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Some Blog I Wrote

stuff i think about and then type on a keyboard

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I don't get it.

I don't get Desperate Housewives.

Is it popular becuase of all the early (planted) press about its controversial nature? The key to the show's success is to apply the daytime soap opera to "typical suburbia," throw in some Seinfeldian circular writing, and wrap it up in a wimpy bag of feminine empowerment. I've resigned to sitting through a few episodes since it debuted last fall, and I'm consistently annoyed by several elements.

Sue Ellen Mishki might have a great rack, but she has a terrible narrating voice. Her equally curvaceous sing-songy snarky-yet-kindhearted tone has driven me to the edge of madness into which I fall when being inundated with the show's soundtrack.

I'm glad Danny Elfman was unshackled by Marvel Entertainment long enough to score a quirky yet unspectacular theme, but the incidental music might as well be a fork to a chalkboard or a chorus repeatedly shouting, "Aren't we clever!" This music is the most smug self-aggrandizing device since the vile laugh track.

The characters are completely unlikeable, and I'm not sure if that's deliberate. At least Arrested Development has Michael. And better writing. Much better writing. And better acting. And that's the show that gets ignored and cancelled!

Why is this show popular with reasonably intelligent people? My only guess is that they are all afraid of missing out on water cooler talk on Monday.

Posted by GiromiDe @ 2:45 PM
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At Wed Nov 23, 05:11:00 PM CST, Blogger DrHeimlich wrote...

I watch Desperate Housewives.

But let me be clear. There are a few shows on television that I think are transcendently good, that I would recommend strongly to other people: Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Arrested Development, Veronica Mars (sniff)... Desperate Housewives does not make it into that elite group, in my opinion.

Let me also state that compared to the first season, this year has been sorely lacking. So if you've been trying to "see what the fuss is all about" based on this season, I get why you don't get it.

The bottom line is, Desperate Housewives is a prime time soap opera. WB teen shows (and their ilk, a la The OC) notwithstanding, there haven't really been any major prime-time soaps on since the glory days of the 80s, when Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Dynasty were around. This show is very much cut from that cloth.


It also has pretty good writing, and tremendous acting. Marcia Cross and Felicity Huffman, in particular, deliver some truly powerful dramatic moments on a fairly regular business, which are the equal of most serious, 100% dramas you can find on the airwaves.

The thing is, you have to wait for stretches to get these moments. You have to sit through the outrageous, the snarky (I don't like the voice-overs either), and more -- but it does pay off.

That said, I'm not trying to convince you to watch it or anything. I'd much sooner push Veronica Mars on you. :-)

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At Fri Nov 25, 09:27:00 AM CST, Blogger GiromiDe wrote...

I have watched some of last season. It's just not my thing. My post wasn't some blanket condemnation of fans of the show. I just wanted to represent those of us who've seen the show and simply don't "get it."

At this point, I'd be better off renting Veronica Mars on DVD.

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At Sat Nov 26, 03:47:00 PM CST, Blogger DavĂ­d wrote...

Yeah, it doesn't do anything for me either. I much prefer the show that follows it, Grey's Anatomy.

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