Tonight on Lifetime, The Latina version of The Help, Devious Maids debuts at 10pm. Originally developed as a show for ABC, the show has garnered its share of controversy even before it’s debut.
Based on the Mexican TV series Ellas son la Alegría del Hogar, which translates to English as They Are the Home’s Joy, the show was heavily influenced by Desperate Housewives. American adaption was to follow four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, California.
After ABC ordered the pilot in late January 2012, they passed on it in May 2012. Lifetime came to the rescue, picking up the pilot with an order for 13-episodes the following month. Series star, Roselyn Sánchez made a cameo appearance in the final episode of Desperate Housewives as her character Carmen. In addition, several other characters who had major recurring roles on Desperate Housewives will also appear on the new show, including Valerie Mahaffey, Rebecca Wisocky, Melinda Page Hamilton and Andrea Parker.
Detractors of the show have already pointed out that the show is a “wasted opportunity,” pointing out that while the show’s five lead characters are Latinas, they’re all domestic workers. Executive producer Eva Longoria engaged her critics regarding whether Devious Maids presents outdated stereotypes of contemporary U.S. Latinas. While Longoria made a strong case for her show, audiences will discover a parade of utterly predictable stereotypes—of Latina maids who are both devious and pure of heart, and of their Caucasian employers, who are all selfish, utterly detestable, entitled snobs in the pilot episode.
It remains to be seen whether Longoria’s vision of Latina maids helps or harms the chances of expanding more Latino images on television; time will surely tell.
Devious Maids‘ cast includes Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Sánchez, Edy Ganem, Judy Reyes and Susan Lucci in main roles.
Check out the promo and some images from the cast below: