There are not a lot of times that you come across shows that make you question reality. Well, that’s the extent of the drama that some of these shows are plotted with. Among them, Desperate Housewives is a show that deserves a shoutout.
Ever since its premiere in 2004, the show has run for eight successful seasons, and with its conclusion, it has left a void in people’s lives. If you are one of them that has been looking for shows that are similar to Desperate Housewives, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we will highlight a list of all the top shows like Desperate Housewives that you can consider watching to fill that void.
1. Big Little Lies (2017 – 2019)
Stream on – HBO Max
You wouldn’t expect a television show to have the grandeur that Big Little Lies has. Starring Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, and Nicole Kidman in the lead roles, this is one of those shows that is bound to turn your heads.
If you have been missing the suburban setting and communities like Desperate Housewives and have been looking to venture into a show with a similar background, Big Little Lies is the perfect option. Additionally, both shows highlight a female-dominated cast, exploring themes of motherhood, friendship, marriage, and social status.
2. Good Girls (2018 – 2021)
Stream on – Netflix
Watching Desperate Housewives depicts how drama-filled the lives of a housewife can be and that’s extrapolated in Good Girls as well. Following the lives of Beth, Annie, and Ruby Hill, the central storyline is quite engaging and alarming too.
The lives of these girls change completely when they find themselves in the middle of an active grocery robbery run, which exposes them to the criminal underworld. Reading this, you might feel disconnected with the plot but trust us, you won’t know it until you watch it. The suspenseful narrative is fast-paced but much layered, meaning that it unfolds as the episodes progress, something that’s reminiscent of Desperate Housewives.
3. 90210 (2008 – 2013)
Stream on – Amazon Prime Video
Don’t let the cryptic number stray you from watching it because this engaging show is one worth watching. It followed the lives of a group of teenagers living in Beverly Hills, California. The show was known for its drama, sex, and soap opera-like storylines, which is very similar to what Desperate Housewives, is all about.
One of the reasons why you will love watching 90210 if you like Desperate Housewives is due to the central cast being entirely centered on female characters. Both shows explore the secrets and lies that lurk beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Pair that with the unexpected twists and turns and you are bound to have the most engaging viewing experience.
4. Dead to Me (2019 – 2022)
Stream on – Netflix
Typically, when you think of Desperate Housewives, you wouldn’t think Dead to Me would be of a similar genre but somehow, it is. The comedy-drama series follows two strangers who cross paths in a grief support group but they quickly grow closer due to the loss.
But, things do take a turn when the central mystery of the show is revealed. This is where the audience is left in complete shock knowing that Judy is in the support group mourning the loss of Jen’s husband, whom she ended up killing in a hit-and-run case. How things escalate from there is what the show is all about. It is typically where things take a turn for the worse. The dark comedy, paired with some of the heartbreaking moments almost makes both these shows similar.
5. Revenge (2011 – 2015)
Stream on – Hulu, Amazon Prime Video
Another amazing alternative to Desperate Housewives that we’d personally recommend you watch is Revenge. The blend of drama, twists, and secrets is what makes these two shows so similar. It follows the life of a protagonist who is in the process of seeking revenge for the people who ruined her family.
Compared to Desperate Housewives, Revenge is a lot darker when it comes to the plot. But, when you get to unfold the true lives of the characters and their secrets will remind you a lot about Desperate Housewives, making it a worthy watch. The entire plot is gripping and extremely rewarding, which means that you aren’t going to want to pause the show. Also, the cast is a treat to watch.
6. Ugly Betty (2006 – 2010)
Stream on – Netflix
Another comedy-drama series that we’d 100% recommend as an alternative to Desperate Housewives is Ugly Betty. The series is inspired by the Colombian telenovela “Yo soy Betty, la fea”, which has been created by Fernando Gaitán, and stars America Ferrera as Betty Suarez, a bright but quirky girl who lands a job at a prestigious New York City fashion magazine despite not fitting in with the high-fashion crowd.
Both shows are set in affluent communities (Ugly Betty in New York City and Desperate Housewives in the fictional town of Wisteria Lane). This allows them to explore themes of wealth, privilege, and social climbing. Also, the universal themes of family, friendship, love, and betrayal make them good shows to binge-watch.
7. Devious Maids (2013 – 2016)
Stream on – Hulu, Prime Video
Devious Maids is a popular American television comedy-drama and mystery series, which premiered in 2013. Created by Marc Cherry, the same creator as the hugely popular Desperate Housewives, the show follows the lives of five Latina maids working for wealthy and powerful families in Beverly Hills.
Both shows focus on the lives of women and their struggles in a society that’s driven by wealth and appearances. Also, when it comes to the central mystery, you are bound to have elements of surprise that will leave you on the edge of your seat from the start till the end.
8. Pretty Little Liars (2010 – 2017)
Stream on – Netflix, Prime Video
Desperate Housewives and Pretty Little Liars are pretty much the same, except for the age cohort of the protagonists. PLL focuses on teens and centers the plot around drama, mystery, scandals, abduction, and a storyline that peels like an onion with each episode.
If you liked watching how the protagonists in Desperate Housewives have deep and dark secrets, you will love binge-watching the same in Pretty Little Liars. Also, it is thought-provoking, which means that things are going to be a lot more unexpected than you think. Pair it with the engaging theories and your mind is about to be blown away.
9. Sex and the City (1998 – 2004)
Stream on – HBO Max
Last on the list is Sex and the City, which is an OG show that precedes Desperate Housewives. The series ended the same year Desperate Housewives premiered. So, if you have yet to watch it and want a similar essence of uptight wives from suburban communities, Sex and the City is a must-watch.
Themes of exploring female characters, their lives, drama, relationships, and scandal are something that draws a lot of similarity with Desperate Housewives. The secrets and confessions that are revealed along the way further add fuel to the fire. Overall, it is one of those lazy and relaxing watches that you can start and enjoy with your girlfriends while sipping on some wine and eating junk food.