Monday, October 17, 2011

A Depserate Plea

There is a pun in the title. Yes, I am referring to ABC's Desperate Housewives, of which the eighth and final season premiere is currently airing. I decided to write a bit about the show, considering it used to be one of my favorite shows. Emphasize the words "used to be".
Since the final season of the prolific dramedy is airing soon, I thought I'd dedicate a full-on marathon, from start to finish, of the show. (Note: I started writing this sometime in the summer.) Before I highlight the major contrasts between the show's beginning and its recent seasons, allow me to shed some light on the background of the show, for those that have never seen it. If you plan on watching it, do not read this post. First, the characters.

Susan Mayer

Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) is a klutzy, ditsy, slutty (in my eyes) gal, whose romantic conquests are quite tedious throughout the show. And there are plenty of them. She has one daughter, whom my dad and I call "Chicken Run" because she bears a keen resemblance to the evil Mrs. Tweedy.
Lynette Scavo

Next is Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), a mother of four (becomes five in season three, then back to four in season four...then five in season six) and an on-off corporate executive for advertising. In my opinion, she's not the greatest of mothers, as she so often believes as a truth. In fact, she just might be more irritating than Susan, as she aims to ruin the lives of those she disagrees with, while the other one just complicates it with her need to be involved.

Bree Van de Kamp
Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross), later Bree Hodge, is your ideal housewife: amazing cook, keeps her house looking spotless, and she looks perfectly prim herself. Out of the four housewives, she's been through the most drama, and she handles her issues the best. So far, she's done nothing that I would criticize her for. She has two children, both of whom have visited the dark side. Meaning they've been quite naughty.

Gabrielle Solis
Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) is a former fashion model (all the stereotypical traits entailed) and married to a rich businessman (then divorced, then back together) named Carlos Solis (Ricardo Antonio Chavira). He's I guess what one would call a Desperate Husband. Since she's a Desperate Housewife...and he's her husband. Plus, he is in the show continuously from the beginning, unlike other guys. Anyway, Gabby goes through a transition in season five, birthing two girls, which marks her departure from the coveted world of being pretty and draped in couture. But she still remains a spoiled diva throughout either way.

Edie Britt
Other important characters are Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the neighborhood "slut" (rightfully Susan's title) though I see her as a committed girlfriend when she is in a relationship, and she is in one most of the time, which ends with her heart being broken; Mike Delfino (James Denton), Susan's unfortunate target of obsession, who is a plumber with a dark past...and he likes to be without his shirt on; Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan), Bree's ideal husband starting season three, who has several skeletons in his closet, including a secret involving Mr. Delfino; Tom Scavo (Doug Savant), Lynette's bitch of a husband who whines and feels emasculated throughout the show; Andrew Van de Kamp (Shawn Pyfrom), Bree's homosexual son who is an evil boy in the first seasons but returns as a polite, witty adult later on; Danielle Van de Kamp (Joy Lauren), Bree's trampy daughter who starts the teen pregnancy trend in seasons three and four; Julie Mayer (Andrea Bowen), aka Chicken Run, Susan's goody-goody daughter...nothing interesting happening there; and finally, there's Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong), dear friend to the other housewives and seemingly perfect mother, wife, and woman...until one fateful day in 2004.

Moving on, every season has a new "secret" which will be revealed in bits and pieces throughout, then all at once at the end of the season, or in some cases in the middle of the season. Most of the time, a new family moves onto Wisteria Lane and they always have a secret to share. As I said before, the secrets were so jaw-dropping and unbelievable in the beginning, but as the show progressed and spoiled, so did the secrets. Anyway, now let's move on to the show.

Desperate Housewives starts with Mary Alice Young committing suicide. Boom! Didn't see that did you? Unless you're super smart. Ahem. Her tragic death both shocks and confuses the Desperate Housewives, as they desperately try to find out what she did to commit the horrible act. No one is more curious than nosy Susan Mayer, as she is the one who grows an eternal hatred for Mary Alice's husband, Paul Young (Mark Moses), who, according to Susan, shows no grief for his wife's death and therefore had something to do with her death. Or, you know, he likes to keep to himself and not share with you, Susan. Just want to let you know, Susan is a drama-junkie (she was called that on occasion) and if nothing interesting is going on in her life, she yearns to find something to shake things up. That includes poking into other people's business, and more importantly, not her's. While Mary Alice's suicide is explained little by little, the Desperate Housewives have secrets/issues of their own to deal with.

Perfect American Family...NOT
Bree is in the middle of a puzzling divorce from her (first) husband, Rex Van de Kamp (Robert Culp). When I say puzzling, I mean that Rex was eager to leave Bree, then he wanted to reconcile, then he wanted to share his S&M cravings with Bree, then he got sick, and died thinking Bree poisoned him. After all she did for him? Really? Well, she was indirectly involved with his death, but she had no idea. George Williams (Roger Bart), the crazy town pharmacist, developed a strong crush for Bree, who appeared to return the affection. Not as passionately as him, but still. As crazy and in love as George is, he switched Rex's medication with something that evidently killed him. Every soap has their evil pharmacist, right? In the end of that, George kills himself with an overdose, leaving Bree in a delicate situation. That's nothing compared to the tragedy that occurs later in the show.

