Framed, Chapter 1: She was the PTA mom everyone knew. Who would want to harm her?

Sharon Small

'Mistresses' on BBC America

'Mistresses' on BBC America

“Mistresses,” which premieres tonight, takes itself pretty seriously considering its title. Yes, the one-hour BBC drama is a sexual soap opera in which a quartet of lovely and complicated women negotiates alarmingly fraught romantic lives, but honestly, there's not a "mistress" among them.

Adultery abounds, you can be sure, but it's thoroughly democratic -- no one's sitting around on her peignoired fanny awaiting the whim of her rich married lover or flipping open a jeweled ring to dump poison into the foaming latte of said lover's wife. Which is sort of what the term "mistress" still conjures.