Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Desperate Housewives: Season One

..::Originally blogged October 18, 2005::..

Desperate Housewives

Season One:
As the camera edges past the darkened table, Bree Van De Camp presses out the last few wrinkles in her table cloth, desperate to finish her chores. Just as she catches sight of the empty chair of her newly deceased husband and a house completely cleaned, she grabs the corners of the table and finally sheds the veil of perfection, in her most extreme moment of desperation. The image of what it means to be desperate, is finally certain (This Episode: One Wonderful Day--Episode 23).

Scenes like these are why we lived and breathed the first season of such a magnificient show--the one of the only shows, in fact, to win SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) awards before its first season completed. This particular scene, a personal favorite, is also one of creator Marc Cherry's "Top Three" in the entire first season collection.

This complex collection of episodes unveils the mystery over the suicide of a local housewife, Mary Alice Young, and it does so completely. Creator Marc Cherry commented that he didn't want "to be like Twin Peaks" and keep the audience in suspense for several seasons, but to close it up decidedly.

The show is performed beautifully--the acting is amazing, with such subtleties and chemistries found between characters that just don't exist on TV today--two great examples exist between Lynette Scavo and her husband Tom (the stand-out actors), and also the highly combative relationship between the clutzy Susan Mayer and neighborhood-Mary Magdalene, Edie Britt.

The best actor in Season One is Marcia Cross--who has a lot of weight on her shoulders, because she's actually portraying a real person, (Marc Cherry's homophobic mother!). Cross is followed closely by the more realistic Felicity Huffman, who displays a wide range of emotions, but finds her acting strength in her delivered sublte looks, and slight tilts of the head.
Harriet Sansom Harris (WHO?!), Felicia Tilman, Martha Huber's sister comes in at third. Regardless of the smallness of her part, her character is the strongest metaphor for the show--darkly comic. Tied for fourth are Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria--it's really difficult to feel much sympathy for either of these two, obviously Eva is that extra-sexy-ethnic vixen, and her foil Susan is the sorta-sexy kinda-old neurotic mess.

The worst actors on the show are few, but annoying. Andrea Bowen, who plays Julie Mayer, may not a horrible actress, but if she isn't, she got the screw.

Best Episodes:

Trying to narrow down a selection of best episode for a fantastic show is hard. Obviously I wanted to choose those with the least amount of Julie, and the most amount of Bree and Lynette. The best episodes of this season are, then, as follows:

It's funny that Christine Estabrook (Mrs. Huber) seems to die in most of the shows she's in--or at least two that I can count (DH and Six Feet Under). This episode kills her off, Bree and Rex cover up Andrew's roadkill-mo-bile, and Lynette reaches the breaking point in her addiction (another one of my personal favorite scenes).

Goodbye for Now:
The famous bed-making scene, ahh yes, Bree made her bed in lieu of taking her dying husband to the hospital, something creator Marc Cherry's mother actually did! This episode has lots of Felicia Tilman (Harriet Sansom Harris) action.

One Wonderful Day (Season Finale):
If there is a better teaser for any television show in history than on this episode, I'd love to watch it--because this is singlehandeldy the best teaser/conclusion framing ever. Rex and Diedra die, Paul and Mike and Susan and Pongo and John and Zach COULD die, and Bree wants to die.


"You see, human beings are designed for many things, but lonliness isn't one of them." --Mary Alice Young

"I can't believe you tried to kill me!" --Rex [onions in his salad].
"Yes, well, I feel badly about that."--Bree

"I know someone who knows someone who knows an elf, and if any of you acts up, so help me I will call Santa and tell him you want socks for Christmas. Are you willing to risk that?"--Lynette Scavo

"Rex cries after he ejaculates."--Bree

"Everytime we went out for pizza, you could have said, 'Hey, I once killed a man.'"--Susan Mayer

"Why are all rich men such jerks?"--Gabrielle Solis
"The same reason all beautiful women are such bitches."--Carlos Solis

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