"What? My kids aren't home? Huh!"
Lynette deals with being a mother, and, as cliched as ever, she's as frazzled as any new mother might be. But then you notice that her three boys are five-years-old and you think, "Shouldn't she be used to them by now?" Add a newborn girl into the mix, too. "Still, suck it up!" After the first couple of episodes, you see that she barely sees her kids anyway! With a babysitter and her habit to dump her kids on her friends so much, you learn that Lynette is not only not a great mother, but that she undeservedly acts like one. Plus, when she's with her kids, she is laying on the couch, "exhausted", and when her kids need something, she bribes them with candy to shut up. She has no sense of discipline, which all children need once in a while. Especially her rambunctious boys. At the end of the season, Tom suggests that he and her switch places as the bacon-bringer, allowing Lynette to work again. Finally, she'll get some time away from her kids.

Gabby, the unattended, bored housewife she is, daily seduces her teenage gardener, John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe), in hopes her husband won't find out. In an obvious way, this scenario has been overdone by soap operas, yet I found it enticing nonetheless. When I was younger, I always rooted for Gabby and John to end up together. When they are reunited in later seasons, I would jitter (verb. to behave like an excited little girl) in my seat with glee. Now, I hope for Carlos to reclaim his love for Gabby. Odd how age can alter your opinions. Anyway, after Gabby's steamy lust affair has subsided, Carlos goes to jail for embezzlement. Such a businessman thing to do, and when I say thing I mean cliche. At that moment, all of a sudden, Gabby is all about supporting her husband and forgets her immature affair. In the end, John tells Carlos about his affair with Gabby in order to get Carlos to release his rage and get eight years in prison.

Come on Mike, you're not a werewolf.
Susan (sigh) pulls several desperate attempts to snag Mike into falling in love with her. Her competition is Edie, who clearly surpasses her on every level. Alas, Marc Cherry's favorite character is Susan, so she wins Mike. (It won't last on a constant rate, however.) That's pretty much it, unless you include her hatred for Paul Young and his son Zach Young (Cody Kasch), who obsesses over Chicken Run.

Which reminds me: the end-of-the-season secret. Mary Alice Young killed herself because she had received a letter that day, which read something like, "I know what you did. It makes me sick." The sender of that letter was Martha Huber, a short-lived character who always had her nose everywhere. Much like Susan, but that's not important. Paul strangled Martha, for he knew it was she who sent the letter that caused his beloved wife to take her own life. Mike, who moved on Wisteria Lane to find Deirdra's killer. Deidra is his ex-girlfriend, and he was hired by her father to kill the person who took his baby girl from him. He spends his time on Wisteria Lane as a plumber, dating Susan in the meantime. When does he do his research on the Lane? Uh, never. Anyway, how are Mary Alice's death and Mike's motive related? Glad you asked. When Mary Alice was a nurse in Utah, under the name Angela Forrest, she encountered a drug addict who gave her own baby boy, Dana, to her. Years later, Mary Alice, Paul, and their son, now called Zach, reside in Wisteria Lane. The now-clean drug addict finds them and says she's ready to be a mom. What's the woman's name? Deirdra. The pieces are falling into place! Mary Alice, refusing to give up her child, brutally murders Deirdra, cutting her up and placing her remains in a toy chest. Scary, right? Then, years later, Martha Huber discovers her secret, blackmails Mary Alice, causing her untimely suicide. It's all out in the open now. And one more thing: Mike is Zach's real father. What?! That's basically the first season in an enlarged nutshell.

After this engrossing season, I'm hooked, along with millions of other viewers. The show received six Emmys and two Golden Globes just from that season! The Globe went to Teri Hatcher and the Emmy went to Felicity Huffman...not my choice of winners, but the show benefited either way. By the first season, the show became the fourth most-watched in the U.S., garnering close to 24 million viewers. (This will be useful info to compare each season's reception.)

Coming into the second season, we have some new neighbors: the Applewhites. Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), a religious African-American mother of two, Matthew (Mehcad Brooks) and Caleb (NaShawn Kearse). Note that she is the only African-American housewife to appear in the show, unless you count single gal Renee in season seven. I thought that might be an interesting fact for everyone. I hope it was. Anyway, what's going on with our Desperate Housewives?

George Williams...sick.

Bree copes with her husband's death, while dating the man who poisoned him. The two become engaged, for short while, until George's true insane colors are shown when he forces Bree to wear her goddamn engagement ring, goddammit. Bree also battles alcoholism and her unhealthy relationship with her evil son, Andrew. (Note: he will become a sweetheart later in the show.) Just to give you an idea, Andrew sleeps with Bree's sponsor/love interest, who happens to be a sex addict. After that stunt, Bree drops him off in the middle of nowhere. With his possessions of course, don't be silly.

Lynette is back in the corporate world of advertising, encountering demanding bosses, doing the job of uninvolved superiors, and being the boss of her husband, who eventually comes back to work. Just your average office politics.

She misses the gardener, you can tell.
Gabby decides to be totally faithful to her husband, while they prepare to have a baby. While she did get pregnant, she didn't know who the father was. Uh oh! Looks like someone slipped. I don't believe we're ever really sure on who the father is. Oh well, the baby was miscarried when Gabby fell down the stairs anyway. And she was just getting excited to be a mother. The problem is supposedly solved when their maid, Xiao-Mei, carries their baby. This picture is disturbed when Carlos has an affair with her, bringing about the Solis divorce. Hmm, Gabby has a long-term affair with their teenage gardener, and Carlos is physically romantic with the oven of their child. Evidently a combination for divorce.

