Review: Devious maids - the maids of Beverly Hills come clean

Published: September 8, 2013
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A carbon copy of Desperate Housewives with a Hispanic twist.

A carbon copy of Desperate Housewives with a Hispanic twist.

“To steal another woman’s husband is rude but to steal her maid is unforgivable” is the rule the women in Beverly Hills live by, at least in Marc Cherry’s new dramedy TV series, Devious Maids.

Sticking with the tried-and-tested recipe for success, Cherry’s Devious Maids is heavily inspired by its predecessor, Desperate Housewives — only this time, instead of the housewives of Wisteria Lane sharing stories of their husbands over poker, four Hispanic maids discuss the dirty laundry of their employers in Beverly Hills.

The show starts with the murder of a maid, Flora, in the mansion of Evelyn and Adrian Powell — easily the most secretive and creepy couple on the block. The police soon arrest a suspect but if Desperate Housewives has taught us anything, it’s that the death at the beginning of the first season will haunt us till the very last one.

The dirt

Zoila Diaz has been working at the house of the drug-addicted and co-dependent Genevieve for almost 20 years but things get difficult when her teenage daughter Valentina pays more attention to Genevieve’s blond and muscular son Remi than polishing the floors.

Her friend Rosie is the maid/nanny for two actors, Peri and Spence, whose relationship seems to be on the rocks. Struggling to bring her son to the United States from Mexico, Rosie is often dragged into the couple’s messy fights. Her inclination from the very beginning, however, is shown to side with the handsome “Mr Spence”.

Fun and feisty Carmen is an aspiring singer who’s willing to do anything to make it as a star. She starts working as a maid at the house of pop star Alejandro in the hope that he would notice her talent and help kickstart her career.

What ties them all together is the new maid on the block, Marisol, who appears only after Flora’s death. Well-read and missing the Spanish accent, Marisol appears different from the other maids. She lands a job as a housemaid for newlyweds Taylor and Micheal but is more interested in the house of Evelyn and Adrian. The writers, however, make no attempt in hiding her motives — she’s the mother of the boy booked for Flora’s murder and on the lookout for the actual killer.

Performance of the maids

Based on the first half of the premier season which has aired, the show has enough one-line zingers, mysterious characters and scandalous twists to keep the viewers interested. With familiar faces from Desperate Housewives making guest appearances, the entire ensemble does a good job of delivering powerful performances.

While summer TV has witnessed many cancellations this year, Devious Maids has already been renewed for a second season and the credit goes to the maids, who not only know how to dig up dirt but aren’t afraid to use it.

Girls Club

Girls

If Sex and the City was Manhattan, then the new TV series Girls is Brooklyn. Its main characters are in their twenties, less refined and more experimental. The creator of the show, Lena Dunham, stars as a struggling writer Hannah who along with her responsible best friend Marnie, their bohemian friend Jessa and the 21-year-old virgin Shoshannal learn how to get by in New York City.

Pretty Little Liars

They might be still in high school but these four pretty, little liars have more secrets than the show’s four seasons could handle. Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily are best friends living in the fictional town of Rosewood but after the ‘death’ of their group leader Alison, chaos, blackmail and drama ensues in the form of an unknown stalker ‘A’.

Mistresses

Mistresses is based on a British drama that follows a group of four women whose lives have been affected by infidelities. The first season, currently underway, introduces the career-oriented Savi (Alyssa Milano) who decides to start a family with her husband, her single sister Josselyn who’d rather have a good time than settle down and Karen, a therapist, who has to deal with the fallout of a complex relationship with a patient.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, September 8th, 2013.

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