Monday, November 07, 2005

Desperate for Good Plot

Alright... what is going on with Desperate Housewives? Last night's episode actually had me yawning, except for the last scene which made me want to jump inside the television and slap Teri Hatcher across the face. Since you can tell I'm growing pretty fond of making lists, here are my top three reasons for why this show is becoming terrible:

1. The Anti-Friends Cast: I know we've all heard much too much about how the cast of Friends were all "really friends"... they always had ensemble photo ops, they always stuck together during contract negotiations, they were in eachother's weddings... etc, etc. As nauseatingly saccharine as that all sounded - it worked, and they got 10 seasons out of it - not to mention a whole lot of fortune and fame. All we hear about the Desperate Housewives is how much they hate eachother, namely because they all think that Teri Hatcher was getting all the promo (which seemed to have been resolved by pretty much writing her out of the script!) This back-stage cattiness is definitely affecting the show - all the actresses are now totally hamming up their characters to be over-exaggerated versions of their first-season selves; they are trying to show the TVland audience why they are the reason for the show's success - and for *some* reason, it isn't working. (Who knew that bad acting leads to bad TV?) This can be easily demonstrated by Teri Hatcher's ridiculous crying scene at the end of last night's episode.

2. Independent Plot Lines: Maybe because of Reason #1, each character's plotlines seem to be unwoven from the rest. Last season, the Housewives were focused on solving the mystery of Mary Alice, but this season, we've only seen one girl's poker lunch, and some forced dialogue among the neighbors at Rex's funeral... we don't care about the separate lives of these people - can we please have the residents of Wisteria Lane start talking to each other again?

3. Red State Syndrome: Yes - this syndrome can be blamed for a lot of what is wrong with TV these days. (Plus, I am obviously pretty pleased with myself for working this phrase twice into a TV blog.) Anyway, for some reason, this show has "cleaned itself up" quite a bit. The reason we tuned in every week in the first place was because of the racy, gossip-warranted plot lines - sex, drugs, murder, blackmail, kidnapping - prime time drama at its best. But what has happened this season so far? About 50% of air time is dedicated to Bree NOT sleeping with the lunatic pharmacist. The rest of the time is spent showing Gabrielle NOT cheating on her husband, Lynette having a good work/life balance (with subtle hints that she should just stay at home like a "good" mother anyway), Edie (of all people!) going to church and Susan dying to get married. Even the new Applewhite family's secret turned out to be pretty good-intentioned.... is anyone else sick of these moral lessons? Housewives built up its rep by dishing dirt - if its not going to give us the juicy stuff any more, then its just going to become a waste of time.

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