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#1
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

September 24, 2006: Listen to the Rain on the Roof
Looks like Marc Cherry is keeping his promise: He's been in the media everywhere proclaiming that the show's quality will be back in tip-top shape, like it was in the first season. He deserves a pat on the back for cowriting a (for the most part) first-rate script with Jeff Greenstein (Emmy-winning writer/executive producer of Will & Grace - Jeff wrote the pivotal '80s flashback episode where Will first came out to Grace). I thought it was a smart thing to fast-forward to six months from the last time we saw them. This way they didn't have to deal with following up on the aftermath of the Applewhites' departure; also, Xiao-Mei's more pregnant and they could have Bree realistically able to say yes to Orson's proposal.

Poor unlucky-in-love Bree. She went from one disastrous relationship to the next and then to the next. But tonight's biggest highlight for me was Bree experiencing her very first orgasm without even realizing it. I had been wondering what she was exactly referring to in the promos when she said "I don't do that - I'm a Republican!" Orson's reply was one of the best of the many zingers tonight: "I'm a Libertarian - I believe in minimizing the role of the state and maximizing individual rights." I was already dying when Orson started to go "down there" and Bree was like "Excuse me - did you lose something?" The actress who played the nurse who told Bree she had her first big "O" - Vernee Watson-Johnson - has played a lot of characters in her career, but she will always be remembered (at least to me - hello - showing my age) as one of the original cast members of Welcome Back, Kotter playing Verna Jean, who hung out with the Sweathogs. But let's talk about what made Bree want to have sex with Orson in the first place - he recleaned the wine glasses with red-wine vinegar. Hilarious that Orson's being a clean freak was an aphrodisiac for Bree.

Speaking of great guest stars, Laurie Metcalf gave us her usual brilliance as the Gladys Kravitz-like Carolyn Bigsby. Her final scene, when she exposed Orson as a wife killer, was my second favorite scene and was definitely one of those classic "Desperate Housewives moments." Marcia Cross showed us just why it was a travesty that she wasn't nominated (?!?) for best actress at last month's Emmys (umm... she should have won the frickin' thing, but she wasn't even nominated... don't get me started on that). Also briefly effective was Valerie Mahaffey from Northern Exposure as Alma Hodge. Having the parrot say "Orson - no!" twice when Carolyn arrived at the door was ingenious. Can we assume that was Alma's body in the dirt at the end? We'll have to stay tuned.

Eva Longoria provided the best comic relief tonight. She had so many funny moments that I will randomly choose this one to mention. After Xiao-Mei (the fabulous Gwendoline Yeo) shouted to her: "You are meanest person," Gaby shouted back: "I am the meanest person! You've been in this country for a year - modify your nouns, damn it!" Xiao-Mei: "What a bitch!" I also enjoyed the Susan "misery loves company" story line: Having her meet Ian (Dougray Scott) at the hospital while they both waited for their other halves to come out of their comas was quite clever. Teri Hatcher was awesome in the poignant scene where she asks the comatose Mike permission to go on the (almost) date with Ian: "It's really just dinner." That had to be an easy day at work for James Denton - no lines to memorize.

Nice to see my Nicollette Sheridan back in full form as Edie (she wasn't in the two-hour season finale). I loved how Edie kept trying to sell Paul Young's house with continually bad results. It was perfect to have Mrs. Landingham, I mean Mrs. McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten), be the one to spill the beans to those potential buyers that someone was murdered in the house.

The weakest link is still the Scavo story line. I didn't like it in the season finale and I still don't. The fact that Nora (Kiersten Warren) expects to be such a part of the family now (like wanting to be in the holiday family photo) was absurd. Lynette and Tom scurrying like rats to remove evidence of a kiddie party so Nora wouldn't catch them? Dumb. Let's hope Nora and her daughter Kayla leave town soon (but not Kayla's daddy, Tom - he can stay). I did like Felicity Huffman's line when Tom asked Lynette how he should tell Nora not to be in the photo: "How about 'You're in the frame, bitch - move'?"

So what did you think? Do you agree that this looks to be a better season, for the most part? Or are you desperate to find a different show to watch in the same time slot?

Posted by Dave Anderson 09/25/06 3:18 AM


October 1, 2006: It Takes Two

The title of this episode could've been "Wrong Baby, Wrong Body." The first thing I thought when the black baby came out of Xaio-Mei was: "Did she have sex with one of the Applewhites?" You never know with this show. But then it was revealed that the clinic artificially inseminated Xaio-Mei with the wrong "stuff." Loved when Carlos said (while looking through the video camera): "I've got to get the color fixed on this thing," followed by Gabrielle lowering the camera so Carlos could realize his camera was not faulty. I also enjoyed the scene that followed — having Carolyn Bigsby (Laurie Metcalf) walk into the morgue right after Orson said the dead body was not his wife, Alma's. I thought for sure she was going to identify it as Alma, but she also said it wasn't her. Nice way to add to the mystery by having Orson whisper "Tu me manques, Monique" to the body, indicating it was yet another person he probably killed. "Tu me manques" means "I miss you" in French, so this should be an interesting plot.

Speaking of that plot, ABC continues to cast former Oz cast members in their shows and I have no problem with that. That was Ernie Hudson as the detective who assumed the body was Alma's. Here's hoping Alma doesn't come back as a ghost since we know Ernie has had his share of ghostbusting.

Even though I dislike the Scavo story line, I liked that Lynette referred to Nora as "Squeaky Fromme" and that she sat Nora with a bunch of single men at Bree and Orson's reception. Too bad it ended up being Carlos who Nora was into. Having Tom be the emcee at the reception gave Doug Savant a chance to be quite funny, especially when Susan and Ian (Dougray Scott) kept going back and forth with their toasts. I laughed at Susan pretending to be a brain surgeon with Ian's parents and Susan covering Mike's ears at the hospital when Ian referred to their "date."

Giving Jesse Metcalfe (no relation to Laurie — she spells her name without an "e") a run for his money in the hunk department was Josh Henderson (from Over There) as Austin, Edie's nephew. How perfect for Susan's daughter Julie to be the first character to see Austin shirtless and to pretend not to be attracted to him ("You're not that hot"). With Jesse returning to the show next week, it will be a hunk-a-thon. But I want more Nicollette Sheridan!

Once again, most of the funniest lines went to Eva Longoria. My favorite was Gaby after Xaio-Mei told her she was bored: "Why don't you try putting on a pair of pants? That should kill a couple of hours." Second favorite was Gaby trying to make Carlos jealous by flirting with the attractive but gay cater waiter and saying to him, after he asked her, "Should I cup your boob?": "No, I'll drive."

