A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the U.S. adaptation of Mistresses isn't meant for kids. It is full of mature themes, including infidelity, marriage, pregnancy, and death. Like the British original, the show includes lots of sexual content, including scenes of people taking their clothes off, wearing sexy lingerie, and engaging in various sexual acts (but no nudity). Drinking (cocktails, wine, champagne, etc.) is also frequent.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MISTRESSES, an American adaption of a British series of the same title, features four female friends who are engaging in and/or coping with the consequences of various non-traditional and inappropriate relationships. Alyssa Milano plays Savannah "Savi" Davis, a successful lawyer who has hit a rough patch with her husband Harry (Brett Tucker) while trying to conceive a child. As Savi finds herself flirting with fellow lawyer Dominic (Jason George), her sister and real estate agent Josslyn Carver (Jes Macallan) continues to engage in a variety of sexual liaisons for her personal pleasure and professional success. Meanwhile, therapist Karen (played by Lost's Yunjin Kim) is struggling to cope after her former patient -- and married lover -- dies. Despite working through their own issues, they all try to support April (Rochelle Aytes), who is trying to enter the dating scene after the death of her husband three years before. Their lives are complicated, but their personal journeys eventually force each of them to confront the chain reactions that occur when a woman decides to become the "other" woman.
Is it any good?
Like its sister series, the stateside version of Mistresses mixes themes of friendship and marriage with dramatic, soap opera-like narratives about finding love and romance in the wrong places, and people being unwilling or unable to settle for a stable, monogamous relationship. It also frames some of the women's behavior as an empowered way of expressing their sexual freedom, rather than underscoring the fact that they are engaging in infidelity.
It isn't as sophisticated as the British version, and some of the characters aren't as likable. But the concept is developed enough to successfully combine positive messages about the importance of women being supportive of each other while showing the various ways that women ignore the negative impact being someone's mistress. If you can get past these contradictory messages, the series offers lots of edgy entertainment.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about entertainment media that feature people doing negative things. How do you feel about characters like this? Is this part of the entertainment value of the show? Do you think some people want to be like them after watching them? Or are their stories ultimately teaching us what negative things can happen if we do what they do?
Why are TV shows that feature the same stories and themes, but are produced in different countries, often very different? What are some of the differences between shows produced in England and those produced in the United States?
For kids who love drama
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