JUST when you thought there would never be another TV series as gripping as Desperate Housewives was, which ran dry by the time it reached its eighth and final season, along comes Devious Maids.
And it has all the titillating elements of an addictive series: drama, sex, scandal and murder.
But what makes this series interesting are the recognisable names backing it: Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) is the creator and co-executive producer along with Eva Longoria, better known as Gabrielle Solis in the Emmy award-winning TV series, and Sabrina Wind (Cherry’s partner at Cherry/Wind Productions), among others.
Well, it’s that, and how they have flipped the script with the maids of Beverly Hills being the protagonists and securing Hollywood’s top actresses to slip into those well-etched roles.
Although certain media have been outraged by the Latino stereotyping in the series, it has been defended vehemently by Longoria, who pointed out that the story echoes a slice of life.
The story centres on a close-knit group of friends who happen to be the “help” to some powerful families living in Beverly Hills.
While each of them have their own dreams and struggles to meander through, they are united by their desire to get to the bottom of the untimely death of fellow maid Flora Hernandez.
And the pool of suspects could be anyone from the wealthy but emotionally unstable socialite Genevieve Delatour (Susan Lucci) and her son Remi (Drew Van Acker) to social butterfly Evelyn Powell (Rebecca Wisocky) and her high-flying broker husband Adrian (Tom Irwin), while B-list movie actress Peri Westmore (Mariana Klaveno) and soap star husband Spence (Grant Show) try to fit in with their neighbours.
Meanwhile, newlyweds Taylor (Brianna Brown), a small-town girl, and Michael Stapport (Brett Cullen), a big-city lawyer, navigate their way through their troubles.
Now for the other dark horse – Sam Alexander (played by Wolé Parks). Viewers will recognise him from Law & Order, Gossip Girl and As the World Turns. He is the trusted aide of Alejandro. His job description involves everything from being the butler, confidante and handyman to driver. Oh, and he has a major crush on Carmen.
And what an intricate web of intrigue these characters weave in Devious Maids, where deception isn’t a curve ball – it is a daily part of all their lives.
THE CLEAN UP CREW:
Roselyn Sánchez as Carmen Luna
Fame tag: Without a Trace, Rush Hour 2, Act of Valor, The Game Plan, Boat Trip.
Dossier: When it comes to cunning she is the most astute of the crew. A Puerto Rican aspiring singer, she bags a job at Latin pop star Alejandro Rubio’s (Matt Cedeño – Days of Our Lives fame) home in the hope that she can realise her dream. Also, she wants to escape her troubled past and is as feisty as she is tenacious.
Edy Ganem as Valentina Diaz
Fame tag: Black Limousine, Like Crazy and The Cleveland Show.
Dossier: At 18, she is rebellious and headstrong with that know-it-all attitude. Working at the Delatour house with her mother, Zoila, she finds herself attracted to their son, Remi. He could be her ticket out of the world she is in, but it isn’t that easy.
Ana Ortiz as Marisol Duarte
Fame tag: Ugly Betty, Boston Legal, NYPD Blue, The New Adventures of Old Christine, Everybody Loves Raymond and ER.
Dossier: She has worked hard to break free of the mould of being a typical maid. She doesn’t have that heavy accent as a tell-tale sign. She is rather sophisticated and very articulate. Hired by the Stappords, she becomes more than just their help.
Dania Ramirez as Rosie Falta
Fame tag: American Reunion, Premium Rush, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Sopranos, Heroes and Entourage.
Dossier: This Mexican beauty was drawn to Beverly Hills for a better life for herself and her son, Miguel. Employed by the Westmores, she takes care of their new baby while also dealing with immigration lawyers who cost an arm and a leg and her employers’ tumultuous relationship.
Judy Reyes as Zoila Diaz
Fame tag: Scrubs, Oz, The Sopranos, Third Watch, NYPD Blue and Law & Order.
Dossier: Works for the Delatours with her daughter. Blessed with a heart of gold, she struggles with keeping her daughter in check. By the way, she is Martha Stewart kind of pedantic when it comes to housekeeping.
l Devious Maids airs on M-Net Series Showcase (DStv channel 113) tonight at 8pm.