Your comments about last week's episode ranged from "Loved it... it's back on track" to "Ugh... same ole same ole" so I can only assume we'll get various opinions again. But that's what makes this intriguing, so chime in, peeps.
Posted by Dave Anderson 10/2/06 4:29 AM


October 8, 2006: A Weekend in the Country

My favorite part about watching this show is the way they end it each week. Sometimes they wrap it up sweetly in a way that makes you smile. While other times, like last week and tonight, we get a shocker that leaves us hanging until the next episode. Sure, we knew Mike would come out of his coma eventually, but I didn't think it would be tonight. How wonderful that they didn't do it the clichéd soap opera way where his eyes suddenly opened up while the camera was on him. Instead, we got a great Edie reaction shot of shock, followed by scenes with other characters (interspersed with the usual Brenda Strong closing narration) and then back to Edie's face looking over at Mike with his eyes wide open. Loved that! It was already hilarious for Edie to stop by the hospital to retrieve her CD player, grab a chocolate and take a peek under Mike's blanket to see if he still measured up: "Damn! That's with the coma!" While we're on the subject of my goddess Nicollette Sheridan, she had some of tonight's best lines. Once again proving she was robbed of an Emmy nomination two years in a row for best supporting actress in a comedy, she delivered the following as Edie to Julie, after Julie told her Susan brought Edie's CD player to the hospital for Mike: "This Florence Nightingale act is really chapping my ass!" This was followed immediately by this line to her nephew Austin: "Hey, science guy, I have an experiment for you. Go home, mix two ounces of gin, a splash of vermouth and see if it improves my mood when I drink it." The first line gave me déjà vu to my childhood when my mother (Joan Anderson) screamed from the front seat of the car to me and my two brothers as we were loudly arguing in the backseat: "You three better be quiet! You're aggravating my ass!!" Swear to God.

Tonight, we finally got to see Bree interact with both of her kids. First, Danielle with that bad perm (nice that she made that indirect reference to Matthew Applewhite). Then, at last, Andrew. How "perfectly Bree" of her to finally see her son, but to see him while on her honeymoon on the news being interviewed as a homeless teen. The honeymoon was over, for sure. Luckily, Orson didn't go ballistic and showed love and support by locating Andrew in his state of homelessness, giving him cash and taking him to lunch. Good to see Andrew come home at the end — the dysfunctional family is back together. But you know Orson's innocent act won't last long. Orson to Bree: "I don't want there to be any secrets between us," and to Andrew: "I know about rage. But when it goes away, you just live with the mess you make." I was very impressed that they addressed Bree's alcoholism and her ongoing frustration when Orson asked her why she was gardening. Better to tend to her azaleas than drink that entire bottle of Chardonnay in her fridge.

When John (Jesse Metcalfe) just so happened to be at the resort that Gabrielle was at for her and Lynette's spa vacation weekend (that Lynette bailed on), I rolled my eyes. But I soon got over it (remember, Dave, this is just a TV show) because I had forgotten how much I liked seeing the two of them together. Hot. You knew Gaby was going to dig the new and improved version of John since he now owns his own gardening company: "Oooh... I like rich John!" (after he offered to buy a bottle of Dom). When John's fiancée, Tammy (Michelle Pierce), showed up at the hotel her daddy owned, how on earth could they hide Gaby? Having her hide inside the suitcase was ingenious and hearing Gaby scream "That bitch!" from inside the suitcase after Tammy accepted John's sudden gift of Gaby’s watch (followed by John kicking the suitcase) had me rewinding my TiVo. How to top that? Having Gaby come out of the suitcase in front of the couple on the elevator: "Don't laugh! I saved a bundle on airfare." This should be interesting since John claims he won't cheat once he gets married. Gaby: "Marriage is hard."

I enjoyed the Susan/Ian "weekend in the country" plot since they were taking "it" so slowly. It's fun to see a couple in the early stages go back and forth with the "how many people have you been with?" conversation. I'm usually the one who pulls a Susan and tries to make it look like I haven't been too much of a slut. Loved that she whittled 11 intimate lovers down to nine and said: "Nine lovers does not make me a slut!" Of course, just as Susan and Ian were getting comfortable, Mike came out of his coma. One ridiculous thing: Susan and Ian had the exact same suitcase. Yeah, right.

I was so glad that the weakest link story line of the show showed some promise, especially after Lynette suggested she might play a game called "Finding Fault with Nora" (a game lots of us play each week). Having Nora be the one to tell Lynette that Tom wanted to branch out of advertising proved she wasn't a complete irritant. When the characters compare their lives to each other's with sympathy, it's worthwhile, like Lynette saying to Gabrielle: "I hate my life" and Gaby replying with: "I know. I wouldn't trade with you for anything." She may take that statement back next week.

In conclusion, I leave you with these two random funny lines:

- Gaby (seeing the two rabbits closely together at the resort): "What is this, freakin' Noah's Ark?"
- The drag queen Pearly Gates explaining her name to Bree: "Because you can't get to heaven without going through me." Bree: "How very saucy."

It's scenes such as these that make me accept Desperate Housewives' being in the comedy category rather than the drama one at the award shows. I like my comedies saucy.

Posted by Dave Anderson 10/9/06 4:41 AM

#2
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

October 15, 2006: Like It Was
Well, the battle between Susan and Edie for Mike's attention was certainly resurrected tonight. In true soap opera form, Mike finally came out of his coma and the only one not around or even in town was Susan. Susan was gallivanting with Ian in the country again, in a place where there was, of course, poor cell reception. When Susan's daughter Julie finally got through to Susan's cell, I was so hoping Julie would've said: "Umm... Mike came out of his coma. Can you hear me now?" I didn't think Susan was being fair to Ian. She didn't have to reciprocate his flirtations in the first place, but she did. But then I felt bad for Susan when Mike told her he didn't remember her and asked her not to come back for a while since he had to go to physical therapy. Retrograde memory loss will do that to you. You just knew Edie was going to be leering around the corner and then tell naïve Mike that he wasn't in love with Susan. Payback's a bitch and her name is Edie.

Orson is one of my favorite characters on the show now and I think it's due to a combination of the character being written so well and because Kyle MacLachlan is just so dang good. Yes, Orson is a "bad guy" and you can tell he's got a sordid past that includes killing his wife. But unlike Bree's former psychopath other half George, I don't find Orson creepy. Am I alone here? I like that he's so mysterious, but likably mysterious. Why is he being so nice and supportive to Bree's kids and to Bree herself even as he tried to kill Mike and then freaked out when he heard Mike came out of his coma? I kind of like not knowing why. Speaking of Bree's scandalous kids, it did not surprise me that Andrew turned tricks with older men while he was homeless and that Danielle had a bad perm, I mean, that Danielle was sleeping with her history teacher, Mr. Falati (Anthony Azizi from Commander in Chief). One of the best scenes tonight was when Bree confronted her neighbor Vera Keck and told her that her husband, Howard, (Terry Rhoads) was one of Andrew's clients. Best way to shut Bree up? Tell her about Danielle and the teacher. Poor Bree — her two kids are the town sluts. Vera was played by the fabulous Lisa Banes, who has portrayed a plethora of various roles in her career, but the one I want to point out? How about the mother in Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? Oh yes. Not everyone can say they've played the title character in a Tori Spelling TV movie.

