Mistresses 1×01 – Pilot

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Well that was useless.

Let’s get something straight: I adore Alyssa Milano with every fiber of my being. The girl’s gorgeous, likeable, and immensely talented to boot. She was a big part of my love for Charmed (a show that often didn’t deserve that love), and she’s the main reason I decided to give Mistresses a chance. Now the question is, do I regret taking the plunge?

Nothing in the pilot really popped; it was just sort of there. I was most intrigued by Milano’s “Savi” – a career woman desperately trying to tap into her sexuality. Alyssa was genuinely loveable throughout as she struggled to handle her husband’s ego (thanks to pregnancy issues) and a budding affair with a flirty coworker. She’s really the only reason to tune in to the show and she got the pilot’s most memorable moments: flashing Dominic in the office and a mini-breakdown that pretty much broke my heart.

The rest of the cast however, did not fair as well. Yunjin Kim was fine on Lost a couple of year ago, but her career has sort of fizzled since then and I can certainly see why. She’s unimaginably lifeless in the role of Karen, a psychiatrist who was involved with her now-deceased patient. To further complicate matters (naturally), his son is now in love with her! The whole storyline is all sorts of creepy and not in a way I’d ever be interested in. Furthermore, both actors are downright charisma vacuums so imagine having to suffer through more scenes of them playing off each other.

Our third lead is April (played by Rochelle Aytes) and she didn’t have much to do besides mope over her dead husband until his mistress and apparent son dropped into her life. Again, there’s nothing new here and we’ve seen this sort of predicament countless times before. Finally there’s Savi’s little sister Josslyn played by Jes Macallan. The girl seems charismatic enough, and is saddled with most of the hour’s “steamy” scenes. There was somewhat of an interesting twist here as we ended the episode with a bond undeniably building between her and one-half of a lesbian couple. She might be the most compelling lead apart from Savi, but let’s not get our hopes up.

The biggest problem with Mistresses is that it’s painfully unnecessary. ABC has built a powerful brand in recent years beginning with the behemoths that were Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy, followed by the Scandal/Revenge onslaught of recent years. Each of these soaps (as much as I hate the term) injected something wildly different into the formula. But what does Mistresses bring to the table? At the moment, nothing. It’s a passable but ultimately bland hour of television. Nevertheless I’ll stick with it – which might be the gravest sin of all. No wonder it’s a summer show.

It must be mentioned that the show’s theme song (which blared every time there was a sexy (!) scene) was both imposing and annoying. Oy.

Must Download Tune
Alex Care – Damn Your Eyes

Conclusion
A thoroughly unmemorable debut that won’t survive on Alyssa Milano’s charm alone.

Nad Rating
C-

6 comments

  1. As always, you and I are on the same page. Thought you might like what I will post in my new shows column at the end of the week:

    Another wannabe guilty pleasure. Four friends navigate the trials and tribulations of friendship and relationships, but in a crushingly boring way. The plot twists are absurd (one of the four believes her husband is calling her from the grave!) and not for one second of this show did I care about any of the four. The sex scenes, of which there are plenty, are about as far from titillating and salacious as it possible to get; they are, in fact, just dull. The acting ranges from average to God awful. Pass on this one.

  2. “She was a big part of my love for Charmed (a show that often didn't deserve that love).” Damn straight. God that show got ridiculous. Yet I kept watching…

  3. Nadim – Are you going to be reviewing this show weekly?

    Like you I found the first episode really poor and my two main attractions to the show – Yunjim Kim & Alyssa Milano were a bore here.

    I think the reason I struggled with the show are for the following reasons:

    * The show thinks it's a lot sexier and racier than it is. Although this could be because it's airing on a broadcast channel ABC.
    * The show took itself way too seriously – the reason why all the other shows you mentioned above (Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Revenge and Scandal) work is because they know how to balance both the drama and the comedy. Again you can contribute this to the fact that it's the pilot.

    In other words I felt the same way as you did Nadim. The sad thing is I want to like it because I like the actresses and the idea of the show but that was poor. It was worse than a Lifetime movie poor and they air even longer than 42 minutes!

    I want to see what you think of the second episode – I enjoyed it a lot more than the pilot. Although anything would be better than this pilot.

    Caped_Crusader

  4. Hey CC (that's what I'll be calling you know to save time).
    So true what you said about those other shows balancing comedy and drama so wonderfully. Mistresses totally flopped in that regard. Thankfully I agree the second episode was better although it still feels like a very cheap show. I won't be reviewing it weekly, I'll just be writing mini thoughts on the Nad's Reviews Twitter Feed if you're interested ๐Ÿ™‚ But I really can't be bothered to review it on a weekly basis because it's just not worth writing about. I'll probably review the finale and then include it in a season wrap-up at the end of the summer!
    Thanks for reading and commenting!

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