Desperate Housewives

2004, TV Show

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Finale Fever: The Finale

Chandra Wilson in Grey's Anatomy by Michael Desmond/ABC

How much do I love Miranda Bailey? Now and forever my favorite Grey’s Anatomy character, she (and by she, I mean Chandra Wilson) gave me a great new catchphrase in Thursday night’s Grey’s finale. Next time someone asks me what I’m looking at or what I’m thinking about, I might just say, “The bigger picture.” Her approach seemed to inspire just about everyone in the show to get out of their funks, and by the end of the busy two hours, there were quite a few happy (or at least happier than usual) endings.Mer and Der were back together again, at last, having finally saved someone in their clinical trial: “We can be extraordinary together instead of ordinary apart,” said a “whole and healed” Meredith. McDreamy grins again, and all is right with the world. How corny and over-the-top-McSwoony was Meredith’s candlelit hilltop landing strip marking out Derek’s blueprint on Dream House Acres. And also how appropriate to the ton... read more

The finale of Desperate ...

Question: The finale of Desperate Housewives was good all the way up until it said "Five Years Later." Gaby looked awful and apparently has two heavy-set kids, and where the hell is Mike? I don't like it. That new guy of Susan's wasn't even close to being as good-looking as James Denton — I want Mike back! And where was Carlos? I don't like this new twist, it's changing too much of what I love about DH. I like Gaby as the skinny, rich, tells-it-like-it-is fashionista. I don't want to see her in rags with no makeup. Am I the only one who feels this way? Answer: Different strokes. As I noted in my morning-after Dispatch, I was much more encouraged by the show's bold leap into the future. (Didn't help that I found all of the finale-episode melodrama in Katherine's house more silly than scary, including the ridiculous reveal that she'd buried her original daughter in the woods before buying a replacement in Romania.) According to my mailbox, the above rant came in a mere four minutes afte ... read more

Finale Fever: The Critic's Notebook

Steve Carell by Chris Haston/NBC Photo

As the season rushes to a close, you win some, you lose some. Take Steve Carell, who got a bonus in Thursday’s finale of The Office (one of the rare hour-long episodes that didn’t wear out its welcome) with the arrival of Amy Ryan as new HR chief Holly. I’ll miss Toby, but for as long as she stays, she’s terrific.Two nights later, however, Carell presided over a miserably and all-too-typically unfunny season finale of Saturday Night Live—sparked only by two cameos by John McCain, spoofing his age (“the oldness it takes to protect America, to honor her, love her and tell her about what cute things the cat did”) and then during Weekend Update, satirically urging the Democrats: “Do not under any circumstances pick a candidate too soon.” When SNL sticks to politics, it’s generally pretty sharp. Otherwise, the eyes glaze, and not just because it’s past midnight. (Did enjoy Ricky Gervais’ droll bit, lording it over the American O... read more

Housewives' Hot Flash: The Time Was Right

Yeah, it's me, the guy who (thanks to a well-placed source) first gave you the scoop on Desperate Housewives' season-ending flash-forward. To hear some tell it, Marc Cherry has coined a new curse word derived from my last name. And just like that, I feel for an instant like I'm living la vida Ausiello.But now that the five-year time-leap has played out on our screens, I ask: Did I really spoil anything? This is not Lost, where the Season 3 flash-forward completely altered our perception of the show and its narrative, at the same time raising a half-dozen questions integral to the series.No, Housewives' temporal shift is simply a smart move to freshen up a serial coming off of one of its stronger seasons. Sure, we could have watched life on Wisteria Lane play out in "real time," but to do so handcuffs the storytellers. Storylines are limited to being about "the next beat," the next betrayal, the next lie, the next illicit romance. Instead, Housewives' writers have altered their missi... read more

"The Gun Song" and "Free"

So here we are at the season finale, and I think Desperate Housewives did an admirable job of tying up many loose narrative plot strings, while still leaving us wanting more, what with a clever epilogue that fast-forwarded five years into the future. I apologize in advance for posting this much later than usual, but with a jam-packed two hours to cover and some unforeseen technical difficulties (my Internet went out at the worst possible moment!), it was a long night. I also want to thank you for generally being very nice to me these last few weeks. You made it all a lot of fun!Katherine (from the Greek, meaning "purity")So we finally know the secret!Dylan I: The Phantom Menace accidentally died when a heavy armoire tipped over on her. Katherine and her aunt Lily decided to take the popular Wisteria Lane justice-circumvention route and bury the body in the woods, and get the heck out of Dodge. Katherine then adopted parentless Dylan II: The Sequel –- conveniently a spitting ima... read more

Cheers: Housewives' Bright Future

Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria Parker and Felicity Huffman in Desperate Housewive by Ron Tom/ABC