While we're on the subject of Tori Spelling, I enjoyed the battle between Gabrielle and Carlos. She went too far in selling his belongings in a yard sale, but he went too far when he even suggested peeing in her mouthwash, soup and coffee. Then Carlos pulled a Bree and asked Gaby to get out of the car and he left her there on the street after she told him she slept with John Rowland again. Oh, what's the Tori connection, you ask? That was Michael Durrell as Gaby's lawyer briefly at the very end. 90210 fans will remember Michael as Donna Martin's doctor father. Uh-huh.

What a treat it was to have a Nora-free episode! At last — Lynette and Tom got to spend time with one of their sons. Since Parker was so bad at playing baseball, I totally related to him since I was always picked last while choosing teams in gym class (cue Debbie Downer noise). I didn't mind Lynette paying that pitcher kid Nicky $50 to help Parker and I laughed out loud when Parker's ball hit Nicky in the head. Am I bad? Glad Lynette seems to want to support Tom as he chases his dreams. As long as he chases them away from Nora.

Posted by Dave Anderson 10/16/06 5:02 AM

#3
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

October 22, 2006: Nice She Ain't
As Brenda Strong’s narration mentioned, "Sabotage — everyone is capable of it, but some go about it more ruthlessly than others." Sabotage was definitely the theme tonight and the title of the episode was, appropriately, "Nice She Ain’t." This would apply to Gaby, Edie, Bree, Nora and eventually Danielle. The victims of the sabotage? Carlos, Susan, Danielle, Lynette and Mr. Falati (Danielle's teacher). Let's break it down.

Gabrielle and Carlos are having their own War of the Roses. I didn't think I'd enjoy watching them fight back and forth like they did, but since their battles were done in humorous ways, it was worthwhile. Eva Longoria was the comedy MVP again with so many funny lines. I think my two favorites involved Gaby trying to make Carlos jealous by pretending to date his business associate Phil Lopez (Marco Sanchez). After leaving the hot tub with Phil, Gaby shouted to Carlos: "I’m making a snack for Phil. You want something to eat? Some sour grapes, perhaps? Maybe a little crow?" Even funnier was Gaby simulating loud sex with Phil, but then having to whisper to him that he wasn't really going to be having sex with her since she wasn’t into him that way. Phil: "But in the hot tub." Gaby: "Yes, you saw my boobs. And you're gonna have that mental snapshot to use as you wish for the rest of your life. But that's (screaming, as if in the heat of passion) all... you’re... getting!!" I was happy Carlos got to get back at her after siding with Phil and figuring out her sex act was just that — an act: "Oh yes! Yes, Phil! Fill me with Phil!"

How wonderful to get some good Edie scenes tonight, and Edie was at her sabotaging best with Susan. You just knew Susan was not going to be pleased after realizing it was Edie who turned Mike against her. Yes, it was silly for Susan to have to pay someone to abduct Mike from the hospital, but can you blame her? Anything to get some quality memory-jogging time with her man. Watching Susan do her usual pratfalls, of course, made Mike start to remember her a bit, but Edie had the upper hand when Mike asked to be brought back to the hospital. That scene had the best Edie-Susan moment. Susan: "Evil does not triumph over good." Edie: "That's how you see me?" Susan: "Damn straight. You lie, you cheat, you scheme, you ruin people’s relationships. How do you sleep at night?" Edie: "Soon? With Mike on top of me — if you know what I mean." Susan: "See? Evil. Evil!" Earlier, I laughed out loud when Edie thought Susan had B.O., but it was just her macaroni and cheese that stunk: "For God’s sake, take a bath!" And we can’t discuss awesome Edie lines without including this gem (in reference to Susan): "She’s been like this ever since Mike dumped her. Imagine Fatal Attraction with a much older woman."

Danielle turned into a Bree clone when it came to manipulating, scheming and yes, sabotaging her teacher/lover Mr. Falati after he broke it off with her. After Danielle told Bree and Orson that she got Falati fired, Orson (after Danielle left the room) said: "I must say that was rather underhanded." Bree: "Yes, I wonder where she gets it?" Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew) had some great lines earlier in the show. First one was during family dinner after Orson praised Bree’s spring lamb. Andrew (about Danielle): "She doesn’t like spring lamb. She prefers old goat." Then, after Andrew saw Danielle fake-killing herself (to Bree and Orson): "Danielle’s upstairs trying to commit suicide. Don’t rush — she’s not trying that hard." Later, at the hospital (to Bree): "She tried to slit her wrists with a spoon. How upset do you want me to be?" Doctor: "Her wounds are superficial." Andrew: "So is the patient." I’m glad they’re making Andrew much more likable and funny, and not just a snot.

Just when we were lucky to have a Noraless episode last week, she was back. You just knew that when she was eavesdropping on Lynette and some of the housewives talking about Tom’s new pizza-parlor idea, she’d be stirring up trouble. Can we please have Nora shipped overseas somewhere? I just don’t buy Lynette being so naive. Why would she believe Nora and think that Nora really thought Tom’s business venture was a stupid idea? Lynette just bought into Nora’s dastardly plan to sabotage the Scavo marriage. By the way, the little girl who plays Nora and Tom’s daughter, Kayla, is Rachel Fox, who portrayed the young Sydney in flashback scenes on Alias in its final season.

While we’re talking about recognizable actresses, if you were wondering why the gal who played Julie’s friend Sarah looked so familiar, that was Mae Whitman, who played Ann Veal on the late, great Arrested Development. You could tell Sarah was setting her sights on Austin, so it did not shock me to see them cavorting inside the car. Nice Julie line to Susan, after Julie caught Sarah with Austin and Susan whined about Mike: "Let it go — he’s not into you." I bet Julie hated emulating her mother.

Amidst all the sabotage, we got more info on that mysterious woman’s dead body. The phone number found on the body was Mike Delfino’s, so we’re getting closer and closer to learning what Orson’s connection to Mike’s past is. You must check out the latest issue of TV Guide magazine for more clues. On pages 26 and 27, my pal Mary Murphy wrote a fabulous article about "Desperate Housewives' fresh batch of neighbors." Go buy it — you won’t be sorry.

