It's no surprise that the Devious Maids pilot episode felt much like a Desperate Housewives storyline retread. The new Lifetime show is the result of a partnership of Housewives' creator Marc Cherry and Eva Longoria. And just as our first visit to Wisteria Lane left us wondering what sort of monsters lurked in suburbia, it's clear there are monsters in Beverly Hills.
They're the sorts of women who respond to their maid being murdered in their home with horror that there's no one left to clean up the pesky mess of the crime scene. It's a big question: who will clean up all that blood?
The bigger one for viewers is who actually killed Flora the maid, the question that may be answered if the show stays on TV long enough.
Because this is a show that will likely delight Housewives fans, but if you gave up on the ABC drama long before finding out why Mary Alice committed suicide, you won't be tuning in to Lifetime on Sunday nights.
Even as the show breaks ground as the first prime-time program featuring an all-Latina leading cast, the insistence on playing a salsa tune every five seconds to remind us of the fact is hard to get past. As hard as it is to figure out who we're supposed to root for in a show where the very title tells you to be wary of the supposed "good guys."
The rich homeowners are evil, but their cleaning ladies aren't exactly squeaky clean either. Which could make for intrigue ... or make us hate every single person onscreen.
Still, there is something there, if they can set down the flamenco guitars long enough to let it play out, specifically the cast.
Scrubs' Judy Reyes is clearly made to make us laugh as the wise-cracking maid who keeps Susan Lucci in line. Ugly Betty's Ana Ortiz as Marisol is the wild card, the maid who has suddenly appeared in this world of rich and downtrodden with a hidden agenda.
As for maids we want to hear more from, there's Rosie (Dania Ramirez), a widow who left her young son behind in Mexico to find work to support him, who's meant to pull our heartstrings as she endures a self-centered boss (True Blood's Mariana Klaveno). She keeps throwing up obstacles in the young mom's path to bring her son to America.
Oh, and let's not forget Flora. She may be dead, but she left behind a mysterious letter about a shocking rape. And who knows who REALLY killed her.
Maybe we'll even find out.
Did you watch Devious Maids? Will you be tuning in again?
Image via Lifetime