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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.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Frustrated Sigh

Before my mind goes completely blank and I start rubbing my head for inspiration, I just want to make a quick comment on television shows. (Too late.) I'll just get to the point without making an insightful, attention-grabbing introduction. What's wrong with television? Actually, nothing. Television is simply the output for the so-called original ideas of TV writers. The question should be, what has happened to the brilliant writers of television? Also, what has gotten into TV executives, who actually put these new shows on the air? Really!

I recently skimmed over fall-TV's new line-up, half of which (or even more), are already rumored to face the dismal ax of being cancelled. Some of those shows include The Playboy Club, Charlie's Angels, Whitney, Free Agents, and much much more. I've never seen Playboy, but, despite the stylish setting of the 1960s, I am not hopeful for its remaining days. (It's been announced, according to Entertainment Weekly, that it will not be picked up any longer.) Charlie's Angels, the obviously titled reboot of the classic 1970s series, was destined for failure to begin with. How can they recreate such a popular show, that serves as a small-screen icon in our new generation? I mean, really, are they that naively optimistic? Moving on, I was actually looking forward to Whitney. After seeing a couple of clips from the show...my excitement quickly faltered. More like vanished. Free Agents was less than decent, being totally predictable and definitely not a necessity to watch.

There are plenty of others (not) worth mentioning that will surely receive the cut. There are, also, some which I believe should be put off the air, immediately, but most likely will not. The show I'm referring to in particular is Two And A Half Men. After killing its lead character (Charlie Sheen, all because of some financial dispute), the show returns with Ashton Kutcher replacing him. I didn't really care for this show before, and its plain humor and excessive laughs from the audience, but now it's past the line of unbearable. I genuinely do not know how people can watch that show! Not to offend anyone, but are they so simple-minded that they find entertainment in a show that's comparable to Nickelodeon or Disney Channel? Are they possibly confused and simply laugh when the audience laughs (which is every five seconds)? The show stands as one of the most popular shows on television, and, after trying to watch it several times, cannot find a single reason why that is. Seriously, the source of laughter is so mind-numbingly simple. Don't get me wrong, sometimes simple humor is the easiest and quickest way to a tiny bit of enjoyment. But this show, is just painful. My Opinion.

Of course, there are some that are truly entertaining and, dare I say, brilliant. The highlight of this rare grouping, that is currently airing its delightful third season: Modern Family. With its hilarious story lines each episode and its equally hilarious cast, this show hit a mark. I can safely and honestly deem it as the best show of the decade, being 2010s. Weird that we're already in another decade. So weird. Anyway, Modern Family, recently winning basically all the TV Comedy Emmys, is the one show I turn the television on an hour before it airs every Wednesday. Comparable to the unfortunately cancelled and equally brilliant Arrested Development, it dives deep into the ordinary life of families and picks out the moments that are "so true!" and so comically relateable. Plus, it is soothing to watch a show without the interruption of studio audience laughter.

I would also like to add that Desperate Housewives is airing its eighth and final season. I won't go into too much criticism because I am currently writing a huge post on the entire run of the show. It's a big one, and will be posted very soon. I just want to make a brief comment on this new season. Like its previous two seasons, this eighth season is utterly awful, relying on cliched jokes (worse than cliched, they're the cliche of cliched...if that makes sense...it doesn't, I read it) and a so-called engrossing mystery. That whole murder of Gabby's rapist step-father, and the guilt that Susan and Carlos are pointlessly living with, is so irritating. Yet, like the Sex and the City movies, it's pleasurable torture, so I linger on with the show.

To sum it all up, this fall-TV schedule, except for a few shows, sucks. No need to put that short comment into a descriptive, long paragraph, am I right?