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Oct. 3, 2005

"Desperate" to watch

by Elena Pinsky, Page Editor
On Wisteria Lane, it seems that every new neighbor has a secret. First, it was the attractive and mysterious plumber Mike Delfino (James Denton), whose seemingly underhanded motives for moving to the street fueled most of the conflict during the first season. It turns out that despite the criminal record and the gun, the hunk is just innocently investigating the murder of a lost love and the possibility that he has a son who has been raised by one of the neighbors.

The minute that the enigma of Mike is untangled, another new neighbor shows up to add intrigue to the plot. This time, it is the neatly named Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard), whose sweet disposition is only a cover for the mystery - namely the identity of the prisoner locked in her basement - that she and her son Matthew (Mehcad Brooks) bring to the suburb known for its perfectly manicured lawns.

Thus begins the sophomore season of ABC's newest gem, "Desperate Housewives," hooking curious new viewers instantly and reaffirming the reasons why fans love the show. One does not watch this program to better understand the dynamics of the average neighborhood. One watches the show to ogle at the impressive on-screen chemistry of the actors, to laugh outright at the ludicrous scenarios and schemes that the characters are thrown into, to cringe at the embarrassing acting abilities of the teenage cast members and to have something in common with about 20 million other American TV viewers.

The ultimate guilty pleasure, "Desperate Housewives" is set in a neighborhood that is remarkably similar to that of "The Stepford Wives," except that the women of Wisteria Lane have real facial expressions. In fact, it is the subtly hilarious and full-bodied performances of the show's female cast that make it worth watching.

The season premiere immediately launches into the current conflicts in the lives of the four main characters. After being held at gunpoint by her neighbor's disturbed son, Zach Young (Cody Kasch), Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) watches her plan to move in with her boyfriend Mike crumble.

Proving that her recent Emmy win was well-deserved, Felicity Huffman shines in her role as Lynette Scavo, a woman struggling to get back into the swing of the working world after taking a seven year "break" to raise four children. Her husband, Tom (Doug Savant), gives an amusing performance as a stay-at-home dad.

Upon the death of her husband Rex (Steven Culp), the uptight Bree Van De Camp (Marcia Cross) puts emotions aside and maintains her eerily content smile as her wildly grieving mother-in-law shows up to help with the funeral preparations.

Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) and her now-incarcerated husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) discuss her affair and his efforts to tamper with her birth control to get her pregnant. The identity of the father of Gabrielle's child, either her husband or the subject of her affair, her lawn boy John (Jesse Metcalfe), remains unknown.

The show's reputation for over-the-top scenarios quickly tops itself in this episode when Bree changes the tie on her dead husband, who lies in an open casket, in the middle of his funeral service because she dislikes the colors of the tie he has been dressed in. But if there is any show that can pull off a scene like that, it is definitely "Desperate Housewives."

The second season holds a lot of promise, with engaging story lines for all of the main characters. The entertaining blend of witty dialogue and talented actors ensure that the second season of "Desperate Housewives" will live up to the acclaim and popularity it received during its breakout season.

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  • meh on October 6, 2005 at 6:46 PM
    the only good thing about this show is that danny elfman did the opening credits music...i'll bet you all didn't know that, did you?
  • Lisa on October 20, 2005 at 9:29 AM
    I love Desperate Housewives. Eva is my favorite character.
  • YESSS on November 2, 2005 at 9:43 PM
    desperate houswives is a beast!
  • cindy (View Email) on December 20, 2005 at 3:37 AM
    I find this series brilliant and I am fan of mike!
  • manyriv (View Email) on December 22, 2005 at 7:21 PM
    Funny, intersting and misterious. What more you want! Gabrielle is my favorite.
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