Greg Dixon is deputy editor of Canvas.

TV review: More miss than mistress

Reviewer Greg Dixon pens an open letter to the creators and stars of Mistresses.

'Mistresses' is a horror show with completely unbelievable characters.
'Mistresses' is a horror show with completely unbelievable characters.

As the "open letter" is the complaints procedure du jour (I am very worried about poor Miley; how "troubled" must the poor mite be for a former drug addict with mental health issues to take it upon herself to offer unsolicited and increasingly aggressive advice?) I've decided that the only way to deal with the complete horror show that is Mistresses (8.30pm, Thursdays, TV2) is with an open letter to everyone involved. So here goes:

Dear Everybody Involved With Mistresses,

Are any of you women? I only ask because your show, which is about four "mistresses" living in some nameless American city, contains nuts but as far as I can tell doesn't have any female characters who are remotely three-dimensional women who live in what I like to call "the real world".

Take the lead mistress, a so-called woman called Savi (played by a startled looking Alyssa Milano). Now as I understand it Savi is not only married but also happens to be some sort of high-flying lawyer.

As such I'm pretty sure she's been to law school and knows a bit about the constitution, legislation, jurisprudence, suing people and all that legal eagle stuff. Yet all the way through the first episode she let a co-worker, a lecherous lawyer called Dominic, talk to her in way that in the real world we would call "sexual harassment".

Apparently not in Mistresses. Instead of rushing to HR, she laughed and flirted like a teenager. Of course that was unbelievable enough, but then you had Savi show Dominic a bit of thigh so she could get off work early. I mean really, is this how women really behave?

Then there is your character Dr Karen Kim, a psychiatrist. She's apparently been sleeping with a patient who has subsequently died of cancer. Having lied to the dead guy's wife and son about various things once the dead guy was in the ground, and after being warned by Savi that the wife might be charged with assisting her dead husband's suicide, you have Dr Kim confess all to her friends, the other "mistresses": that she'd been shagging the dead guy and that his wife seems to have killed him. No one bats an eyelid. Or goes to the cops. I mean really, are women that stupid?

Then there's April, who as the show opened thought she was getting phone calls from her dead husband. It turned out she was being stalked by phone by her dead husband's lover (who had given birth to the dead husband's bastard child). I mean really, are women not adults at all? Are they actually semi-adults who behave like superstitious teenagers?

Then there are the endless so-called sex scenes in your show. I'm no woman myself, but I'd have to say your endless so-called sex scenes are about as sexy as lying in a bath filled with slugs. Or maybe wetas.

Then there is the awful, awful dialogue. Like that line from the cancer guy while he was in bed with Dr Kim: "I think dying might be the best thing that ever happened to me." Really? I'd say dying was the best that ever happened to you if you're forced to sit through an episode of Mistresses.

Now I'm sure that all of you involved in making this atrocious piece of television aren't bad people. I'm sure you're mostly good people doing the best you can. But I say this: please stop. Please never ever, ever make another episode of this programme or any other programme. It's for your own good. And ours.


A concerned viewer

- NZ Herald

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