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'Desperate Housewives': One baby of a crisis

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We here at Show Tracker admit we haven’t followed “Desperate Housewives” since Nicollette Sheridan departed. Sorry, but we just couldn’t quite forgive killing off Edie, and we took it personally. But it’s a new year, and we hope you embrace a Tracker that’s a familiar name – and an unabashed fanatic of the housewives.

And then tragedy struck.

Months ago, fans were told of a plane that would destroy Wisteria Lane and take lives with it. And there were those awkward murmurings that the plane would be from Oceanic Airlines (see “Lost” if you’re, well, lost).

Thankfully, we weren't subjected to a heinous crossover episode that might have killed both shows – more than their respective show-runners already have.

But what we were subjected to was what I like to call the "Marc Cherry special No. 1”: the flashback/flash forward. Ahh a new year, with old flashbacks. This time, the housewives played the "what if" game.

Now being an avid fan of the show, I’m always prepared for a flashback and/or flash forward. Frankly, Cherry probably writes them in his sleep. But come on. The whole point of a midseason cliffhanger is to start fresh. And what better way to right the wrongs of bad storytelling than with a little terror in the skies. Given recent developments (the Christmas Day attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines jet), Cherry must be glad he didn’t go with crashing a commercial flight or any bomb-related escapades.

Before the plane destroyed the Christmas joy on the lane – Susan was dealing with Katherine’s bizarre antics (she’d gone all ‘Single White Female’ on Susan and Mike). Bree had two Beyonce moments of inspiration: She told Orson to put “everything he owns in the box to the left,” and Karl decided he wanted to “put a ring on it,” the latter of which killed him. Gabby was being good ol' Gabby and hating Lynette, who had to sue Carlos because he fired her for lying about her millionth pregnancy. Sorry if that’s in poor taste, but I’m really tired of seeing Lynette pregnant each season, but I forgot that’s the "Marc Cherry special No. 8.”

Once the wreckage was cleared and sorted (and we celebrated two holidays),  it was time to deal with the aftermath. The opening scene of the Lane’s residents sitting and waiting, and praying, is much of what I’ve felt for the show.

As a longtime fan of the show, I’ve realized that much of “Desperate Housewives” is like playing the waiting game. It’s only appropriate that I watched the first episode – albeit weeks late – from the waiting room of a hospital as I waited to become an uncle. Fast forward five years (actually 10 if you include that surprisingly effective five-year leap), and I still find myself waiting. While waiting for Cherry & Co. to knock my socks off --  by going back to the basics with a tangled web of sex, lies and drama that made Season 1 so delicious -- and waiting for Edie’s death to be revealed as one of the greatest punks of all time, I sometimes feel the show slipping from greatness.

And to further confuse – and irritate – we sat through an hour of "what if."

What if Susan stayed with Karl? Umm, he’d still cheat on her and eventually leave on his own. But not before he destroyed Susan’s self-worth so much that she turned to food and gained weight and missed out on Mike. Wait, Karl did destroy Susan’s self-worth enough to make her a total walking time bomb when it comes to love and men. She didn’t need to add more pounds to see that Karl was always her baggage.

What if Bree and Karl married? We could have saved Bree a wasted daydream, and she could have used her friendship with Susan as research to know her future. Doesn’t matter since Karl is no longer with us, which is truly sad. Wisteria Lane lost their handsome-yet-dastardly charmer. Instead of life with or without Karl, I’m sure guilt will cause her to care for Orson. (Why, exactly, didn’t he die?)

What if the new Scavo baby were physically challenged? Those who’ve followed the show knew there would be no way Cherry & Co. would add two to the Scavo gang. It didn’t take much of a brain to know that both babies wouldn’t make it out alive.

Although there are a lot of unreliable moments in the land of the housewives, one thing I can count on is Felicity Huffman’s ability to take me places that her peers can’t. Her  tough-love moment with the surviving son who just wanted a sandwich tore my heart out. Huffman always has those moments and then I remember: This is why I watch.

Although I never was a fan of her pregnancy storyline (it’s just run its course in the show), I was disheartened to see that the physically challenged baby didn’t survive and the baby that was in no danger did. I felt that Cherry set viewers up for a potential reward for sticking through another pregnancy, but instead they will have another kid to add to the already-utilized Scavo brood.

