Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts

Scott D. Pierce: ABC’s new soap, ‘Mistresses,’ is adulterated fun

By Scott D. Pierce

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published May 29 2013 05:17 pm • Last Updated Dec 07 2013 11:32 pm

Slap the title "Mistresses" on a TV show, and you’re making a pretty clear statement.

It sounds salacious, of course. Just as it’s intended.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The new prime-time soap (Tuesday, 9 p.m., ABC/Channel 4) is based on a British series of the same name. And ABC is clearly hoping the title will bring viewers to the show.

At the same time, the producers insisted "Mistresses" isn’t quite as lustful as the title makes it sound.

"The way the material is treated is not glib," said executive producer Rina Mimoun. "It’s not a bunch of ladies whoring around. It’s not the way the show is set up."

"If we could choose our tag line right now, it wouldn’t be, ‘The joys of adultery,’ " said executive producer K.J. Steinberg. "It would be, ‘You can’t help who you love.’ "

It’s not as if "Mistresses" invented adultery as a storyline in soap opera. That’s as old as the genre itself.

"Mistresses" is about a group of female friends who have all made a big mistake in their lives.

Savannah (Alyssa Milano) is a lawyer whose troubled marriage to Harry (Brett Tucker) isn’t helped by her flirtation with a colleague, Dominic (Jason George). Josslyn (Jes Macallan) is a party girl who has no interest in a committed relationship.

April (Rochelle Aytes) is a recent widow who discovers her late husband wasn’t faithful. Karen (Yunjin Kim) is a psychiatrist who got involved with a terminally ill patient, Tom (John Schneider). And his son, Sam (Erik Stocklin), is now obsessed with her.

story continues below
story continues below

Their intertwined storylines follow the women as they make some missteps and then have to try to navigate the consequences.

"It’s one mistake for each of them that has sort of snowballed into a bigger and bigger mess," Mimoun said.

It’s sexy and soapy and fun — kind of like a trashy novel you read while lounging on the beach. Don’t take it too seriously, just relax and have a good time with it.

And don’t assume that "Mistresses" exploits scantily clad women. As Milano pointed out, "For my scenes, most of the guys are naked."

Well, not altogether naked. This is network TV. But largely unclothed, certainly.

If you’ve seen the British series, you’ll see similarities and some major differences. Both shows start at pretty much the same place, but the American "Mistresses" moves faster and is less dark. Even though there are some wicked plotlines.

"The title encapsulates what we are trying to say," Steinberg said. "At first blush, it sounds salacious. If you scratch the surface of what it is, there’s so much more."

Well, not that much more.

"Mistresses" is frothy fun — if you like soap operas.

Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at spierce@sltrib.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.