Posted by Dave Anderson 10/23/06 8:33 AM

#4
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

October 29, 2006: Sweetheart, I Have to Confess
I thoroughly enjoyed tonight's confession-themed episode, as did my roommate Jason, who referred to the Lynette-Susan-Gaby-getting-drunk-on-the-porch scene as one of the all-time funniest and well-written scenes, and I agree. Just that scene alone had highlights galore, like Lynette confessing her innermost feelings about Tom: "I want him to have what he wants — if it's what I want. I'm a bitch with a capital C." Earlier, Gaby's line had us rewinding to watch it again: "I'm just gonna say it. Tequila makes me happy!" Then, after the neighbor couple walked by: "Yeah, we're drinking on the porch — you got a problem with that?" followed by: "Can I tell you guys something? I can only tell you guys." Susan: "Oh my god — here she goes again — what grade is he in?" And before that, Susan to Lynette: "Where were we?" Lynette: "You were trying to figure out how to kill Edie without doing time." Susan: "I wish Paul Young was still around. He’d know what to do." But the best moment was the cab showing up looking for Ida Greenberg. Lynette: "Look Susan — God called you a cab!" Tell me you laughed hysterically like I did. Kudos to writers Dahvi Waller and Josh Senter.

Tonight, there were no weak links since the story line that usually annoys me was worthwhile. I liked that Tom remained faithful to Lynette and didn't take Nora's kiss at his future pizza parlor any further. What a great husband he was to immediately confess to Lynette what had happened before Nora could embellish the story and make it look like Tom made the first move. That scene with Lynette kicking Nora's door open and threatening bodily harm (but whispering it in Nora's ear so little Kayla couldn't hear) was Emmy caliber for Felicity Huffman.

Speaking of Emmy-caliber acting, Marcia Cross and Laurie Metcalf make quite a pair. I could watch the two of them read the phone book to each other — couldn't you? Having Carolyn become Bree’s "friend" due to the insistence of Carolyn's hubby Harvey was ingenious. Carolyn getting Bree to join her in the powder room and showing her the photo of the bruised Alma was beneficial since Bree now understands that Carolyn is just trying to help her and "not some crazy nut." Loved when Bree made sure Tish saw her and Orson dining with Carolyn and Harvey at the club. Brian Kerwin (Harvey) has now guested on all three of the shows I currently cover for the TV Show Commentary section: Grey's Anatomy, Nip/Tuck and Desperate Housewives. I’ve been a fan of Brian's ever since he starred in Showtime's underappreciated Beggars & Choosers.

Geez — who didn't have sex with that mysterious (and dead) Monique woman? Now we know Monique was involved with at least three men: Orson, Harvey and Mike. Nice way for Mike to remember Monique — having Edie come out of the hospital bathroom scantily clad triggering Mike's memory of Monique doing the same thing. And that dastardly conniving Orson just had to call Detective Ridley (Ernie Hudson) on Harvey. I guess we'll find out next week if Harvey was arrested after admitting to having the affair with Monique. We'll see more of Monique in flashbacks and the actress who plays her — Kathleen York from The West Wing — is also a singer/songwriter. (Her song "In the Deep" from Crash was nominated for an Oscar and she herself performed it on the Oscars that year.)

The ongoing battle between Gabrielle and Carlos was fun to watch and I must confess that I like it best when Carlos gets the upper hand. Gaby stealing the key, opening up the desk and seeing the contract Carlos was signing for a new job was interesting enough, but having it end up that Carlos made the contract up to test Gaby out was awesome. But I also enjoyed Gaby seducing Carlos with her rockin' body wearing next to nothing. But Carlos was no fool: "You're a model, not a model/actress" so he could tell she was up to no good. What a Halloween-like moment when Gaby pushed Carlos out the window and he was lying on the sidewalk covered with broken glass one second, then when she looked out the window again, Carlos was gone. I was thinking: "Carlos better not be dead," but luckily, he survived.

We got some quality Edie time tonight, thank goodness. The montage of Edie confessionals was hilarious, but we also got to see a rare tender Edie moment when she confessed to Mike that she fell in love with him years ago, but he never really noticed her: "Next time, look at me when you’re getting your mail." Best confessional Edie line to Father O’Malley: "Mike Delfino and I made out and it was great!" Perfect timing for Susan to walk in when Edie and Mike were cavorting under the covers at the hospital. Not-so-perfect timing for Susan's drunken confession to Ian that she has feelings for him, but, hey — at least this gets her mind off Mike.

Other random highlights:
— Mrs. McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten) blowing Susan's cover when Susan was hiding on Ian behind the car: "Hey, Susan!"
— Susan to Ian (about Edie): "She visits Mike after her hepatitis C treatments."
— Gaby sipping a Red Bull during the divorce proceedings and then mentioning Carlos to her lawyer: "That son of a bitch is up to something."
— The "Susan or the booze?" game Ian played with Susan the morning after her drunken stupor, with most of her answers being "Susan" and one answer being "a little of both: Booz-an."

Next week (stop reading if you didn't watch the previews for next week) is the big supermarket shootout and as the promos suggest, someone gets killed. I already know who it is but I'm not allowed to share. My lips are sealed.

Posted by Dave Anderson 10/30/06 5:16 AM

#5
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

November 5, 2006: Bang
I read a lot of advance press about this action-packed sweeps episode, and let me tell you, all the hype did not let me down. I laughed, I cried, I was on the edge of my seat, and I screamed "Shut up!" so many times I lost count. Definitely one of the best episodes ever, so I must first give kudos to the writer — Joe Keenan (writer/executive producer of Frasier) and the director — Larry Shaw. The entire cast did an outstanding job, but the three powerhouses were Felicity Huffman, Laurie Metcalf and Marcia Cross.

Several of my coworkers had given me the big spoiler a few weeks ago regarding who was going to die, so I was already prepared for Nora's demise. What I wasn't prepared for was the feeling of sadness after she got shot. I was one of those "Nora-haters," so hearing that she was gonna bite the dust made me happy. But here I was tonight crying during her death scene! I really lost it when Nora told Lynette to please watch over Kayla, since she was "the only good thing that I’ve ever done." So I must throw Kiersten Warren into that powerhouse-acting category. Sure, we loved to hate her character Nora, but making us feel sad during her death? That's the accomplishment of a great actress. I also thought Nora was going to get shot by Carolyn randomly, perhaps by a gunshot that was intended for Harvey. But as soon as Lynette gave Carolyn the backstory on Nora, Nora was a goner. Carolyn: "She put the moves on your husband? Why didn't you say so?" Bang. How ironic was it that new neighbor Art Washburn (who just moved into the Young house) was the one who threw the can of peaches at Carolyn's head, knocking the gun out of her hand? Why was that ironic, you ask? Art was played by Matt Roth, the real-life husband of...Laurie Metcalf. Throwing a can at your wife's head on the first day on the job — all in a day's work.

