On Monday, the first episode of “”Why Women Kill” aired on M-Net DStv channel 101.
The mere fact that it was the brainchild of Marc Cherry – he who gave us the award-winning, long-running TV series, “Desperate Housewives” – was enough to compel my undivided attention. And I was also chuffed to see some of my favourites at the helm.
The devilishly entertaining show, which takes place in different eras, follows the journey of three women – Beth Ann Stanton (Ginnifer
Goodwin), Simone Grove (Lucy Liu) and Taylor Harding (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).
In the first episode, viewers are introduced to the spouses, who reveal why they fell in love and how, over time, the marriage started to crumble,
albeit for different reasons.
The first couple is Sam Jaeger (Rob Stanton), an aerospace engineer, and his doting wife, Beth Ann (Goodwin), a housewife who could easily pass for one of “The Stepford Wives”.
It’s 1963 and they move into their new home, which happens to be a mansion, in Pasadena. Beth Ann couldn’t be happier until she learns
via Sheila Mosconi (Alicia Coppola), the neighbourhood scandalmonger, that her husband is cheating on her with April Warner (Sadie Calvano), a blonde waitress.
After a little liquid courage, thanks to an intervention by Sheila, Beth Ann decides to confront April and warn her off, but she gets cold feet
and ends up befriending her.
The story shifts to 1984, where Simone (Liu), a twice-divorced socialite, is living the “perfect life” with her affluent husband, Karl Grove
(Jack Davenport). She’s the life of the party, and is never late for one either. Sadly, the party comes to an abrupt end when she finds pictures of her husband with his gay lover.
Grappling with this life-changing upset, while her husband recovers from a suicide attempt after being confronted, Simone tries to save face
with her snobbish friends and foes.
Not even the advances of a not-quite-18 Tommy Harte (Leo Howard), who has a crush on her, can lift Simone’s spirits.
Lastly, there is Eli Cohen (Reid Scott) and his bisexual wife, Taylor Harding (Howell-Baptiste). A feminist, she is also a kick-ass attorney, while
he is a struggling screenwriter.
Their story takes place in 2019 when Taylor, breaking their rules as a couple, invites her lover, Jade (Alexandra Daddario), to stay with
them for a few days after being stalked by an ex-boyfriend.
Initially upset by this, Eli soon becomes smitten with their guest, who is not only attractive, but adept at cooking and other domestic chores.
Although Taylor is far from a typical wife, she takes charge in other aspects of the relationship.
The way she emasculated a sexist building contractor in the first episode left me saluting the feminist.
Don’t be put off by the title, even though it sounds like something you would stumble across on Investigation Discovery or CBS Justice. It’s far more dramatic and entertaining.
The script is crammed with sardonic lines, the cast is incredibly talented and does commendable justice to their respective roles, and the direction is most astute.
Although it could have devolved into a soap opera, it didn’t.
As the well-worn cliché goes: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. And these women are determined to make their scoundrel husbands pay,one way or another.
“Why Women Kill” airs on M-Net (DStv channel 101) on Monday at 9pm.