It was the ultimate in guilty pleasure viewing in the late Noughties – the saga of four female friends whose lives are touched by infidelity. Now America’s made its own version...
A s the latest in a long line of successful foreign television series to be given an American makeover — recent examples include Denmark’s cult hit The Ki l l ing and Israel’s Prisoners Of War, which became Homeland — Mistresses is creating quite a buzz Stateside. But it remains to be seen whether it will turn into a long-term affair like The Office did, rather than a short-term fling like Life On Mars.
The hugely popular BBC series, which aired over three seasons and ended in 2010, proved as addictive as any illicit love affair and was impossible for American producers to ignore. And now the glossy US remake airs here this week. ‘We just loved the original series,’ says KJ Steinberg, who created the show for ABC, ‘so we’re hoping viewers will think it’s been worth the wait.’
As fans of the original series will recall, Mistresses was an eminently watchable and at times emotional look at the painful realities of illicit relationships. It focused on four female friends who for various reasons had found themselves on one side or other of the wife-mistress divide.
As the US version begins we’re introduced to the four friends — Savannah ( played by Charmed’s Alyssa Milano), a lawyer who after failed attempts to get pregnant by her husband, embarks on an affair with her coworker Dominic (Jason George); Josslyn (Jes Macallan), Savannah’s sister who beds anyone without compunction; April ( Rochelle Aytes), a widow and mother who discovers an unnerving secret about her seemingly perfect late husband; and Karen ( Yunjin Kim), a psychiatrist mourning the death of her lover, also a patient, who then becomes embroiled in a relationship with his son.
If the situations sound rather similar to those in the original series, well, that’s because they are (Orla Brady was the lawyer, Shelley Conn the flighty one, Sharon Small the widow and Sarah Parish the doctor). ‘We have familiar signposts for people who loved the BBC version,’ admits Steinberg. ‘And they will feel comforted by our show,
SAVANNAH ‘SAVI’ DAVIS (Alyssa Milano) When her marriage is put under pressure by her attempts to conceive, Savi gives in to the charms of fellow lawyer Dominic.
The original show’s cast