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Review: Devious Maids (Lifetime)

June 13, 2013
Photo courtesy of Lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Lifetime.

Once upon a time, Marc Cherry ruled Sunday nights, telling tales about Bree and Lynette and Susan and Gabrielle, spinning webs more intricate that anything Charlotte could have dreamed up. Viewers tuned in in droves, sending Desperate Housewives into the annals of television history. Then, in the spring of 2011, as DH was making its swan dive, Cherry’s newest offering – Devious Maids – was being turned down by ABC for the 2012-2013 season. Enter Lifetime, who swooped in, picked it up, dusted it off and gave it a summer 2013 berth. The show premieres Sunday, June 23rd at 10PM EST in the Desperate Housewives timeslot.

As networks are wont to do these days, Lifetime released the premiere early so viewers can sample the show. As with my rules, I’ll let you watch it first, then we can talk about it. Here you go:

Any pilot worth its salt knows to end with a jaw-dropper to make the viewers want to tune in for the next episode. Did the reveal work for you? It did for me. I enjoyed the show – even the scenery chewing – enough that I will definitely be back for a second helping. Despite grievances that the show is pandering to stereotypes, I enjoyed it. And, to be honest, the people who come across as ignorant and stereotypical in this show are the snooty rich white people who employ these ladies. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to tweet nasty things about Lady McBeth Evelyn Powell (veteran character actress Rebecca Wisocky)?

The concept is very similar to DH, which is not a bad formula. Making some major tweaks, but leaving the general foundation was a smart move on Cherry’s part. There is a central mystery that involves all five principals, as well as individual storylines for each lady. And, with ladies like Ana Ortiz (my beloved Ugly Betty), Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Dania Ramirez (Entourage) and newcomer-ish Edy Ganem filling the stilettos, we’re sure to be entertained. Grant Show (Melrose Place) and soap opera grande dame herself Susan Lucci are also in the cast. And, I hear that at some point my dear friend Maria Howell (Revolution, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) will join the cast. That, in and of itself, will make me stick around. But, even if she wasn’t, the show is good. Like, really entertaining. The acting is over-the-top at times, but wasn’t that also the case of DH? Cherry has a penchant for grandiose story-telling, which isn’t a bad thing. Soap operas are meant to entertain and shock you. Well, he does that well. And, with Devious Maids being an adaptation of a Mexican soap opera, you certainly expect drama, melodrama, extradrama, maudlindrama, all sorts of words that aren’t even words but have “drama” attached to them. Just go with it.

Devious Maids is perfect summer fun. I highly recommend you check it out.

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Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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