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Desperate Housewives

Season 1

By Alexandrea CallaghanPublished about a month ago 4 min read

I am not sure why it took me so long to watch Desperate Housewives because this is exactly my vibe. I know the show was popular during its run and has its fair amount of pop culture references in other pieces of media but I don’t know if younger people now understand how good this show was. Now I have only watched the first season, but the premise of a show that is based around housewives in the suburbs narrated by their dead friend is incredible. So let’s get into it.

Now the show is obviously built around some archetypal character types for each of our main characters. We’ve got Lynette, the overworked housewife with too many children, Bree the stepford wife whose marriage falls apart, Susan the one who got cheated on and then divorced and is now a single mom and finally, Gabrielle the younger, hot one who married for money. But each of these women has an interesting and compelling story and arc of their own that allows them to surpass their archetype.

On top of that we have the overall mystery of the season. Mary Alice’s death. She committed suicide in the beginning of the first episode but it seemed quite out of nowhere for her friends. Then her son and husband start being the absolute creepiest motherfuckers on the planet. Mary Alice’s husband, Paul, threw out a box with dead human remains in it that he dug up from under the pool. And then we have the new guy in the neighborhood, Mike, who seems to be on a mission of his own. Basically there is a lot of shady shit going on in this white ass suburb.

And then we have the husbands….honestly all of them suck. Lynette’s husband started off as the only one that I liked. He seemed to genuinely love her and try his best to support her with the kids but the second half of the season with him finding their nanny attractive and supporting his dads cheating habits I started to hate him too. The rest of them are just terrible people, Carlos treats Gabrielle like an object, and Rex is an adulterous prick.

The mystery unfolds with it being revealed that Mary Alice’s son Zach accidentally killed his baby sibling Dana, or so he thinks. Mary Alice had changed her name when she moved from the suburbs, she was Angela from Utah. Zach finds out that his father (it was actually Mary Alice) killed a woman, chopped her up and put her in a toy box that he buried for years. Turns out the woman that they killed was Zach’s real mother. They took him from Diedre, a drug addict, after they couldn’t conceive. All of this led to Martha finding out, sending the note and Mary Alice committing suicide. Diedre is the woman that Mike came to town to avenge, so very skillfully all of these mysterious storylines tie together in a nice little bow.

I would like to point out that of all of the men on this show that I hate, I hate Carlos the most. A lot of people die on this show and I need him to croak. I really don’t even care how it happens, I just need it to. Also Bree’s son needs the shit kicked out of him. That child is a little sociopath. Lynette’s husband also drives me up a wall. He cheats WITH her on his old girlfriend, hires her without telling his wife for months, excusing his fathers cheating behaviors and can’t stop ogling the nanny. Yeah he sucks a lot. He started as the best husband but boy did we fall far.

Now I need to address something because obviously the men in this show are terrible, because the main characters are the housewives and they need to be the likable ones. That said, I specifically have problems with Gabrielle. Cheating on Carlos, perfectly reasonable, he financially and emotionally and sexually abused her and cheating is ALWAYS acceptable in abusive situations. However cheating on him with a literal child and therefore committing statutory rape is in not way justified or excused. I love that Susan called her out on it but yet she restarted her affair with the literal child. She has no self awareness and it's infuriating and disgusting.

It's actually a really compelling story. It is written very well. And the way the drama for each woman is written is fantastic. There is so much character development for each of the women and for a 24 episode network show there really wasn’t a lot, if any, filler. All that said, the show did premiere in 2004 and therefore some of it didn’t age super well. When Bree’s son comes out as gay there is obviously a lot that’s said, Bree has a hard time with it for whatever reason. But overall I think that they handle it pretty well, having Rex on his son’s side. At the end of the series we are left with; Paul somewhere in the desert, Susan being held at gunpoint by Zach, and Bree finding out that Rex is dead. Pretty brutal season finale but also a truly fantastic first season cliffhanger.

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About the Creator

Alexandrea Callaghan

Certified nerd, super geek and very proud fangirl.

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    Alexandrea CallaghanWritten by Alexandrea Callaghan

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