MISTRESSES S2E01 “REBUILD”


L-R Yunjin Kim (Karen), Rochelle Aytes (April), Alyssa Milano (Savi), Jes Macallan (Joss)

It’s back! The surprise hit of last Summer, MISTRESSES, returns on ABC tonight. As I type this it’s about 15 minutes from showtime (on the West Coast – I need to see if I can get ABC East on my Satellite system so I can watch it at 7pm and not have to wait until 10pm). Last year, I watched the premier episode, and then the next morning I wrote a little review, just intended as a one-time thing. But that post ended up getting a surprising number of hits, and since I’d planned to keep watching the show, I figured I’d go ahead a review each episode. So I created a separate category specifically for this show. And it was fun to follow it.

Along the way, thanks to a random song played in Episode 5, I wrote a post that ended up being my most-viewed post EVER. Still getting hits to this day (14,258 so far). It’s amazing.

It is funny because I only checked out that first episode because Alyssa Milano (one of my early childhood celebrity crushes) was in it. But I honestly didn’t have high hopes for it. It looked cheesy. But by the time the first season finale ended, I was hooked. Overall I gave the season a grade of “B”. It was good. There was some room for improvement, but I enjoyed it. And I don’t watch much network TV these days. I particularly like the way the show effortlessly mixes drama and humor. The chemistry between the 4 leading ladies is also off the charts, and makes it fun to watch. And it’s definitely not what I originally expected. From the title and early commercial I expected this to be a sleazy show that glamorizes adultery, and is full of vulgar dialog. But it wasn’t that at all. If anything, this show emphasizes how bad adultery is, as we see the pain it causes, and peoples lives are nearly ruined in the aftermath. But it also emphasizes the importance of friendship, especially among women. In a time when the airwaves are full of “reality” shows that are all about women backstabbing and fighting with each other, it’s good to see a show where women can trust and confide in each other.

Okay, here we go, I’ll finish when the episode is over…

written by Rina Mimoun & K.J. Steinberg
directed by Ron Lagomarsino

I liked this. I started off well, with the 8 Months Later caption, and then slowly catching us up with where each of the characters is. April has gotten back into the dating game, via online dating, but hasn’t had much luck. But her business is thriving. Corinne Massiah is still as adorable as ever as little Lucy, who is now attending and exclusive private school where she says she fits in. We’re introduced to April’s friend from high school, a gay man named Mickey (Joseph May), who encourages her to get her old passion: art. At an art show April meets an artist named Daniel (Ricky Whittle) and sparks fly. They meet again the next day and get down (if ya know what I mean). We’ll see where this goes.

We learn that poor Samuel was killed in the gunfight (no word on his mother, I assume she’s in jail), and the first time we see Karen she’s visiting his grave. She’s taken up as an ER doctor, and is seeing a therapist herself (played by William Ragsdale). But several encounters with a patient, a clearly troubled young woman named Anna (Catherine Haena Kim), convinces Karen to go pact to her private practice as a therapist (how the heck is she still licensed after everything that happened last season?!?), with Anna as her first new patient. I wasn’t sure about this storyline at first, until we got to the previews at the end (more on that in bit).

Joss has gone into business for herself as a Party Planner. But it’s not going so well. Soleil Moon Frye guest-starred as herself, a prospective client of Joss’, but she ultimately turns Joss down because she’s not experienced enough. This bums Joss, who begins to pity herself, and the state of her life. She’s been living at Harry and Savi’s place, by herself because…

Savi and Harry broke up. It’s never mentioned if they’re officially divorced yet, or just separated (I didn’t think to look closely and see if either is wearing a wedding ring), but they’re selling the house and avoiding each other. Savi just got out of the hospital, after 8 months of surgeries and physical therapy, following a brief coma. She lost the baby. But is now in a relationship with Dominic. Although that relationship just consisted of phone sex up until now, because they meet in person and have sex for the first time since that series premier early in this episode. Dominic did have to cancel a later date, at that art party, because he’s so busy now that he’s a partner at the law firm. But Savi had fun anyway. After getting a new hairstyle (she’s still hot!), she partied with the younger ladies there, and took selfies. We do get some serious moments from Savi, such as when she see a picture of a baby on Joss’ phone, and they talk about her miscarriage, and when Savi finds out that Harry (who has since shut down his restaurant) is dating his former hostess Krya aka Krya With The Funbags, first seen last season in Episode 6. I was hoping we’d see more of Ashley Newbrough last year, so I’m glad she’s back. Despite their divorce/separation, Savi is uneasy to see this, which suggests her feeling for Harry aren’t completely dead (which is understandable). We later see Harry and Kyra in bed, and he doesn’t seem all that enthusiastic, either.

Another little subplot is that as Joss goes to Harry for advice about her business, he recommends joining her to be her chef, as she expands into catering. After checking with Savi to see if it’s okay with her, Joss agrees. Those two always did get along well, so this makes sense storywise. And it’s a good way to keep Harry on the show. In the end Savi decides to go back to the lawfirm, part time at first, and Dom introduces her to a new young associate, Toni, played by Rebeka Montoya.

This episode filled my expectations. Fills in the major details leftover from last season’s finale, and establishes the new status quo for our characters. All the cast, both the originals and the new members, do a great job and feel natural together. The dialog is as sharp as I remember. The previews of what to come this season were really exciting. I almost feel like they gave away too much. Karen getting into prostitution?!? Joss dating a dude whose into women’s shoes? And this new gal Toni is going to be causing trouble for Dom and Savi, who looks like she’s going to be exploring her sexuality this season. Should be fun! Mistresses Season 2 is off to a fabulous start!

MISTRESSES airs Monday Nights @ 10pm on ABC

You can also watch episodes online via http://abc.go.com/shows/mistresses

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