 "Oh, what should I do? I'm so hopeless."
Susan worries herself about the new relationship between Edie and her ex-husband, Karl (Richard Burgi). Now, why does she have to involve herself in this? Can't she be satisfied with Mike? Oh, she dumped him because he has to be Zach's father, and she hates Zach. Hatred conquers love I suppose. Aren't they the same in the end? Sigh. Well, Karl sneaks his way into bed with Susan, telling her that Edie kicked him out. Wouldn't you believe it? Susan is utterly insulted! Or, she is reacting this way because she wants the attention. Let's go with that. Between Mike and Karl, whom she marries for medical insurance, she dates Dr. Ron, her attractive physician. Apparently she has a wandering spleen and needs surgery. Too bad it didn't kill her. Who said that? With three guys this season, she ends up waiting for Mike's proposal. Fortunately for him, he was hit by a car, with a familiar driver behind the wheel....

The Applewhites
Now, time for the Applewhite secret. Betty and her son, Matthew, are striving to keep up their warm facade, avoiding the public discovery of Caleb, who is mentally challenged and whom they have locked in their basement. Of course, this is Wisteria Lane, where no secrets are ever kept. Seriously. Meanwhile, Matthew starts dating Danielle, Bree's daughter, which would show relevance to the secret. Before moving on the Lane, Caleb brutally assaulted Matthew's ex-girlfriend, Melanie Foster, after she disgustedly rejected him. Later, she is pronounced dead, and the Applewhites move, for Betty will do anything to protect her innocent, feeble son. Soon, it is revealed that it was Matthew who killed Melanie, after she threatened to go to the police and report Caleb for assault. This was justified, in a way, for Matthew was just protecting his brother, as his mother would have done. However, Betty demands Matthew be locked up, deeming him dangerous. Before she gets the chance to report him, he runs away with Danielle, which foreshadows him murdering her. In the end, Bree and Betty come to the rescue, having the police shoot an armed Matthew. While this mystery is wrapped up, the Applewhites, Betty and Caleb, leave Wisteria Lane. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you who ran over Mike. It was Orson Hodge. You're welcome.

This season wasn't as intriguing as the first, but it still grasped my interest. Even critics noticed the slump in the second season, blaming an absent Marc Cherry from the writing team. For the third season, he promised to return to his position as head writer. I'm assuming it's "head" since he created the show. Anyway, the show was still the fourth most-watched show, with an average of close to 22 million viewers.

The third season began with the marriage of Bree and Orson, who has suspicious ties to a recently found dead body. And he ran over Mike, but shh. Speaking of whom, Mike falls into a coma, and when he wakes up...he has amnesia. The first signs of a soap opera, I believe. The wonderful and funny thing about this situation? He can't remember Susan. At all. Besides, she's too busy to be with him when he wakes up. Why, she's at a romantic cabin with Ian Hainsworth (Dougray Scott), doing romantic stuff. I wonder why she didn't wait for "the love of her life" to wake up before running off with a charming Englishman. Does the word "whore" mean anything here? I think so. You know who is with Mike when he wakes up? Edie Britt, that's who! And no, she doesn't trick him by saying that she was his girlfriend. She tells him the truth: that he dated Susan, and she treated him like dirt. She's honest and sexy. And now she's Mike's.
Aww, Susan and...oh it's just Ian.
You can imagine Susan's flabbergasted reaction when she finds Edie on top of him in the hospital. My reaction was laughing my ass off. Seeing this, she went back to Ian, who eventually proposes to her, but for wrong intentions. He was jealous of Mike and his effect on Susan, so he wanted to beat him to the punch. I wonder where that saying came from? Anyway, when Mike is discharged from the hospital, he moves into a jail cell. Fun! He's there as a suspect for the murder of Monique, the woman found dead and whom Orson pretended not to identify. Why Mike? His wrench was uncovered, and had traces of Monique's blood on it. He could have avoided that predicament if he hadn't went to the woods to bury his toolbox. Dumbass.

"So, my pizzeria is just nice?"
What else is going on, on Wisteria Lane? Well, Lynette has a new addition to her already cluttered household: the illegitimate child of Tom's one-night stand. Lovely. Not only her, whose name is Kayla (Rachel Fox), but her white-trash mother too. Nora (Kiersten Warren) stirs up lots of trouble on the Scavo front, attempting to ruin Tom and Lynette's marriage. Even if she were to succeed, why would Tom end up with Nora? Really? It wasn't Nora who caused trouble in Lynette's marriage, but rather Tom's dream: a pizzeria. Spending all the money they had, Tom and Lynette opened up Scavo's Pizzeria, a pathetic venture which would emphasize Tom's bitchy side. He wants to be the boss of this joint, so he expects Lynette to obey all his commands, no matter how ridiculous. I mean, he acts like a disappointed brat when Lynette produces the wrong chairs for his grand opening. I long for this business to tank.
Meanwhile, when he throws out his back (again, bitch), Lynette hires Rick (Jason Gedrick), an attractive four-star chef with the hots for Lynette. The hots? After firing Rick out of guilt that she would cheat, Lynette and Tom get into an argument about him. Right before you hear the possible "divorce", Lynette is diagnosed with lymphoma. Boom!

Gabby and Victor.
Like Gabby and Carlos without the passion.

