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5 reasons why we all need a Sheila Mosconi in our lives

Marc Cherry, the creator of Desperate Housewives is back on CBS with his new show Why Women KillThe show revolves around three couples living in the same mansion in different periods of time – 1963, 1984, and 2019 – but all three couples deal with similar problems of love, adultery, and elements of crime to boost the drama. While the three couples are exciting, and the audience is invested in their stories immediately, the real star of the show is the best friend who appears in the 1963 storyline – Sheila Mosconi.

A dark-haired woman - Sheila Mosconi - in a sleeveless top and a large, beaded necklace stares ahead.
[Image description: A dark-haired woman – Sheila Mosconi – in a sleeveless top and a large, beaded necklace stares ahead.] Via Why Women Kill
Sheila is Beth Ann’s neighbor and best friend, who is the protagonist of the 1963 storyline. Beth Ann is struggling with the newfound information about her husband’s affair and concocts an odd scheme of befriending the mistress but eventually finds herself deeper in the mess than she intended. Sheila is seen as a strong, sound-minded woman who disagrees with her friend’s plan, but remains a true friend throughout.

Below are my five reasons why we all deserve a Sheila Mosconi in our lives.

1. She’s always around

“You sit and I’ll pour.” – Sheila Mosconi

Sheila was the first person to welcome Beth Ann to the neighborhood, and was also the first to unintentionally break the news about her husband’s affair. However, Sheila isn’t a gossipy lady who thrives off drama. In fact, she genuinely cares about people’s feelings even if she doesn’t know them very well. From the beginning, Sheila becomes a shoulder for Beth Ann. The best part is that she doesn’t always agree with everything Beth Ann is doing or saying, and yet continues to be a good friend and listen to her friend. We could all use that unconditional ear and shoulder every now and then!

2. She’ll always cover for you

“You-know-who is on the phone.” – Sheila Mosconi

We all need a friend who will have our back no matter what, even if that means playing along with the white lies we’re sprinkling along the way. Sheila might disgaree with Beth Ann’s plan, but she continues to cover for her without asking too many questions. Not a lot of people would go through so much trouble for a marriage that didn’t even concern them. But not Sheila.

3. She demands respect and calls out misogyny even if it isn’t directed at her

“Just tapping on your cup? That’s how you treat a maid, not your wife.” – Sheila Mosconi

An outspoken woman, Sheila’s character is juxtaposed with another 1960s woman like Beth Ann who lives to serve her husband. Sheila does not subscribe to the misogynist mindset around her. In fact, she calls out Beth Ann’s husband’s treatment towards his wife in their first interaction, before she even became friends with her. This proves that Sheila’s principles do not sway with a personal bias and her grounded stance on life inspires the women around her, like Beth Ann, to understand their own worth better.

4. She always has the best advice

“Sex is how women gain power over men. And there is nothing humiliating about that.” – Sheila Mosconi

Not only does Sheila inspire women to expect better from their surroundings, but she also inspires us to embrace every part of ourselves. An unapologetic woman, she once again proves herself to be ahead of her time as she hands Beth Ann a ‘marital anatomy’ book to help her friend improve her sex-life. Sheila condemns any self-deprecating beliefs in her friend and makes an important point about women owning their sexuality. Not only is she a friend who pushes you out of your comfort zone, she encourages you to be the best version of yourself.

5. She is a beacon of unconditional support 

“Whatever it is, I don’t judge.” – Sheila Mosconi

As the series progresses, she realizes her friend is struggling with more than she can understand. Instead of assuming to know everything, and instead of backing away, she makes the simple promise to listen and not judge. In the face of friendship, she puts herself aside and stands by Beth Ann as simply her friend because that’s what she needs. Her wisdom radiates through her quirky kindness and makes us all wish someone would make us that promise once in a while.

Sheila Mosconi may not be the main character of the show, but she certainly elevates it with her complex self, as stands out against the backdrop of the patriarchal 1960s setting she is placed in. The setting helps highlight how progressive Sheila really is and emphasizes her importance as she becomes an inspiration and a friend to the otherwise lonely Beth Ann.

Moreover, her importance goes beyond the storyline she is fitted into, as Sheila breaks stereotypes of gossipy-neighborhood ladies and friends who talk behind your back – a common trope in dramaedies otherwise. Instead, Sheila is a well-constructed character who resonates with the 21st century audience just as much, for being an honest, fierce, and unconditional friend who inspires Beth Ann on screen and the rest of the world off of it.

By Shehrbano Naqvi

Shehrbano Naqvi is a Pakistani writer currently living in Rome after completing her undergraduate degree from John Cabot University. Naqvi believes very strongly in the power of the pen, which is why she is also pursuing teaching English and the skill of writing. Although she has always identified as a short story writer, over the past year she has found a companionship in poetry as it helps her navigate her brother's untimely passing last year. His loss an inspiration, her writing now focuses primarily on mental health, toxic conventions, and life after death.