TV Recaps

‘Mistresses’ Recap: Pilot

MISTRESSES - ABC's "Mistresses" stars Yunjin Kim as Karen Kim, Rochelle Aytes as April Malloy, Jes Macallan as Josslyn Carver and Alyssa Milano as Savannah ("Savi") Davis. (ABC/BOB D'AMICO)

It’s (almost) summertime and the TV viewing is easy. With the heat and humidity, who wants to watch something heavy and dark? Give me uncomplicated, sudsy fun with a good dollop of sex and I’m in.

Luckily, ABC‘s new summer series, Mistresses almost perfectly fits the bill. Based on the hit UK series of the same name, Mistresses  follows four girlfriends through their many sexual and romantic exploits.

The pilot dove straight into the meat of the show–SEX and Alyssa Milano. While there were three sex scenes within the first eight minutes, Milano (as Savi) was front and center with the first one, quickly establishing her as the female lead of the show.

Milano has always been an engaging actress with a high likeability factor and this role is a dream fit for her. She portrays Savi, a successful lawyer, with an equally ambitious chef/restaurant owner husband, Harry (played by the charming and oh-so-handsome Brett Tucker).

Their marriage has recently struggled, as infertility issues hound them. The quest to have a baby has taken some of the romance out of their lives and Savi has found her eye wandering toward her equally charming colleague Dominic (Jason George), who shared with Milano the hottest scene of the pilot.

In it, Dom and Savi, working late, share one of several  flirty moments. Dom tells Savi he’ll finish the night’s work for her if she gives him a glimpse of her garters and…..other parts. Savi agrees to a five second peep show and as she counts off the seconds, Dom looks his fill. No sex. Hardly any dialogue. And Hot.

All that smoke eventually led to fire and Savi betrays Harry by having sex on a desk with Dom, setting up a wicked triangle for the summer.

If Savi is enjoying an active sex life, her younger sister Josslyn (Jes Macallan) is a certified sex fiend. She seems to attract both men and women, and makes no apologies for her lifestyle. She could be a very interesting character to explore, but in the pilot, she primarily served  a  comic relief, supportive role. I found her free spirit, breeze style quite entertaining and I hope we see her with her own storyline over the next few months.

We also met  Savi and Josslyn’s friend April (Rochelle Aytes), a still-grieving widow with a young daughter. For years, April has been under the misguided assumption that her husband was,  you know, actually a decent guy. But as it turns out, on his frequent business trips he was getting busy with a young woman who also gave birth.

So now, April is struggling to reconcile what she believed to be true with what actually was. And how do you forgive a dead man?  How do you move forward with another relationship? Aytes is  very charismatic on-screen, and has a real charm, so April could become a very interesting character as the season unfolds.

The remaining member of the quartet wasn’t quite as appealing as the first three.  Karen (Yunjin Kim),  is a rather uptight psychiatrist, who loosened up enough to have an affair with a very wealthy, dying patient, who also happened to be Savi’s boss.

After his death, we learn Karen actually prescribed morphine to help him die when the time came, which his wife ended up administering. To further complicate things, his son Sam is poking around Karen and she can’t seem to stop her fascination and connection with her dead-boyfriend’s family.

The set-up to this plot was rather cumbersome and perhaps not the best choice for a lightweight summer replacement series. I’m not keen on watching a right to die story; and I hope it doesn’t play out over the entire summer. Let’s wrap this one up.

But all in all, Mistresses delivers what it needs to be a satisfying summertime fling. It’s light, entertaining and filled with beautiful people having all kinds of sex. Add a nice adult beverage by your TV stand and you’re all set.