Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Why Women Kill is one of my biggest guilty pleasures of the year. Well written, deliciously camp and executing a perfect balance of comedy and drama, Why Women Kill takes all the best elements of Desperate Housewives and Sex & The City and successfully blends it into a delightful 10 episode season. With a trio of stories woven together with a common theme of murder, the episodes tick along at a decent pace with enough variation and intrigue between them to make for a solid binge-watch.
The three narratives follow a different tone and theme but all revolve around women toying with the idea of murdering their significant others. In 1963 Beth Ann plays out the traditional housewife role until she learns her husband Rob is having an affair with a blonde waitress. In 1974 Simone finds out her husband Karl is gay, prompting her to have an affair with her best friend’s son while in 2019 Taylor and Eli’s open relationship sees wildchild Jade enter the fray and cause tensions to ensue.
What appears as a simple premise early on quickly evolves to add layers of mystery and drama, as plot twists and a smattering of interesting diversions are introduced to each narrative. Without giving too much away, all three storylines see their respective characters grow and change; most characters are barely recognisable by the end. This solid foundation of character growth is ultimately what makes the show such an enthralling watch and props to the cast and crew for this too – you can tell a lot of them had tremendous fun with this one.
The only gripe with the show ultimately comes from the 2019 angle which oftentimes fails to add the same flair, colour and attention the earlier years manage to conjure up. While the later episodes do well to inject some urgency and pace into this narrative, for large stretches of the story it does feel like filler compared to the much more enjoyable 1963 and 74 storylines.
Ultimately it’s these two stories that really shine with Lucy Lui and Jack Davenport boasting some great chemistry on screen together. Their camp, humorous and dramatic performances really shine here and their later episodes together really pull on the heartstrings too when the true extent of their relationship unfolds. I won’t give too much away but out of all the characters in the show, it’s these two who are likely to be remembered the most fondly when the dust settles.
Aesthetically, Why Women Kill boasts some smart editing and clever stylistic ticks between episodes too. The seamless time jumps and interesting uses of quick cuts are a great touch and combine to deliver a uniquely creative experience. All of this spills over to the use of colour too, which utilizes a different palette for each of the narratives. It’s all pretty subtle stuff but it adds up to one of the more unique offerings on TV right now.
With the recent news that this one has been renewed for a second season, whether Why Women Kill can continue these good vibes going into next year’s offering remains to be seen but as an example of how to take a unique concept and run with it in the best possible way, CBS’ latest drama is the perfect example of this. An inspired cast, some good creativity and a robust trio of storylines combine to make Why Women Kill one of the best shows of the year.