The pilot for Mistresses will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the HBO series Sex and the City. Four girlfriends traversing the complicated world of relationships, only this time the setting is sunny southern California instead of the clubs and fashions of New York City.
Although both shows have their similarities, Mistresses - a remake of a UK series - feels a little more mature. Perhaps it's because half of this gorgeous foursome starts out having already taken the leap into married life.
The women of Mistresses are dealing with the consequences of infidelity, sometimes their own, sometimes done to them... and those consequences aren't always what you'll expect.
Alyssa Milano plays Savannah (Savi) Davis, the central character of our group. Savi and super-hot husband Harry are trying to make a baby and it's taking it's toll. Nothing ruins a couples sex life quicker than taking temperatures and counting days.
But when Harry's little swimmers aren't up to the task at hand, his ego can't handle it. I mean, when Alyssa Milano shows up in sexy lingerie to seduce you out of your bad day and you get angry at her, there's something seriously wrong. Savi and Harry are in big trouble.
And that trouble isn't just at home. At Harry's restaurant, the hostess can never remember Savi's name...and the restaurant is calls Savannah's Kitchen! My guess is she's either sleeping Harry or she wants to be.
Then there's Dominic, Savi's fellow attorney played by the handsome Jason George. Dominic is wildly attracted to Savi and doesn't try to hide it. This workplace flirtation skirts the line when Dominic gives a whole new meaning to the five-second rule. Then that line is left in the dust when a hurting and heartbroken Savi ends up doing the deed with Dominic on her desk.
Is it wrong? Absolutely. But Dominic is charming, and attentive, and super hot. It's a definite moment of weakness but I found it hard not to sympathize with Savi.
Savi's younger sister, Josslyn, leaves her panties behind in her boss' office after a quick romp. Yeah, Joss is the resident party girl who's adverse to commitment. She even turns down an amazing ocean front home when her married boss offers it as their little love nest. Apparently sleeping with married men isn't an issue but being kept by one is.
Obviously Joss feels a connection to Alex, one half of a lesbian couple she's been working with to find a home. I have no doubt there's a future for Alex and Josslyn. Normally I worry that jumping one character from a heterosexual relationship to a same sex one will feel forced but Alex and Joss have definite chemistry. I'm interested in seeing where they take this.
Their best friend April is starting over. This single mom's husband passed away three years ago. When the insurance money finally came through she started getting crank phone calls. For some reason April attributes the calls to her husband's ghost. My first guess would have been that somebody knows she's got cash in the bank and is trying to scam her.
April's is the best twist of the night when she finds out that her late husband, whom she describes as the best man she ever knew, may have fathered a child with another woman just before he died. Apparently the love of April's life, the man she's been grieving over the last three years, had a long term affair with another women. Ugh.
Finally we come to Karen. Dr. Karen Kim is in some serious trouble. She's a psychiatrist who had an affair with Tom, one of her patients. Just to complicate things, Tom was married…and dying.
I'd normally hate this type of story. Doctors, especially psychiatrist, are entrusted with their patient's most intimate secrets. Turning that into a personal relationship makes me cringe. Yet I felt for Karen. She'd convinced herself they were soul mates and with so little time left I can see how crossing that boundary seemed like the right thing to do at the time.
It gets worse. Karen prescribed morphine for Tom for when things got bad. Tom's wife knows about the morphine because when the end came, he choose to be with her and not with Karen. So much for soul mates.
Now Karen's dug a hole for herself I don't think she can get out of. The insurance company is questioning Tom's cause of death. The investigation will lead back to the overdose of morphine... and how he acquired it. If Tom's wife finds out about the affair she could easily take her revenge against Karen, who could lose her medical license and perhaps go to jail.
Karen's got every reason to be scared. The consequences of being their for her supposed soulmate could be devastating.
The story line with Tom's son Sam is just sort of creepy. First he's trying to track down the woman his father had an affair with. Then he's hitting on his father's psychiatrist. Eww. It's definitely the story I liked the least from the hour.
There are a few other side notes:
- That Shagger app was pretty sleazy, as was the guy using it and asking about satin sheets. I'll never hear "Oh Baby" the same way again.
- I wish they hadn't killed off Tom so soon. I've had a crush on John Schneider since his Dukes of Hazzard days.
- I hope there will be a website or twitter feed to find out where to buy all of the great lingerie we're sure to see on this show.
- Does Alyssa Milano age? I've been watching her on shows for decades and she looks better than ever.
I've never been a big fan of characters who cheat on their spouses or have affairs with someone who's married but Mistresses makes me understand how otherwise good people can make very bad choices. With a wonderfully talented cast and entertaining stories, I'm intrigued to find out how these characters deal with the consequences. Mistresses is the perfect ride for a long, hot summer.
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.