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TV review: ‘Mistresses’

Beautiful women looking concerned amid attractive surroundings—gotta be an ABC drama. In this case, Mistresses.

The Details

Two and a half stars
Mondays, 10 p.m., ABC

Although initially planned for fall 2012, the ABC drama Mistresses turns out to be ideally suited for summer. It’s a cheesy nighttime soap, without the intensity of fellow soapy ABC dramas like Revenge or Scandal. The title characters are four friends in their 30s (played by Alyssa Milano, Rochelle Aytes, Jes Macallan and Lost’s Yunjin Kim), all engaged in various types of illicit and/or complicated romantic entanglements. Based on a popular British series, Mistresses was previously developed for Lifetime in 2008, and it’s not hard to see how it could fit in well there.

The storylines are played for maximum melodrama, with the male characters mostly deployed as plot devices and eye candy. While the focus on adult female characters is encouraging, the four main women are so caught up in their respective relationship dramas that their friendship is perfunctory at best. There are some campy moments here and there (although nothing compared to previous ABC nighttime-soap juggernaut Desperate Housewives), and Macallan brings life to her every scene as the most charming and frivolous member of the group. But overall Mistresses is forgettable fluff—again, perfect for summer.


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  • Every book adaptation should be this good.

  • Made from the “kids-won’t-care-how-badly-we-slapped-this-thing-together” school of filmmaking.

  • A requiem for America this is definitely not.

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