The program is adapted from a Spanish-language series, “Ellas son … la alegria del hogar,” and some of the cultural rifts between that show and the U.S. version are clearly apparent. For all the talk about the One Percent, Americans seldom consider or perceive the country’s caste system or class disparity in quite the same way it’s seen by many South-of-the-border neighbors.
Cherry also knows how to plant a hook, with a maid’s murder in the pre-credits sequence introducing us to some of the characters, starting with Marisol (“Ugly Betty’s” Ana Ortiz), who takes a job in a nearby home and seems keenly interested in the murder. In her quest for information, she goes about the process of befriending her peers, each of whom have their own set of issues.
They include Zoila (“Scrubs’” Judy Reyes), whose daughter (Edy Ganem) has a crush on the rich college student in the house where they both work. “Rich boys — they never fall in love with the help,” Zoila tells her love-struck kid. Then there’s Carmen (Rosalyn Sanchez), who’s desperate to leverage her job for a music star to launch her own singing career; and Rosie (Dania Ramirez), who finds herself working for two self-obsessed actors (“True Blood’s” Mariana Klaveno, Grant Show), and tending to their kid while missing her own.
The casting on the employer side is equally good, with the most inspired stroke being the inclusion of daytime diva Susan Lucci as the lascivious matriarch in the mansion where Zoila works.
Filmed in Georgia by Cherry/Wind Prods. and Televisa in association with ABC Studios.
Executive producers, Marc Cherry, Sabrina Wind, Eva Longoria, Paul McGuigan, David Lonner, Larry Shuman, John Mass, Paul Presburger, Michael Garcia; producer, Mark H. Ovitz; director, McGuigan; writer, Cherry; camera, Oliver Bokelberg; production designer, Stephen Storer; editors, Troy Takaki, Philip Neel; music, Edward Shearmur; casting, Scott Genkinger, Deborah George. 60 MIN.
Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Edy Ganem, Judy Reyes, Susan Lucci, Rebecca Wisocky, Brianna Brown, Tom Irwin, Brett Cullen, Drew Van Acker, Mariana Klaveno, Matt Cedeno, Melinda Page Hamilton, Grant Show.