I loved how the camera didn't reveal who it was that picked up the gun and shot Carolyn. Then, slowly, the camera panned left and then tilted up to reveal it was Maya, the woman whose son Jordan was in Carolyn's Sunday school class. If that woman looked familiar to you 24 fans, that's because she was played by Kathleen Gati, who portrayed Anya Suvarov, the Russian First Lady this past season. Side note on the subject of Sunday school — I really liked that Tom made Susan feel better about her daughter Julie's being one of the hostages by telling her that Carolyn was a Sunday school teacher and "a Sunday school teacher would never hurt a kid." So true.

I predict that this episode will be the one that gets Laurie Metcalf another Emmy (or at least a nomination), and the same goes for Felicity Huffman (but she can also submit last week's episode as well). Marcia Cross can pretty much submit any of the episodes, since Bree gets Emmy-worthy scenes every week.

Back to Felicity — that closing dream of Lynette's had me crying again. Such a beautifully touching scene between Lynette and Mary Alice. How many of us have thought about what we would have said to a loved one or friend before they passed away? As I've said before, it's always a treat to get to see Brenda Strong as Mary Alice, rather than just hear her.

Other highlights:
— The fact that it was Bree who told Carolyn about Harvey's affair with Monique, and that Bree, in a state of shock, couldn't concentrate on anything but cooking for her houseguests.
— The fact that all the neighbors came over to Bree's house to watch the live TV coverage, and that Ida Greenberg ( Pat Crawford Brown, whom I've loved since Knots Landing) said, "I knew she'd have food."
— The fact that we still don't know the details behind Monique's death and Orson's exact connection.
— The fact that Lynette supported the idea of taking in Kayla as long as Nora was out of the picture. Tom: "I never thought you'd want a fifth kid." Lynette: "I don't. But I didn't want the first four, and they're starting to grow on me."
— The fact that Susan had no idea Carolyn was the woman holding people hostage: "There's a crazy woman in there." Carolyn (as she showed Susan her gun): "Yeah — I know."
— The fact that it was Edie who was trapped inside the locked office with Harvey, and that Carolyn accused her of being another one of Harvey's "whores."
— The fact that Ian returned to the scene after seeing the hostage crisis on TV at the airport, and that Susan offered (via megaphone) to switch places with Julie.

The only part that I thought was lame was the Gaby and Carlos story line. I just couldn't buy that Gabrielle would break all of those outrageously expensive household items and Carlos would put an axe through the walls. Thank goodness they ended all the destruction and made up afterward. What redeemed it for me was that Gaby could relate to Carolyn's rage and said to Carlos, "Let's stop being those people."

So what did you think? Did you feel that the episode lived up to all the hype? Or were your expectations shot down?

Posted by Dave Anderson 11/6/06 5:25 AM

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yath

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AWESOME show this week!!!!!
I was watching with an out-of-town visitor who had never seen it........so the first episode she sees has hostages, affairs, murder......

Watching thru her eyes, it was pretty out there........but I loved every single melodramatic moment.......

Kick-ass job to all of them!! But specially Felicity (who is ALWAYS awesome), and Laurie Metcalfe

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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

November 12, 2006: Children and Art
Well, you knew that after last week's standout shoot-out episode, tonight was going to be somewhat of a letdown no matter what. How can you top last week? Since my expectations were already lowered, I was able to enjoy tonight for the most part — especially the Bree and Orson scenes. Continuing in the tradition of casting the very best actresses in the business to play the mothers of the characters, Dixie Carter acted up a storm as Gloria, Orson's mother of a mother. As soon as Bree started talking to Gloria as though she were senile, you knew there was going to be hell. I like that we still don't know exactly why Orson wants to keep his mother in the nursing home, yet Gloria has something over Orson — something that could get him in big trouble: "I gave you life. You know I won't hesitate to take it away." Maybe we'll find out next week.

It was great to see how frustrated Orson was getting around Gloria, which just frightened Bree and humored Andrew: "So — can we call her grandma?" I also liked Andrew's reference to Bree's spreading "holiday denial" rather than holiday cheer with her annual newsletter, followed by Bree's line: "Oh, Andrew, it's etiquette. Nobody wants to read the truth at Christmas." Watching Dixie as Gloria reminded me of how wonderful she was on Designing Women and what a travesty it was that she was never nominated for an Emmy for that show! Not even once. Hopefully that won't happen this time, and she'll be included in the guest actress category.

While I'm mentioning fabulous female guest stars, Tony winner Debra Monk (who I loved as Katie Sipowicz on NYPD Blue) was hilarious as Marcella, Gabrielle's modeling agent. Gaby should've known not to upset Marcella, especially after she referred to her as "a career-obsessed lesbo who would die alone and be eaten by her cats." Gaby's best line was after Marcella told her she had a gig for her in New York: "Are you serious? I can't tell since your face doesn't move anymore." Poor Gaby had to play a mother, so it was not a shocker that she attempted to change her character's style. After she was told by director Durkin (Ian Paul Cassidy) to "just make it work," I laughed out loud when she changed her entire outfit: "Oh, I made it work. I'm Hot Mom!" Although Durkin was mortified and got Marcella to reprimand Gaby, Tim Gunn would've been proud.

Excellent usage of Kathryn Joosten tonight as Mrs. McCluskey. She got involved with just about every neighbor (whether they liked it or not). But my favorite part was her scene with Edie, in which she threatened to show Mike the hidden (by Edie) photos of him and Susan together. Edie's best line: "Don't lie to me, prune!" Mrs. McCluskey even had Mike's toolbox, the one the detectives were looking for, so I hope she's not the next murdered neighbor.

Another awesome Edie moment was when Susan came to Edie to protest the pairing of Austin and Julie. Susan asked: "How can you be so calm?" Edie (as she and Mike were about to go out): "I'm calm because I know if two people are meant to be together, there's nothing anyone can do about it." Snap! Speaking of Austin and Julie, it was good to see Richard Burgi back as Karl. (I know several of you had made "Where's Karl?" comments, so I bet you were happy, too.) You knew Karl would not be pleased when he heard Susan was dating Ian, but I hope Karl continues to come back. Nice mother/daughter scene between Susan and Julie toward the end, when Susan said: "Relationships have nothing to do with good judgment. It doesn't matter how smart you are. You can still get hurt."

So I'm leaving my least favorite story line for last. After going through almost the entire episode enjoying Lynette's scenes with her kids and with the man who saved her life, new neighbor Art (Matt Roth), I knew she would eventually discover something strange about Art. I mean, it's pretty much impossible for a normal person to move to Wisteria Lane. But Lynette discovered that Art has hundreds of photos of shirtless little boys taped on a wall, in a room of trains, toys and pinball machines. Ewwww. Makes the episode's title even more fitting: "Children and Art." Parker was enthralled by Art's basement; thankfully, Lynette discovered this secret right away, before it was too late. I can't wait to see how Lynette deals with this next week. At least we know she won't be baking cakes for Art anymore.

