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TV: Desperate Housewives

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Four episodes in, and I’m still liking Desperate Housewives. Smart writing, good acting and an intriguing mystery to keep you coming back, all adding up to a very pleasant way to spend an hour with mainstream television.

It’s good to see a series where the leads are women and, as a man, it’s nice that they are so attractive. It’s good to see Teri Hatcher again in something regular, as well as Felicity Huffman (haven’t seen much of her since, when I lived in the USA for a while, I used to watch Sports Night reruns on Comedy Central), and Nicolette Sheridan, who I will always associate with The Sure Thing, a fondly remembered film I persuaded a couple of friends to see in the cinema when nobody else in the UK did, so I feel connected to the show already.

The show has a nice dynamic, with an attempt at portraying different versions of the modern woman, and a nice sense of humour (any show which contains the line “Whenever Rex ejaculates, he sobs like a baby” is okay with me). Some of it doesn’t work too well; the daytime soap opera feel to Gabrielle’s adultery with the gardener jibes, and the strained writing when they try to keep Susan and Mike Delfino from going out on a date is kind of annoying. (Is it me, or is having the seemingly only decent man in the show named after the island in Super Mario Sunshine seem funny? Or does that just show me up in a rather sad light?) And I’m still not sure that they know what they want to do with Felicity Huffman’s character, apart from the cheap comic relief of the twin kids getting into trouble. But it’s early days yet.

It sometimes treats the men as one-dimensional evil characters, but the leads have to be developed first, so supporting players get pushed to the side, so hopefully that will change. And, apart from close proximity, I can’t see why these people would be friends, but that could be because I am a Londoner, and so don’t talk to anyone, especially anyone who lives on my street, who are all axe-wielding maniacs by default. My anti-social tendencies aside, this is a good show which actually deserves the buzz it has been getting.

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