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Campy dramedy series Devious Maids (2013-2016) is now available in full on Showmax (stream or download seasons 1-4 here). And flipping through the episodes, it’s clear that the poor Maids will never get those luxurious Beverly Hills mansions sparkling clean – not as long as their filthy-rich bosses keep making such a mess! But that’s part of the fun for us as viewers. We can’t resist running a moral white-gloved hand over the shiny successful super rich and turning our noses up at all the dirt clinging to them.
(From left: Ana Ortiz as Marisol, Roselyn Sanchez as Carmen, Judy Reyes as Zoila, Dania Ramirez as Rosie)
No one in Devious Maids is as as wonderfully, repulsively rich as the unhappily married Powells: shallow, selfish Evelyn (Rebecca Wisocky – above) and her cruel, pervy husband Adrian (Tom Irwin). The bloody murder of their original maid Flora Hernandez (Paula Garces) not only starts the series in Season 1, it also exposes Adrian’s dirty secret: running a prostitution ring from his house while he records his drunk friends’ hooker hook-ups for his personal pleasure (and without their consent).
Evelyn might be worried that without a maid there’s no way of getting Flora’s blood stains out of the carpeting and furniture, but honestly, at that point she might as well throw out the whole husband too.
Except don’t! The Powells are great fun to watch because most of their evil schemes are directed at getting one-up on each other. And while Evelyn is officially The Worst, she’s 100% worth watching for her trash mouth alone. Behold, classic Evelyn…
Season 2 episode 1 (describing an unsatisfactory holiday stay in Rio): “The poverty was unimaginable. Streets filled with beggars, children running around in tatters. Every time we looked out our hotel window, we were confronted with the reality of human suffering. Finally, we called the concierge and got a room facing the pool. So much nicer.”
PS: Marisol (Ana Ortiz), who goes undercover to solve the case of Flora’s murder, writes a bestselling tell-all book (published in Season 2), basing her most evil character on Evelyn. In Season 4, we see Evelyn gleefully playing herself in the film adaptation of Marisol’s book – and “accidentally” kicking executive producer Eva Longoria (playing herself, as the actress playing Flora) while she’s lying on the ground pretending to be dead.
Pathologically selfish actress Peri Westmore (Mariana Klaveno – above) has a tragic past but that doesn’t excuse her spreading misery wherever she goes. In fact, she’s so unpleasant to work for that we find out (in Season 1, episode 2) that her maids have called her a “bitch” in five different languages before quitting.
Her character is defined in Season 1, episode 1 when, with a complete lack of empathy, she forbids her maid and nanny Rosie (Dania Ramirez) from taking time off to consult her own little son’s immigration lawyer.
And at the end of the season, she calls ICE (the US Immigration & Customs Enforcement) to drag Rosie out and get her deported out of sheer spite. Peri is the kind of woman who calls 911 if she sees a poor person minding their own business in her vicinity.
But she has enjoyable flashes of mischief, too – like when she reveals (in Season 2, episode 20) that she buys expensive clothes on her husband Spence’s (Grant Show) account every time he disappoints her.
In Season 2, episode 2, Peri admits to lying about a pregnancy to keep Spence and Rosie apart. And in Season 3’s finale, Peri comes breezing back in, doing the best acting of her life (she’s still terrible) when Spence has amnesia to convince him that they’re still married – and his new wife Rosie is still just their kid’s nanny.
Too nice to toss
Evelyn and Peri are gold-plated evil. But ditzy, ritzy, glamorous Genevieve Delatour (Susan Lucci – above) is simply exhausting. Gold-digging Genevieve announces (in Season 1, episode 12) that “I don’t see why feminists complain so much. Being a sex object is fun”, and she’s prepared to go to any length, no matter how absurd, to land her catch – even telling her (legally) blind date that she’s just 39 years old.
Her long-suffering maid Zoila Diaz (Judy Reyes) has supported her through every heartbreak, idiocy, and recovery bout after one of her endless plastic surgeries. But Genevieve is blindly selfish. In Season 2, episode 9, she asks Zoila if she has any poor friends who’d be willing to sell her a kidney.
“Poor people have organs. Rich people need them. Why must the government always stand in the way of the small businessman,” she complains when she’s told that’s a no-no.
Genevieve is extremely friendly with Zoila and can be generous and loving, but being her friend can be a chore – literally. In Season 4, episode 7, when Zoila suggests that they just be friends, Genevieve asks, “…and one friend could do the other friend’s laundry and cook for her?”
Genevieve has no boundaries. But do you know what she does have? Jewellery especially for sleeping in! She is a delight.
Pssst! For a local and darker twist on the tale, try Mzansi Magic’s thrilling drama Housekeepers (2018), which lands on Showmax every Monday.
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