In this continuing series, we take a closer look at what’s ailing shows that seem to have lost their mojo, and offer suggestions that might help them get it back!
THE SHOW: ABC’s Sunday-night hit, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
THE PROBLEMS: Every time this show hits a speed bump — which it seems to do fairly regularly — The Powers That Be make it clear they understand what’s wrong… and then fail to fix it. As in the past, this show has lost its way. The one continuing story — Dave’s quest for revenge — has unfolded at a snail’s pace and proven to be a total snore (despite the fact that Edie’s psycho hubby is played by the always-captivating Neal McDonough). Every year, we are promised a story that will involve the women working together — the formula which proved so successful back in season one — and yet each year, the show fails to deliver. In the case of Dave’s Revenge, Bree and Gabi have next-to-nothing to do with the saga (heck, Mrs. McClosky has been a bigger player), while what should be Edie’s best story yet has been anything but. Worse, the secondary stories are as simple as a child’s connect-the-dots book. So-called storylines like Bree lending Lynette money (and the inevitable fallout) are cookie-cutter plots that have been done a thousand times before. Sure, we’re seeing them played out by a top-notch cast, but is that really enough?
THE SOLUTION: Pick up the pace, people! By the time Dave takes his revenge against Mike, Susan’s toddler will be a college senior. If you don’t have a mystery that can create suspense for an entire season, then either go back to the drawing board or come up with more than one per year. And more importantly, do what this show was designed to do: Tell tales involving all of the women coming together the way they did to solve Mary-Alice’s death. (Oh, speaking of their late neighbor, enough with the corny intro and outro monologues. Instead, bring back good, old-fashioned cliffhangers! Bree tearing up a check does not leave viewers dying to tune in next week.) Imagine how much more interesting this tale would have been if Dave had come to town a single man who secretly got involved — on various levels — with all of the women on Wisteria Lane, playing upon each of their well-established weaknesses as he tried to determine which one of them was responsible for the death of his wife. He could turn the friends against one another until finally, they united to prevent him from murdering the person responsible. Instead, we get Dave forming a rock band with Tom and having conversations with a wife whose death we don’t really care about.
Next Up: What’s Wrong With… ONE TREE HILL?