It seemed like a weird move to jump the plot of ABC’s Desperate Housewives ahead five years, but what do you know, the gimmick has actually worked and brought the show back to creepy, bitchy life.
If you’d finally given up on the popular nighttime soaper, this might be a good time to catch back up. There is a new crazy in town, Neal McDonough as Dave, Edie’s (Nicolette Sheridan) new husband. His plan? To buddy up to Mike Delfino (James Denton) and then avenge the deaths of his own wife and child.
Meanwhile, poor Lynette (Felicity Huffman) has two grown twins and one of them had a torrid affair with his best friend’s mother (Gail O’Grady), and maybe there’s a baby… well, maybe there isn’t a baby, but she was paid off with Lynette’s emergency fund, which she now needs to bail her son out of the pokey.
The women are becoming more and more desperate as time and age close in. The more desperate they get, the better the show, particularly now, when we’re all just hanging by a thread. What will become of Lynette’s son? What will become of Dave’s murderous plans?
This is what audiences need right now. We can’t really handle real trauma, not with all that’s going on with the economy. Sassy camp? Bring it on. Keep us distracted with melodrama so we won’t have to look at our checkbooks or our dwindling savings accounts. It’s the perfect comeback for right now.
The same can’t be said for Boston Legal, which went out not with a bang, but a whimper. The two-hour finale was proof that it was time to shut down Boston Legal a few seasons ago. David E. Kelly got one last soapbox on which to preach at the Chinese for their various crimes against humanity. Most of the time, we’re right there, cheering along with his self-righteous characters because we wish we had the opportunity to chew out institutions we abhor.
But alas, the goodbye episode wasn’t nearly as good as some of the show’s long-since passed episodes. One can only hope that other shows creaking on their squeaky wheels in the last act will go out while they’re still dancing. At least they had the grace to go. Someone needs to gently remind the producers of Grey’s Anatomy that the show is in critical condition. It needs some surgery of its own, any old chopper will do.
In case anyone is hoping that the reality trend has died down, it feels like we’re headed in that direction. In: vigilantism. Out: rooting for everyman to become famous. Ick.
Lost is coming back in January and not a moment too soon. Hopefully that show will revive the landscape of television overall and give us something vaguely suspenseful to look forward to. But if, upon its return, Lost has jumped the shark, I’m not trading up to a digital TV. I’ll just wait for the white noise.