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DVD Review: Mistresses — Volume One

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Look, ladies, I completely understand that some of you seem to be under the delusion that Sex And The City was God’s apology for the whole menstrual cycle thing. I can even see why some of you might mistake Desperate Housewives for a “How-To” guide. But come on, girls, Mistresses is far better. For one thing, these characters actually possess personalities and are not just dumb backstabbing yuppie bimbos. Additionally, the writers of Mistresses have a knack for, well, writing. There are plots. Subplots, even. And, hold on to your Fendis for this one, lassies: Mistresses has actors that can really act, too.

Mistresses focuses on the lives (and affairs) of four best friends in Bristol, England. Our lead, Katie (Sarah Parish), is a medical doctor and perhaps the most mature of the group. Trudi (Sharon Small) is a single mother of two who still finds it hard to believe that her loving husband was killed during 9/11. Siobhan (Orla Brady) is an big attorney in town and the only one of the lot that is married. Lastly, there’s the slutty and sultry Jessica (Shelley Conn), who is perfectly content with hopping from one bed to another and has no desire to get tied down in a relationship. In Volume One, we are introduced to our characters and quickly learn that Katie had an affair with a terminally-ill patient; Trudi meets a new man the same day that she receives a seven-digit settlement from her husband’s death; Jessica beds her boss while trying to organize a lesbian wedding; and Siobhan is morose over her husband’s obsession with having a baby.

Warner Home Video brings Mistresses: Volume One to DVD in a 4-disc set containing 12 episodes in all. As to why they entitled this Volume One is beyond me. In actuality, this set houses both the entire First and Second Series (or Seasons, if you prefer) from 2008 and 2009 — and, since there has been no talk on the other side of the pond about a Series 3 yet (as of this writing), don’t look for Volume Two anytime soon.

Each episode is shown in an anamorphic widescreen 1.78:1. The quality on Series 1 (Discs 1-2) are a little clearer than they are on Series 2 (Discs 3-4), but quality on the whole is pretty decent. The only sound option is an English Stereo pick (for both Series), with English subtitles accompanying.  Special features are mostly reserved to two featurettes: “The Making Of Mistresses” (28:41) on Disc 2, and “Sex, Lies, And Infidelity: The Woman’s Perspective” (24:09) on Disc 4. Other bonus materials are in the guise of several trailers and bumpers for other titles.

Sure, Mistresses has its own share of outrageousness and promiscuity (what sore of good, self-respecting adult drama would be without those elements?) But, no matter how absurd a story may get, you can always rely on Mistresses to tell it better. And besides, there’s not a hint of Sarah Jessica Parker to be found here. I’m satisfied.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.