So here we are, back again, with an opening in the tradition of Shirley Conran’s Lace, when Lili says to a group of women she has gathered, who were once bezzie mates, “Which of you bitches is my mother?” Not as good as that of course, nothing could be, but in the first episode of the new series of Mistresses we have a similar forced gathering of the coven by Katie (Sarah Parish) in which it becomes clear that none of the women is on speaking terms. Excellent fun. I think we can guess, boys and girls, that the palpable loathing has been caused by these women shagging husbands and/or lovers of their mates in any conceivable combination. Possibly every conceivable combination, that’s the fun of it. But anyhoo, just as the fourth witch arrives and says ‘this had better be good’, we get a ‘six months earlier’ strapline (should that have read ‘sex months earlier? I think so).
So, ‘six months previously’ we kick off with Trudi baking pastel coloured cupcakes night and day like a culinary dervish, neglecting unemployed accountant, now house husband, Richard (Patrick Baladi, regrettably lacking a bit of manly ooomph in this). At home with the laundry and squabbling teenage girls, he is being comforted by sometime high-flying consultant, now GP (who never actually seems to do any work, presumably because it would get in the way of her wine drinking) Katie (Parish). We see them cosily drinking wine and smoking on the step of Trudi’s house, where Baladi wins the award of most atrocious portrayal of casual smoking by an evident non-smoker this year. These two are going to move from alcohol and nicotine to shagging soon too, you can tell. And so could Katie’s mum, Vivienne, played by Joanna Lumley, who arrives upon this scene and sees it for what it is.
Lovely to see Joanna Lumley, who always looks like she could drink any of these women under the table and emerge with her hair perfectly coiffed. She, we discover, has returned from one of many of her mature ‘gap years’ with a new boyfriend in tow (Dale) and plans to sell the family house to buy a ranch with him near Cape Town.
In another corner, we have Jess (Conn) failing to get pregnant, with financial troubles with IVF looming. Sorry to be such a kill-joy, but infertility is always such a downer. I know, in the real world, it’s a serious and awful thing people have to undergo, but in this show, I’m not interested in reality. I want things to be as frothy as silly as pink Lambrusco.
Finally, we have Siobhan (Brady) and now three-year old daughter Elsa awaiting the arrival of Elsa’s daddy, Siobhan’s one time office shag-buddy, Dominic. Who, it transpires, has recently got engaged to a new blonde, despite Siobhan clearly harbouring hopes that their saucy shenanigans against the photocopier might be about to be rekindled.
So, in short, we’re kicking off with a fair amount of angst, alcohol and baked goods and not a lot of sex. Do buck up in episode 2, ladies, you’ve six months worth of betrayal and pregnancy tests to pack in.
Posted by Inkface