Gabby and Carlos are going through their divorce, with the usual rich-people battle of "I want this!" and "You can't have that!" This is actually a humorous part of the show, for their ways of getting under each other's skin are hilarious. One of which includes Gabby bringing home her date, who is Carlos's business rival, and pretending to have wild sex with him by shaking the bed. It may sound overdone, but sometimes these corny classics can make you laugh quite a bit. After that, Gabby gets married to Mayor Victor Lang (John Slattery), who got involved with her to obtain the Latino vote in his governor election. Carlos gets involved with Edie, and the two try to have a baby; Carlos discovers her using birth control, and calls the whole thing off. This would result in the shocking cliffhanger of Edie hanging herself.

Now, onto Bree Hodge. This would probably be the most dramatic season for her. While her husband is suspected of murdering his ex-wife, Alma (Valerie Mahaffey), she has to endure Orson's sadistic mother, Gloria (Dixie Carter). When Alma resurfaces, she and Gloria scheme to win Orson back, stealing him from Bree. To do this, the two drugged Orson which allowed Alma to have her way with him while he was unconscious. Have your way means have sex with, by the way. Gloria, cruel as she is, lures Bree into a bathtub, after drugging her, and planned to slit her wrists so Orson would think she killed herself. Gloria did this before, with Orson's father. Evil witch, I know. Fortunately, Orson saved the day, even with his injuries from when he fell off the hospital roof and miraculously survived. How did that happen? Well, Mike found out that it was Orson who ran him over and it was Orson who killed Monique, framing him. I'm going too fast, I think. I'll jump to the secret and explain.
Orson: "Here's your bloody wrench, govna."
Orson Hodge was forced into marrying Alma, a woman he detested but impregnated. After she lost her baby, Orson found it unnecessary to carry on the married facade, so he fell in love with Monique. Determined to keep Orson with Alma, Gloria killed Monique, using a certain plumber's wrench as a weapon. What was his wrench doing there? Mike was there to fix Monique's sink, and went to the hardware store to get something. When he returned, Orson was scrubbing away Monique's blood and he returned the bloody wrench to him. All this was to protect his mommy. In the end, after saving Bree, he left his mother paralyzed in a hospital. And Alma fell off her house's roof and died.

A much better season, if I do say so myself. And I do. Critics agree, saying it was a great improvement from the second season. However, viewers dropped, particularly after Marcia Cross's leave for maternity mid-season. This fact delighted me, for Bree is one of my favorite characters, and it pleases me to know I'm not alone. And that Susan's love triangle between Ian and Mike bored viewers, as well. Mischievous laugh. The show dropped down to tenth most-watched show, with about 17 million viewers.

The fourth season recaps on what was going on in the past season. Gabby rekindled a passionate romance with Carlos, just after saying "I do" to Victor. But it was only because she felt used by Victor who married Gabby because he would get a Latino vote! So do not judge her, okay? Then again, does she really love Carlos, or is she doing this out of anger? Did she really love Victor, or was he a rebound off of Carlos? Sigh. These two crazy kids have an affair, which is kept a secret, until they decide they should wait when they are both totally unattached. At this moment, their last kiss for six months or so, a private detective camped outside Gabby's house snaps pictures of them. And he's working for (get ready) Edie Britt. Carlos and Edie continued their romance, since she tried to commit suicide and was very fragile. In this season, Edie transforms into a Desperate Housewife, in terms of doing actions only someone truly desperate would do. It saddens me to witness this change, for Edie was one of the smartest women on Wisteria Lane, and does not deserve to be the one who gets dumped. I blame Marc Cherry.
Another Gabby-plot twist: Carlos is blind. This is a somewhat annoying element in the show, as he becomes overly needy. I mean, they do need attention, the blind, but not to a point where they become whiny and, dare I say, Tom Scavo-esque.

"Can you rub my feet? I have cancer, you know."
Lynette deals with having cancer, as her mother (Polly Bergen) serves as a major help around the house. Of course, Lynette being herself, does not fully appreciate her mother's contribution after being a "terrible" mother to her and her sisters. Hmm, let me see. She had breast cancer and used marijuana and alcohol to sooth her pain. Did she beat you? No. Did she forget specific events, such as what color were the shoes you wore to the winter wonderland formal in tenth grade? Sure, but didn't you, Lynette, choose work over your children events? Hey, yes you did! Anyway, Lynette plays the suffering cancer victim here, demanding the sympathy of all those around her. This was a very irksome period to watch her in, as I could not help but point out every flaw in her. Then, she beats her cancer (after four months, mind you) and is desperate to kick her mom out as soon as possible. Not before playing the "I'm-the-most-thoughtful-daughter" card on her sisters, who previously housed their mother for two years. Compared to Lynette's four months. Then, more trouble brews on the Scavo front when Kayla, Tom's illegitimate daughter, gets Lynette arrested for child abuse. (All she did was burn herself with a curling iron. I would say she's evil, but it's Lynette who gets punished, so....) Of course, Lynette always has to be right in any accusation or opinion she has, as she was with the pedophile in the previous season. Kayla ends up moving in with her grandparents, to Lynette's joy. Typical.

