Monday, March 13, 2006

Desperate Housewives Jumps Shark

Sad to say, yes, somewhat sad to say that I actually used to enjoy this show, but even sadder to say, I think it has Jumped the Shark, and fairly quickly. Yes, I guess it was too much to ask that this one-time dark comedy remain strong for more than a year and a half. It's now turned into a uninteresting melodrama. I watched it last night (at least the last 45 minutes) and didn't laugh out loud once. I used to have four or five of those a show. Luckily, The Office has emerged to replace it as my only "can't miss" TV show of the week, otherwise I'd be tempted to toss my set out the window. Mind you, I only have the basic cable package - like 8 channels, so I'm clearly missing out on a lot of good stuff, but I really don't want to watch that much TV anyhow... so I have time to post to my blog.

What exactly has happened to Desperate Housewives? Let me first say, I thought when they kept the cast together for a second season, we were in for a good one, but it has quickly dropped off. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Rex's death. He was a great foil for Bree, much better than her son, who is too much like her.
2. Too much Teri Hatcher - she's just not very entertaining, unless her rival - Ede - the blonde chick - is on the screen with her = and I didn't catch Ede at all last night.
3. Too much Zack, Mike, and the Grandfather - none of them is funny - okay Mike maybe a little bit
4. Final straw - the last couple weeks Eva Loranger's character (Gabrielle) seems to have become a better person. She was a great villain and her battles with Carlos and the crazy nun were the final highlight of the show for me. Now the nun is gone.
5. Tom and Lynette's working together thing is not as funny as their struggles with their heathen children. While their workplace storyline is probably the best one going on right now - it's still not as good as their old storyline -which about sums it up.

Last night, my wife had to call me out of bed (where I was reading - not sleeping, honest) to come and catch the show. A couple weeks ago, I would have been there front and center for kick-off.

Do I think it can come back? No, and here's why (keep in mind, I've been known to be wrong). For some reason, I've always thought of Desperate Housewives as being akin to Guns and Roses' Appetite for Destruction album. Whenever you would read anything about the band or the cast of the show, it always sounded so dysfunctional that you knew it could never last. I'll never forget listening to Appetite for Destruction and discussing it with one of my friends who said, "I had to pick this up, because with a band like this, you never know if they're going to do anything else." That turned out to be a great call. I kept waiting for Desperate Housewives to fall apart in the traditional manner - cast members leaving - but it never happened. However, much like Guns and Roses, it kind of has fallen apart from within.

Maybe the writer just lost his edge and used up all his ideas and hasn't been able to generate new ones. I'm not going to blame him. Because I think dark comedy is one of the hardest genre's to pull off and I've only seen a handful of movies and read a handful of books that have done it successfully. And, aside from the Simpsons and Married with Children can't think of too many shows - Cheers I guess sometimes (and maybe Seinfeld), that have done it for a long time successfully. And Desperate Housewives was an hour-long show that brought a lot to the table in areas like drama and sexiness that added to its comedy and helped it appeal to a broad audience. It was really pretty ambitious, much like Appetite for Destruction, and could probably only be sustained for so long.

Oh well, it was a good run.




DocTorDee said...

You're on your own, here, Ralph. I probably watch less TV than you do and I've never seen Desperate Housewives. I should probably cancel my cable subscription. Doc.

Ralph said...

So, what have you been doing for kicks? I've become intrigued by the Viking invastions of England from about 500-1000 A.D. and have been doing some research on them...

DocTorDee said...

I've been doing a lot of reading and meditating. I've been able to move to the next level of meditation...this means my level of perception has changed and increased.

The more I do, the easier it becomes, and easier meditation means that things in life become easier. But I still have to put in the TIME in order to gain the results.

Time and focused meditation, along with Starbuck's, it the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

I managed to find a book on CD called, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by a dude named Zin. He rocks.

Ralph said...

Anyone named Zin...well, he should rock. Glad to hear the thoughts are going well. While I understand the power of meditation, the concept of life becoming "easier" is not one that I can readily grasp. As a heads up, I'd like to say, I've adopted Job's motto, which is also phrased quite eloquently by Nickelback: "Something's gotta go wrong,'cuz I'm feelin' way too damn good."