Since the Art story line grosses me out, I'll end with a more pleasant memory from tonight: Tom explaining to the boys that Aunt Nora is "up in heaven" and Lynette following that twice with "or wherever."

Posted by Dave Anderson 11/13/06 5:08 AM

November 19, 2006: Beautiful Girls
After last week's ending, I was really hoping that we'd find out more info on the backgrounds of Orson and Art tonight, but they are really taking baby steps when it comes to those two mysterious characters. So now we at least know (thanks to Orson's mama, Gloria) that Orson was having an affair with Monique while being married to Alma — the same Monique that had an affair with Harvey Bigsby, Carolyn's hubby. As Gloria so eloquently put it, Monique "got around." But Gloria still knows more and is holding those nuggets over Orson's head: "What are you going to do to me that hasn't already been done?" That look of death that Orson gave Gloria made me believe he'd kill her in the next scene. But instead, Bree packed Orson's things and asked him to leave, apparently believing Gloria. I'm still loving Dixie Carter as Gloria, and I hope she spills more of the beans about Orson soon. How perfect for Andrew to be in cahoots with Gloria, attempting to sneak her wine behind Bree's back, but how ironic that Bree the alcoholic is the one trying to hide the booze from Gloria. Bree's got to regret not allowing Gloria to live alone in that house in a bad neighborhood that Edie showed them.

The mystery behind new neighbor Art continues to boggle the mind of Lynette, but we're right there with her. Your comments last week proved that not all of us believe he's a pedophile. It would be quite typical of this show to confuse us with those photos of shirtless little boys, but come on. Yes, he's supposedly a swim coach, but all of the photos were of shirtless little boys. You be the judge. Until proven otherwise, I myself will still be creeped out by Art. He told Lynette he donated and sent all of the toys and the pinball machine to the children's hospital with nary an acknowledgement of the photos that were also removed from the basement. We did get to see Art's sister Rebecca (Jennifer Dundas) tonight. Hopefully next week we'll find out more about why she's in a wheelchair.

That scene with Lynette and Tom at the police station was one of my favorites, especially when Lynette had to explain to the officer why she was inside Art's house uninvited. Best part was Tom apologizing to the officer after Lynette left the room and then Lynette shouting: "You better not be apologizing for me!" Felicity Huffman and Doug Savant play so well opposite each other. And I love that they give Doug comedic stuff to do, like having Tom show up at Mike's house to watch football with Mike's "best friend" Carlos. I'm surprised more of the neighbors haven't taken advantage of Mike's memory loss like Carlos has.

Having Mrs. McCluskey be involved in everyone's business continues to make me laugh. Last week, she returned Mike's toolbox and encouraged him to hide it, especially the bloody wrench, and now she's the one keeping an eye on Art. (For more on her, go here to read Matt Webb Mitovich's great interview with Kathryn Joosten.) That toolbox is really getting Mike into trouble. Detective Ridley (Ernie Hudson) showed up and shined a flashlight on Mike as he was about to bury the hatchet, I mean, the whole toolbox. They seem to like to bury things in that neighborhood.

How refreshing it was tonight for Gabrielle to focus on something besides being mean to Carlos and trying to rejuvenate her modeling career. I enjoyed all of Gaby's scenes with the young girls — the highlight was when she convinced that shy, skinny little blonde girl to focus on being confident and giving the proper attitude. Best Eva Longoria line was when Gaby was strutting her stuff on the faux catwalk and said to the gals: "Yes, I'm unbelievable. Close your mouths," and they all closed their mouths. Alec Mapa was hilarious as Vern, Gaby's personal shopper. You knew the mothers weren't going to be happy when their daughters were desperately trying to lose weight, since Gaby told them that fat girls don't get magazine covers. Speaking of the mothers, that was Winifred Freedman as Mrs. Tomlinson (the one that said it would be the Christian thing to do to forgive Gaby). Winifred's first claim to fame was playing Millie in The Last American Virgin.

Another awesome guest star was Ian Abercrombie (Mr. Pitt from Seinfeld) as Rupert, Ian's butler. (I guess Ian is a popular British name.) It gave Teri Hatcher something else to do besides pine away for Mike, be a protective mother to Julie and, in general, be a klutz. I liked that Rupert was so protective of Jane, even though she's in a coma, and he kept reminding Susan that Ian was still married to Jane. His best line came after he gave Susan the choice of an omelet, strawberry tart or brioche for breakfast, and she said, "That sounds great — you pick," and he said "You are aware there is a Mrs. Hainsworth." Then Susan said, "Yes," and Rupert said, "Tart it is." Second best was after Susan gifted him with a T-shirt with a British flag on it: "It'll come in handy should my nationality ever slip my mind." Having those two actors together was a reunion of sorts. Since most of you know Teri guested on Seinfeld as Sidra ("They're real and their spectacular"), did you also know that both Teri and Ian appeared in the show's finale? Yep.

One gripe I have — what's with Bree's daughter, Danielle? She (Joy Lauren) was given one line tonight — three little words. ("We all did.") Sometimes they don't give her any lines or they don't have her appear at all. The writers have got to think of something for Danielle to do. At least Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) gets to be a sarcastically funny little snot each week.

So what were your favorite and least favorite parts of the episode? Take the good, take the bad — don't be shy.

Posted by Dave Anderson 11/20/06 5:33 AM

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Desperate Housewives Preview: Bree Cooks Up a Surprise!

by Mary Murphy


Alma seein' you, on Desperate Housewives.

We thought she was dead, but in the Nov. 26 episode of ABC's Desperate Housewives, we were shocked to discover that Alma Hodge (Valerie Mahaffey) was alive and well. And in this week's new episode (airing Sunday at 9 pm/ET), she's coming to Wisteria Lane to — what else? — wreak havoc.

"Alma's reappearance has a huge effect on everyone," says series creator Marc Cherry. Especially Bree (Marcia Cross), who faints at the mere sight of her. But in typical Bree fashion, she quickly recovers and throws — what else? — a dinner party, so the neighbors can see for themselves that her hubby, Orson (Kyle MacLachlan), did not kill Alma.

Though Alma's arrival clears Orson of that particular crime, it sets into motion another mystery: Did Orson murder Monique, the beautiful redhead who was lying on that slab in the morgue? "At the dinner party, there's a huge feud between Bree and Susan," says Cherry. "Bree wants an apology from Susan, who keeps insisting that Orson, and not Mike Delfino, is responsible for Monique's death. The fight ends their friendship."

