Why Women Kill

Lucy Liu in 'Why Women Kill.' (Photo; DStv)
Lucy Liu in 'Why Women Kill.' (Photo; DStv)


A darkly comedic drama detailing the lives of three women living in three different decades: a housewife in the 60s, a socialite in the 80s, and a lawyer in 2019, each dealing with infidelity in their marriages.


When I first stumbled upon the Why Women Kill trailer on YouTube in August 2019, I was dying to watch it. The tongue-in-cheek humour, witty one-liners, visual details and theatrics immediately caught my attention. 

And with Ginnifer Goodwin and Lucy Liu on the bill, what's not to love?

My prayers were answered when DStv picked up the darkly comedic drama the following year, but with my watch list packed with new releases, Why Women Kill moved to the bottom of my list.

Thank goodness it did, because I binged all 10-episode in two days and it would have been torture to wait for one episode every week.

Created by Marc Cherry, Why Women Kill follows three women from different decades who at one point all lived in the same Pasadena mansion.

Set in 1963, we first meet charming housewife Beth-Ann Stanton (Ginnifer Goodwin). Beth-Anne's husband is the centre of her world, and when she learns that her beloved Rob (Sam Jaeger) has been unfaithful, the revelation turns her life upside down.

Twenty years later, socialite Simone Grove (Lucy Liu) discovers that her third husband Karl (Jack Davenport) has been cheating on her with another man and begins a scandalous affair of her own.

Our third couple is Taylor Harding (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and her husband, Eli Cohen (Reid Scott), who are living happily in an open marriage. But cracks start to show, when Taylor's mistress, Jade (Alexandra Daddario) moves into their home and joins the relationship as their third partner. 

The infidelity in each marriage sets off a chain of events that ends with a woman taking the life of another person. And we learn early on that a murder took place in each decade, but the fun is that we don't find out the killer or the victim until the very last episode.

And if you think you got it figured out, you're probably wrong. 

If the trailer gives you a Desperate Housewives feel, it's probably because Marc Cherry also created the cult classic, as well as the popular series Devious Maids.

Marc once again hits the sweet spot when it comes to creating saucy scenes filled with deception, infidelity, sex and murder.

What I enjoyed most about the series are all the visual elements. From the set design to wardrobe – it is a visual treat! Each decade is meticulously detailed, from the appliances and home furnishings, down to the daintiest pearl necklace, and press on nail.

The details are what makes the show, even the transitions between decades are so clever, and I appreciated those delightful nuances.

There was no surprise when I learned that Jamie Bryant, who was also responsible for creating the costumes on Mad Men (one of my favourite series of all time) put together the wardrobe for each lead character.

My favourite decades are the 1960s and 1980s. Ginnifer and Lucy transformed into their characters with such ease, in my mind, they will now forever be merged as one.

Ginnifer, looked as if she had leapt from the pages of a 1960s home advertisement, that would anger today's feminists. But what grabbed my attention, was her tight-lipped smile.

The forced upward curl in the corner of her mouth conveyed so much attitude, hurt and uncertainty. It was the smallest action, but it said so much.

Lucy's character Simone is my favourite, and I enjoyed the 80s storyline the most. Simone is sarcastic, witty, and everything she does is over-the-top. Yet, despite her attitude, she has a big heart and cares deeply for the people close to her. I love the garish fashion moments, and oh, the shoulder pads - we stan an exaggerated shoulder!

2019 is where things fell apart for me. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn't. The "open-marriage-turned-thrupple" concept felt forced. I understand that each decade brought on new challenges and that relationships in 2019 look different, but I'm not sold on the idea – it just feels a bit "trying too hard".

Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Taylor was terrific, but that whole plot was a little wishy-washy.

I am happy to report that season two, with all-new characters, is already in the works, and I won't be putting Why Women Kill on the backburner a second time around.