TV Article

Wife During Wartime

Why does Bree steal the show and our hearts every week on ''Desperate Housewives''? Because she keeps on fighting while keeping up appearances

Marcia Cross | SEPARATION ANXIETY Bree nearly winds up alone
Image credit: Desperate Housewives: Bob D'Amico
SEPARATION ANXIETY Bree nearly winds up alone

''Desperate Housewives'': Bree is under attack

How does Bree do it? You know, that Little Miss Perfect thing. Does she ever have a bad hair, skin, or makeup day? Even while gardening, she's tastefully color-coordinated, her hair glamorously flipped and her skin devoid of even the tiniest hint of perspiration. (Come to think of it, none of these women ever breaks much of a sweat except for poor overworked and understyled Lynette.) Makes you wonder if Bree has a personal stylist and makeup artist stashed away in the guest room, someone who touches her up whenever the camera focuses on another character.

Even Lynette's normally clueless husband is conscious enough to notice that Bree is indeed superwoman. So what that she's not ace in the bedroom? Or that her son hates her? Or that her presumed-(by Bree)-to-be-virgin daughter, Danielle, might be next on Gabrielle's boy toy's to-do list? Or that she and husband Rex are on the verge of divorce? Bree does what every nighttime soap star worth her weight in diva appeal can do: She looks spectacular under duress. (Maybe she could give Lynette some advice on how to cope without Ritalin.)

It doesn't even matter that she can't quite pull off sexy the way Gabrielle and Susan can. (And speaking of Susan, any guy who can break a date with her looking that oh so red hot deserves what he doesn't get.) After all, for the most part, the male population on Wisteria Lane is so caddish they're not worth wooing. That means you too, Rex.

An interesting touch in this episode was having model wannabe (as if!) Danielle comb her hair while Bree and Rex were announcing that they are getting a divorce. Like mother, like daughter. Only surely Bree knows that it's tacky to groom oneself at the dining room table. She arrives in every scene dressed to impress, and she didn't disappoint here. Her scarf, in particular, is worthy of praise. If you are going to tackle a task as mundane as telling your kids that their parents are getting a divorce, you might as well look fabulously Parisian while doing it. Rex will never again have it so good. Memo to Bree: We know you can garden circles around the neighbors, but maybe you ought to consider getting yourself a sexy young gardener of your own. It worked for Gabrielle.

As for the kids, I'm not sure how I feel about Bree's threatening to throw them out. But it was certainly fun watching them squirm. And the way she so meticulously organized their belongings on the front lawn will go down as a classic Bree moment.

One final point: Kudos to Desperate Housewives for always giving us the unexpected. When Bree's son, Andrew, pulled out his cell phone before getting into his spiffy new car, it was obvious that the night was going to end with someone being hoisted onto a stretcher. But who knew the victim would be Gabrielle's mother-in-law from hell? Or that Andrew would break down and call Bree ''Mama''? It's not a word that I'd necessarily associate with her (she's so ''Mother''), but imagine how warm and tingly it must have made her feel. One can only hope that Mama knows best and she doesn't try to cover up her son's misdeeds. Ah, another twist to keep us watching.

Okay, enough about Bree! What did you think about the other wives' plotlines? And whose dark secret do you think will be revealed first?

Originally posted Nov 22, 2004
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