Desperate house maids

Desperate house maids
Devious Maids starring (from left) Ana Ortiz, Edy Ganem, Judy Reyes, Dania Ramirez and Roselyn Sanchez

Writing first for The Golden Girls in the 1980s and next creating Desperate Housewives (2004 - 2012), TV honcho Marc Cherry loves putting women in cosy, chatty clusters.

Now comes the turn of a quartet of Latina maids in the new murder-scrubber dramedy series, Devious Maids, his most inconsequential and lightweight gathering so far.

It is quite entertaining but Cherry is not at his sharpest here, probably because he keeps it to a harmless, fluffy canter - both the Hispanic maids and their Caucasian employers are comical stereotypes, so as not to really offend anybody.

To be fair, he is clearly on the maids' side as he depicts them as much stronger and purposeful characters.

In this soap opera that actually involves soap, the gals scrub the floors, polish the silverware, cook the meals and clean the whole darn mansion of the rich, powerful and very pampered white folks in Beverly Hills, California, who are so ridiculously snooty they do not even know they are being spectacularly insensitive.

"For God's sake, poor people like to be pretty too," one powdered tai-tai exclaims about her maid's appearance.

In between the house-cleaning, the maids participate in the sort of loopy, screwy hijinks which Teri Hatcher's clumsy Susan Mayer excelled at in Desperate Housewives.

By the way, Hatcher's Hispanic Housewives castmate, Eva Longoria, is an executive producer here - which makes me wonder why she did not protest when the main characters are so superficially drawn.

Cherry does make one woman smarter than the others.

Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty) plays Marisol Duarte, a maid who strangely does not have an accent because she is really a professor who goes undercover to find evidence of her son's innocence in the murder of a maid in an evil fat cat's household (the pervert supplies prostitutes to his loaded pals and records their dangerous liaisons).

I keep wondering if all these CSI: Special Maid's Unit shenanigans are necessary when there are plenty of formidable crusading Latino lawyers on TV, usually played by Jimmy Smits?

Joining Marisol in her gossipy gaggle are Dania Ramirez (Heroes) as Rosie Falta, a God-fearing maid having the hots for the husband of the couple she is working for; Roselyn Sanchez (Without A Trace) as sexy wannabe singer Carmen Luna trying to land a recording deal with her singer-employer; and Judy Reyes (Scrubs) as Zoila Diaz, whose hot teen daughter, Valentina (Edy Ganem), is in love with the rich man's son they both work for.

"Rich boys, they never fall in love with the help," warns Mama as the gaga teen dressed in a kinky maid's outfit, throws herself at the dude.

I have to admit I cannot take my eyes off spicy cutie Ganem as I contemplate hiring a sexy live-in maid myself.

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