Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.
The Pedigree: Mistresses was created by K.J. Steinberg (Gossip Girl), based on the British series of the same name. Steinberg executive produces with Robert M. Sertner (Revenge). The pilot was directed by Cherie Nowlan (90210).
The Cast & How You Know Them: Mistresses stars Alyssa Milano (Charmed), Yunjin Kim (Lost), Jes Macallan (Justified), and Rochelle Aytes (The Forgotten). Some of the men in their lives are played by Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Brett Tucker (Neighbours), and Erik Stocklin (First Day).
The Premise: This drama follows the complicated personal (and to some extent professional) lives of four female friends. If you were wondering, no, they are not all literally mistresses, at least at this point in the show.
What Works: The plot is nicely twisty, and the different storylines are woven together well. The show is very visually appealing, with lots of fancy houses and pretty clothes and rolling surf. Everyone talks about throw pillows a lot. (I don’t know why that’s a plus. I guess because everything else they talk about is terrible or boring. I like throw pillows!)
What Doesn’t: I don’t think I’m that much of a prude, but almost all of the characters on this show make such terrible decisions and do such awful things. And since it’s that way right off the bat, the viewer has no time to get attached to the characters or feel much empathy for whatever is causing them to do these things. I spent most of the episode yelling “No, stop!” or “Don’t do that!” at my TV. I have no patience for the “you can’t help who you fall in love with” premise the show uses, because you can certainly control your actions. There isn’t even much chemistry between any of them and the people they apparently can’t help but sleep with. I’m not saying I want characters to be saints – that would be boring – but a show about boring characters with no redeeming qualities hurting people for the fun of it is clearly not for me.
Our Favorite Line: “Are you sure this amount of glitter is age-appropriate?”
You Might Like This if you like soapy shows about characters’ complicated personal lives and don’t mind a whole bunch of unethical behavior, both personal and professional.
(Photo courtesy of ABC.)