Well, for this week at least.

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TV Guide Exclusive: Housewives Hits the Road to Avoid Pregnant Pause


Marcia Cross, who is expecting twins in April, was put on immediate bed rest last week for the remainder of her pregnancy, TV Guide has learned. The doctor's orders sent Desperate Housewives producers scrambling to wrap up Bree's current story line, ultimately deciding that if Cross can't come to the shoot, then the shoot will come to Cross. At the end of this week, they will move the production of the show to the actress' West Los Angeles home for two days. (Cross — whose TV alter ego isn’t pregnant — had only planned on taping two more shows after the Feb. 11 episode because it was becoming too difficult to hide her growing bump.)

While Cross is resting upstairs in bed, the Housewives team will be downstairs transforming the home she moved into just months ago into a likeness of Bree's orderly abode. "They are painting the walls, moving in props and furniture from the set...," says a source from the set. "They're basically making Marcia's house into Bree's."

To read more about this story, pick up the Jan. 22 issue of TV Guide magazine.

Reporting by Mary Murphy

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Dixie Carter Dissects Desperate Housewives' One Tough Mother

by Matt Webb Mitovich


Dixie Carter, Desperate Housewives

What did she know, and when did she know it? Such questions apply not only to Desperate Housewives' devious Gloria, but also to her portrayer, Dixie Carter. TVGuide.com invited the veteran actress and stage star to take a long, hard look at her Machiavellian matriarch.

TVGuide.com: I understand they're expanding your presence on Wisteria Lane in the weeks to come?
Dixie Carter:
Yes.... My shows are going to air up to the first of April. I'm just thrilled to be doing this. This is really an extraordinary role. And, of course, we have to be very secretive about what's going to happen. Everybody grabs me in airports or shops and says things like, "Is he going to kill you?" Of course they mean, "Is your son, Orson, on Desperate Housewives going to kill you, his mother Gloria?" — but there's never any preamble. With Desperate Housewives, there doesn't seem to be any need to say what show or character they are talking about.

TVGuide.com: No, "Hello, are you Dixie Carter? I love you on Desperate Housewives. Can you tell me, is Orson going to kill his mother?"
Carter:
And no, "Oh, Julia, I loved you on Designing Women!" No, they just come to me with great intensity and say, "Is he going to kill you?"

TVGuide.com: I would not want an intense stranger to come up to me and ask if an unnamed man is going to kill me.
Carter:
I know! They also say, "Are you a maniac, or a murderer?" I say, "I don't know. The writers haven't told me for sure. But I could be both." [Laughs] And this one man came up to me in a Beverly Hills salon the other day and said, "My wife likes your show" — because it's acceptable if the wife has it on and he happens to be watching. He then said, "I really have some serious questions I'd like to ask you about what's going to happen next!"

TVGuide.com: What was the original pitch from [series creator] Marc Cherry? How did he present Gloria to you?
Carter:
When I knew Marc before, when he was a kid [and working as Carter's personal assistant], I was "Mrs. [Hal] Holbrook." So for this initial call, he said, "Mrs. Holbrook, for two years I've been thinking about you, and what I could offer that would be different from how you've been seen before. And I think it's coming around. My only question would be, 'Are you willing to deglam and age?'"

TVGuide.com: A valid question in Hollywood.
Carter:
Sure. And I said, "Yes, of course I'm willing to do whatever I need to do!" He told me that I would be a really frightening individual, that I would be first seen in a nursing home and my ability to do harm would be slowly revealed. As for my reasons for doing so, my backstory... I haven't known myself what this character's history is. The way [ Desperate Housewives'] writing works is that Marc and his team look at the shows on Sunday night, review their best-laid plans, and then they have the audacity and the courage to change things, if they decide it would be exciting and good. It's just a brilliant concoction, this show.

TVGuide.com: I think I read somewhere that you're relishing Gloria's streaked, almost Medusa-like hair?
Carter:
It is almost Medusa-like isn't it?! Oh, for heaven's sake... I put on the wig we had originally picked out, and Marc said that the natural arch to my eyebrows was too glamorous or something, so we flattened that out. The other comment was that the wig was almost platinum blonde, and it needed to be more grim in some way. So Gabor [the hair stylist] went back to his "little shop of horrors" and, strand by strand, put in these different tones of gray. I can't wait to get in there this afternoon and tell Gabor what you said!

TVGuide.com: At the point when Gloria walked up to the car and the window rolled down, and we saw that Alma was in fact alive, did you know what the next beat would be? Why Alma had been faking her death?
Carter:
No. I didn't know until that script for what we saw last Sunday rolled in.

TVGuide.com: Also last Sunday, we saw Alma injecting herself with something. I venture to say that Mother Hodge knows what she's up to?
Carter:
I don't. I'm telling you the truth, I don't know.

TVGuide.com: Do you think that Gloria likes Alma, or that she despises Bree?
Carter:
Neither. I think she's obsessed with her son, and it's just gotten way bad. Like, look-the-other-way bad. She really hates him, and she also loves him in all kinds of different ways that make her want to possess him. So all the women she's dealing with are tools of one kind or another to help control her son and be around him. She's like the mother in The Manchurian Candidate — originally Angela Lansbury, and then we saw Meryl [Streep] do it [in the remake]. Her motives are difficult to explain, and that's a lot of what I'm feeling. I think about [Lansbury's character] a lot, because it gives me courage to proceed with acting a part that is really deeper than I'm able to get to.

TVGuide.com: TV Guide broke a story this week about how, with Marcia Cross on bed rest, Housewives has "relocated" Bree's home to Marcia's.
Carter:
I'm so floored every time I go to work on Desperate Housewives, I can easily picture that they could pick up sticks and move over to Marcia's house or wherever. I also think it's kind of wonderful that they would want to make the shoot as comfortable as possible for one of their stars. I had a scare with my father before Christmas, and I asked to have my [scenes] shot first thing in the morning so I could try to get on a plane. Instead they sent me home, saying, "Go look after your father." This is really an extraordinary production.

TVGuide.com: Having this wide variety of strong ladies on the set, do you feel any similarities to your time on Designing Women?
Carter:
Yes, I do. It's wonderful to be among these beautiful girls and their wonderful talent. I love them. It's highly exciting and energizing and fun. That's the best word to describe it, "fun." And acting with Kyle MacLachlan? Please.

TVGuide.com: Are you dreading the day you have to say goodbye?
Carter:
Sure, I'm dreading it! I'd hate to say goodbye to all of them. But I'm afraid that I'm going to be very naughty, and it will be necessary for me to go.

