Time will tell if CBS All Access’ latest show Why Women Kill, by Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), brings something new to women-centric storytelling. However, judging by the premiere, titled ‘Murder Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry,’ this series seems to be custom-made for fans of dark humor coupled with domestic murder.
I’ve been looking forward to watching Why Women Kill ever since I got to see the trailer. It boasts an impressive cast and does a great job of telling a narrative spread across three different decades.
Our leads (all wives) are Beth-Ann, a homemaker from 1663, Simone from 1984, and Tyler from 2019. We get to see a tale of each woman trying to deal with marital issues. Beth-Ann’s husband is having an affair with a waitress. Simone finds out her husband is gay. Tyler’s open marriage begins to show cracks when she invites one of her lovers (another woman) to come live with her husband for a few days.
The narrative in ‘Murder Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry’ does a good job of showcasing women through the lens of different periods. Society doesn’t offer Beth-Ann the same opportunities it does Tyler in 2019. So, Beth-Ann has to deal with her husband’s affair while staying in the limitations put on her. The same goes for Simone. She’s on her third marriage and can’t risk being humiliated by the kind of society that’s quick to judge women (no matter how successful the women are).
While Tyler is definitely a freer woman, the premiere still shows the sexist behavior she has to deal with in 2019, and how, regardless of the time period, making a marriage work in a fair manner is tough for everyone.
One of the best things about Why Women Kill is how the settings change as the show plays with time. Even though the women live in the same mansion, the series makes sure to give every decade the appropriate look.
The overall tone also changes. Beth-Ann’s story has more emotional weight. Simone’s journey is more comedic. Tyler’s story seems to be a bit more depressing; as if the writers want you to know her marriage was on the rocks even before she decided to bring another woman in.
While the actresses definitely shine, the actors do a good job of keeping up with them. The way Simone’s husband Karl teared up when she confronted him about his sexuality was well-acted.
No murders occur in the premiere. So, it will be interesting to see who ends up killing whom and how each murder took place.
This show is more of a fun take on telling stories about women. It’s definitely not a lesson in feminism through the decades, and the show isn’t trying to give one either. The series does touch on certain aspects but remembers it’s supposed to be a dark comedy.
You can watch ‘Murder Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry’ on CBS All Access right now. I highly recommend you check it out.
Have you seen Why Women Kill? Let us know.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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