Mistresses (ABC): What to Expect

Mistresses - ABC

ABC’s new series Mistresses is scheduled to air sometime in 2013 (no premiere date has been set yet). The cast, including Alyssa Milano, Yunjin Kim, Rochelle Aytes, Jes Macallan, Jason George, and Erik Stocklin, as well as executive producers Rina Mimoun, K.J. Steinberg, and Bob Sertner, were on hand at last month’s TCA 2013 to talk about what people can expect to see in the first season.

Want to know more about Mistresses? Check out a brief synopsis from ABC:

A provocative yet sophisticated drama about four women and their love lives, their sex lives, their secrets, their lies, and above all, their friendship. From ABC Studios, and based on the hit BBC series of the same name.

Here are a few things we learned about the show.

Expect the characters on the show to make a lot of mistakes. Yunjin Kim talked about the flaws of their characters, saying, “Every time I read a new episode of Mistresses, it’s like, ‘Oh, no. Oh, no, she didn’t!’ I kept saying that. It’s just one thing after another. I mean, we all make mistakes. I think we go on making mistakes.”

On the same subject, Alyssa Milano added, “But I think that that’s the really cool thing; be excited about reading the next episode of the script, because you don’t know what’s coming, I think was pretty amazing for me. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next script to see what not only my character was doing, but all of the characters.”

The ABC version of the show will deviate from the BBC version pretty early on. Speaking about the path of the original BBC version of the show, compared to this one, Rina Minoun said, “We deviate pretty early on. The BBC format actually happened at a much slower pace, so we sort of took a lot of what they had, front loaded our show with it so that the people who loved the show sort of have that familiarity, but then we kind of got to run in a whole different direction because we had to make a lot more episodes.”

On the same subject, K.J. Steinberg added, “I think we have familiar signposts for people that love the BBC version. They will feel comforted by our show, but they’ll also be very surprised, I think, because the BBC season was six episodes and ours is 13 right now. We have the luxury taking more time to examine the emotional nuances and the consequences of these women’s actions and get into their friendships more deeply.”

They chose Los Angeles as the backdrop for the show because it’s glossy. Asked about why LA was chosen for the home city of this version of Mistresses, Rina Minoun said, “I think what was great about the original series that was relatable to anywhere you go is these crazy sort of terrible things happen in every city, and choosing Los Angeles as our backdrop just immediately glosses everything up and brightens it up, and that was really part of the appeal for staying in Los Angeles is to get that sense of to have the brightness, because I think that helped make it all feel a little less dire.”

The show may be about adultery, but expect some optimism in it, too. Speaking about the theme of the show, K.J. Steinberg said, “There’s also an optimism to the show that was really important to us. The friendships binding these women are really they’re uplifting. They’re relatable. They’re enjoyable. They’re fun to be around, and I think that not terrible things are happening to these women. Human beings are making interesting choices in their lives that they never thought that they would make, and yes, there is the struggle and the horror of dealing with the consequences of those things, but there’s also a joy and an excitement in discovering what you’re capable of, what you’re capable of, what you’re capable of helping one another through, and the depths that you’re willing to go to satisfy your need for love and passion. We wanted all of those colors.”

Just because these women make mistakes, don’t expect them to glib about it. Asked if there was a line they won’t across with the characters moralitywise, K.J. Steinberg replied that their characters were different “in attitude. They’re never glib about what they do and who they hurt. I think that’s the main thrust. We are willing to go anywhere because I think that that’s what’s exciting about it and that’s what makes it dramatic and that’s what makes you lean forward. But their consciousness and consideration of every choice they make is always present.”

On the same subject, Jes Macallan added, “And they strengthen each other. I think the sisterhood definitely is really at the core of it all. Whatever happens, whatever goes on, we all experience what we experience, but we’re not there to hurt each other. We’re super loyal, and together, you know. Never betray each other, which is relatable.”

Alyssa Milano also added, “I think the core and the foundation of the show is that friendship between the women, and again, no matter what situation that we get ourselves into by maybe some poor choices that we make, not only do we have the support of our friends, but if they can’t be the most honest with you, then who can?”

What do you think now that you’ve learned more about Mistresses? Are you planning on checking out this version if you’re already a fan of the BBC series?

Follow me on Twitter @mokibobolink