Ginnifer Goodwin

Why Women Kill Promises a Darkly Funny Soap From the Creator of Desperate Housewives

Marc Cherry is back with an all-new cast of devious women.
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Despite the truly overwhelming number of television series available today, I’ve been noticing there’s something missing. It’s been some time since we’ve had a satisfyingly campy women-led soap opera. Sure, there is no shortage of campy soaps, from Riverdale to You. And there are plenty of women-led series like The Good Fight or Good Girls.

But we’re missing a specific subgenre: a show like Revenge or Desperate Housewives or even Pretty Little Liars that showcases women behaving badly: scheming, murdering, blackmailing, and defying all expectations of what a “proper lady” is or does. So you can imagine my excitement when CBS All Access dropped the first trailer for Why Women Kill.

The series is the brainchild of Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids), and it follows three generations of women living in the same house, all of whom are struggling with their husbands’ infidelities. Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon a Time) plays a 1960s housewife who discovers that her husband (Parenthood‘s Sam Jaeger) is cheating on her with a coffee shop waitress. She then sets about befriending the waitress and upending her cookie cutter life.

The other stories follow Lucy Liu as a 1980s socialite who discovers that her husband (Pirates of the Caribbean‘s Jack Davenport) has been cheating on her with a man. The third chapter is a present day story featuring Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Veronica Mars) who is in an open marriage with her husband (Veep‘s Reid Scott). Things go awry when her sometimes partner, True Detective‘s Alexandra Daddario, crashes with the couple.

All three stories involve murder, and all three center on women pushed to their limits. Cherry said of the show, “As much as we like to think that the institution of marriage has evolved over the past few decades, infidelity still has the ability to rock us to our core … Why Women Kill will explore what happens when women’s primal instincts are unleashed with unexpected and twisted consequences.”

There’s a lot to like about this trailer: talented actors, quippy writing, and some solid period piece production value. It’s especially satisfying to see these three actresses in starring roles. Goodwin, who was terrific on HBO’s Big Love, hasn’t had enough to do on Once Upon a Time (IMHO), while Lucy Liu has largely been relegated to sidekick status on Elementary. Both actresses deserve juicier roles to showcase their skills, and Why Women Kill might just be the project they’ve been waiting for.

It’s also exciting to see Kirby Howell-Baptiste take on her first leading role, after scene-stealing turns in Killing Eve, Barry, The Good Place, and the new season of Veronica Mars. Hopefully this new series will give the trio plenty of material to work with.

Why Women Kill premieres August 15 on CBS All Access.

(image: CBS All Access)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.