Mistresses Review: One Sexy Summer

So far, I am in love with the new hot summer fling from ABC, Mistresses.  A primetime soap, which means all of the drama and none of the unbelievable, outlandish, conveniently-timed comas and bouts of amnesia, this show promised audiences one thing: sex, sex, and more sex.  And I would say it has lived up to its promise, though perhaps not in the way I had expected.

Truthfully, I only started watching Mistresses because of Alyssa Milano.  I don’t know if I ever even saw a promo for the show, I just saw who one of the stars was going to be and said, “Sign me up!”  Based on the show’s title, I began imagining a show where the four leads – Milano, Rochelle Aytes, Yunjin Kim, and Jes Macallan, as shown in the promo poster – are each a mistress to their various married men, and have some sort of club where they sit around cocktails (a la Sex and the City) and discuss the trials and tribulations of their sex lives.  I wasn’t entirely sure I would like such a show, but I was going to give it a chance regardless, if for no other reason than I’ve missed Alyssa (I was a dedicated Charmed viewer, okay?).

Thankfully, the show I imagined is not the show I was given.  Two of the main characters – Milano’s Savi and Aytes’s April – have already taken the plunge and committed themselves to one man, though that doesn’t mean eternal bliss for either of them.  Savi’s relationship with her hubby, Harry (Brett Tucker), has hit a snag after they encounter some difficulties making a baby together, and April is trying to get on with her life as a single mother after her husband died three years ago.  The other main women of the show face different difficulties.  Macallan’s Josslyn seems to just be looking for a goodtime and is beginning to feel claustrophobic in her current relationship (with her married boss, yikes!), and Kim’s Karen is suffering a crisis of conscience after her patient, with whom she was having an affair, dies of cancer (or maybe the lethal dose of morphine she prescribed him? dun dun dunnn).

Though you can definitely feel how the drama has been kicked up a notch for the sake of television, the situations still have a basic level of believability.  However, there are many times I find myself staring at the screen, incredulously saying, “Girl, what are you thinking?”  In addition, the plotlines are a tad predictable (I mean, who didn’t see Savi’s tryst with her coworker coming, especially after their ill-advised game of peek-a-boo?) and the way these plotlines interweave is just plain convenient for the writers (because of course the dead patient/lover of Karen’s just happens to be one of Savi’s clients).  Despite any of these issues, I still find myself drawn in.  Even with all the bad decisions these women make, I want to be sympathetic.  We all get ourselves into some bad situations sometimes, right?  This show fills the void left after Desperate Housewives stopped gracing our airwaves, and let’s face it, it’s summer – it’s not like there’s much else to watch (though don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on summer TV even a little, some of my favourite shows air in the summer months, just not all at once!).  Until the plotlines get a bit too outlandish or the characters stop garnering my sympathies, I am perfectly find with Mistresses being my summer guilty pleasure.

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