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...

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE -

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

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