Cute Little Kayla
I also would like to mention a return of Rick in the show. He opens up a rival restaurant across from the Scavos' Pizzeria. (Oh no! They'll lose their business!) Anyway, he is still hung up on Lynette, God only knows why. Tom, in an eternal state of threatened jealousy, throws a brick at Rick's window. The bastard. Then, their naughty twin boys burn his restaurant down, by the command of mischievous little Kayla. Hence her departure from the show, explained above. Just thought everyone should know, Tom is a little bitch and Lynette looks like a horse.

Just another birth at the Hodges.
The lovely Bree Hodge is faking a pregnancy to protect the reputation of her whore of a daughter. Which leads me to ask, what reputation is there to be ruined? Anyway, the little tramp gives birth to a freaky-looking baby, Benjamin, and goes off to Miami to party. Lesson well-learned. Bree also gets involved in a new neighbor's secrets, as do the other housewives but she's the first to learn the secret. Well, the lesser secret. The finale-secret is revealed in, you guessed it, the season finale. Focusing on Bree and her household, I would like to note how Orson has become more of a supporting role, who jumps into the dialogue when there's something witty/corny to comment on. This is truly upsetting, for Orson is not only the most perfect husband on Wisteria Lane, but my favorite male character. Sorry Mike. Not really.

Speaking of Mike, he becomes a drug addict (they're just muscle relaxers, calm down) on account of the stress of having a baby with Susan. Who wouldn't be taking drugs? I'm surprised he wasn't on really hard-core drugs, living with that mess of a woman. While her pregnancy progresses, she wants the best for her child, which apparently is a $10,000 a year preschool. What would they teach there that's higher quality than at a normal preschool? Anyway, all parents want the best for their children, and that's what they give them from what they can afford. But Susan is (ugh) Susan, so she demands what she wants. This leads Mike to work painful shifts and injure his shoulder, hence the pill-popping addiction. Of course, when Susan finds out he's addicted, she threatens to leave him unless he goes to rehab. (Take your chance Mike! Get the hell out of there!) He went to rehab. A vacation from Susan's incisive, high-maintenance personality. And a break from those disgusting chicken legs.
Chicken Run: "Howcanyounotrememberme? Ugh."
Which reminds me, Chicken Run does some snooping of her own, just like her mother. She sticks her nose into the business of the new neighbor's daughter, Dylan (Lyndsy Fonseca), who she was friends with when they were three. And Dylan doesn't remember our little Chicken Run. Well, duh. It's hilarious how Chicken Run cannot believe that Dylan doesn't remember anything. "Don'tyouremember? Yourfavoritecolorwaspurplewhenyouwerethree. Minewasyellow. Uh, hello?" Picture her saying that, it's much more funny.

I almost forgot! Another Susan Mayer blunder. More like catastrophe. Remember when Orson ran over Mike? Well, Orson is, all of a sudden, feeling guilty for what he did. Not to mention his nude sleep-walking, as seen by awkward Susan. Well, during one of his sleepwalks, fully dressed this time, Chicken Run heard his confession of running over Mike. "Ohmigod. Areyouserious?" (She talks that fast.) She tells Mike what he said, and Mike confronts Orson, who genuinely apologizes with tears. Might I emphasize genuinely once more. Like a total dumbass, Mike leaks this information to Susan, making her promise to let him handle it. Of course, Susan can't keep her goddamn mouth shut, so she storms to Bree's house, all huffy and clad in maternity lingerie (again, slut), and scorns Orson with "how dare you" and "you are forbidden to visit us". Yada yada yada. This outburst, most unfortunately, affects Bree, who kicks him out! This marks the beginning of the end for this ideal couple. And it's all thanks to the dipshit duo of Chicken Run and Susan.

Katherine Mayfair
Who's next? Ah, yes! Our new neighbor. Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany), who used to live on Wisteria Lane back when it was only Susan and Mary Alice, returns with her new husband, Adam (Nathan Fillion), and her daughter Dylan. Of course, no one moves to Wisteria Lane unless they're hiding something, which they are. Oh, they are. Their first secret, which is a plain marital dispute, is that Adam cheated on Katherine with a woman who would file a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment. (Smart way to earn a hefty penny.) Adam, fearing that she would win the case, which she would, decides to settle, saying he doesn't want his gynecological license to be tainted. Or something like that. The Mayfairs' would lose their home and reputation there in Chicago, so they moved on the Lane. As we know, Bree helped uncover that secret, leading to the separation of Adam and Katherine. However, that is not the finale-worthy secret. Oh, no. This secret is incredibly tragic and shocking, one of two moments where I cried in the entire series. Again, and quite obviously, do not read on if you plan on watching the show.
Katherine and Bree held hostage
Katherine's first husband, Wayne Davis (Gary Cole), was abusive to her when they were married, leading her to escape his clutches and move to Wisteria Lane with Dylan. One night, Wayne tracked her down and gave Dylan a doll. After placing the doll on top of a dresser, she and Wayne become violent downstairs. Meanwhile, Dylan, a young girl only wishing to play with her doll, reaches for the precariously placed doll. Then, after Katherine forced Wayne out, she went find her daughter crushed under the dresser. Just writing this is making me queasy and tear up. Fearing Wayne's wrath upon finding his dead daughter, Katherine and her aunt bury her in the famous crime hiding place: the woods. Katherine then moves to Chicago, marries Adam, and adopts a girl with a keen resemblance to Dylan.
How this secret is uncovered and buried once again involves a return of Wayne. Long story short, Katherine kills him. The Desperate Housewives, who previously called Katherine a frigid bitch, suck her into their little clique. Did I mention Edie was never really accepted in their group? Wait, where did Edie come from? Anyway, Katherine is now a Desperate Housewife. Lucky her!

