A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this drama deals with mature themes and isn't meant for younger viewers. As female role models, the main characters prove frustratingly complex. Although they wield impressive credentials and have high-powered jobs in a variety of industries, they also spend their free time trashing stay-at-home moms and compiling "revenge-sex spreadsheets" for a friend whose husband has been cheating on her for years. Speaking of sex, there's quite a bit, as well as some language, drinking, and lots of high-end brand names. Proceed with caution.
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What's the story?
It's lunchtime in New York City, and four attractive women clad in designer clothes and expensive pumps are dishing about their personal and professional lives over gourmet salads. One is an uptight redhead, one is practically giddy because she just got engaged to the perfect guy, and another is a serially single blonde who can't seem to keep her love life on track.
Sound familiar? You bet. But believe it or not, that isn't a description of HBO's Sex and the City, which went off the air in 2004 after six successful seasons. Instead, it's ABC's CASHMERE MAFIA, a show that happens to be executive produced by SATC creator Darren Star.
Is it any good?
Cashmere bears so many resemblances to the series it's obviously paying homage to that it's almost comical (down to the theme song and skyscraper montages). But that doesn't mean it won't be a hit. That's because Star (the same man who helped popularize Cosmopolitans, Manolo Blahniks, and made-up words like "frenemies") seems to know what women want to watch, and he serves it up with slick sophistication, strong casting, and just a dash of ridiculousness. Devoted Sex and the City fans will undoubtedly see past Cashmere Mafia's shortcomings and embrace it as a worthy next-generation substitute.
The Cashmere ladies are slightly different from their SATC doppelgangers in that they all hold MBAs from an unnamed (yet clearly prestigious) business school. Since leaving grad school, they've stuck together as a tight-knit unit (dubbed somewhat snidely by others as "The Cashmere Mafia") and regularly meet up for moral support and the occasional martini. While it's nice to see a show about women who are clearly intelligent and financially independent, it's a bit of a disappointment to watch them rip apart their same-sex rivals and covet ostentatious handbags. It's also hard to believe that women working in such high-level jobs would actually have time to meet regularly for sit-down lunches -- and, in one episode, to even pull off an improbable head-to-toe makeover on the fly. After all, don't they have corporate empires to run?
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the idea that women can "have it all" -- a career, a family, a healthy sex life -- is a myth, a reality, or a downright burden. What kinds of messages are the producers of this show sending viewers about working women versus those who choose to stay at home with their kids? What about women who choose not to get married and have kids versus those who take the "traditional" route? Moms can also talk to their kids about their own career aspirations and whether they've struggled with any of their decisions along the way.