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TV Review: “Why Women Kill” (2019 – ) ★★★★★


We all know that people kill. Men do, women follow the same path, teenagers fall into the same trap, little children, whether intentionally or by accident, manage to pull the trigger. Best criminalists and profilers have tried to figure out why does one being claims the life of another. But it is Marc Cherry who asks a different question – why women kill? Predisposition to violence can be both genetic and learned behaviour. Most of us may do tomorrow what we find outrageous today. But when killing crosses a woman’s mind in Marc Cherry’s series, it becomes humorous, unintentional, filled with love, betrayal, jealousy, and abuse which turns into the main catalyst of ending their spouse’s life. 

Set in three different timelines but in the same location and even the same mansion, three married couples go through their turbulent marriages. Beth Ann Stanton (Ginnifer Goodwin), from 1968, lives with her husband, Robert (Sam Jaegar) in Pasadena. He is strict; she is obedient. He comes home tired and waiting for his wife to serve him dinner. She thinks he works late all the time, whereas, in reality, he’s just having an affair. Simone Grove (Lucy Liu) is a wealthy woman who is seemingly happily wed to Karl (Jack Davenport) in 1984. Taylor Harding takes her turn in 2019, who looks after her famous but currently unemployed husband, Eli Cohen (Reid Scott). All three women differ from each other but share one common issue – the infidelity of their husbands.

The series begins in a glorious way, same as all other Marc Cherry’s series. This is when we find Beth Ann, a beautifully dressed woman who just became a friend with her neighbor, Sheila (Alicia Coppola). Robert, on the other hand, treats his wife more as if she were his maid. Whenever she changes her dress or tries to impress him, he never notices. But when she finds out about his mistress, the desperate woman plots a brilliantly fitting reply to justify the title of the series. Simone, another protagonist, enjoys her cozy life with a handsome husband who, she accidentally finds out is gay. Knowing little how to cope with the shocking discovery, the woman finds herself embraced by the young Tommy (Leo Howard) who comforts her pain until she gets used to it.

The most dramatic event occurs in 2019. Taylor and Eli are not only enjoying their open marriage, but they also invite a woman to their house named Jade. At first, she is gentle, loving and caring. Everything about her is pure perfection until the moment when she begins playing her own game. What started beautifully will turn into a nightmare, leaving only one choice – to use the force that once again, proving that sometimes killing is not just bad, it’s necessary as an act of survival for women to make through the mess they create for themselves with the help of their men.

The entire show is an absolute joy to watch. The performances are superb and the dialogues are so subtle, intelligent, and biting, it will send you into complete awe. Each character is richly described, funny, and intriguing. In fact, there is never a single moment when you disagree with the decisions they made – whether those decisions are right or wrong. You will manage to build up a strong connection with them, letting them into your daily life to the point you won’t be able to stop watching it until you learn how everything plays out. The last twenty minutes of the series will not only satisfy your curiosity, it delivers a masterpiece act, making you want nothing more.

As it questions the moral relationship between spouses and the outcome of their decision, “Why Women Kill” does not provide a step-by-step instruction of how to kill a husband, but rather, it explores women’s intentions and motives. The women you will meet are not bad; they are kind, sublime and generous. They are, same as their husband, victims of circumstances that will lead all of them towards one end – to celebrate love and hatred, marriage and separation, happiness and disappointment, ups and downs tackled in the most exciting way.

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