Lifetime is slated to debut its highly-anticipated new drama titled “Devious Maids”, which is executive produced by Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives”) and Eva Longoria (“Desperate Housewives”), on Sunday June 23, at 10PM ET/PT.
The all-star cast is played by Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”), Dania Ramirez (“Entourage”), Roselyn Sanchez (“Without a Trace”), Edy Ganem (“Livin’ Loud”) and Judy Reyes (“Scrubs”). These ladies portray five maids with ambition and dreams of their own, while working for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, California.
Typical, right? Five Latina women play maids who work for the wealthy. At first glance, the show is dirt simple: a perpetuation of the dreaded class warfare. But, the series is, in fact, the first mainstream English-language television drama that features five Latina main characters, which is –– for better or for worse –– an unconventional idea, even in this day and age. Truth is, the aforementioned is the reason why I’ll be tuning in.
In the wake of “Devious Maids” unveiling their minute-long trailer, Editor in Chief of Cosmo for Latinas Michelle Herrera Mulligan penned a dogmatic letter to Eva Longoria expressing her distaste for the new show, which –– in her words –– disservices the 20 million-plus Latina female population living in the United States.
Mulligan’s argument indicated that Longoria’s latest TV endeavor is a “wasted opportunity” and only further breathes life into the Latina stereotype in America today, just like all the other broadcasted telenovelas.
My mother didn’t waste her time trying to seduce “el patrón,” “gossip about her bosses,” or beg for their mentorship. When she left her job, she was a comedian, an art aficionado, and a lover of literature.
Mulligan is right. One hundred percent. But as a Latina myself, I’ve gotta say, I’m not mad. We could debate the pros and cons ’til we’re blue in the face, the truth is –– Hollywood is a game of Chess, not Checkers. And because seeing a leading cast made up of Latinos in English-language television is still a novel concept today, the culture has to make its way to mainstream forefront in tortoise fashion –– “slow and steady.”
The Latino culture (like all other ethnic entities) are misrepresented all too often. We shouldn’t be left agape anymore. Reality TV does no justice for women of color, neither do the many roles of video vixens (for example). It’s come to a point where we get excited just to see people who look like us on TV because the actresses, let alone the roles, are few and far between. So I can’t shame Longoria for her forward-thinking.
What’s more is that we’ve long been conditioned to believe that there is no merit in hard work, in being a blue-collar worker; that the maids, nannies, bus drivers and trashmen/women are to be looked down upon. But these people have stories too.
Remember, we’re talking about Hollywood TV. The salaciousness and obscenities are bound to be woven into the fabric of any prime-time television show today with the motive to gain viewers. My only hope, is that the episodes really do dig into the lives of these women, both in and out of their occupations; that it delves into the multifaceted dimensions of each character.