Mistresses (US)

 
Remake of UK drama has same sexy, mature themes.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series focuses on women (and some men) engaging in and coping with the consequences of various infidelities; the moral implications associated with these activities is not central to the show. Close friendship among women is also a theme.

Positive role models

The women are independent, professional, and supportive friends, but each engages in extramarital relationships for various reasons.

Violence

Arguments break out between struggling couples, leading to yelling, tears, and slammed doors.

Sex

No nudity, but sexual activity is a major theme (and frequently visible). Men and women are shown in various stages of undress, and/or pulling their clothes on and off. Straight, gay, and bisexual relationships are featured. Dating, marital problems, pregnancy, and other issues are also discussed.

Language

Words like "hell" and "damn" are audible.

Consumerism

BMWs and other high-end cars visible.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine, hard liquor, champagne, and cocktail consumption frequently visible.

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.
 

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

TV details

Cast:Alyssa Milano, Rochelle Aytes, Yunjin Kim
Network:ABC
Genre:Drama
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:Streaming

This review of Mistresses (US) was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old June 7, 2013
age 9+
 

Wow.

I haven't seen this show yet, but does it REALLY need to have comercials for this show on American Idol? Yeah I REALLY want my little sister to see an ad involving people making out and UNDRESSING EACHOTHER. Kudos to ABC.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written byBradleyWeiss June 14, 2013
age 15+
 

Mistresses!

This show has just begun. Within the first three episodes, it has delivered fairly explicit sex scenes. I cannot believe what ABC is allowing these days. It's mysterious, sexy, and dramatic. I don't LOVE it but it's very good..... so far! 15 & older. Otherwise, no way!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byM&M1995 August 16, 2014
age 14+
 

Sexy drama with focus on infidelity not intended for children.

Mistresses focuses on the complicated relationships of young couples who are dealing with commitment issues, cheating, deception, and lying. Sexual content is a major component of the series. Expect smooches, undressing, heavy flirting, ogling at half naked bodies, constant innuendo, lesbianism, detailed discussion about the women's sex lives, references to masturbation, and more. Most episodes contain at least one blatant sex scene (sensitive parts are cleverly covered by the sheets), and these scenes usually open or close the episode. If not, there is some implied sex (couples shown in bed together without their clothes on). Some of the women visit bars and strip clubs, dance suggestively, take shots, and a minor character in the show appears to have a drug problem. Although the show features a strong cast of intelligent female leads (one of them is a laywer, another works as a psychologist), their devious behaviour and reprehensible choices are a disappointment. There is a lot of suspense, and there are threats of violence and other dangers present. In my opinion, the acting is spot-on and the cast is perfect. Teens, especially the girls, will most likely enjoy the series.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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