Cheers to Desperate Housewives for flashing forward. The season's closing minutes cut to five years later, when Gaby's a harried mother of two, Bree's a successful cookbook author (and back together with Orson), Katherine's celebrating daughter's Dylan's engagement, Lynette's dealing with juvenile-delinquent twins and Susan's got a new man (maybe she never forgave Mike for naming their son Maynard). After a disappointingly far-fetched finale — I don't believe Katherine would cover up her daughter's accidental death — this device should shake up the story lines and set up new mysteries for next season. Like: If it's five years later, why don't these women look older? For another take on Housewives' time-twist, read Mitovich's TV Matt'rs blog.• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.com or in TV Guide magazine! read more

I read with interest Jamie's ...

Question: I read with interest Jamie's comments this week about Desperate Housewives' possible "time warp" plotline and how viewers condemn the show/plot prior to seeing it. Well, after seeing this past week's episode with the rising of Kayla the "bad seed," I'm thinking the show already jumped the shark on this one. I was really enjoying DH not focusing as much on Lynette's children (which frankly was exceptionally frustrating to watch the first season), but watching evil Kayla and seeing the promo for the next episode with cops handcuffing Lynette has me cringing. I always thought a great plotline on DH would have been to have Kayla perish in the tornado. Lynette would then have had to struggle with her feelings of guilt at feeling some relief that the little witch was gone. I don't understand why DH thought it had to add to the number of children on this show. It always seems like a desperate measure and an indication that writers must be running out of ideas. Recall the useless ... read more

"Mother Said"

It's Mother's Day on Wisteria Lane, and the fierce maternal instincts of the ladies of Desperate Housewives made me think for a second I had accidentally switched over to Animal Planet: When Mothers Attack! (As you'll see below, this episode has me in a rather exclamatory mood...)Nude, snoring whore!Mike's momma (the always brilliant Celia Weston – remember her in Junebug?) is in town, and is meeting Susan for the first time? That's weird. But anyhow, I guess it's just as well since she's kind of a pain, harping on Susan's every shortcoming and making it her goal to turn her into a "chef in the kitchen, a maid in the living room and a whore in the bedroom." Good luck with that!Despite the great guest star, this story started strong -- and funny -- but quickly turned repetitive as Momma's barbs became less subtle and more just plain cruel. Susan's pregnancy, meanwhile, moved along at its usual clip, meaning that tonight she was ready to deliver! So after faking labor with a glas... read more

I read Ask Matt twice a week ...

Felicity Huffman and Doug Savant, Desperate Housewives

Question: I read Ask Matt twice a week and always enjoy your insights, and I especially like how you encourage people to ride things out. A pet peeve of mine is when some readers like to cry "jump the shark" and immediately vow to never watch a show again based on something they heard was going to happen. For example (spoiler alert): the twist involving Desperate Housewives' possible time warp for next season. I have seen lots of comments saying how stupid the idea is and how they won't watch if that happens. To me, it seems that if you are a fan of the show, why not watch and see how it plays out? If it is awful after the execution, fine, but it seems to me that fans are the ones jumping the shark and automatically assuming something is going to be bad. The other part of my rant was kinda spurred by the reader who vowed to stop watching Top Chef this season —and maybe for good — because of the improv challenge and how Jen was asked to leave over Lisa or Antonia. The reader said how ... read more

"Opening Doors"

The narcotic, disembodied voice of Mary Alice instructed us tonight that when you invite someone into your home, you invite them into your life. Which is bad because… sometimes they refuse to leave. Let's check in with this week's "house guests," who, like fish, have started stinking up Wisteria Lane on the proverbial third day.Karl: Did you miss Karl? I know I sure did. It's funny to see a guy who loves seeing his ex-wife, if only to flirt with and torture her with his "happy monkey face." The glee with which Richard Burgi inhabits the character -– not to mention the snappy adversarial chemistry he has with Teri Hatcher -- really puts into relief how ineffectual James Denton has become of late.In a twist of only-on-TV fate, Karl and his knocked-up "skank" child bride (aka the Hottest Law Professor Ever) are enrolled in the same Lamaze class as Susan. Which, naturally, sends her into a signature tailspin of wrongheaded deception, which includes overdressing for class (alth... read more

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Premiered: October 03, 2004, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,361 ratings)
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Premise: Following her suicide, Mary Alice Young keeps tabs on friends and family she left behind on bucolic suburban Wisteria Lane. But this being a prime-time soap (if a tongue-in-cheek one), they all harbor a sordid secret or two. Created by writer-producer Marc Cherry (a 'Golden Girls' alum), 'Housewives' was an instant hit and a frequent contender on Emmy night .

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