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Mistresses: Volume 1

4.3 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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(Jun 09, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mistresses: Volume 1 (DVD)

It’s a little bit Sex and the City, a little bit Desperate Housewives, but Mistresses has its own juicy, sudsy style. Infidelity is the dominant theme as a quartet of close friends struggles to find the balance between security and adventure, domesticity and danger. Katie (Sarah Parish), a doctor, had an affair with a patient that she then helped commit suicide--which threatens to come to light when she and that patient’s handsome young son begin their own tryst. Trudi (Sharon Small) lost her husband in the terrorist attacks on 9/11; is it just coincidence that a single dad chats her up on the same day she gets a huge settlement for her loss? While Siobhan (Orla Brady) struggles to get pregnant with her dispassionate husband, she finds more sparks with a colleague at her law firm--and when she does become pregnant, whose baby is it? And finally Jessica (Shelley Conn) believes herself to be a freewheeling party girl for life, but when she’s hired to plan a lesbian wedding, she finds herself in the arms of one of the brides.

Mistresses, Volume 1 has all twelve episodes from the first two BBC series. Between episodes 6 and 7, there’s a leap of a year, which helps the series maintain its dense quotient of tumultuous events per show. A big part of the appeal of Mistresses is that these women are all in their late 30s/early 40s but being older than your typical TV heroine doesn’t stop them from dabbling in open marriages, interracial affairs, threesomes, revenge sex, and much, much more. Lurid? Trashy? Absolutely! But the British accents slather a glaze of class all over everything, making it feel downright virtuous. The guys are little more than good-looking props--this is all about the women, who suffer and burn and wallow, tossed to and fro by desire and fate. This is topnotch prime-time soap opera, packed with significant plot turns in every episode. The box set also includes an engaging interview with the stars, who discuss their characters’ drives and self-delusions with giddy enthusiasm. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • The Making of Mistresses
  • Cast interviews: "Sex, Lies & Infidelity"

Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Parish, Sharon Small, Orla Brady, Shelley Conn
  • Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 9, 2009
  • Run Time: 681 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U3ZYXE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,058 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mistresses: Volume 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This show starts off with a ludicrous and laughable premise. A primetime soap opera about 30's something's on different sides of infidelity. As predictable and ridiculously titillating as it was, I was hooked without realizing it. As a heterosexual black male from NYC, I have to say, the Brits know how to do a drama. This show is definitely worth watching, however I am a bit perturbed at the current 5/6/09 estimated price of 41 dollars for season 1 when its only about 11-15 dollars (through the conversion) for UK viewers (they have season 1 and 2 for about 35 through conversion). If this is what we do when we export our movies and shows to Canada and the UK, then I for one apologize. Seriously, this is an amazing series.

Quickly, without spoiling too much, in the first 15 minutes or so of the first episode we discover that Dependable Trudi is a 9/11 terrorist attack widow; 6 years after loosing her husband she gets a check for 2 million pounds and meets a new guy the same day. Coincidence? The vibrant Siobhan is an attorney who is trying to make partner in her law firm, however she and her husband are attempting to have their first child. Will this interfere with her career plans? Reserved and prim Doctor Kate has found a new love in her life and is happier than she has been in a long time. So why is she keeping him a secret from her friends? The wild and promiscuous (yeah I said it) Jessica is an event planner, who occasionally writes off the hotels for her sex romps as a "Business Expense". Never get serious or take yourself too seriously is her rule of engagement. So what are the rules when someone makes her want more than a casual encounter?

Season 1 is only 6 episodes ( And it ends with a bang!)
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Format: DVD
The BBC show Mistresses reminded me of how differently women are viewed in Europe and North America. Mistresses is obviously inspired by Sex and the City. In the British show, four women who remain friends through all kinds of hardship and emotional turmoil even share the professions of some of the characters of Sex and the City. The way these shows portray women, however, couldn't be more different.

First, the characters of Mistresses look normal. They dress like regular women, their hair looks regular. Nobody on the BBC show is trying to create an illusion that women walk around the city and even go to work in skimpy shimmery dresses and outrageous heels, all the while keeping every hair on their heads in its place.

The most striking difference, of course, is not the characters' appearance. What really attracts me to the BBC show is that the women in Mistresses aren't pathetic. It's such a relief to see women who can have all the problems in the world but still never come close to being so ridiculously pathetic as the characters of shows such as Sex and the City.

In the American show, beautiful and successful women are ready to humiliate themselves to the extreme to recieve a crumb of affection from any passing loser. Besides being absolutely unrealistic, this image of contemporary womanhood is very offensive. Mistresses, on the other hand, doesn't follow such silly stereotypes. The female characters are surrounded by normal, attractive, realistically-looking men. They follow their hearts and their bodies without repeating the word "relationship" every 15 seconds. When they get together, they don't spend hours figuring out what HE said and did and what it means for the relationship. The characters of Mistresses concentrate on their own feelings and desires.

Watch BBC if you want to be reminded of what feminism is supposed to be about and just how dead it is in the US.
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Format: DVD
So "Mistresses Vol. 1" has 12 episodes. The first six episodes are from the first season. The second six episodes are from the second season.

Season 1 (i.e. the first six episodes) are really great. There is so much packed into each episode. It makes you realize how much filler they put into American dramas. While some storylines were more interesting to me than others, the whole thing held my attention.

With a title like "Mistresses" one can easily assume that all the women are mistresses. That's not exactly true. Katie was the mistress of a man who has just died, but for her it wasn't casual. She loved the man and believed that he loved her. Jessica likes casual sex and relishes being a mistress because that means there are no attachments, until she becomes the mistress of someone that she wants to keep all for herself. Siobhan isn't a mistress but rather a cheater. She loves her husband, but when their sex life is lacking, she looks elsewhere to get her sexual needs met. And Trudi also is not a mistress. It is her husband (presumed dead) that she finds out had been deceiving her, both by cheating on her and other lies as well. Season 1 was all high fun and high drama. I recommend these first six episodes without restraint.

But season 2... well, season 2 does not live up to season 1's standards. Basically, all the characters relive their storylines from season 1 but with different love interests. Katie finds herself the mistress of a man she really cares about, just like the set up for season 1. Jessica marries a man with the understanding of an open marriage, but then she finds she doesn't want to share him... just like the realization she came to in season 1.
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