Pilot Perception: Devious Maids

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Devious Maids, Lifetime and Lifetime Canada, Sundays at 10/9c

The Pedigree: The show was created by Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives), who executive produces with his Housewives star Eva Longoria and fellow Housewives producer Sabrina Wind.

The Cast & How You Know Them: The very large ensemble cast includes Brianna Brown (General Hospital), Matt Cedeno (Days of Our Lives), Brett Cullen (Person of Interest), Edy Ganem (Livin’ Loud), Paula Garces (The Shield), Melinda Page Hamilton (Mad Men), Tom Irwin (Saving Grace), Mariana Klaveno (True Blood), Susan Lucci (All My Children), Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Wole Parks (As the World Turns), Dania Ramirez (Heroes), Judy Reyes (Scrubs), Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace), Grant Show (Burn Notice), Drew Van Acker (Pretty Little Liars), and Rebecca Wisocky (The Mentalist).

The Premise: Devious Maids follows the lives of five maids in Beverly Hills, as well as the rich families they work for, in the wake of a murder of another maid.

A Taste:

What Works: First of all, while there was plenty of soapy drama here, this show was a lot funnier than I expected. (See my favorite line below.) Some (though not all) of the storylines immediately drew me in, and I’m definitely curious enough about the central mystery to try at least one more episode. The cast includes some talented actors, and the slick, breezy tone was appealing for warm, lazy summer Sunday nights.

What Doesn’t: I’ll admit that from the title and premise of the show, I was expecting it to rely on racial and ethnic stereotypes and cliches, and there was a lot less of that than I expected. But the show will have to be very careful to avoid that going forward, especially in its use of such tropes as an immigrant with a child left behind at home and a young maid with feelings for her employers’ son. In addition, this is a very large cast with a lot of stories going on at once, and the pilot felt cluttered by this.

Our Favorite Line: “You’ll have to forgive my wife. She’s drunk . . . and evil.”

You Might Like This if you like primetime soaps like Desperate Housewives, especially ones involving ongoing mysteries, like Deception or Revenge.

If You’re Interested: You can watch the pilot on MyLifetime.com, or check your local listings to see when Lifetime is reairing it this weekend. The set your DVR for Sunday at 10/9c.

(Photo courtesy of Lifetime.)

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