The lives of the women at the center of Marc Cherry’s new CBS All Access dark comedy Why Women Kill span more than 50 years, but they all have one thing in common: complicated marriages so rife with betrayal that not everyone makes it out alive.
For a limited time, you can watch the show’s first episode, above, right here on Yahoo Entertainment.
And while Desperate Housewives creator Cherry says not all of the deaths will be murders, the series’ title forecasts that at least some of those betrayals will lead to homicidal action.“That becomes a little joke I play on the audience, as you'll see when you get to the end of it,” Cherry told Yahoo Entertainment. “All the characters are pretty much based on people I've known or met or heard of, but the actual deaths are a creation of my own.”
Why Women Kill wastes no time setting up the tensions that will ultimately result in a few characters not living to see a second season of the series. In the multi-era storyline, Ginnifer Goodwin plays 1960s housewife Beth Ann, who fills her days taking care of the beautiful Southern California mansion she and husband Rob (Sam Jaeger) have just moved into.
Nothing is as important to Beth Ann as making sure Rob’s every need is met, right down to keeping his coffee cup filled. But when Beth Ann learns Rob is seeking even more attention from another woman, her world is rocked.
In the 1980s, Lucy Liu’s socialite Simone and her husband Karl (Jack Davenport) are the residents of the same (though redecorated for the Dynasty era) SoCal mansion. Simone’s life seems to be enviously perfect – right down to her beaded party gowns and tuxedoed husband.
But an anonymous surprise delivered during a soiree Simone is hosting is going to shed shocking light on how Karl spends his time outside the family home. Simone isn’t going to take this news lying down — or maybe that’s exactly how she’s going to take it.
In 2019, attorney Taylor (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and her underemployed writer husband Eli (Reid Scott) are living a modern lifestyle in their modern redo of the mansion. The couple has an open relationship, and though it breaks the rules they’ve established, Taylor brings her new fling into their home. Eli’s not happy about that, until he clicks with Taylor’s lover, Jade (Alexandra Daddario). The couple quickly becomes a throuple, but the shared intimacy drives Taylor and Eli’s unconventional marriage off the edge.
As drama-filled as those scenarios are, Why Women Kill is filled with Cherry’s trademark irreverence. Liu’s character Simone, in particular, revels in her glamorous life. When her husband agrees to tell a fib to keep her hairstylist from canceling her appointment, she tells Karl he’s the best husband she’s ever had. And she’s had three.
There’s also fun in the seamless way the action glides from era to era, with clever scene transitions that often use the mansion as the inanimate “character” that ties the couples together. As Simone is backing her convertible out of the driveway for the aforementioned trip to get her hair done in 1984, we time-hop to 2019 when a pick up truck pulls in, driven by a chauvinistic contractor who’s about to meet with the business end of Taylor’s intolerance for such attitudes.
Cherry also admitted he’s enjoying playing without the restrictions of a broadcast network, meaning he’s free “to throw an F-bomb or two” into Why Women Kill. But mostly he’s happy, and hopes viewers will be, too, with the freedom the CBS All Access format gives him to delve into these characters’ hearts and emotions and tell their stories without limits.
“There's a level of attention to detail and emotional nuance that I just didn't have the time for [previously],” Cherry told Yahoo. “I think that's why we're living in a golden age of television: they've literally changed how the sausage is made, and that's why we're getting better sausage.”
This article was paid for by CBS All Access and written by Yahoo Entertainment’s branded content team. Our editorial staff did not participate in the creation of this content.