This season was definitely one of the greatest one in the series. Maybe because Dana Delany was added to the cast, bringing another Bree into the mix. Maybe because of the epic tornado episode. Maybe there were more opportunities to mock Chicken Run. Who knows. Should I have put question marks there? Anyway, this season was ranked eighth highest-watched, an improvement from the last season, with nearly 18 million viewers.

Now, onto the fifth season. This is the last season, I triple promise! Plus, this is the best of them all, in my humble (yeah right) opinion. For starters, the show fast-forwards five years. Whoa! Lynette's kids are still following their bad streak, as teenagers getting in trouble with the law. Gabby, apparently taking advantage of her husband not being able to see her and therefore expect her to stay in shape, has two little (ha!) girls, who I will call the Cabbage Patch kids. Because they're chubby. Susan is happily divorced from Mike and has a new boy toy named Jackson (Gale Harold). Chicken Run isn't in the main credits anymore, just an occasional guest star. Rats. Bree and Katherine collaborate on a successful catering business, while Bree writes a best-selling cookbook. Meanwhile, Bree and Orson's marriage take a turn for the worse, to my utter dismay. The big mystery of this season revolves around Dave Williams (Neal McDonough), Edie Britt's new husband. (What?! -SNL reference)

(Note: if you want to remember this show as the great, original mystery/comedy it formerly was, do not continue on to season six and on. If you already have...I'm so sorry.)

As I rewatched this season, I continued to notice more and more things wrong with it. We'll call them "errors". Something my dad pointed out, many times, and I found to be completely factual, is that there are some factors that are totally irrelevant. First, there's time. Edie's broken leg healed over the course of five or six episodes, while Lynette's cancer stuck around for about four months. That's just a ridiculous example. Incredible yes? Second, there's money. Money is thrown around on the show like absolutely nothing. "You need a $20,000 loan? Sure, no problem!" "I get paid $3 an hour, and I fucking love it" I'm paraphrasing, of course, but you get the idea.

Tom's Pathetic Mid-life Crisis Band
There's Carlos on the tambourine!
Onto our Housewives. Lynette's little boy ain't so little anymore. Young Porter (I think that's his name, they're interchangeable really) has an affair with his friend's hot mom. But this affair isn't as steamy as one would picture it, because the hot mom has an abusive husband. Surprise! Guess he doesn't like his wife sleeping with teenage boys. Unlike Carlos, wink face. Anyway, that affair ends eventually, with the husband's bar burning down! Did Porter do it? Spoiler alert, nope. Tom undergoes a change of heart. That damn mid-life crisis. He does some stupid things in this season, which include buying a red convertible and starting a garage band with the other Desperate Husbands. Fucking A! It's hilarious, really. Anything else? Not that much, except Lynette being her usual always-must-be-right, conniving bitch. Oh yeah, I said bitch.

Susan, once again, gets herself tangled in some messed-up relationship with her "sexy" housepainter, Jackson. What's with her and handymen? (Karl would later point that out, God love him.) This whole plot is really boring, so I'll casually move on like...there's no Chicken Run in this season! Except when she visits with her new boyfriend, who is much older than her. (If any of you watched Wings, it's Brian Hackett...ouch.) In the middle of the season, Susan reaches the peak of bitchiness when she tries her best to sabotage Mike's new relationship with (get ready) Katherine (!). Not only that, but she acts as if she's fine with it, fucking bitch. (I get riled up when so much as thinking about her idiocy. Bitch.)
Second Cutest Couple on the Lane
For their short-lived romance, Mike and Katherine were probably the second most adorable couple on Wisteria Lane (behind Bree and Orson...which brings me to their demise, as well.)

Formerly the most ideal married couple on the Lane, Bree and Orson encounter trouble as her cookbook gains more fame. Orson feels emasculated, while Bree is the anti-50s housewife, working. As if their crumbling marriage weren't enough, the writers have to transform Orson into a lying, annoying, sinister kleptomaniac. Marc Cherry just couldn't keep perfect characters perfect. Yes, I blame him for many things. Andrew becomes part of the main cast, to my delight. He's the only part of the show that remains witty and I just love how protective he is of his mother. He underwent the best change, by far, in the show. Correction, the only good change in the show. All other changes, simply, suck.

"Juanita! Get in the car!"
(She actually said this.)
The once glamorous Gabby Soils is now a plump housewife, thanks to the lack of make-up and short hair. (Note: short hair makes you look fatter, so if you're thinking of a change, don't cut that hair ladies. If you already have short hair, take a look in the mirror and assess your body type. If you think you look great, don't change. Otherwise....) But she doesn't have to look good with a blind husband! Until that blind husband regains his sight from the impact of a fall, or something. Before returning him from blindness, he was part of Tom's ludicrous garage band...playing the tambourine! The tambourine! I laughed for several minutes. When he gets his sight back, the Solis', all-of-a-sudden, are filthy rich again. Well, Carlos gets his old job back, his boss is murdered by his wife, he gets that job, and all the pieces fall into place, I suppose. Money's not a factor, so who cares!

