We’ve seen many instances of American television shows that have been inspired by or directly copied from British shows. This has been particularly true of comedy series and is not a new phenomenon. All In The Family and Sanford And Son from the 1970’s are great examples of American sit-coms based on British hits, Till Death Do Us Part and Steptoe And Son respectfully. Recently The Office has been a successful British import. In the inspired by category you have to include Mistresses. There’s no question that the show comes from a combination of Desperate Housewives and Sex In The City. Like those shows, this series tells the story of friends who have somewhat risqué love lives. The episodes delve into their quests for sexual excitement. It’s very much a chick thing. Unfortunately, we don’t have any members of the fairer sex here at Upcomingdiscs, so I ended up with the short straw. I got to see Mistresses.
The problem with this series is that it’s not even terribly exciting from the bedroom point of view. The plot is so slow and plodding that the girls talk a lot more than they do. If there’s one thing I learned as a writing minor in college it’s the old axiom: “Show us. Don’t tell us.” This series never took that writing class, and so I’m afraid we hear a lot more than we ever see. None of the girls are that particularly interesting. The show takes on the pace of a daily soap opera with far less installments. The whole thing is a big tease.
You also have to make some allowances for the cultural differences and the exotic language used on the show. Thanks to Austin Powers, we all know what “shag” means, but there’s a lot of that English slang here that only further bogs down the series. This was a British Invasion I could have done without.
Each episode is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Again, I can’t compare to broadcast versions of the series, but these DVD transfers are quite nice. The sharpness is excellent. Black levels are well above average for television, even in the HD age. Colors aren’t necessarily bright at all, but remain constant and solid throughout. Flesh tones are dead on reference. These women often dress flashy, and the transfer does its job to try and make them look good. So, at least the show gets high marks for production value.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 is pretty basic. Almost everything here is music and dialog. The music is a mix of tunes with the clarity of a typical radio broadcast, never anything dynamic or bright. It’s background stuff only. You can hear everything clearly, which is about the best thing I can say for yet another average at best effort.
The Making Of Mistresses: (28:42) Cast and crew offer the typical stuff. Cast mostly talks about their characters.
Sex, Lies, And Infidelity: (24:10) The girls sit down together and talk about various contemporary sexuality issues. You’d think they were therapists or some kind of psychologists. No, they’re just actors.
Before you complain at the male point of view here, you need to know how rare female reviewers are in this business. So, don’t complain. Offer to do the next chick show that comes our way. Hey, we won’t even ask you “what color knockers you’re wearing”.