I was apprehensive about watching Desperate Housewives when it first premiered on ABC in 2004. I was afraid it was going to be a mash-up of Dynasty and The Martha Stewart Show — garish and bossy. Desperate Housewives
revolves around the lives of the women who live on Wisteria Lane. The
main focus is on Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), Gabriel Solis (Eva Longoria
Parker), Lynette Scalvo (Felicity Huffman), Bree Hodge (Marcia Cross),
and Edie Britt (Nicolette Sheridan). Each episode begins and ends with a
narration by the deceased Mary Alice Young (Brenda Young).
Hatcher has had a career in film and TV since the 80′s, receiving the most attention during her time as Lois Lane in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
But when the show ended, Hatcher’s career experienced a downward
spiral. Thankfully her career has been resurrected to showcase her great
comic timing as Susan, a woman who is divorced, trying to raise a
teenage daughter, and working her way through the complexities of her
love life. Susan is clumsy, painfully naïve, and utterly confused about
what she wants in a relationship. She’s adorable, lovable, quirky.
Gabriel is a former fashion model who is married to Carlos (Ricardo
Antonio Chavira). She lives glamorously and flaunts her wealth through
her clothes and car. Unfortunately, Gabby can’t seem to be loyal to her
husband — she has an affair with her teenage lawn boy. Who knew by
watching Longoria Parker years ago on The Young and the Restless
as a manipulator who was easy to hate that she would be funny and sweet
as a spoiled woman who must finally grasp the idea that the glamorous
life she once lived is slowly slipping away.
Before arriving on Wisteria Lane, Huffman was a hard-nosed producer on Aaron Sorkin’s biting Sports Night.
Huffman seamlessly showcases Lynette’s domineering personality as a
control freak and superwoman. But underneath the hard looks, the
yelling, and the constant “I told you so’s”, Huffman reveals a
vulnerability that you wouldn’t expect.
Cross (remember her on One Life to Live and Melrose Place
as the psycho Kimberly Shaw?) portrays Bree Hodge, formerly Van De
Kamp, who is the ultimate wife and mother. She cooks with the confidence
and flair of a 50′s housewife. Her home is impeccably clean and her
garden would make any green thumb’s heart melt. As a devoted wife and
mother, she will go to any lengths to protect her family. Bree is woman
unsure of her own resolve and hides quietly behind her cool demeanor.
As Edie, Sheridan plays every bit the part of a sex kitten, willing
to cross the lines of friendship for the companionship of a man. Edie is
a manipulative schemer who flaunts her body any chance she can get.
Although she’s a master of the art of seduction, how long can she rely
on her body to find love — are men truly attracted to Edie and her
personality or are they so blinded by her beauty that they cannot see
anything else? Edie is an insecure woman who is susceptible to the harsh
words spewed by her fellow neighbors.
With the beginning of the show’s fifth season, we’re taken on a time machine and travel five years into the future, and Desperate Housewives
plays its part well as a major prime time soap opera. The women of
Wisteria Lane expose their vulnerabilities to the audience in a way that
is both bleak and comic. They find themselves in mischievous situations
that always spotlight their smarts as well as their short-comings.
Sit back and enjoy watching the antics unfold every week. It’s well worth it.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, Sundays on ABS at 9 PM.