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Scripted and produced by “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry, “Devious Maids” was originally a pilot developed for ABC. When that network passed, Lifetime stepped in.
It’s apparently about the lives and loves of the best-looking domestics ever to swing a mop in Beverly Hills.
... has amusing touches, but is relentlessly arch and tongue in cheek in a way that seemed fresh when “Desperate Housewives” began in 2004, but now is less so. That tone has been used to good effect so often on shows like “Ugly Betty,” “Drop Dead Diva” and “Suburgatory” that it has grown a little stale, even on Lifetime. …
... "Devious Maids" is just unfortunate — a silly, hyperactive version of "Downton Abbey," relocated to Beverly Hills and populated with as many cliches and stereotypes as can fit upstairs and down. … It would be great to report here that "Devious Maids" is not that bad, except that it is, despite a lot of real talent …
... The actresses do a good job, too. It’s just a shame they have to do it in a largely dull, predictable show where it’s impossible for them to shine, no matter how hard they clean and scrub. …
... Devious Maids has the potential to be better than "Desperate Housewives," but it can realize that potential only if it finds its own substantive identity instead of being just a recycling of the "Housewives" template. …
... does the campiness outweigh the social commentary? Of course — it’s still a prime-time soap … In the first two episodes, the show has enough momentum to offer some promise, even if Cherry’s vehicles tend to start strong and go off the rails quickly. But given the ability of his previous “Housewives” to dig deeper than many dramas, it feels right to give this series the benefit of the doubt.
... a sudsy hoot. It's a well-executed soap with a heaping helping of Mr. Cherry's trademark humor … lacks the novelty that made "Desperate Housewives" noteworthy upon its premiere, but this new series benefits from the ability to start fresh and unencumbered from the tangled web of soapy plots that dragged on "Housewives" as it aged. …
... can be a chore to sit through because of the constant verbal abuse and humiliations these women endure on their jobs. You naturally want them all to move on to better positions — but, of course, that would mean the end of the show. For those viewers who toil in dead-end jobs, “Devious Maids” will cut like a real-life horror show.
... The new show feels predictable and weary from the start, since the tone so closely resembles the old show, which was played out when it left the air in 2012 after eight seasons. …
... In the second cable series within a month depicting the class divide between the unhappy rich and the equally conflicted domestics who tidy their fabulous homes if not their messy lives, both extremes of the economic scale are patronized with cartoonish levels of camp and melodrama. …
... Had Marc Cherry's Desperate Housewives follow-up Devious Maids premiered on ABC in season, as he'd hoped, it might have been quickly dismissed as slight, derivative and repetitive. Here, however, on Lifetime on a summer Sunday -- well, all those things still apply, but it's also easier to appreciate the show's own virtues while enjoying its Desperate roots. …
... Terrifically cast and cleverly constructed, the show has “hit” written all over it …
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