Sexual healing

Mistresses (BBC1, 9pm); The Boys From Baghdad High: This World (BBC2, 9pm)

MISTRESSES is written by a woman, Rachael Anthony, and she does her sex no favours by painting her female quartet of lusty lovers as socially, morally and professionally irresponsible.

They talk of little but sex (although their preferred word is s**g) and exchange pleasantries such as: "With knickers like that you're going to have to get laid".

GP Kate (Sarah Parish) takes the expression "under the doctor" to heart by sleeping with a married patient and then helping him die after he gets a terminal illness.

In the trailer for episode two, she's seen snogging her dead lover's son. At least she's had the good sense to have him removed from her patients' register first.

Siobhan (Orla Brady) and her husband are trying desperately for a baby, timing their lovemaking with her ovulating. But she leaves the office in the middle of the day, missing an important meeting in the process, not to make babies, but to buy sexy lingerie.

This proves helpful in catching up with her work. "If you show me your knickers I will do all your work," colleague Dominic tells her.

She does, although having sex up against a glass partition hardly counts as work.

Events manager Jessica (Shelley Conn) mixes business and pleasure by snogging one half of the lesbian couple whose wedding she's organising. This is in addition to fending off her randy (male) boss who's forever telling her: "I want you working directly under me".

It comes as a shock when the real world intrudes on the bedroom antics of these women. As when widowed mother Trudi (Sharon Small) receives a cheque for $2m through the post, proving that the 9/11 Family Fund shows alarming confidence in our postal system.

Having received compensation for her husband's death in the 9/11 tragedy, Trudi admits "everything's screaming at me to move on".

She's kept herself to herself for six years and can hardly bring herself to accept an invitation to coffee from the dad (Patrick Baladi) on the school run.

Perhaps he's after her money, not her body.

He seems very nice and polite, but as the series is called Mistresses, the odds on him being married must be high.

Despite their commitment to sleep with anything with a pulse that's housetrained, this fruity foursome still find time to meet for girly chats about sex, love and children. But mostly sex.

These are women with more money than sense. A bit of hardship would take their collective mind off sex. I certainly wouldn't want Dr Kate treating me, as she's totally incapable of dealing with the crisis in her own life. No wonder Sarah Parish wanders around with a permanent frown. Or perhaps she's just wondering how she's going to make anyone care a scrap about her character.

Mistresses is glossy and glamorous and unconvincing.

If it didn't take itself so damn seriously - this is soapy drama not Greek tragedy, after all - the series could become a guilty pleasure like Footballers' Wives.

The real world is a much harsher place as The Boys From Baghdad High demonstrates in a documentary about four students of different religions over a school year.

Like other 17-year-olds, they're interested in such things as football, music, mobile phones and girls, but living and going to school in the most dangerous city in the world is hardly like attending Eton.

The sound of gunfire makes it difficult to concentrate on doing your homework. And the stakes are high - graduate and a student has the chance to leave Iraq and go to university.

The figures are horrifying with 34,452 civilian men, women and children killed in a year.

In the school attended by these boys from a mixed middle class neighbourhood, the past 12 months has seen two students killed, six kidnapped and 75 have fled the country.

Even using the cameras provided by the documentary film-makers is dangerous. As one boy approaches a special forces checkpoint, he tells us "if they see me with a camera they will take me to prison, they'll think I'm a terrorist who wants to bomb them."

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