The Regularly Scheduled TV Show Blog

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Desperate Housewives Overview

One of 2004’s largest hits that could and should be even bigger in the upcoming season. This show is one of the most misunderstood concepts in TV. A show that looks like something that escaped from the Lifetime Network, but actually being more like a creation borne in the depths of literary mastery. This show is a satire on suburban life, or more like “Is that what really goes on in the suburbs?” The series began with a bang, literally, as one of the most revered housewives commits suicide in her house. She later becomes the narrator of the show, sort of an angel's eye view of Mysteria Lane, where the show takes place. The mystery of why a woman with a "perfect" life would kill herself is the plot of the first season, but don't fool yourselves, this plot is only one storyline in a show that is littered with them, it just happens to be the most intriguing of the bunch. There are numerous plot lines, such as Eva Longoria's character, Gabrielle, who after her friend's suicide embraces an affair with her gardener, an underage teen, or the Stepford wife Bree (Marcia Cross) who has the perfect household, but maintains the house at the cost of being hated by both her children and her husband, but envied by the neighborhood as the "perfect" wife. These are just one of the many layers on a finely crafted cake.

The show's overlying mystery may be the driving plot line to the series, the numerous sub-plots creates another back story to the world of suburbia, but the greatest feature of the show is its relationships. Although the obvious relationships would be that of man and women, as many of you would expect from a show called "Desperate Housewives", but the show's relationships between mother and children are almost as important in the series. Bree's love for her children are met with dislike and hate, considering she is a Stepford wife, and Lynette’s (Felicity Huffman) relationship with her three crazy ass kids is built around that she used to be a former professional driven woman who decides to stay at home to raise her children, a constant conflict as she used to make more money then her husband at the time. But my favorite mother-child relationship is that between Susan (Teri Hatcher) and her very dependable adolescent daughter, Julie (Andrea Bowen). Susan a recent divorcee was destroyed by her divorce, to a cheating husband, and relied on her daughter to carry her through her period of depression. This creates a role-reversal in the show, in the aftermath of it all, as her daughter becomes a friend/mother-like figure to Susan. One humorous remark that I remember is when Julie comments on how she'd probably have sex for the first time before her mom ever gets it again. This type of comment shows the very relaxed nature of the relationship and how they interact as mother and daughter.

The characters of the show are what drive it, or rather the writing for the characters. They are likable cheaters (Eva Longoria), screw-ups (Teri Hatcher), frauds (Marcia Cross), and addicts (Felicity Huffman). The characters of the most hated lot still can't be hated that much. The main antagonist of the series is Paul Young(Mark Moses), husband of the suicide wife, who is later found to have murdered the mother of their stolen child, but even the villain of it all is given a pass on hatred, as his devotion to his wife and son are so great he would kill for them. I was very hesitant of the show when it started, and did not get into the show well into the first season. There was nothing on to watch on a Sunday night, so I turned to Desperate Housewives to fill the room with sound, that one show mid-season would be enough to draw me in. The show's characters call out to you on the very first show you watch, and you can't help but like them and enjoy it. The characters are flawed emotionally or morally or in 98 other ways, but the fact they seem to want to change for the better is more than enough of a character trait to like them. So, watch this show, if you watch an episode and don't like the acting, or the writing, or the characters, then you have made your choice, but if you watch an episode, I bet you'll be hooked for life. Perfection is for the suburbs, and when you watch Desperate Housewives, perfection is left at the door.


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