There are two reasons, both Australian, I started watching Cashmere Mafia: Miranda Otto and Frances O'Connor. Otto (right) is best-known here for playing Éowyn in the Lord of the Rings franchise, but she was a lot more interesting in the small flicks she made in Oz, like The Last Days of Chez Nous, Love Serenade and The Well. O'Connor (left) was really appealing in Love and Other Catastrophes, an otherwise mediocre film.
As for the series itself, it begs the question: Is Darren Star shameless or washed-out or both? Centered around a quartet of women (each representing a different hair demographic; see photo), Cashmere Mafia is a total rip-off of his previous show, Sex and the City. Beyond the core idea of four female friends supporting each other through love and career troubles, the aesthetics are identical: The fifth main character is New York itself, with a profusion of brand-name locations (Cielo and Payard in yesterday's episode), and there's even time-lapse footage of clouds in the sky.
The main difference so far actually reflects an evolution in NYC itself: Samantha & Co. hardly had checkbook problems, but the new characters are seriously loaded. They are career women (they met in business school) who live gilded existences—in short, they're the type of people who can afford places in those "luxury condos" we see going up all over town, and they're the type of people who are sucking the life out of real New York by turning it into a playground for the rich. Not that the series is about that, of course, since it gears up to be your usual relationship porn—just like my other fave, The L Word. Still, the first couple of episodes have me semi-hooked because of the aforementioned actresses (particularly Otto, hottt in the ice-queen way that always works wonders with me).