Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New TV fav: Mistresses

My newest TV favorite: "Mistresses" on BBCAmerica. Mistresses homepage; Mistresses on imdb.com. I love this show! The title's cheesy, but the show is packed with intriguing and sophisticated female characters who are full-fledged adults with all the accompanying baggage, anxieties and subtleties. The show features four female friends in varying sorts of relationships, from married to widowed to devotedly single and adulterous, who each get involved with someone during the course of the series. There are six episodes in Series 1 and a second series in now airing in the UK. I've seen two episodes and I was immediately drawn into the lives of these characters. After the first one, I couldn't wait to see the second. I think this is partly due to the quality of the acting, which is fantastic. There are several actors that have appeared in other recent British shows shown in the US, including Sharon Small (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, aired on PBS) and Raza Jaffrey (MI-5, aired on BBCAmerica). My two favorite characters so far are Katy Ronan and Siobhan Dillon, played by Sarah Parish and Orla Brady, respectively. Katy is a doctor who had a long-term affair with a patient who recently died. Her lover's adult son is now hot on the trail of his father's lover, but also has the hots for Katy, who is also his doctor. Siobhan is a married lawyer who is trying to get pregnant and getting involved with a co-worker. The difficulties Siobhan and her husband are facing are played with quiet poignancy. (Katy on right, Siobhan on left)

Other highlights are Anna Torv playing a lesbian about to get married, but attracted to main character, single and loving it Jessica Fraser, played by the beautiful Shelley Conn. Torv stars in American series "Fringe" (another of my favorites) as FBI agent Olivia. She's very believable here as a lesbian. (Is it getting hotter in here or is it my imagination?)

While this might sound like a rip-off of Sex and the City, Brit-style, the show feels completely different, perhaps because it's an hour long and goes at a slower pace. And, of course, because it's British. There is less overt discussion of men and sex, and more scenes that simply show the women's friendship and the development of the various sexual relationships. The show is airing on BBCAmerica on Friday nights at 9pm EST.

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