All the events of this season take place in the suburbs of Los Angeles in 1949. Timid and shy housewife Alma Filcott (Allison Tolman) is passionate about planting flowers on her yard. Alma’s husband is respected veterinarian Bertram Filcote (Nick Frost), who treats suburban dogs and cats. Alma and Bertram have an adult daughter Dee (BK Kennon): she works as a waitress in one of the cafes.
Alma has a cherished dream – to join the local elite gardening club, which accepts only the most fashionable and wealthy women of the area with an impeccable reputation. It is clear that members of the club do not personally engage in gardening as such, they have gardeners for this. And the club is to gather with its elite circle for all sorts of events where you can drink and gossip.
Of course, Alma is completely unsuitable for this club: she looks like a typical housewife from a poor family, dresses like a typical housewife and acts like a typical housewife.
Nevertheless, Alma quite unexpectedly manages to win the favor of one of the influential ladies in the club, and she recommended her candidacy to the rest. But the final decision will be made by the head of the club – the most stylish lady in the whole district, who has an impeccable reputation – this is Rita Castillo (Lana Parrilla), the wife of a very wealthy man Carlo Castillo (Daniel Sakala).
Carlo has a completely unbearable character, and Rita consoles herself by cheating on her husband with aspiring actor and part-time gigolo Scooter Polarsky (Matthew Daddario). And Scooter has his own mistress, and that’s… Dee, Alma and Bertram’s daughter.
Rita suspects that Scooter has someone and hires private detective Vern Loomis (Jordan Christie) to spy on her lover. And when Rita finds out that Scooter is sleeping with Dee… In general, it will be difficult for Alma to break into the gardening club.
However, Alma becomes completely obsessed with the idea of joining this club, and an obsessed housewife can become completely desperate.
The first season of this series told three stories at once, taking place in the same mansion in the wealthy area of Pasadena, California. The first story took place in 1963, the second in 1984 and the third in 2019. The series began as a black humor comedy, but then turned into a very powerful action-drama. There was excellent dramaturgy (eleven people worked on the script), excellent acting and highly professional production.
The first season was so successful that CBS ordered showrunner Mark Cherry (who, by the way, co-created Desperate Housewives) for a second season, although it was originally supposed to be a miniseries, that is, it would only have one season.
In the second season, as well as in the first season, ten episodes of fifty minutes each, however, not three different stories are told here, but one. There is no powerful drama here, the whole season is a kind of black-humor tragicomedy, which tells the story of how a quiet housewife gradually turned into an obsessed person with considerable power and strength. Well, there will be a lot of corpses here, and unlike the first season, the murders here will be mostly operettas.
Three stories, as I said, are not here, but the stories of three women are clearly traced here: Alma Philcote, her daughter Dee and Rita Castillo, who has many skeletons in her closet.
In terms of dramaturgy, everything here is much weaker than in the first season. And the script is the weakest point here. In the first season, everything was done very skillfully, the stories themselves looked very interesting and literally did not let go, and in this there was no obvious artificiality and artificiality – everything looked very lifelike.
Here, the transformation of a quiet housewife into a cold-blooded killer, ready to destroy everyone who stands in her way or is able to somehow harm her, looks rather unreliable, despite the wonderful performance of Allison Tolman. It’s just that it’s all poorly worked out in terms of scenarios, and it is the scenario that greatly spoils the impression.
But the staging and the acting are at a good level. Allison Tolman is best known for her role as Molly Solverson, assistant chief of police in Bemidji from the TV series Fargo. And there was an interesting breakdown of the stereotype: plump and so very homely Molly, with an eternally guilty expression on her face, literally bit into the investigation like a bulldog, and followed the trail just as indomitably as a bulldog.
Here she first plays a quiet housewife with the same eternally guilty expression on her face, but this housewife goes through a series of successive transformations that turn her into a completely different person. This is played, I repeat, perfectly, but the fact that Alma is able to change SO much in a very short time, of course, is completely unbelievable.
Lana Parrilla as Rita Castillo is great. Initially, it seems like a typical arrogant rich bitch, however, when the audience is gradually told her story, the impression changes somewhat, and in the end, many viewers will most likely noticeably change their attitude towards both Alma and Rita, who in the series seem to be certain are thus interchanged.
British actor Nick Frost – a constant accomplice of Simon Pegg, with whom he played in “Zombie named Sean”, “Cool cops” and “Armageddec” (all these films were directed by Edgar Wright) – was somewhat unexpected to see in this American series, but the role Nick played the plump veterinarian Bertram, who has a strange secret hobby, and his couple with Allison Tolman turned out to be very colorful.
BK Kennon quite worthily played Alma’s daughter: on the one hand, Dee is such an ordinary notorious fat woman (they have a family), but on the other hand, Dee quite unexpectedly discovers that her seemingly so quiet and well-known parents turn out to be somehow then monsters, and this makes a strong impression on the girl.
At the same time, Dee quite unexpectedly has an affair with … no, not with Scooter, with whom she just fucks, but with Detective Vernon. The detective was excellently played by Jordan Christie: he turned out to be an interesting private detective from the late forties – early fifties. It seems to be not such an important character in the series, but he made a very good impression.
Well, you should definitely mention Veronica Falcon, who here portrays Carlo Castillo’s daughter Caterina, who comes to her father’s mansion after he was paralyzed. Not surprisingly, Katerina and Rita have an extremely hostile relationship, and it will be interesting to watch their rivalry.
The character of Matthew Daddario Scooter was not very interesting and completely typical – a kind of dumb gigolo, however, interestingly, the actor himself is the brother of Alexandra Daddario, who played a colorful girl named Jade in the first season. And Matthew and Alexandra, by the way, are very similar.
From the point of view of recreating the environment and especially the costumes, everything here is done downright great. No, it certainly looks a bit cartoonish – like the similar high-end club in the second episode of “WandaVision”, but this deliberately made riot of colors and spectacular dresses is just a visual feast for the eyes.
What’s in general? Noticeably weaker than the excellent first season in terms of screenplay. It seems that completely different scriptwriters worked on the series (or maybe it was). But in terms of acting, staging and work of set designers, everything here is quite good, I did not regret that I watched the second season. Although it, unlike the first, is completely optional for viewing.
Well, it’s hard to see how this season would have been regarded in complete isolation from the first season: if, for example, they made it into a separate mini-series with a different name. Because in this case you inevitably make a comparison with the first season, and this comparison is not in favor of the second.
Why Women Kill Season 2 movie review
Director: Mark Cherry Cast: Allison Tolman, Nick Frost, Lana Parrilla, B.K. Kennon, Jordan Christie, Matthew Daddario, Veronica Falcon, Daniel Zacapa, Eileen Galindo
Series, USA, 2021, 50 min.