Desperate Housewives Call for Desperate Writers

When I first learned that Doug Savant and Marcia Cross would both be among the cast of Desperate Housewives, I assumed the show would be another trashy incarnation of Melrose Place. But I listened to my obsessed friends who insisted that it was special; it was different; it was like nothing else; it was Good. So we rented Season One and got ourselves hooked. We waited with Six Feet Under, too, and we ended up adoring that show, so I figured maybe the same thing would happen with D.H.

OK, so it’s a good show. We love Lynette. We hate Susan. Bla bla bla.

Then, oddly, at the end of Season One, the reason for the show’s existence was eliminated: The mystery of Mary Alice’s death was revealed. Yes, certain other intrigues were introduced — something to keep the show in a second season, like the new neighbors with the creepy guy in the basement, and the aftermath of Mrs. Huber’s murder — but the main engine of the show was shut down.

I began to worry again.

Sure enough, to keep things moving, the second season has been filled with nothing but a series of contrivances, each more far-fetched than the one before. And now that we’ve reached the end of Season Two, we find ourselves with Bree escaping from the loony bin, Susan living in a trailer, and Zack shutting off granddad’s life support to force-inherit his fortune and a rather large house, and abandoning his dad in prison. Tom has a long-lost daughter, whose crazy mother is moving into the neighborhood. Gabrielle’s maid is having her baby. Mike gets run down by Susan’s dentist! And Andrew is wandering the back highways of … Illinois? (Where are they, anyway?) … after Bree drops him off at an abandonned gas station in nowheresville.

And, incidentally, who cares if Andrew is gay? His assholeness trumps any interest I might have in his love life — though I was enjoying the scenes of his boyfriend mowing the Solis’ lawn. Nor do I have much use for his totally non-credible hatred of his mother. What did she do to him, again? Uhh… hospital corners on his bed? Whiter-than-white underwear? Potpourri? Surely he’s not upset that she gave him a hard time about his sexuality. I mean, she didn’t kick him out — until he seduced her sex-addicted AA sponsor/boyfriend. After he falsely sued her for child abuse to become an emancipated minor and abscond with his trust fund to buy … a car? A car? No, Andrew isn’t even soap-opera interesting. He’s just petulant and boring.

One of the best characters of Season One, Mrs. Huber’s weird sister Felicia, is reduced in Season Two to the minor role of Zack’s grandfather’s nurse, playing some manipulative role in Zack’s future — and with a terrible new haircut!

When TiVo screwed up and failed to record the last half hour of the two-hour season finale, we were barely bothered. Most of the details I missed, I got on the ABC Web site. As it settles safely into Melrose Place Land, will anyone care about this show anymore?


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the untallied hours

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