Monday, January 12, 2009

'Desperate' Mondays: Connect! Connect!

A pediatric power struggle.

Gabby versus The Girls.

And the ill-behaved Girls were winning, up until Gabby enlisted her new, deep-voiced gardener to scare her young charges into listening to her, plus do a little vacuuming to make up for their prolonged brattiness.

That was the best storyline in the latest installment of Desperate Housewives, which aired against the Golden Globe awards (and beat them during the 9-10 hour), for which it was up for none of the shiny statues. And after this episode, it's largely clear why not. Except for the Gabby story; Eva Longoria Parker has been sharp this season.

In this fresh episode, Gabby was paying the price for coercing Carlos into taking the six-figure job he didn't want (he wanted to work for a non-profit helping the blind) when he had to go on his first overnight work trip. Without Carlos the Authoritarian around, The Girls flagrantly flouted Gabby's authority, or lack thereof, and pushed her buttons by telling her they loved Carlos more.

In one pathetically amusing scene, Gabby literally dragged her 6-year-old by the arms from the sofa -- where the girl was watching a movie -- across the room and to the stairs in an attempt to make her go up to the bathroom for her bath. In the process, Gabby strained her back. While she was moaning in pain on the stairs, her daughter Juanita returned to the other room to resume her movie.

After two days of insubordinate rudeness, Gabby turned to the gardener, a guy with a very low voice, to yell at her daughters to scare them into obeying. When Carlos came home, Gabby told him if he didn't want her to keep turning to the gardener for discipline, he'd have to be Carlos the Enforcer for the first 15 minutes when he gets home from work each night.

Funniest exchange of the night was between Bree and Orson:

"You know, I'm feeling a bit randy tonight. Whaddya say we make a little love?" Orson asked.

"Well, we've got 15 minutes until the news is on," Bree said. "Why not?"

The Scavo story. Suddenly -- poof! --- no more legal troubles for Porter. The storyline that had been building for weeks was abruptly transformed into a thin device in order to segue into an examination of Lynette's sour relationship with the angry mother she put in a retirement home three years ago. When I think of all the potential the Scavo family had and how the characters have been wasted -- particularly the talents of Felicity Huffman -- I just get sad.

Oh, and stop the presses. Susan Mayer broke up with her absent painter boyfriend. Edie Britt took back Dave Williams, her psycho killer husband (only she doesn't know he's a killer, just thinks he's a wee bit off). Bree Van de Kamp Hodge fought with her son-in-law-to-be over her domineering style. Mike Delfino likes Katherine Mayfair, wait, is Katherine even a main character any more? If I sound a tad bored, it's because I am. This show started off its fifth season by busting down the doors, seemingly rejuvenated. Now, with the exception of Gabby Solis, I feel as though it has lost its way a bit. I hope the writers find the way back. Soon.

Next week's promo indicated that the new episode will be filled with more backstory, from way back, before season one. Maybe they're trying to capture some of that season one magic?

Your thoughts on the latest episode? What did you like/dislike?

Image credit: ABC.

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