Cover Story

Third Time's the Charm

''Desperate Housewives'': Sexier. Funnier. Better? Eva Longoria and company have a juicy secret: They think their upcoming season will be the best yet. One promising sign -- nobody is locked in a basement

Eva Longoria | HOT AND UNBOTHERED Longoria, mindful that tens of millions of eyes remain glued to Housewives , is unfazed by critics' carping about season 2
Image credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES WHITE
HOT AND UNBOTHERED Longoria, mindful that tens of millions of eyes remain glued to Housewives, is unfazed by critics' carping about season 2

Someone is screaming on Wisteria Lane. It's not Bree discovering that her Grand Marnier soufflé has deflated by three millimeters. Or Lynette scolding her mud-covered kids for burying their toys in the neighbor's backyard. Or even Susan hanging by her fingertips from the roof after another surveillance mission gone awry. No, this is the Gabrielle kind of commotion — the type that involves a smiling stud, high-thread-count sheets, and little clothing.

Except that right now on the Desperate Housewives set, Gaby isn't making whoopee, she's faking whoopee. Eva Longoria's deliciously entitled ex-model was last seen discovering her testy ex-con hubby, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), in a compromising position with their maid/surrogate mother. Now the two have entered the War of the Roses phase of their relationship — living in the same house but doing everything they can to tick each other off. Gaby's latest strike: luring Carlos' old friend into the bedroom for a faux romp — which explains why a bathrobe-clad Longoria is shaking the bejesus out of a designer canopy bed, tossing her head back and giving it her all. As in ''Yes, yes! Oh, Phil! Give it to me!''

Thinking he's about to have real sex, Phil keeps trying to join Gaby in the sack. She fends him off (''Beat it, Phil. No means no!'') while still pretending to get off (''Take me home, Philly! God, you should wear a saddle!''). Frustrated, Phil finally storms out, but an oblivious Gaby continues to bang the bedposts — that is, until Carlos sneaks into the room, taps her on the shoulder, and asks for her car keys.

It's a vintage Housewives moment of sexy slapstick, and as the crew chuckles and repositions the camera, a reporter asks Longoria about the actorly challenges of — how shall we put this? — fake faking it. ''Actually, the toughest part is wearing this robe, because it's 100 degrees outside, and this robe is 200 degrees inside,'' she says, catching a breather on a nearby staircase. ''I'm sweating and jumping on the bed and yelling and moaning. I thought I was going to pass out, it was so hot.'' She fans herself. ''And I've got comforter burns on my legs.''

Where is that lawn boy with the garden hose when you need him? Anyway, you get the point — things are heating up this year on Desperate Housewives.

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