‘Mistresses’: Surprising Food for Thought

Starting any show midseason is difficult, and as a heterosexual, twenty-something, male blogger, coming late to the prime time soap opera “Mistresses” is a real challenge. Between the numerous characters, the myriad of twisting subplots, and the deception inherent in a show titled, “Mistresses,” I found myself struggling to get hooked by this show.

Still, “Mistresses” provides some interesting food for thought. At one point, April is faced with the task of admitting to her new boyfriend that she has a long and tangled history with her dead-but-not-really-dead husband Paul. (Did I mention that this show is a just a prime time soap opera yet?) When April's friend, Karen, councils omission rather than truth, this scenario, however improbable, (#primetimesoapopera) still confronts the viewer with the important question of whether it is ever better to refrain from telling the truth.

Another plot point also provided some juicy mental meat to gnaw on. At the end of the episode, the main character Savannah shares her own fears with her younger sister, Josslyn, about becoming a mother. Savannah is married, but doesn’t know who the father is. She has the paternity test results but fears finding out the truth. While giving the unopened results to her sister, Savannah states that she doesn't care who the baby's father is. “My job now is to take care of this baby in love and in peace. And until he or she is born the baby belongs to me”

Sensible enough on the surface. A pregnant woman definitely ought to lovingly care for her child, and since she has the baby in her womb, the baby must belong to her. But I would argue that such thinking is sorely mistaken. Yes, the baby is hers, but it is also the father’s. Two people have come together to create a new life, and both parties are responsible for the development of that life. Just as it would be insane to suggest a father need not care for and support his five year old, it would be equally inconsistent to suggest that he need not care for and support his child (and by extension the child's mother) in the womb.

At the risk of being preachy and running too long (and I've already done both), let me conclude by saying that for a show who's premise initially seemed vacuous and downright immoral, “Mistresses” has provided enough thought-provoking topics to get me hooked.