Last night ABC premiered it’s Thursday night summer line up including the series premiere of The Astronauts Wives Club and the 2 hour season premiere of Mistresses sans Alyssa Milano, who announced shortly after the season 3 renewal that she wouldn’t be returning because of the studio’s plans to relocate production from Los Angeles to Canada.
Mistresses, originally based around the lives of Milano’s character Savvy, her sister Joss (Jes Macallan) and two closest friends April (Rochelle Ayters) and Karen (Yunjin Kim), went into season 3 with a major challenge…. moving the focus from it’s most dominant character (and most well know star) to her friends and strategically transitioning in a new unknown character, portrayed by Jennifer Esposito (Milano’sS replacement).
As someone who has watched the first two season religiously (now available on Hulu) and like many others only began because of Milano, I was curious how the transition would be and also iffy about the network’s decision to have a extended 2 hour premiere.
Season 2 ended with Joss on the beach fully dressed for her wedding and making out with her sister Savvy’s ex-husband Harry, without knowing Savvy was approaching. Other cliff hangers included Karen awaiting the results of her HIV test and April’s daughter finding out that her father had just died… instead of 2 years ago like the world had originally believed and that her mother had kept it from her.
The two-hour premiere actually worked for me. The first half, appropriately titled, “Gone Girl,” focuses on the fallout from each of the character’s specific situations at the end of season 2 and trying to contact Savvy who has gone missing during the commotion at Joss’ surprise wedding .
The second part of the episode, “I’ll be watching you,” introduces us to Calista. In a designer gown and with confident entrance we meet the newest “mistress”, asking for information on which room her (implied) cheating husband is in and gives the concierge a hefty incentive (I think I counted six 100 dollar bills).
Calista is very different from Savvy and brings a new twist and elegance to the show (we later find out she is a a famous fashion designer who Joss loves but can’t afford). The way she was brought in was completely random and unexpected (like real life). Savvy didn’t leave town and then conveniently another woman connected to the circle moved into town and stepped in. They seem to be slowly ushering her in and at the end of the episode she only knows Joss’ character.
While every season, Joss has had a hot storyline (Lesbian romance, new career, dating a guy with a designer shoe fetish… I could go on) Karen continues to have storylines that seem dull. Her character isn’t unlikeable, but she isn’t likeable. I feel like most of the time I wouldn’t notice if she was missing from an episode.
Poor April. She can’t seem to get away from her (twice) dead husband’s mistakes. Now his love child and his mistress’ brother is living in her house. Can we please give April a love interest that isn’t a secret agent, a jerk or fakes his own death this season?!? On the plus side the mistress’ brother is kind of cute.
If Savvy is gone, does that mean Joss’ meet up with Dom will be the last time we’ll have Jason George on our Thursday nights till Grey’s Anatomy returns September 24th?
Here’s to hoping the bad gets good and the good gets better.
Mistresses airs Thursday nights on ABC.