Infidelity. It's “Why Women Kill” – at least as portrayed in the storylines of a darkly comedic drama that begins streaming this week on CBS All Access.
The 10-episode hourlong series from Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives,” “Devious Maids”), which gets underway Thursday, looks at infidelity through the lives and experiences of three women living in different decades, each of whom has had a spouse who has been unfaithful. There is Beth Ann (Ginnifer Goodwin, “Once Upon a Time”), a 1960s housewife whose world revolves around white-collar husband Rob (Sam Jaeger, “Parenthood”); Simone (Lucy Liu, “Elementary”), a socialite in the 1980s whose extravagance masks inner doubt about her relationship with Karl (Jack Davenport, “Smash”); and Taylor (Kirby Howell-Baptiste, “Barry”), a driven lawyer in 2019 whose open marriage to Eli (Reid Scott, “Veep”) tests their union.
The series examines how through the decades the roles of women may have changed but their reactions to betrayal have not.
Liu, fresh off filming her seventh and final season as Joan Watson in the CBS drama “Elementary,” signed on to the series for the chance to work with Cherry, an Emmy nominee for “Housewives,” and for the opportunity to play a character from the 1980s and all that that implies.
“I think (it) is a fantastic time,” she says. “It's a decade of color and makeup and shoulder pads, so I really loved the combination of all of that.
“She's a socialite, she's very effervescent,” Liu continues.
“She's fabulous,” she continues with a laugh. “To me, I don't think she's funny but I think she thinks she's a very charming, delightful person and there's another side of the coin that the world doesn't get to see on her end. And ... she finds out her husband has not been faithful.”
Though this is Simone's third marriage, it's the first time she's had to deal with a partner's straying and Liu says the character's feelings of betrayal are overwhelming.
“I think the first part of it is anger and disappointment,” Liu explains, “and then as things go on and continue on in their relationship, she starts to discover there's a great deal of sadness as well. And so emotionally even though somebody has done that to you, it doesn't mean that you necessarily hate them because you still care about them, and I think that sometimes is what makes it very difficult to split apart.”
“I definitely think she blames him,” she continues, “because it was something that she did not expect. And when you're together in a marriage, regardless of how materialistic Simone is, I don't think she's somebody who is unfaithful. I think that comes as a big surprise to her. That's the painful discovery, really.”