Review: Cashmere Mafia

Friday, January 25, 2008

While I've known about Lucy Liu and the new show Cashmere Mafia on ABC, and other bloggers have given it a mention, I haven't really posted anything on it. When I saw 8Asians though talking about the latest episode and the fact that they had a male lead who was Asian American, and then AAM made a post on "the kiss" later on after that post - it finally sparked me to sit down and wade through all the episodes at ABC's site and catch up on the show (which btw - I just have to say I love ABC for being one of the first networks to have episodes in full length - and their service has only gotten better with time).

This Kiss and the Male AA Lead

While the kiss and the fact that they had a male Asian American romantic lead was cool - I wasn't as hyped as maybe I should have been about it. It's not that it doesn't matter - because it does - and don't get me wrong - it is cool. But I have seen Asian American couples on television before who do kiss and canoodle, so it wasn't as if this was a first to me (but I am glad to see another Asian American male on television, especially as a love interest).

On that part of the episode, what I found more interesting was the storyline between Lucy Liu's character Mia, and character Jason Chun (played by Jack Yang) and when the character Jason said that he "Didn't do Chinese" because of the push from his mother to settle down with a nice Chinese girl. For me, putting that piece of dialogue in the episode (because they didn't have too) was acknowledging that having another Asian American face in a show isn't good enough - you also have to give that character some depth, even in a subtle way.

The Show and the Diversity

After sitting down and watching the episodes in succession, I was surprised at how much I actually liked Cashmere Mafia, and that it wasn't just a copycat of Sex in the City, but really a different show with characters and storylines Sex in the City could never have done, because the characters in that show were just in a different place.

At the same time the show has a lot more diversity than I thought it would. While in some ways it could be considered a vehicle for Lucy Liu - it really is an ensemble show with a wide range of characters and stories, and I've seen more characters of color than I thought I would outside of Liu's and her latest Asian American male lead - which is great to see - and I hope the show continues to keep its cast diverse on all fronts.