Review of "Mistresses" on ABC From The TV MegaSite

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"Mistresses" review by Sundi
Airs Mondays 10/9c on ABC

Lord knows I love a good nighttime soap; the juicier, the more improbable the plot , the more melodrama the better. I adore intricate love triangles with complex stories of betrayal and infidelity. I also love stories about women and their relationships and what they do TO and FOR each other. Lucky for me, ABC’s Mistresses has it all. Chock full of glossy, beautiful people living glamorous lives, suffering rich people problems, this show taps directly into my guilty-pleasures center. Just like the pilot of its distant cousin, Desperate House, it is starting off a little rickety, but has all the makings of a good and juicy soap.

The show centers on the friendship of four women and their respective relationships and careers. Savannah, played by the incomparable Alyssa Milano, is a powerful corporate lawyer with a dreamy Australian husband with fertility problems. The pilot shows the cracks in their marriage as they grapple with the whose-fault-is-it dilemma surrounding fertility storylines, and we see a dangerous flirtation come to fruition when Savvy sleeps with her hunky colleague Dominic, played by Jason George. I guess we’ve seen the last of him as Miranda Bailey’s husband on Grey’s Anatomy. Milano’s character is flawed enough for us to like her, but unreal enough for her to belong on a nighttime soap (my favorite combination in a primetime heroine).

Savvy’s sister, Josslyn is played by the effervescent Jes Macallan, and is the typical over-sexed-in-the-city, girl-interrupted. She is a swanky realtor who is sleeping with her boss, and if we can believe the previews, may dip her toes in the lady pond this season (like we didn’t see that coming from all the foreshadowing in the pilot). She is so gorgeous you can hardly take your eyes off her, and I predict she will be the breakout star of this show.

On a more suspenseful note, Yunjin Kim plays Karen, a strait-laced psychiatrist that fell in love with, and possibly euthanized a patient (in that order). As questions arise surrounding the death of her lover-patient, we get a sense that there more to the story. Cue the dramatic music: now the son is sniffing around, looking to find answers about his father’s mistress and his last moments before death; as if these two things are related. As her pants suits suggest, Karen is a very serious character, fulfilling the part of the “smart one” that is requisite in shows about a group of women (think Miranda in Sex and the City). Fourth in the group is the widowed, shop-owner, single mother, April played by Rochelle Aytes, who is navigating reentry into the dating world. Her storyline heats up when her dead husband’s illegitimate son shows up on her doorstep three years after his death.

Sure, all this may sound familiar, and it seems likely that the rest of the season may prove to be very predictable, but I am ok with that. I am relying on ABC to strum a tune it knows pretty well (anybody remember Lipstick Jungle or Cashmere Mafia?) so that we can appreciate the show for what it is... mindless fun. My advice to ABC is dial down all the guilt that these characters are experiencing over their indiscretions and just embrace the depravity (Dirty Sexy Money comes to mind here). I want to see them turn up the sex, the betrayal, the fighting and the conniving, so I can justify watching something I feel like I’ve seen before.

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Page updated 6/7/13

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