There’s a lot of really good TV on tonight. The Mad Men and Veep season finales, the second (and supposedly better than the first) episode of True Blood, some live sky wire stunt across the Grand Canyon, and the premiere of a Donald Sutherland drama about international cops. And yet, I find myself obsessing about a Monday night show. A show so ridiculous in its premise, acting, story lines, and writing that you’re probably thinking it’s Smash. But it’s not. I’m talking about Mistresses.
For the uninitiated, Mistresses is an ABC show based on a BBC show, about four female friends who do that whole love-each-other-through-the-good-times-and-bad thing. You’ve got Savi (played by Alyssa Milano, but starring her cleavage), a lawyer who just wants to get pregnant. There’s Karen (played by Lost’s Yunjin Kim, and undoing all good-will built up for her with some of the worst line readings currently on TV), a therapist who helped drug her married lover/patient to death and is now, for some utterly inexplicable reason hanging with his son. April (Rochelle Aytes) is pretty much a pretty non-entity except she’s super judgmental, mostly after finding out her recently-deceased hubby knocked up another woman. And then there’s Joss (Jes Macallan), who’s the character horrible guys have always dreamed of: She wears skin-tight Star Wars t-shirts, wants tons of sex with no commitment, and despite a steady diet of pasta and ice-cream might fill out a size 2, and, of course, is about to get it on with a girl. (Sorry if you think that’s a spoiler, but if you didn’t see tomorrow night’s makemout with Shannyn Sossamon’s Alex coming from 20 miles away, you should get your eyes checked out.)
So far this season, there’s been a lot of sex. On law office desks, in death beds, random beach houses. I think there’s also been girl bestie bonding, but the dynamic between these four is such a horribly awkward take on Sex and the City that sometimes I have to turn away and comfort myself that there are writers rooms across Los Angeles that don’t think female friends act that way. Even ones in a primetime soap.
So, why am I still watching? I don’t know. I can’t stop myself. I want to find out how Savi’s horrible marriage to a horribly hot chef will work out, when she’s the kind of professional who’ll flash her even-more-horribly-hot law firm colleague some lingerie in exchange for completing busy work. I get some kind of thrill out of watching Karen over-emote in jewel-toned pantsuits. Of course, I want to see Joss learn about Japanese bondage rope, you know, so she can have even more awesome sex with guys whose desire to be in a committed relationship with her will be rebuffed. Eh, don’t really care about April.
I gave up on Smash way before the end of the run, and I’ll admit I judged my friends who hate-watched that show until the end. Why waste your time like that, I thought? And yet, I find myself doing the exact same thing with a show that is certainly creatively inferior to that Broadway bust. I can’t condone it, I can just admit to it.
Please tell me I’m not alone. Are you addicted as much as I am? Or can you help me break the cycle of pain?