‘Why Women Kill’ is not your average murder mystery series. Created by Marc Cherry (‘Desperate Housewives’), the anthology series is a blend of dark comedy and satire that looks at age-old women-centric issues in a new light. It features an ensemble cast that includes the talents of Lucy Liu, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Ginnifer Goodwin, Allison Tolman, and Alexandra Daddario.
If you have binged watched even a handful of episodes of the gripping series, you must be wondering whether its interwoven tapestry of personal conflicts laced with sharp humor is inspired by any true stories or real events. In that case, allow us to share with you the intriguing details of the inspiration behind ‘Why Women Kill.’
Is Why Women Kill Based on a True Story?
No, ‘Why Women Kill’ is not a true story. The series is based on an original concept from the creator Marc Cherry. The first season of the show consists of three seemingly unconnected stories of three women living in different eras dealing with infidelity in their marriage. The second season, set in 1949, follows a group of housewives and their dark secrets. Despite the muli-narrative structure, the basic outline of the show remains the same: a journey of self-discovery.
The intentionally misguiding title might lead you to believe that the show tackles the titular question. However, the show tweaks the murder mystery format, and the murders only become relevant towards the end of the season. For the most part, the series takes a satirical look at the reaction of a woman to a certain situation. Marriage and infidelity are the major themes in the first season, and social status and acceptance are the major themes in the second season.
In an interview, creator Marc Cherry revealed that he harbored an idea for a series about a housewife for quite some time before deciding to play around with the idea in the murder mystery genre sandpit. Cherry wished to examine the response of women from different time periods to the same situation. For the first season, Cherry took infidelity as the starting point for the women’s distinct journeys of self-discovery. The start of the second season finds the main character in a place of social anonymity and sets her on a path of becoming a popular figure in the local community.
These vastly different journeys that the female characters on the show go through are designed to address how the role of women in society has changed over the past decades. In an interview with New York Post, Cherry revealed that he wished to tackle the current political issues differently. “I’m dealing with classic issues, and I do hope to say a little something about how women’s roles have changed and how marriage has changed. It’s a reminder of why women make different choices in different eras — they were affected by the times in which they live. I’m sneaking the politics in the middle of all this fun debauchery,” said the writer-producer.
Cherry has also revealed that while developing the female characters for the show, he drew inspiration from his mother to make the characters relatable. Likewise, Cherry also sought inspiration from classic TV show characters and actresses of the bygone era for the personalities and appearances of the female characters. In conclusion, ‘Why Women Kill’ upholds the idea that women are hiding more than they let on, as is hinted by the title. However, the show’s fictional story completely flips the murder mystery tropes and deals with issues that women have faced for decades. It’s a mostly fun take on relevant issues and has little semblance with reality.
Read More: Where is Why Women Kill Filmed?