ABC’s freshman show Mistresses is an American version of a British show of the same name. Though I have never watched the original UK series, so far I’m liking the US show – more than I wanted to. The show's title immediately threw me back, and that alone was the reason I didn’t want to watch it. But I still gave it a try because it’s best to not judge a book – in this case, a show – by it’s title.
When I first saw previews, it was heavily advertised as a sexy, lust-filled show with four women as the backdrop. I simply thought that all of the women were mistresses to high-powered men, but within the first episode we learn they are not.
The show follows four close friends; Savannah Davis (Alyssa Milano), April Malloy (Rochelle Aytes), Karen Kim (Yunjin Kim) and Josslyn Carver (Jes Macallan). Josslyn is the youngest sister of Savannah (Savi). The women seem to be in their 30s, and successful in their careers. Josslyn is the fun-seeking one of the bunch, always seeking adventure and involving herself in multiple sexcapades. Karen is a psychiatrist who becomes connected to one of her patients in more ways than she expected. April is a widowed single mother, still grieving over the death of her husband, and Savi is a lawyer in a seemingly happy marriage, but struggling with infertility issues with her husband.
All of the women seem to have great lives, but they each soon learn their love lives are much more complicated.
Savi finds herself succumbing to temptation as one of her male co-workers makes an aggressive move on her. April’s memory of her marriage is shattered the instant a new woman enters her life on a quest to collect money from her. Karen’s closeness to a dead patient and his son places her in the middle of a moral and legal situation that could cost her job. And Joss’ relationship with everyone and herself slowly changes, when an unwavering new boss comes into picture, challenging the flair she uses to seduce others. In short, each of the characters are in some way dealing with the label of being a mistress.
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Despite what you may expect from the show based on the title, it does not glamourize infidelity, especially when you see the depressing situations the characters are in that come as a result of their decisions. It’s a show about women filled with guilt, anger, regret, and much more, trying to resolve their love lives with each others help. April is trying to navigate a new dating life, but her dead husband left behind a troubling situation for her to deal with. Savi finally finds herself pregnant after many failed attempts, but is unsure of the paternity. Karen digs herself too deep into a relationship that may endanger her life, and Joss reexamines her friendship with a client after a fight with Savi gives her a wake up call.
The season finale will air six weeks from now, so there’s still time to catch up on the show halfway in. Add Mistresses to your summer TV watch-list.