Guilty Pleasure: TV's 'Mistresses' Is Deliciously Addictive
'Mistresses,’ ABC’s summer soap series, reminds me of the original 'Beverly Hills 90210.' I hated, hated, hated, HATED it. But, I watched EVERY single episode until it went off the air. Why? I still don’t know. However, 'Mistresses' shares that same addictive, soapy awfulness where the acting is terrible and the dialogue is wooden, but I just can’t stop watching it. It's just plain ... addicting.
'Mistresses,' in case you haven’t caught the terrible commercials or laughed at the one-dimensional pilot, centers on four women, who despite their wealth, beauty and egregiously toned calves, can’t stop making the WORST mistakes in their sex lives. Lawyer Savi (Alyssa Milano) cheats on her husband with her hot co-counsel (Jason George). Storeowner April (Rochelle Aytes) discovers her husband cheated on her with a two-bit Florida piece. Realtor Joss (Jes Macallan) sleeps with anything breathing. And, headshrinker Karen (Yunjin Kim) foolishly sleeps with her dying patient (John Schneider).
I don’t know why ABC didn’t call ‘Mistresses’ by its real name, female dumbasses. Admittedly, I don’t know what’s dumber, the plot, its heroines or me for continuously watching. So what makes these women dumbasses? Let me catch you up the first eight episodes.
Savi’s a lawyer who handles divorce, estate laws, and everything in between. But, when her hot, Aussie husband turns abusive, instead of shouting what you’d expect from a lawyer, she hops onto her equally hot co-counsel. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I found it unrealistic. No, not the cheating, but how the cheating happened. I refuse to believe a woman in her mid-30s who just worked eight-to-ten LONG hours and underwent a draining fight with her husband, would hop into her car to DRIVE BACK to her office at nighttime for nookie. I don’t care what Limp Bizkit says, if it were me, I’d just curl up with Jerry Springer and Ben & Jerry.
Next, on the list of female dumbasses is April, the dumbass grieving widow. Basically, a woman stalks her for WEEKS (possibly MONTHS), shows up at her house in the middle of the night, claims she’s April’s dead husband’s ex-mistress and demands half of April’s estate settlement. And, dumbass April doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she liquidates 20% of her business. When her creepy ex-husband arrives at their neighborhood in BROAD DAYLIGHT and NO ONE recognizes him, she doesn’t call the cops on him either. Instead, she ignores possible future legal repercussions (bigamy, illegal inheritance) and tells him to get the hell out of town.
Karen, the therapist, is the dumbest of all. She’s shocked her hot, terminally ill patient used her for a last hurrah and didn’t truly view her as his “soulmate.” Really?! ‘Cus that’s pretty much textbook. If I’m dying, eff yea I’m gonna make a play for the hottest person at my job. THEN, she lies to the people investigating his death, destroys her notes and THEN fakes new ones. Somehow the investigators don’t notice the timestamp for all her files read the exact same date. But, her anti-intelligence doesn’t stop there. When her lover’s creepy son STALKS her, calls her continuously, shows up at her practice randomly AND arrives at her house in the middle of the night, SHE DOESN’T REPORT HIM EITHER!!! Instead, she goes to his apartment for dinner and is SHOCKED he misinterprets her actions. GAH!!! I’m shocked someone hasn’t sold her swamp land in Florida. Do these women know how to dial 911? They sure know how to dial each other!
Joss isn't dumb, but her love interest, Alex (Shannyn Sossamon) is. Scratch that, Alex isn't dumb, she's just sad. Does anyone remember 'Kissing Jessica Stein' (straight girl thinks she's gay, guess what ... she isn't)? We all know what will happen, but Alex and Joss convince themselves otherwise.
While the female characters are written as dumbasses, the males aren’t; but, they’re used mostly as eye candy. ‘Mistresses’ is literally a waste of hot male talent. Every single male actor I ever respected yet lusted after appears here. John Schneider (‘Smallville’)? Check. Jason George (‘Gray’s Anatomy’)? Check. Gary Dourdan (‘CSI’)? Check. Check. Remember Brett Tucker, the smarmy British investigator who hit on Beckett on ‘Castle’? Check. Check. Check. While in reality I can’t find a single man over age 10 within a 25-mile radius, ‘Mistresses’ is full of wealthy, good-looking, uber-sensitive, mostly single men who keep falling over these women.
So, why do I keep watching? I don’t know!!! It’s like old school ‘Beverly Hills 90210,’ I can’t stop rolling my eyes even as I curl up on the couch watching it. It definitely isn’t the 21st century version of ‘Waiting to Exhale.’ Outside a throwaway joke, it doesn’t analyze the complexities of why a woman might cheat, ignore being cheated on or cheat with a married man. It definitely isn’t a network version of ‘Sex and the City.’ It’s more a watered down version which portrays what everyone claimed ‘Sex and the City’ was – a celebration of wooden acting, stiff dialogue, and one-dimensional problems.
Maybe that’s why I watch ‘Mistresses’ while loathing it (and myself). The women handle their problems so unrealistically there’s no way I can relate. (Seriously, if someone blackmails or stalks you, CALL THE COPS!) With their cavernous homes housing only 1-2 people, their brightly colored clothes, their hot lovers, and their perfectly selected accessories, it’s just fantasist, escapist soapy goodness. In fact, it’s so bad, I hope ABC brings this mess back again next year. So, yea, like cronuts, 'Mistresses' is bad for you (but, oh so delicious).