Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Desperate' Monday . . . Er . . . Tuesday: Look Into Their Eyes . . .

I spent a lot of time rolling my eyes during the latest episode of Desperate Housewives, back from a hiatus that seemed to go on forever. But perhaps it should've been longer. Maybe the writers should've taken some more time to work on this Edie-is-dead episode because, damn, did they phone this one in.

This episode was practically a carbon copy of the January 18 episode, "The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, featuring the dead handyman whom we'd never before seen but somehow managed to be an integral part of the lives of the Wisteria Lane residents. That previous episode was filled with flashbacks as each of the ladies -- during a poker game soon after Eli Scruggs died while working on Susan Mayer's roof -- had their own remembrances of Eli and the impact he made on them.

This new episode, called "Look Into Their Eyes And See What They Know," had the ladies drive Edie's remains to her son's college. However when the son, whom Edie previously used as Carlos-bait, said he didn't want the ashes, the gals wound up spreading them in their own yards. The bulk of the episode was comprised of nothing but supposedly meaningful "flashbacks" of Edie with each of the women. But at least viewers knew Edie, unlike the Eli dude.

Come on people. This show used to offer razor-sharp satire, black humor, insight. Its first two seasons were top-notch. Desperate Housewives was the buzzy show. Its stars were featured on the covers of the big magazines. Then something happened and it all went to hell. Stories that seemed promising (the Scavo family business for example) withered or were unsatisfactorily ignored (like Gabby's kids post-Carlos' new job). Preposterous other ones came forth (Porter Scavo's arson charge). Curious characters arrived but left abruptly (Tom's daughter Kayla, who was shipped off somewhere and never heard from again), as if the writers had grown tired of them, the way a child gets tired of a toy.

This season started off with some solid scenes, most of them courtesy of Gabby and Carlos Solis. Before Carlos got the new job and all the money and Gabby's character ceased to be interesting anymore. She reverted back to being the character she'd always been: Shallow and boring in her sub-zero-sized designer duds and perfect manicure. Yawn.

After watching the recent episode, I figured the writers must now be burnt out. The writers' room must be a desert, no new ideas, no compelling storylines. Just retreads. And that's a damned shame.

Image credit: ABC.

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