Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Desperate' Tuesday: Never Judge a Lady by Her Lover

*Warning: Spoilers ahead from the recent episode of Desperate Housewives.*

This episode began with a voice-over saying, “There’s a certain kind of woman you see in the suburbs.” Then a series of unflattering portrait of suburban women was unleashed: The mom who waits with her kid for the school bus while still wearing her bathrobe and clutching a mug of coffee. The mom who’s clutching the baby carrier while running to the post office with curlers still in her hair. Another one unloading groceries from the grocery store – as her kids were dashing into the house -- while wearing sweats and a T-shirt. “This woman is a housewife. . . She will try to look beautiful if she has someone to look beautiful for.”

Then they went to a shot of Gabby with her hair haphazardly pinned on the back of her head while she was eating out a restaurant with her family, including her two young kids, one of whom had just hurled food at her. Only Gabby hasn’t resembled said description of a “housewife” -- who looks like the rest of us mere moral suburban moms -- since early last season before Carlos regained his sight, back when Carlos was a humanitarian who wanted to work for little to no money, only Gabby pressured him into accepting a cut-throat, overtime working, six-figure job.

Since the middle of last season, Gabby has been back to her svelteness and her couture, regardless of the shot of her messy up-do, and Carlos has been back to being the ruthless businessman he was when Desperate Housewives started years ago. Gabby’s going to be jealous of her former gardener lover’s interest in her hot niece and Carlos is discriminating against a pregnant woman by offering Lynette a major promotion while openly telling her that he didn’t pick the other candidate because she’s pregnant, of course laying the groundwork for a discrimination suit should he try to take away that promotion from Lynette once he learns she’s pregnant, with twins no less.

The shift backwards in Carlos’ and Gabby’s characters have annoyed me since last season just when I was actually starting to cotton to Gabby and was loathing what had happened to Lynette’s character, who was a mere shadow of the greatness she’d been during that same freshman season. Now it’s as if they’ve swapped places. Lynette’s back to season one goodness and Gabby and Carlos are back to being shallow, heartless folk. What a shame, just as I was starting to like Gabby too.

As for the Susan-as-the-outraged-mother story -- where she spread erronenous rumors that her new neighbors’ son Danny choked Julie and then attacked Danny by nearly crushing him with a car as she tried to get him to admit his guilt -- I’m at least glad that the writers didn’t tie up the who-strangled-Julie mystery in a neat, little bow. So Danny didn’t do it, but obviously someone in the creepy Bolen family did . . . something. Now there are two mysteries: Who hurt Julie and what the Bolen family is hiding. And you know what, I don’t care about either one of them. Give me actual character development with sharp suburban satire instead of hollow plot advancers and I’ll be happy.

A genuinely amusing moment from the episode, was the Scavo kids’ reaction to Lynette’s announcement that she’s pregnant:

“Aren’t you going to be like the world’s oldest moms?”

“It’s so gross that you’re still doing it.”

What’d you think of “Never Judge a Lady by Her Lover?”

Image credit: ABC.

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