Dish Of Salt: ‘Desperate Housewives’ Point/Counterpoint (September 25, 2006)
First Published: September 25, 2006 8:05 PM EDT Credit: Access Hollywood
-- by Laura Saltman(with special guest star, Bryant Huddleston)
Last night was the “Desperate Housewives” season three premiere episode. The show took some major hits with the critics and many thought it had lost its steam last year. I’d say everyone around here agreed with that. Even some of the stars of the show agreed they had gotten off track.
Ok, not our Desperate Divas, they will not go down without a fight, but the minor players like James Denton, Doug Savant and Andrea Bowen had some choice words about what went wrong. In the weeks leading up to the show’s premiere, the gals have come out swinging. Just last week, Eva Longoria told Nancy O’Dell this would be the best season yet. Teri Hatcher said pretty much the same thing at a charity event a few weeks back. The show’s creator, Marc Cherry, went into war mode hiring new writers with sitcom backgrounds from shows like “Frasier” and announcing a major character would die in a supermarket hostage crisis.
So, with expectations high, I watched the first episode and found myself suffering from a severe case of disappointment.
My co-worker, brilliant producer and one of my best friends, Bryant Huddleston, however, thinks the show is back. This morning, a heated battle ensued between us on the subject. So, rather then getting into a screaming match, our co-worker, Jeremy, told us we should duke it out in the column.
So, I?ve come up with my gripes about the episode and Bryant is going to try and knock me off my high horse.
Point # 1: Everything old is new again.
I like that Marcia Cross’ Bree Van De Camp has found herself a man who is as equally anal retentive and uptight as she. So, why then do we need to repeat the psycho guy storyline here? Wasn’t the crazy pharmacist enough for one woman to take? And haven’t we already done the dead body buried somewhere thing twice already. First, Mary Alice wielded her knife and buried Zack’s mom and then Paul Young off’d Mrs. Huber and found her a muddy resting place. No more dead bodies!
Point #1 Rebuttal: Well, I will say I’ll give Ms. Salty the dead body thing is getting rather decayed on Wisteria Lane BUT I have a feeling the Orson story will not be played out as expected. I think with the new writers and the significance of the pouring rain throughout the season premiere, the bad (the boring and predictable Applewhite fiasco, Lynette always at the office, etc) will be washed away to bring in a fresh and ‘clean’ season three. (Good God I hope so)
Point # 2: The Fast and the Furious
What self-respecting mother would move an entire houseful of kids to another location in the middle of a kid?s birthday party? I don?t care how much she hated the love child’s mother, it just wouldn?t happen. I get that they are going for comedy but it just wasn’t funny. I think the whole storyline is a dud. Having three rambunctious boys around the house is comedy enough. I say more of the twins, lose the love child.
Point #2 Rebuttal: Ok, hater of birthday parties and precious childhood memories, from episode one, Lynette’s bizarre and yet refreshing take on parenting and disciplining her children has made “Desperate” what it is. “Desperate Housewives” is a Black Comedy emphasis on the COMEDY. By having dozens of kids grab balloons and sprint off to Gabby’s was classic Lynette. It was played out perfectly even adding to Edie’s unsuccessful quest to sell the Young estate. It was extremely clever and it brought the most touching scene of the night when Lynette reminded Tom he was always first in her life but where was she in his? The love child is going to be a great addition to the family and I predict her momma will go bye-bye (RIP) during that much talked about supermarket standoff! On a side note, I do want to add that the brief appearance of the birthday clown freaked me out. If we find out that was Paul Young in makeup, who had escaped from jail, I’m going to start watching “Cold Case.” More Clowns = me no watchee!
Point # 3: Bye-bye Baby
Ok, who here is fairly certain that Xiao-Mae is going to run off with the baby and Gabrielle will never actually be a mother. Just like last season, where she fell down the stairs and lost the baby, this too shall pass. No one really expects to see a whole season of Gabby changing diapers. Bring back the gardener! And maybe throw in a plumber too for good measure. Which brings up my next point…
Point #3 Rebuttal: First of all you’re scaring me. Are you ok? I sense hostility from you. You hate the birthday parties and now little bundles of joy? Do you still want kids? I’m concerned. No one ever expected Gabby to be changing diapers for the next two seasons. Last night?s scene with Gabby in her sports car talking about her dreams summed up this story. It never was about having a baby it was about this former model filling a void from an unhappy marriage. Expect in the next few weeks the return of the gardener with a twist (only one episode unfortunately) and for Gabby to definitely sex it up again. The war of the roses continues…
Point # 4: Get off your Soap Box
Why does every storyline feel like a re-hash of “General Hospital” or “Days of Our Lives”? Ok, Bryant I get that it is a soap opera, but the writers need to think out of the box a little more? otherwise we’ll be seeing Mike Delfino wake up to a good case of amnesia, Bree getting pregnant and then having her baby switched at birth, Lynette falling into a catatonic state, Susan learning that her daughter actually belongs to Carlos, or Edie shacking up with some wealthy old man and playing croquet naked with him. Oh wait wasn’t that a storyline on ?Knot’s Landing? already?
Point #4 Rebuttal: Thanks for the “Knots” flashback, it gave me chills. We miss you, Paige! Ok, the love fest is over…Salty, when did you forget that “Desperate Housewives,” when it all comes down to it, is a primetime SOAP. By having the boring plumber knocked out for six months sounds like a plan to me (he will wake up with a much needed edge) and having Dougray Scott’s (I really like this guy so far) wife wake up for the season three finale with a look of murder in her eye, well, call it hokey, call it sappy soap, I don’t care. I call that must see TV. And I do think out of the box -the orgasm scene was brilliant. Using the overflowed sink, as a symbolism for Bree’s first-ever orgasm was classic DH.
Um wait, Bryant. Are we allowed to say “orgasm” in this column?
Point # 5: Wake up and smell the roses
So, Mike is lying in a coma supposedly for the last six months. Why then is there not one tube coming out of his body? Even on a soap opera, they at least try to make it look realistic. Did they seriously think people are going to buy that when “Grey’s Anatomy” is now the highest rated show on TV? The audience is more sophisticated. They know if someone were hit by a car and lying in a coma, there would be a lot of tubes involved.
Point #5 Rebuttal: Yes, agreed. Mike should have been hooked up to a feeding tube. I’ll give you that, but looking at all your frustrations from last night I would suggest a second viewing. Susan shaving Mike and nicking him is hilarious. Susan spilling a smoothie on the comatose wife is hysterical. Last season, I couldn’t fast forward through Susan faster but this new guy has promise. (Teri does, however, need a hair cut). Eva’s non-PC approach to her Chinese surrogate at the restaurant — funny as can be. Edie’s ongoing problem of putting the Young house on the market and Emmy winner, Lauree Metcalf’s, guest spot all made for a solid DH fix. Listen, we can only hope season three brings back the TV magic, but if the show begins to feel stale again, I’ll be the first to admit it. And ABC, well the network better get out their can of “Grey” paint because Sundays will need a fresh coat.
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