When two old girlfriends meet again by chance on the streets of postwar London, it marks a new beginning in their relationship and perhaps the beginning of the end for their husbands in "Dead Gorgeous," the summer season premiere of PBS' "Mystery!" franchise (9 p.m. Sunday on KCET).
The entertaining two-hour effort is shot through with generous dollops of dark humor as Antonia Ashton (Helen McCrory) and Rose Bell (Fay Ripley) form an unlikely alliance born out of a shared desire to shed the spouses they met during the war.
Brassy beauty Antonia hooked up with Czech refrigerator magnate Hector after jumping into his arms during a wartime bombing.
Was romance in the air?
"Not really," explains Antonia. "But I felt terribly safe snuggled up against his wallet."
Meek and mousy Rose somehow snagged a flashy combat hero with a ladies'-man reputation.
When Antonia asks how she landed the philanderer, Rose answers, "I don't know, by holding out I suppose. I just kept saying no."
"You must be the only one who did," marvels Antonia.
But when Rose is beaten by a drunken Barry and then finds evidence that he's hiding a second family, she grows desperate, although her religious background precludes divorce.