Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Mistresses

The summer shows have started, some of them anyway.  And while we still have at least one left to premiere, and despite my second DVR crash since March (I’ve lost over 200 recordings this calendar year due to faulty boxes), I did manage to catch up on the first half of the new ABC drama, Mistresses.

Based on the popular British television series of the same name, Mistresses is a sexy new drama following the lives of four girlfriends as they discover who they really are via their friendships, relationships, and sex.

Sound familiar?  I’m thinking of one of my favorites here… Sex and the City.

The series stars: Alyssa Milano (Charmed) as Savannah “Savi” Davis, a successful lawyer, married and trying to have a baby… that is until she and her husband learn they have fertility issues; Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver, Savi’s single and carefree younger sister, who is not looking to settle down anytime soon; Rochelle Aytes (Detroit 1-8-7 and The Forgotten) as April Malloy, a recent widow and single mother, who owns her own shop; and Junjin Kim (Lost) as Karen Kim, a successful therapist, who had an affair with one of her patients.

The pilot begins with hot and steamy sex… for network TV… as did the second episode as well.  Viewers watch Savi and her husband “role playing” during their attempts to make a baby.  We also meet Joss while she’s having a little “afternoon delight” with her then boss.  And let’s not forget about the flashback sex scenes between Karen and her patient.  April might just be the only one who’s not sweating between the sheets at the moment (or at least through episode four because that’s how far into the series I am).

They’re all beautiful; they’re all successful; and they’ve all got issues.  Serious issues.

Savi has every reason to be freaking out right now…

When Savi and her husband (Harry, played by Brett Davis from the popular Australian series McLeod’s Daughters and Neighbours) learn of their fertility issues, he pushes her away as he blames and punishes himself for having abnormal sperm.  This catapults Savi into the arms of her coworker (Dominick, played by Jason George from Sunset Beach and Grey’s Anatomy) and they have one night of hot, steamy sex.  And guess what?  She’s pregnant…

Karen and her lover/patient

Meanwhile, as if sleeping with her dying (now dead) patient wasn’t a big enough issue for Karen, the patient’s family just can’t seem to stop themselves from leaning on her.  His wife (Penelope Ann Miller from Kindergarten Cop) doesn’t appear to have a clue about the affair, but his son (Sam, played by Erik Stocklin) knows there was another woman and he wants answers… from Karen.

April’s shock at the news of her husband’s infidelity…

Then there’s April… poor April.  She’s having a hard time letting go of her dead husband, so much so that she believes that a few recent prank calls she has received are actually his ghost telling her to not move on.  But it turns out those calls aren’t from her husband, they are from her husband’s mistress and their illegitimate son.  As if that’s not enough to deal with, the woman wants money… after all, her son is entitled to some of the inheritance April’s daughter received from the insurance company.

Joss… ready to turn on the charm. But will it work?

And last but not least, we have Joss… we discover early on that she has climbed her way to the top of her realty company by sleeping with her boss.  But he’s gone now and her new boss isn’t falling for any of her tricks.  She has to actually work now and sell a few properties before he’ll let her have all of her listings back.  Work doesn’t seem to be what she’s best at, thus the fact she’s technically homeless and living in Savi’s guest house right now (I can’t remember the details, but she slept with her landlord too).

Now let’s talk about the title for a minute.

According to Webster, a mistress is a woman who is the head of a household, country, or state… or a woman with whom a man is having a prolonged affair with.

Let’s focus on the latter.

Not only do I watch a lot of television programs, but I also enjoy a good talk show here and there.  Especially when the guests are stars I like.  Alyssa Milano has stated in at least two TV interviews that I have seen that the girls, her character included, are not all mistresses.  Not by the definition we are most familiar with anyway.  She included the show is in no way glorifying mistresses or situations that tend to break up marriages and relationships… (even if it does seem to us, the TV audience, that each woman is connected to a traditional mistress in one way or another—it’s true; I know people who have already stopped watching the program for this very reason).

Ms. Milano also stated in an interview that while this program is based on the BBC series, the writers took an entire season of the British version and wrapped up the storyline in one episode… I’m assuming that was the pilot… and that this series is all its own.

I went into Mistresses not expecting to like it.  For one, I’m a big Sex and the City fan and initially felt this series was trying to cash in on Carrie’s and the girls’ success.  But because I’m an Alyssa Milano fan (I watched Who’s the Boss? as a little girl and LOVED Charmed more than words can say), I knew I’d give it a shot.

And it’s turning into a guilty pleasure…

Bottom line?  I give Mistresses the JFTV rating.  It’s definitely not good for us, but I couldn’t stop at just one episode.

Oh, and I’m glad I didn’t stop with the pilot because Gary Dourdan guest starred in the second episode.  Remember Warrick Brown from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation?  Uh, I’ve missed those blues eyes… I hope he comes back for more!

And then in episode three, I see a Twitter friend.  That’s right; a Twitter friend.  Matthew Del Negro may guest on some of the hottest shows on television (love his recurring character on Rizzoli & Isles), but he’s also a very nice guy and I enjoy chatting with him on occasion via the Twitterverse.  I hope to see more of him too!

So, it seems I will keep watching Mistresses

Have you watched Mistresses?  Do you plan to?  Will Mistresses be the next Sex and the City?  Or will it flop trying, just like Lipstick Jungle?  I’d love to hear from you!

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss today’s review, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

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10 Responses to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – ABC’s Mistresses

  1. Even when I have no interest in the show, as here, I appreciate your doing the work of finding all these. I do sometimes find jewels through your posts, such as King & Maxwell, and Motive. Keep it up.

    Incidentally, I thought Matthew Del Negro was the epitome of a dumb, crass, blue collar Boston Italian, which is what he was supposed to be. Whether or not he could play a different role, I don’t know.

    • Thanks, David! I still have to catch up on King & Maxwell AND Motive since my DVR crashed a few weeks ago. Thank goodness for online episodes and OnDemand or I’d never catch up!

      MDN’s character on Rizzoli & Isles is all those things you mentioned, but the character always makes me laugh. And the actor can definitely play different roles… just this year he played a very wealthy success story on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and he may or may not have committed murder. I don’t want to give it away if you like CSI and haven’t seen the episode yet. He’s playing a therapist on Mistresses, and while his part has been minimal thus far, his portrayal is far from his character on R&I.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. nikkichantal says:

    I think that it’s about a million times better than Lipstick Jungle, and it sure does hook you right from the start! I think it’s a good cross between SITC and Desperate Housewives. It also kind of reminds me of Dirty Sexy Money in some ways- did you ever watch that?

    • Dirty Sexy Money…. I don’t think I watched that. I remember the name though. Maybe I’ll add this to our “whenever we have time to watch an entire series” list. 🙂

      You didn’t like Lipstick Jungle? I did… although it wasn’t as good as SATC or Desperate Housewives.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nikki!

  3. I’ve been trying not to watch this although it looks so good. I can’t commit to another series, but maybe catch it on Hulu later in the summer for an all day marathon. Thanks for pushing me. haha.

  4. Jess Witkins says:

    Ok, I may need to watch this one. I’m intrigued.

    Pretty Little Liars…worth it? I may rent the first season.

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