Ginnifer Goodwin; Lucy Liu; Kirby Howell-Baptiste
Credit: Matthias Clamer/CBS

Why Women Kill

CBS All Access’ newest offering is Why Women Kill, a dark comedy series that explores marriage, infidelity, and women’s rights through the lens of three protagonists through the ages. It stars Ginnifer Goodwin as 1960s housewife Beth Ann, Lucy Liu as socialite Simone in the ’80s, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste as a high-powered lawyer in 2018. The show and its title tease that each woman’s marriage is teeming with betrayal and lies that could trigger deadly consequences.

The series should attract fans of the women-behaving-badly genre, as it comes from Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids creator Marc Cherry. But if that’s not reason enough for you to tune in, here are five more reasons Why Women Kill may be your newest addiction.

A killer lineup

The series boasts a deadly roster — how could you go wrong when one of your stars is a certifiable badass who’s graced the screens of Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels? Besides the formidable team of Liu and Goodwin, the show’s true weapon is breakout star Howell-Baptiste, already a fan favorite from her scene-stealing appearances on shows like The Good Place and Killing Eve. Howell-Baptiste gets — and nails — the best lines on the show. When she stares down a patronizing contractor and tells him “My dick is bigger than yours,” viewers should be simultaneously terrified and admiring of her grit.

Anything men can do, women can do better

From Happy to Barry, leading men in comedies have been dominating the killing game. But why can’t women get in on the fun? Why Women Kill is riding the wave that titles like Good Girls and Dead to Me have set in motion for the late 2010s, putting women front and center of all the action. All these heroines have depth as well. They’re not separated into antiquated categories like “the wife” or “the bad girl”; they get to be whatever they so choose, with or without a man.

Sam Jaeger, Ginnifer Goodwin
Credit: Ali Goldstein/CBS

Society through the ages

One of the most fascinating elements of Why Women Kill is the depiction of how social issues have progressed (or not) through generations. While the three women’s stories take place in different eras, the show smartly finds ways to weave their narratives together. In the first episode, Beth Ann’s chauvinist husband (Sam Jaeger) condescendingly taps his mug to indicate his wife should immediately jump to refill his coffee.

Skip to the present: Eli (Reid Scott), who met Taylor at the Women’s March and outwardly celebrates her independence, is threatened by his wife’s status as the sole breadwinner and becomes infatuated with a woman who’s at his every beck and call (like pouring him coffee). While many of us think our society has shed some of its backwards ways, the show tells us that things haven’t changed as much as we’d like and perhaps modern men have more growing to do than they think.

It’s not all black and white

The show hints at betrayal, but it seems with each progressing story, the details become less clear-cut. Rob the Knob (as we like to call him) has no excuses. Yet Karl, Simone’s husband, elicits some sympathy as a closeted man who likely feared the consequences of coming out. And for Eli and Taylor, their polyamorous relationship brings up many complex issues that test their mutual trust and boundaries. It’s a lot of complicated, human drama that we can’t wait to see unfold.

Lucy Liu
Credit: Ali Goldstein/CBS

The fashion of it all

The best part of the show exploring different time periods is seeing the fashions of each era. From Beth Ann and Rob’s prim and proper decor to Simone and Karl’s delightfully gaudy mansion to Taylor and Eli’s sleek digs, it’s amazing to take in. Simone, in particular, brings it — the big earrings, the bright fabrics visible from a mile away, the shoulder pads! Even if you prefer Taylor’s more toned-down leather jackets, you can’t deny that the ’80s were a time to behold in fashion.

If you haven’t caught Why Women Kill trailer yet ahead of the show’s Aug. 15 debut, watch it above.

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