What is the story about?
Set in 1949, Alma Filcott is a middle-aged and middle class woman married to the town vet, a pleasant and jolly man with a dark, disturbing secret named Bertram Fillcot. They have a daughter Deirdre who works as a waitress in a local diner and is secretely seeing a struggling actor named, Scooter. Scooter is also dating the wife of a rich businessman, Rita. Alma, wants to be a part of the Elysian Garden Club which is presided and ruled with an iron hand by Rita. All their lives become intertwined when greed and ambitions take over, and they soon find themselves at the receiving end of one person's murderous rage.
Set in 1949, the second season of Why Women Kill had a very subdued trailer. It seemed obvious from the trailer that the murder over petty squabbles would be the crux of the story. As the episodes started airing it seemed interesting when you were introduced to the dark side of Bertram Fillcot. His wife Alma's desire to be a part of an elite garden club didn't seem too appealing for viewers in 2021, even though the series is set in 1949. Rita, too seems like a character heavily inspired by Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives. The creator Marc Cherry infused some new unconventional storylines in season 1, however in season 2 a middle-class frumpy housewife becoming a socialite diva overnight by plotting, manipulating and conspiring against the Queen Bee, seems a bit too 2008ish. While the general look and feel of the show is campy, the shenanigans pulled off by the lead characters seem too juvenile and lurid. Season 2 in comparison with season 1 seemed far too ridiculous. Only episode 9 seemed to stand apart from in the entire series and built up an excellent case for the finale, however the finale turns out to be a damp squib. While episode 9 finally showed some depth and gravitas to the characters, the finale showed them back to their ridiculous antics and general monkeying around. Marc Cherry, the creator of shows such as Desperate Housewives and Devious Maids has a special fondness for showing women as always plotting murders, seeking revenge, murdering enemies, and manipulating their loved ones. This pretty much sums up the story of the season 2 of Why Women Kill.
Allison Tolman plays Elma Fillcot, a heavyset, middle-class and ordinary looking woman who desires for inclusion in the Elysian Garden Club. She brings a lot of empathy and vulnerability to the drab Elma, who only desires to be 'noticed' and that leads her to a life of crime. In the run of 10 episodes you get to see how Elma transforms from frumpy to ruthless. She has managed to carry the entire series on her shoulders. Lana Parilla, plays Rita the unscrupulous and bored housewife married to a rich man. Rita is conniving and manipulative and wants to have her way no matter what. Lana tries hard but somehow the character seems too redundant. We have already seen 'bored housewives married to old rich men' umpteen times in movies and series. Nick Frost plays Bertram Fillcot a charming vet who harbours a macabre secret of his own. He is witty, charming and plays a dark character effortlessly. By the end of the series, you feel that the only character to truly relate to is that of Bertram's. Matthew Daddarios as Scooter doesn't have much character development or growth. B.K Cannon as Deirdre is funny and sweet, but sadly doesn't get a lot screen time. Jordane Christie as the private investigator Vern too doesn't get the screen time we would have wished for. Another character we wished to have seen more of was that of Veronica Falcon aka Catherine. Her character doesn't return for the finale and we never get to know what truly happened to her. Veronica, also is outstanding as the nearly austere spinster turning into a nyphomaniac.
Music & Other Departments
There are some good jazz tracks being played in the series. The standout part of the series is the campy look and the costumes. The story however, falters in several places. There are loopholes in the plot, some characters aren't fully developed and some scenes and dialogues seem way too dramatic and over-the-top. The attire of the cast is on fleek throughout the series and so is the Los Angeles of 1940s.
Terrific acting by Allison Tolman
- A redundant storyline and characters
- Way too dramatic situations
- The characters seem to be manipulative and conniving way too much to be actual human beings
- Series ends without a proper closure and ending given to certain sub-plots and characters
Did I enjoy it?
Neutral. To be honest I enjoyed the series in bits and pieces. If you haven't enjoyed the antics of the women on Wisteria Lane, there is a chance you might not like this series either.
Do I recommend it?
If you can sit through 10 hours of women continuously planning to manipulate and murder each other over a cup of tea and muffins, then this show might just be right for you.