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While we have a moment in between busy summer premieres, allow me to revisit ABC’s Mistresses, which debuted June 3.

The series, airing at 9 p.m. Mondays, is based on the popular British show of the same name and is an attempt by the network to air something fresh during the summer doldrums.

Mistresses is an adult drama, and initial ABC publicity labeled the show as “a provocative and thrilling drama about the scandalous lives of a sexy and sassy group of four girlfriends, each on her own path to self-discovery.”

Recent publicity toned it down to “a provocative yet sophisticated drama about four women and their love lives, their sex lives, their secrets, their lies and, above all, their friendship.”

Gone were “thrilling,” “scandalous” and “sassy.” In my view, “sophisticated” is a stretch.

Passing judgment on just a pilot is always dicey. I’ve been on this beat for almost 20 years and I’ve seen promising pilots that fizzled out quickly and pilots that were disjointed and cheesy that turned out to be outstanding series.

There were 4.42 million viewers for the Mistresses debut, and that rose 17 percent for the second episode. ABC must have been pleased.

Three weeks ago when I reported on the arrival of the new show I labeled it “a guilty summer pleasure,” and said, “the show is about as steamy as the average soap opera, but the adult content means you should keep the kiddies in the other room.”

Here’s a revived assessment in light of having seen a couple more episodes: Life’s too short for stuff like this.

At that same hour, watch Longmire on A&E instead. Or Warehouse 13 on Syfy. Or King & Maxwell on TNT.

You could even watch Weather Center Live on the Weather Channel and be better off. Record it and watch reruns of Weather Center.

Mistresses is an hour of your life you’ll never get back.And I’m fairly certain it kills brain cells.

The dialogue is wooden, the premise predictable and the characters unsympathetic.

Don’t get me wrong. The four main actresses are attractive and talented. I enjoy them all, especially Alyssa Milano and Yunjin Kim. It’s just that their talents are wasted in a series that wants desperately to be titillating, but ends up being tedious.

Something was lost in translation between the Brit original and this dumbed-down copy. Dialogue such as, “What have you been doing? Who have you been doing?” is intended to be a clever nudge and wink, but instead causes me to roll my eyes and stifle a groan. Surely it was more clever with a British accent.

I get the feeling that the perfunctory sex scenes are thrown in just to pander to the audience and are there wishing they could really, really be on a premium channel where nudity is allowed.

I love a good adult soap as much as the next guy, but Mistresses misses the mark.

There. I feel cleansed.

I now return you to your regular programming.

She’s baaaack. Thought you were rid of Sarah Palin, didn’t you? Six months ago Fox News unceremoniously dumped the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate as an analyst. Now she’s back.

Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told The Associated Press, “I have great confidence in her and am pleased that she will once again add her commentary to our programming. I hope she continues to speak her mind.”

Rumors had Fox News miffed at Palin before for a lack of preparation in her commentary. In other words, she was just phoning it in.

Wilfred returns. Frodo meets man’s best friend. That may be what you think of with Wilfred. The quirky FX comedy returns for Season 3 at 9 p.m. today.

Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) portrays the once suicidal Ryan Newman, and series creator Jason Gann is Wilfred, an Australian man in a dog suit who talks him out of his funk.

The rest of the world sees Wilfred as an ordinary dog belonging to Ryan’s fetching next door neighbor (Fiona Gubelmann). Ryan, however, sees her pooch as a bloke in a dog suit who acts as a mentor and life coach.

Hilarity ensues. Parents: There’s lots of sex talk, marijuana smoking, beer guzzling and other gauche behavior.

He’ll be back. The ubiquitous Neil Patrick Harris, star of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, will encore as the host for the Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 22 on CBS. Harris last did the honors in 2009. He also hosted the Tony Awards on June 9 on CBS.

Here’s an idea: Have Harris, 39, star in a CBS Doogie Howser, M.D. reunion movie. It has been 20 years since we saw Harris as the genius kid doc. Wouldn’t you love to see what happened to Doogie and best bud Vinnie (Max Casella)?

Aside: I wonder if Casella ever feels the “Bosom Buddies Curse.” That’s when two guys early in their careers star in a sitcom together - Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in the case of Bosom Buddies - and one goes on to fame and stardom while the other practically disappears.

The TV Column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. E-mail mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 34 on 06/20/2013

Print Headline: There’s no seduction to vapid ABC’s Mistresses

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