Marc Cherry’s ‘Desperate Housewives’ has been strikingly underrated for the longest time. Despite being a groundbreaking series in the drama genre with women meandering through love, marriage, and homemaking, the show somehow was always shelved into stands deeper than it deserved to. This only leads us to believe that perhaps the timing was wrong.
And that is exactly what Cherry too wanted to highlight by weaving a revamped version of the tale in the form of his upcoming CBS show, ‘Why Women Kill’. In this show, we see women undergoing crises related to their marriages ending with murder, in three different parallel timelines, with the common problem being infidelity. And while the resulting outcome is extreme, it doesn’t necessarily have to be murder.
The new CBS dark comedy features Ginnifer Goodwin as a housewife in the 60s, Lucy Liu as a wealthy socialite in the 80s, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as an independent lawyer in 2019. The common problem these women have is cheating husbands in their individual timelines and somehow all three husbands end up dead. While Goodwin’s character‘s husband (Sam Jaeger) is in the stereotypical extramarital affair with a young diner-waitress and Howell-Baptiste’s character‘s husband (Reid Scott) just wants a threesome with his wife and her new girlfriend (Alexandra Daddario), Liu’s character Simone, is going through a whole different ballgame.
Dressed in neon and with impeccable elegance that reeks of all things 80s and filthy rich, Simone pretty much runs the business when it comes to her household. Sadly, her cheating, secretly gay husband (Jack Davenport) runs her societal status. Liu’s portrayal of Simone is a stark reminder of the haughty, no-nonsense driven woman that Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ was.
What Simone lacks in terms of the fashion empire, she makes up for with riches and materialistic possessions. Her life is one big episode of her trying to act tough while falling apart inside an elaborate, exquisitely designed cocoon of expenses galore, with her sole ray of hope being a drastically younger man, Tommy (Leo Howard) who has a crush on her.
Through Liu’s Simone, we see the multifaceted crisis that is being cheated on by your life partner and the consequences of it. When confronted, Simone’s husband threatens to openly out his sexuality to the public, thereby tarnishing all that Simone holds dear: her reputation. And that is perhaps where she falters. We don’t intend on spoiling who kills her husband or how Davenport’s character Carl dies in the series, but it is to be noted that for all its contemporary worth, maybe there was another way to work out the situation. Maybe murder wasn’t the solution, after all.
Like Howard shared in an exclusive interview with MEA Worldwide (MEAWW), “[‘Why Women Kill’] addresses the character that women have played in all three different generations, in each of those eras. And it also teaches people where we’ve been and where we should keep going. Murder is never the answer to marriage. And Tommy finds out what Carl is doing by putting Simone in a bad position, so he doesn’t have a pleasant opinion about that, to say the least, so it becomes this kind of triangle between the three people which we get.”
And while Simone finds comfort in the arms of a questionably younger teenager who has always had a crush on her, Goodwin’s Beth Ann decides to open up with spontaneous sexuality to win her husband‘s affections. Similarly, Howell-Baptiste’s Taylor decides to involve her husband, who she is in an open marriage with, into her relationship with a third person. It’s true there is no reason to be so forgiving about a cheating partner or to go out of your way to make yourself available and compromise to keep his affections intact, but maybe — just maybe — you don’t have to kill the entire husband off. That’s all.