cause a pitterpatter in the hearts of children across the globe and the Harry “Pot”ter/”Weeds” parallel is just too easy.