Drama shows are kind of rare on network TV on this day and age. Sure, there are plenty of cop shows and there’s a legal show or two. But most shows having any interaction between ordinary people are either comedies or on cable.
Desperate Housewives is a drama show with some of the best writing on television today. So says I, admittedly more of a competitive reality show aficionado than the art of the act. But for Desperate Housewives I always clear my Sunday evening calendar with relish for what I know will be an enjoyable hour of way out activity on a sweet little street known as Wisteria Lane.
At times I pondered just what on earth the writers of the many dramas of the Desperate Housewives were getting at with some of the stranger stories that came out of what should be a most run-of-the-mill street in middle America.
Ah, maybe THAT’S exactly the point, as I muse. Perhaps the suburbs across the fruited plains are not as ordinary as we like to think, maybe those soccer moms busy car-pooling to the dance classes and swim meets are involved in activities deep, sinister, even x-rated.
Yet Desperate Housewives becomes a kind of parody of this very concept. The writers do a great job of it.
The meat of this series has always been the four characters of Bree, Gaby, Lynette, and Susan, played by Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Felicity Huffman, and Teri Hatcher respectively. Bree is a meticulous Martha Stewart type who is comfortable in white gloves, Gaby has a touch of Hispanic hysteria as she pursues her ordinary life after years as a fashion model, Lynette is a mother of many who represents with her husband Tom the most perfect of marriages, while Susan is the emotional wreck who requires support in all she undertakes.
There have been many semi-permanent residents of Wisteria Land, currently Renee Perry, played by Vanessa Williams, a sophisticated urbanite once married to a famous sports star who now peps up life on Wisteria Lane by seduction and intrigue.
The semi-permanent residents leave Wisteria Lane via some scripting that will have them dying off or running off with a lesbian lover as the writers see fit.
The story lines of Desperate Housewives' past seven seasons have challenged the writers mightily and captured the minds of viewers across the country whose boring suburban lives pale in comparison to the housewives on Wisteria Lane.
I remember Tom Scavo’s evil love child who tried to kill Lynette. I recall the Solis’ effort to have a child via in vitro fertilization of a surrogate ending with the surprise birth of a black baby. Who could forget that horrible tornado that ripped through Wisteria Lane, killing Bree’s ex-husband? Speaking of Bree, she of the perfect scones and proper tea service, has had plenty of lovers. She has a homosexual son who killed Carlos Solis’ mother in an automobile accident. Their lives intertwine in the most unusual of ways.
You’ll not have Desperate Housewives without desperate husbands, one must assume.
Carlos Solis, Mike Delfino, Tom Scavo are married to Gaby, Susan and Lynette respectively. Bree is currently unattached but she was married to one of my favorite male characters on this show, played by Kyle MacLachlan.
Which is not to say that Bree is man-less, oh no, Bree is never man-less. Last season she was bedding a much younger fellow and involved in a love triangle that also involved the young fellow’s father. This year Bree has a detective as a lover and this fact becomes important in this season’s new and way out story line.
For Carlos killed Gaby’s evil stepfather who returned for no discernible reason to torment her as he did in her childhood. All four of the housewives happened to be in attendance when the murder happened and all participated in a cover-up.
Gaby’s stepfather was buried in a copse of woods and now the viewers watch as Susan cries over dead hamsters, Gaby struggles to keep everyone in line with silence, Lynette deals with an impending divorce while keeping the crime from her children, and Bree must keep her detective boyfriend unaware of the criminal event by any means at her disposal, which does not exclude passionate sex.
This somewhat bizarre storyline lends itself well to a bit of macabre comedy. For while the housewives handily buried Gaby’s stepfather’s body, they forgot all about his car. In an attempt by Bree and Gaby to deal with this problem, we have one of the funniest scenes ever on this series, enjoy.
Since ABC has announced that this is the last season for Desperate Housewives, as they say that all good things must end, and since on their own web site ABC asserts that this season will rock and roil like no other, be sure to tune in on Sunday nights, ABC, at 9p/8c to not miss a second of the best writing for a drama series on television.
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