What if Gabby became a stage mom? Really, we needed to go there? At least Eva Longoria Parker took one for the team and donned some hideous old-woman hair and make-up all for the sake of laughs.

Watching all these "what if’s" only reminded me just how much I hated playing the waiting game, unless it gave me a season full of stomach-twisting suspense (Angie’s [Drea de Matteo] possible Italian mob connection is doing NOTHING for me).

So it’s a new year on Wisteria Lane, Marc Cherry. Let’s not play the "what if" game anymore. It won’t be long before fans stop waiting.

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy (Follow me on Twitter)

Related:
'Desperate Housewives': Neal McDonough says filming Edie's death was horrible

Photo: Eva Longoria Parker imagines an unpleasant future. Credit: ABC

 
Comments () | Archives (13)

Confusing... Lynette hasn't been pregnant for the entire series. Penny was a baby when the show debuted. The pregnancy that played out (mostly) on-screen was Susan's. (Gabby had her kids in the 5 yr leap, Bree faked a pregnancy).

As for Angela DeLuca... My non-spoiler guess is... She was involved in one of those radical enviromental/animal rights groups. A bombing went bad. Nick is actually an agent who fell in love with her while tracking her. The Patrick guy is the baddie in the whole story.

the episode was amazing. I agree about Lynette's part. It was heart-breaking.

does anyone else think Desperate Housewifes just jumped the shark?

on the positive side: the susan what if made her realize that karl's cheating was a good thing because it gave her mike. making karl's death easier to handle.

bree realized how horribly she's been treating orson. (as have the writers) and by facing reality that karl was prob gonna cheat on her... made it easier for her to accept his death too.

actually karl really the the raw end here. he's dead and no one really cared.

lynette's was the strongest by far... i don't know if viewers of housewives were ready for intro'ing a baby, boy, man... overcoming the odds and then killing him before he had the chance.

and i also think the god loving fans of housewives weren't ready for drea to get her prayers answered by killing the nurse/blackmailer

no katherine

gaby's story was just lame, lazy and the makeup was terrible.

I was highly disappointed when it started going into flash-what-ifs, the episode didn't hold me.... I am not sure what holds me to the show anymore, the first 2 seasons were great, the black couple and their son didn't hold me, Bree's crazy husband did, the pregnancy didn't... It just seems like they will never gain the good story they had in the beginning, I would be surprised if it lasts another season, because last nights waste of time really jumped the shark. Junk DH and bring back Pushing Daisies, some day that show will be looked back on like, wow, that was good.

Kate Gosselin should be on the show. Then kill her off quickly!

I absolutely agree with everything you said here. I watched last night's episode and I too was left disappointed. DH really needs to revive its story lines to keep its remaining viewers.

I hated this episode. It was drawn out, and at times depressing. The thing I always enjoyed about Desperate Housewives was that I was always entertained, not depressed. At least the previews for next weeks' episode look like they return to their old tricks!

Thank you!! I agree 100% and am looking to stop after this season (I would stop sooner but I made the mistake of pre-purchasing the season and don't want to waste my money. Although, that could be better than wasting my time.) Orson is ridiculously lame and annoying, Katherine has just about driven me insane as she has lost it (I never liked her in the first place and wonder why they haven't simply killed her off instead of killing off the characters that are actually entertaining), and the new mob story-line is a joke. I rarely laugh at the show anymore when it used to be amazing! Ugh. At least we still have Felicity and her brilliance but she can only carry the show so far on her own.

I did not like this episode.Losing Carl the scoundral was a big mistake.Now Bree is stuck with a cripple? What fun for the viewers.I miss the gaul and glamour of Evie,the funny funny lines and snooping of the old lady,the mob inference is stale.Now all the men are unattractive,cept for 1 the woman are obviously only good for making babies or being sluts.

AMEN!

Killing Edie was just stupid to me I think the show sucks now Edie brought something to the show the others can't and that's entertainment I'm totally bored with these story lines I might as well go to bed early on Sunday after the Simpsons!!!!

I stopped watching when Edie was killed too...


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