desperate housewives

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 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?

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  • Personally, I think this season has been the best since the first one. Sure the Dave story isn’t the best season-long story the show has ever had but the individual episodes are much better than they have been in awhile.

  • bws

    Ohhhh The TVA comes out guns blazing! I agree that the revenge plot has been way too slow. I actually thought it was going to be resolved at the midseason mark. The 5 year jump has been basically forgotten at this point. I’m a little surprised they aren’t using the kids even more since they’re the only thing that changed. Heck, even Carlos got his sight back.

  • Ace

    I think one of the other big problems for me on the show is the breakup of Susan and Mike. I just can’t believe that after all of their troubles that they were finally happily married with a son on the way and then just gave up?? Yeah, don’t think so. Accident or not, there is no way Susan would have given up on Mike that easily and vice versa. I think it would have been more interesting for them to be together trying to deal with their different views on raising MJ.

    I also agree that they should be using the children more. Like whatever happened to Tom’s daughter that went all psycho arsonist?

  • bws

    well, tom’s secret daughter had to have her story wrapped. you can’t keep someone like that around forever.

  • Naf

    I also think this is the best season since the first, but me and the TV addict don’t seem to be agreeing on much recently. The Dave mystery may be moving a little bit slowly now, but that’s not surprising seeing as we’re just around midseason now. Give it a few more episodes and I’m sure it will pick up. What I like about the mystery is how it managed to involve the men of WL. By having episodes where Dave forms a band and moves in which Mike, they managed to make sure whatever he ends up doing does have an effect on all of the characters. He’s married to Eddie, friends with all the husbands, and is now after Mike, Katherine, Susan and her kid. While the mystery may not be the woman coming together to solve something, it is finally something that involves most of them. And now that Tom is onto Dave, I can see it getting even more complicated.

    As for Mike and Susan breaking up, I think it worked because of the 5 year break. The women all changed during those 5 years, and not always for the best, and I think its interesting that the show is exploring that.

  • I have enjoyed this season so much but l still think that all of the storylines need a little umph. I agree that the children’s storylines should come to the forefront, even for just a little while. The show for me is very much enjoyable, it is just the matter of knowing that the writers can do much better.

  • The problem with DH is that it drags out story lines longer than we’ll ever be interested in them, and part of that problem is that the writers have to figure out how to make the story last for 22 episodes, which at this point is just a broken model. I think making DH a midseason show (thus only 13 episodes or so) would definitely benefit the type of stories they want to tell, without them just throwing around ideas to distract you (e.g., Porter’s “trial”). But that’s been this show’s problem for awhile.

    Otherwise, I think this season is just alright. Last season was *way* better, if only because they actually used Dana Delany, who deserves much better than the thankless story line of dating what has to be the most boring person on TV.

  • Yep, I agree with everything you just wrote Aleks.

  • Wow, “Aleks”, I agree with you so much. I hope writers/producers whoever at ABC look at this and consider our concerns because I honestly love this show. And I think Seasons 1-4 were way more interesting than this season. It seems like the writers are being lazy coming up with great plots/storylines. How can people have absolutely no problem with this season if you are a die-hard fan? There is clearly a lot of work that needs to be done. Dave’s story can be a lot more intriguing and dark, yet he just has random fits and Edie fails to realize her husband is a complete psychopath. All I know is this Season better end with a bang because if it doesn’t more and more people will stop watching it and I will be one of them.

  • Tom

    My CURRENT problem with DH is that Mike and Susan kill a woman and child with their car and never meet/see the man they’ve widowed. Susan Meyer would have definitely sought out Dave after the accident, if only to make matters worse. Also, how long does it take Fairview detectives to match dental records? Even if her neighbors thought her senile, Mrs. McClusky would have informed the police about Dave’s metal past. Just plain dumb which is par for the show. But really? Wasting Lilly Tomlin? That’s unforgivable.

  • Sam

    personally, i think DH is an amazing show. Yes, season one was exellent, and season 5 is a little slow. But, its the combination of seriousness/drama and the funny parts that make me love it. I didnt like the applewhites story, but i did enjoy Katherines. Gabby is my favorite, and im glad shes becomming glamorous again becauses shes hilarious. And I hope Susan and Mike somehow get back together, because its obvious Susan still loves him. And i think that they should have had a better reason for a break up if they dont get back together. Bree needs a little more drama, and Gabby as well. Lynettes crazy kids and hectic life make her stories bearable. I just think the show needs to keep up how they started. evern seasons 2-4 were funny…season 5 unfortunatley only has its moments. i know DH isnt a comedy…but it helps make you want to watch during the dull episodes. So..yea i agree but i disagree that seasons 2-4 werent good at all…but season 1 will be hard to top. I just hope this show stays on the air for a while…. its good.

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