Devious Maids Season 1 Review “Taking Out the Trash”

On an oddly melancholic and essentially serious episode of “Devious Maids,” we got a surprising look at some of the more down-to-earth issues of the main cast, although the show did manage to find time to throw in a somewhat out-of-place catfight in “Taking Out the Trash.” While not uninteresting, it was nonetheless an early indication of what the show could potentially become if it started taking itself a bit too seriously.

The biggest mistake, I thought, was in sidelining some of the more colorful (and quotable) characters, such as Susan Lucci’s Genevieve, and saddling others, namely Rebecca Wisocky’s Evelyn and Tom Irwin’s Adrian, with super-heavy storylines. Lucci and Judy Reyes’ Zoila weren’t even in the episode, in fact, and boy, were they missed.

On the other hand, we did get some necessary info about why the Powells are so screwed up. Turns out Evelyn was essentially the one who killed their late son in a car accident back in the day, and that was why Adrian has been so cold to her ever since- and why she lets him get away with his little shenanigans with the working girls, although she wasn’t too keen on his participating as of recently, with the late Flora.

Once a year, they get together to celebrate what would have been their son’s birthday, complete with a cake and presents. Was it touching? Sure. Was it super heavy? Incredibly so. Now, there’s nothing that says a show like this can’t have its occasional dramatic moments, but unfortunately, plotlines like this permeated the episode, and resulted in one of the more emotionally draining shows of the season. It wasn’t a bad episode; it just wasn’t a lot of fun, and for a light summer show, that’s a problem.

In addition to that, we also got heavy drama from Carmen’s side of the fence when her abusive husband came into town to demand she come back with him and more or less abandon her dreams of being a singer. It was also revealed that she couldn’t have children and that it and her wanting to have a career was what had led her to leave him in the first place. Once again, it explained a lot, as we saw why Carmen had reached her late 30’s without much success in the area of singing, despite some solid talent in that department, but as with the Powells, it was also pretty tough going for the most part.

The one lone source of amusement came when Carmen’s husband Oscar attacked her and everyone else in Alejandro’s employ, including Sam and Odessa, and, in order to stop him from killing Carmen, Odessa adopted a most unusual weapon to take him down: she clocked him with her leg! (As in her removable, faux limb, not the real one, of course- see above pic.) That was pretty cool, but before that, things got super intense, what with Oscar trying to choke poor Carmen to death.

The situation with Peri, Spence, and Rosie also took a turn for the serious when Spence, armed with the knowledge that Peri was in fact cheating on him, asked her if she wanted to have an open marriage. Naturally, she jumped at the chance, before her boyfriend pointed out that the only reason he probably would do such a thing was because he was either wanting to or already was having an affair. So, that ended up being a little emotionally fraught with tension as well.

Finally, there was lots of drama on the Marisol and her son front, as the police finally found some motive for Flora’s murder via these emails in which it was revealed that Eddie had proposed to her and she said no. The cops also chalked up the situation with the autopsy last week to a misfile, so that evidence didn’t pan out either. In short, Eddie only looked that much more guilty. On the plus side, he did remember that he overheard Flora talking about having video of someone having sex that she planned to use as blackmail, so if his mom can find that, they’ll at least have another suspect to point the finger at.

That left the only mildly fun plot to Valentina, who clashed with Remi’s one night stand, Alison, when she decided to stick around and harass her, especially after she realized that Valentina had a thing for Remi. Cue a full on catfight by the pool, which was mildly amusing, though oddly shot at such a distance that I felt like we were watching it from afar, and that it could have been any two random girls fighting. Way to miss an opportunity for an old-school throw-down, “Devious Maids.”

With all this drama, it was ultimately the show’s first major misstep thus far. Yes, a lot of it was necessary information, granted; but they really should have separated it with some of the show’s more traditionally wacky elements, if only to break up the heavy mood that permeated most of the show. I’d have held off on either the Carmen plotline or the Powell one and inserted at least one more wacky escapade amongst the maids to alleviate the mood a bit more, but maybe that’s just me.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it wasn’t well done, and I get that soaps are notorious for jumping from serious drama to more campy elements all the time, but it’s still a delicate balance, and if that balance isn’t just right, a show’s feel can go awry, and that’s what undeniably happened here. By focusing more on the heavy stuff, the show lost its sense of fun, you know?

Now, it’s only the first season, so some missteps are to be expected, but let’s hope the show rectifies itself moving forward, as, up until now at least, it’s been a pretty fun ride. Hopefully, the show can bring the funny back next week. We’ll see soon enough, I suppose.

What did you think of “Devious Maids” this week? Was it a little too serious for your tastes, too? Or do you think I’m being too hard on the show? After all, it was relatively important information being imparted. Let me know what you think below, and I’ll see you next week!