The news yesterday that Desperate Housewives impending eighth season would be its last was greeted by my brain with a small but pungent whooshing sound. Like: Pffffffshhhhhh. I think it was the sound of my synapses struggling not to care, and failing.*
Because the fact of the matter is that while I abandoned this show during the George W. Bush administration, I still hold Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabrielle in a messily designed but still rather plush corner of my heart. It remains an all too rare event when a television show revolves around that many (relatively) fully realized female characters and becomes a true cultural phenomenon. (The others: Sex and the City, Golden Girls, and, um…) Also, and this is probably more important, the show at its best was fun, a confection of soapy, sappy, silly, and sassy that felt unlike anything else on TV.
And then the second season began, with its deadly Betty Applewhite, locked-my-son-in-chains-in-the-basement storyline, and the air began to leak out of the balloon.
I stuck through that entire, dreadful season, waiting for it to jump into gear, waiting for Alfre Woodard to be given something interesting to do, but nothing ever really worked. By the time the third season began, my enthusiasm, unfortunately, was gone. I watched a few episodes, saw Laurie Metcalf kill Tom Scavo’s annoying baby mama, and then drifted away. Sure, I’d check in now and again – wait, Carlos is blind now? And they’ve jumped how many years ahead? Hey look, gay people! And Wilhelmina! – but I’d never settle in for more than an episode. I’ve long since lost count of how many husbands Bree has had, let alone how many “mysteries” have overstayed their welcome, or how many times Mary Alice ended the episode’s narration by saying, “Yes.”
Yes – given Housewives’ steady (and at times steep) decline in viewership over the last seven years, I’d say a fair number of you have charted a similar journey with the show. But now that these ladies are officially heading for the sunset, I may just need to start watching again, to see them off properly.
So tell me, when did you stop regularly tuning into Desperate Housewives? And will you come back to the show now that it’s over? Vote in the polls below!
*Annie Barrett just pointed out to me that this is the same sound as when you break a York Peppermint Patty right next to your ear, which I didn’t realize was even a thing until I did it in her office earlier this week. So I guess when you eat a Peppermint Patty, you’re biting into your own existential struggle with the desire to sink into ennui? And now I’m thinking about Charlie Brown, for some reason. This PopWatch post just got really out of hand. Bree would not approve.
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