Maniacal Dave Williams
Okay. Our last, engrossing mystery of the rest of the show's run. Dave Williams, Edie's new husband...has a secret. No need to commercialize it, I'll give it to you straight. Susan (wait, how did that bitch get into this?! I'll explain.) and Mike, before their divorce, were part of a car accident that proved to be fatal to the other car. In that other car were a woman and her daughter, Lila and Paige Dash. Those two ladies were the wife and daughter of Dave Dash aka Dave Williams. Boom! And Dave moved onto the Lane to get revenge on Mike and Susan by doing something bad to them. He would kill their son, M.J.! Not M.J.! (Just want to say, he shows signs of retardation. I'm not being rude, it's a serious condition not to be joked about.) Summing that mystery up, Dave doesn't kill M.J., he just returns to a psychiatric hospital. Oh, and he was the culprit of the bar burning down; he did that to burn the evidence of his former therapist's body, who he strangled. I used to find Dave Williams such a menacing, twisted character when I first watched him in action, with his striking blue eyes and picture-perfect smile (which add up to sick maniac, kids). I was also mesmerized by his lucrative plot: kill the child of the couple who took away those you love. Now? It's rather simple. And the way he carried out this plan, how long it took him. I mean, it took him years to come up with that? Come on. (Note: you can spot Dave Williams in Captain America: The First Avenger as one of Steve Rogers's saved captives. He has a bowler hat, you can't miss it.)

I would show a picture of her being strangled.
But that is just too sad.
What of Edie Britt-Williams? There is where we find the reason for the show's downfall. After finding out her husband's true motive, to do something bad to Mike and Susan, she ran out on him and crashed into an electrical pole. She stepped out onto a puddle, hand on her car door, and bumped into a dangling wire. Electrocuted. Just you wait! She didn't die at that moment, oh no. In fact, medically-speaking, I believe she could have lived. I'm not a doctor, but it is so possible. If Orson survived falling off the roof of a hospital, Edie surely would have lived from a (minor) electrocution. Yes, Edie died shortly after. It took a while for her neighbors to call an ambulance by the way. They're all sons of bitches. And you know how sometimes characters come back from the dead in soap operas? Well, there's no chance of that happening. They had her fucking cremated. I hate Marc Cherry. She was the show's allure, the hottest among them all. She was smart, sexy, funny, and hated Susan! She was perfect! I'm acting like a petulant child who won't get her way as I write this, but I have a right to. Rest in peace, Edie Britt...that goes for the show, as well.

This season was probably among the best. I feel like I've said that about each season. It ranked ninth most-watched, and garnered close to 16 million viewers. It was also the most-watched show on ABC during the slump of scripted television shows that year. That's all I have to say about that.

(Note: as I've mentioned before, I will not be reviewing the sixth and seventh season. They're just too pointless to rewatch. If you're really curious, torture yourself.)

Quite a history that is. At its prime, the show was considered something novel and fantastic, and after I rewatched it, years after their airings, I can confidently say it still is that. Desperate Housewives did something to regular TV. It combined the mystery and drama of shows such as Twin Peaks and cheesy soap operas with the humor of something like a sitcom. In the beginning, it had the ingredients of a soap opera, yet managed to steer away from that scandalous brand. Something about the show made it a modern-day classic. Shows of the same genre out now are compared to Desperate Housewives (during its prime). It gave all viewers a chance to enjoy one of the many characters they provided. While I detest Susan and Lynette, there are thousands who adore them. Why, I have no idea, but it's not my place to question. Same thing is that I love Bree and Edie, others might hate them. Again, I'm not going to criticize why people wouldn't love the two smartest ladies of the Lane.
Although its dazzle only lasted five seasons, they were five seasons I shall never forget. Just because the show is terrible now, it does not erase my overall view of the show. In all honesty (and how awful the show is now), I will remember this as an excellent television show, full of mystery (some jaw-dropping, others yawn-worthy) and humor (intentional and self-crafted). From kids who resemble an ugly Matt Damon, Cabbage Patch Kids, and our favorite Chicken Run; to the aggravating schemes of the Bitches, Lynette Scavo and Susan Mayer-Delfino-Delfino; to the 1950s perfection and wit of Bree Van de Kamp-Hodge; to the spoiled rants and comic escapades of Gabrielle Solis; to the taunting wit directed towards the undesirable actions of undesirable characters, as well as the overall sexiness, of Edie Britt; to the laughable antics and whining of Tom Scavo; to the idealness of Orson Hodge and how he stands as the soul mate of the lovely Bree Hodge; to the many facial expressions and tones of Carlos Solis; to the delicious ingenuity of Katherine Mayfair and her marvelous parallel and sisterly friendship with Bree; to the surprising sensibility and geniality of working-man Mike Delfino; to the uncharacteristic normalness of Paul Young, whom everyone showed scorn towards for the most ironic of reasons; to the irresistible humor of Karl Mayer; to the undying comedy of Mrs. Karen McCluskey; and finally to the entrancing harmony of Mary Alice Young's narration.

Desperate Housewives is the guilty pleasure no one can resist. Whether you genuinely like it or think it's horrible, you'll get sucked in until you're asking for more. Everyday, "it's a hell of a day in the neighborhood".

