"Cashmere Mafia" had its debut this week, and the first thing that came to my mind after watching the episode was "Desperate Housewives Downtown."

The plot revolves around a group of four successful business women in Manhattan who have been friends since business school: Mia (Lucy Liu), Zoe (Frances O'Connor), Juliet (Miranda Otto) and Caitlin (Bonnie Sommerville). The pilot episode takes you into the personal lives of each woman and gives viewers an idea of the trials and tribulations that they are going to be faced with this season.

The episode opens with a touching moment as Mia's fiancé proposes to her in the park on the way to work. They both work at Barnstead Media Group, and when they arrive at work they are informed that whoever comes up with the biggest account by the end of the week will become Publisher, and the other one will be out the door. Throughout the episode they keep telling each other that they'll be fine no matter who wins, and the only thing that matters is that they love each other. WRONG! It turns out that Mia brings in the money and her fiancé is out the door...taking his marriage proposal with him! Seems he can't "see a place for him" in their future so he's outta there. Sorry Mia, he "just can't do it."

Caitlin's first morning starts off with her boyfriend dumping her at breakfast. Seems he's not getting what he needs from her (common theme among this group?) so she either needs to step up or he's stepping out. She beats him to the punch by telling him what he can have... the check. She then flounces off to work. The middle of the episode shows Caitlin interviewing a new woman, Alicia, for a job in her office. All of the sudden the cameras pause as they gaze into each other's eyes and there is a spark! This causes Caitlin to go to confession to express that she thinks she's gay. It turns out the priest is her brother, and the only advice he gives her is to not ask him for dating advice. Caitlin and Alicia meet up for drinks after work, and before Alicia leaves in a taxi she decides to take the plunge and kisses Caitlin... not once, but three times! Caitlin thinks this might be a distraction from all her recent trouble from men, but she has rosy cheeks and a breathless smile.

Juliet is the CEO of a company, and she didn't get there by being mushy. She has a cold exterior that we see momentarily broken at an engagement party that the girls hold for Mia. Juliet gives a toast about how much she loves her husband Davis of 15 years, and she wishes the same for Mia. After the party she announces to her friends that she has to get home to have sex with Davis because it's a good-luck tradition they perform before he travels. Turns out it gives him good luck, but not her. One of her friends, Zoe, sees Davis leaving a hotel with another woman that they all know in Manhattan. Zoe, Mia and Caitlin decide that they will give Juliet this news together before a benefit being held in her honor. She looks devastated after hearing about it but not very surprised. Turns out she knew that Davis "stepped out" on her, but usually it was with strangers. The part that bothered her was that she knew and saw this woman regularly. So right before going up on stage to accept her reward, Juliet informs Davis that she knows about the woman and as retribution she is going to choose one of their friends to take as her lover. Once she has had the affair they will both move forward together with a clean slate. It's a little strange to me, but I've never been to Business School!

So far the least interesting storyline revolves around Zoe. Her biggest crisis is that her nanny was poached by the neighbors, and her daughter insists that she show up for her recital on the same night she committed to go to Juliet's award banquet. She ends up hastily choosing a new nanny, who turns out to be her worst nightmare. Zoe catches her drinking their best wine, playing loud music and walking around the house with her bra hanging out of a teensy dress. Then to beat it all, she calls Zoe in the middle of a meeting to ask how to turn off the fire alarm that she set off by smoking! The new nanny ends up quitting, so Zoe is forced to complete her meeting by conference call as her kids run around her office throwing a ball at her head. The episode ends with her sneaking into her daughter's recital backstage (she's just a little late) and climbing over everyone to happily land in the seat by her husband, sighing "I made it"!

Although it resembles an already done "Desperate Housewives" and Sex and the City, it has the potential to give us a new lot of women to relate to. Judgment is hard to dole out based on one episode, so it will be interesting to see where the story lines lead. We'll have to stay tuned to see if Caitlin is really gay, who Juliet chooses for her illustrious lover, how Mia handles the pressure of being a publisher and how Zoe handles her nanny emergency.

Recap by Amber DiNenna
Starpulse contributing writer