*Here are some notable (or meaningless, you decide) characters/events you might be interested in:

Renee Perry
Arrived on Wisteria Lane: Season 7, Episode 1
Ugh. Just looking at her makes me gag. This woman, a very big woman, is Lynette's old (let me accentuate that: old) college roommate. I'm guessing Marc Cherry brought her in to replace Edie Britt, to fill the empty void of a sexy character on the show. Well, if you didn't understand my first sentence, they were definitely not successful with that task. What could have been their solution? Go beyond soap-opera status and resurrect Edie after she was cremated! Seriously, I miss her.
This train-wreck-looking woman (I hesitate on calling her a woman) had an affair with Tom way before he knew Lynette. (Lucky guy! Sarcasm.) She is a divorcee from a famous baseball player, and sees herself as a "hot piece of ass". I'm not totally sure, but I would quote her on that.
Now, in season eight, Renee is making her next sexual conquest of the new, "hot" Australian neighbor, Ben.

Angie Bolen
Arrived on Wisteria Lane: Season 6, Episode 1
Left the Lane: end of Season 6
Originally from New York, Angie, her husband (who prefers to chase around young girls, while wearing his yellow plaid shirt), and her son (whom I call Twilight boy because he's pale and has high hair) moved onto the Lane for some reason. I don't really remember. But she has a ghastly burn scar on her back. She was the juicy mystery of season six. Saucy... Not.

Katherine and Robin
Happened in mid-Season 6
I know, this is pretty shocking. It's like Bree being a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Or this. Ahem. After Mike went on and married Susan (again), Katherine took it rather badly and cozied up to a hot, nice stripper named Robin. Her experimentation would evolve into actual-possible feelings, which would lead to the departure of Katherine near the end of season six.

Bree and Keith
Happened in season 7
Wait a minute. Isn't that Mr. Megan Fox? Yes, it is. And yes that's what I call him, I forgot his name was Keith. Anyway, this highly superficial relationship between lovely Bree and her dim-witted carpenter was temporary. Before they got into it, however, Bree was competing for Keith's affections...with Renee. Ell oh ell. (Lol, sigh.)

Bob and Lee
Arrived on Wisteria Lane: sometime in Season 4
Every soapy show has to have its gay couple. In come Bob and Lee, a witty couple who I have absolutely no problem with. And I'm not just grinning and saying that through my teeth, I mean it. They hated Susan for a while and always snub her. It's very satisfying. Sadly, the two broke up at the end of season seven, though they still make appearances.

Susan's First Wedding to Mike
Happened at the end of the third season
I really don't want to get into this, mainly because Susan's happiness makes me cringe. After a British love affair and Mike's coma, they finally found bliss. As Chicken Run said, "Areyoukidding? Theywaitedthreeyearsforthis." Oh, Chicken Run....

Karl Mayer
First Appeared on Wisteria Lane in Season 1
Last Appearance: Season 6, Episode 10
Being one of my favorite characters in the show, perhaps my favorite male aside from Orson, Karl has made his way around the Lane. He was married to Susan twice, had a relationship with Edie, and had a saucy affair with Bree. Hubba hubba. Throughout the show, he provides some funny insults towards Susan (and you know how much I dislike Susan and enjoy her humiliation) and constantly refers to Mike as "plumber". He's quite a card! And his affair with Bree is so irresistibly entertaining. Alas, like Edie, he would be killed off the show. Damn Marc Cherry.

Karen McCluskey
First Appearance: Season 1, Episode 14
The quirky, and at times biting, humor of Mrs. McCluskey will remain constant throughout the show. At first, she's the crabby old lady who gets on Lynette's nerves (how delightful). Then, she transitions into a warm-hearted woman who helps and befriends the Desperate Housewives. Her biting wit stays in tact.

Chuck Vance
First Appearance at the end of Season 7
One of the most irritating factors of the new season, Chuck Vance (such a corny detective's name) is a so-called sly detective (...) who dates Bree for a short while. Their sex life was, I must note, wild. (Lynette: "He's that good in the sack?" Bree: "You have no idea." It's so cheesy, it hurts my ears.) When Bree breaks it off, Chuck attempts the role of menacing tough-guy when he says, "You have made a big mistake." Again, so cheesy. Anyway, I have a feeling he's the center of this season's "mystery". I bet it's a good one.... He reminds me of Hugh Jackman only with a bird face.

Season Eight Mystery
Alright, last note, and then I'm done. The "huge mystery" of the last season is the concealment of the murder of Gabby's rapist stepfather. That might sound justified, but let me explain. What happened was, Gabby's stepfather broke in and was going to rape Gabby again, as he did when she was fourteen. Carlos, fortunately, came to the rescue and killed him, clearly self-defense. Wait, that does sound justified. Because it is. But apparently it's a big deal that Carlos killed him, saving his wife, and that her four best friends helped them cover it up, to protect them. Soooooooo, what exactly is the issue? Because of what they did, Susan is committing crimes to relieve her pent-up guilt, and Carlos has gone off the radar. Seriously, he is just not there anymore, complete zombie. And now he's taking up alcoholism? That was already done, with Bree! Sigh. This is what the so-called talented writers of the show came up with, for their farewell to the show? Not just this season, but the last two! I couldn't even make myself rewatch them for the sake of this blog, that's how terrible they were. And this season? Utterly dreadful! It has finally reached Sex and the City-status: so horrible, it's quite wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. OMG! Just read this after googling and watching some DH. I loved it :) make me laugh so much, also I loved Bree & hated Susan *ohhh snap* so kudos from me