#11
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

January 14, 2007: Not While I'm Around
First thing I need to say right off the bat is how funny I thought the show was tonight. Not that I don't always think it's humorous, but I found it even funnier than normal so I must commend the writers — Co-Executive Producer Kevin Murphy and Producer Kevin Etten — for a hilarious script. There were so many great lines, but I think my favorite was Lynette to Tom after Tom told her he wasn't inviting her to the opening of his new restaurant because of her snarky attitude, which made Lynette say no to sex. Tom: "So we're not havin' sex?" Lynette: "Hey — you banned me from your opening." Shut up. To think that Lynette had to expose her breasts to that old man Harry (Richard Herd) just to get him to sign Tom's liquor license. What a wife won't do for her husband. Mrs. McCluskey was an excellent inspiration for Lynette so Kathryn Joosten was able to deliver one of the episode's many other zingers (re: Tom): "It's bad enough you cut off his cojones. Now you want to juggle them?" Good thing Lynette found out all the info that Tom was hiding from her from Andrew. It was nice for Lynette to convince Tom that he wasn't a loser just because she helped him out: "We are a team."

The team that I'm glad won't be a team anymore is Austin and Julie. Luckily, Julie found out calmly from Susan about Austin's secret relationship with slutty Danielle. Such a sweet, motherly way for Susan to preface it to her daughter: "I wish there was a pill you could take to protect your heart." What perfect timing it was earlier for Susan and Edie to walk in and discover Austin and Danielle cavorting on the couch, right after Edie told Susan that Austin loved Julie. Yeah right. Earlier, Nicollette Sheridan's best line was when Edie was told by Julie that "condoms are only 85% effective": "Is it true? Damn. I thought I could coast all the way to menopause." Later, the best line of Teri Hatcher's was when Susan was on the phone with the doctor that prescribed the birth control pills to Julie and said that "Julie's mother" gave parental consent. Susan (after the doctor described Julie's mother as being blond and Susan saw Edie outside): "I don't have blond hair. Wait. Did my blond hair have dark roots?" It had been a while since we were treated to a Susan/Edie bitch fest so the writers gave us some doozies. Susan to Edie: "You might've gotten your first diaphragm with milk money, but that doesn't give you the right to corrupt my daughter." That was followed by (in reference to Julie): "She's just a boob job away from being you." Please, please, please — I want Edie to be on this much every week! Are you with me here, people?

Not only was Edie involved with the Susan/Julie story line, she was also aggravating Bree by selling the Applewhite house to Alma. So we got a tad more tidbits, but only a tad, about Orson's past — Gloria Hodge had told Alma that Orson did something (we don’t know exactly what yet) to Monique and that Orson ran over Mike Delfino (we already knew that, but we didn't know anyone else knew). We also know that Alma's living across the street from Orson because she wants him back, even though Orson doesn't love her. She's not the woman she used to be: "I'm stronger and more confident." Obviously. Best Bree/Orson dialogue was Orson to Bree: "I will get Alma out of that house. I don't care if I have to live up to my reputation and strangle her." Bree: "Oh, you're a good husband." I like when mysterious things happen such as Bree finding the photo of Orson and Monique, along with a handful of someone's teeth. Monique's, can we assume? That Alma brilliantly taught her bird to say "Don't tell Bree" in front of Bree killed me. And how about Bree at the very end of the episode, with the teeth in her hand, calling and leaving a message for Orson to come home soon and then grabbing for her gun while looking out the window and seeing a smiling Alma wave to her? Was she wanting to shoot Alma or Orson? Oh, the mystery. What isn't a mystery is the way they are filming the pregnant Marcia Cross. Interesting how all the neighbors sit on their porches at night without a jacket, but Bree walks around during the day wearing that overcoat.

How many of you were surprised to find out Gabrielle's big spender-secret admirer was Zach Young? I was, even though I saw Cody Kasch's name in the opening credits as a guest star. But I thought Zach was going to be seen visiting Paul at the prison. Nope. Umm...can we talk about Zach's hair? I was thinking that maybe he'd been away because he was touring the country as the lead in Tarzan. Perhaps entering a Charlie's Angels look-alike contest? We knew Gaby wasn't going to be attracted to Zach, but he sure did have a good comeback for her when she told him he was "way too young" for her: "I'm two months older than John Rowland." Only Gaby could come up with an even better comeback: "For God's sake, Zach. Don't hijack a Ferrari if you don't know how to drive." I loved that Carlos followed Gaby on her mystery date just to protect her and kept the offer open to always protect her when need be.

As for Paul Young, I was happy the prison guard told Mike about Paul paying the thugs to beat Mike up but making it look like Paul was protecting him. Hopefully this will jog Mike's memory and make him remember his past with Paul and that Paul's son Zach is actually Mike's son Zach. I agree with those of you who said that Mike without a memory = Mike without a personality, so I hope he gets his memory back soon and they play Celine Dion's "It's All Coming Back To Me."

If you haven't done so already, go here to read my colleague Matt Webb Mitovich's awesome interview with Dixie Carter. Among other things, you'll find out why Dixie's been M.I.A the last few episodes, but thankfully, she'll be back.

Posted by Dave Anderson 01/15/07 6:49 AM


January 7, 2007: No Fits, No Fights, No Feuds
As Nicollette Sheridan said to the women on The View last week: "Finally! A new episode!" I would've preferred more Nicollette tonight, though, besides just the final scene. But what a final scene — Alma is moving to Wisteria Lane, thanks to the real-estate savvy of Edie. The best episodes of DH are the ones like tonight that introduce new mysteries while further answering old ones. What was Alma giving herself a shot of in her thigh? For a while there, I thought she was killing herself, but I was wrong. I liked the earlier flashback scene where we found out why Alma and Orson got married — she tricked him into getting her pregnant, and he was never in love with her. Loved when she showed up to Bree's door, and Bree fainted. Valerie Mahaffey is a stellar addition to an already solid cast, so I hope Alma lasts. Her best line was to Orson while sitting next to Bree on the couch: "What is it with you and redheads?" Since Alma and Bree are so similar, it was natural for them to bond via Bree's secret to making a good, moist pound cake: sour cream. So maybe it was Alma who killed Monique? And maybe Orson thought Mike killed Monique, and that's why he ran him over? We shall see....

I enjoyed Gaby and Carlos, especially when they both agreed that they are each a "tough act to follow." You knew Gaby's new beau Bill (Mark Deklin) was not going to continue tolerating Gaby's obsession with who sent her the flowers. Speaking of the flowers, Myra Turley was dang hilarious as Peggy the bitter florist who never gets sent flowers herself. It's a pleasure when Ricardo Antonio Chavira gets to be funny as Carlos, and he had some zingers tonight — like calling the chapeau-wearing Bill a paperboy: “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” and then referring to him as Jimmy Olsen.

How many of you experienced some bad Nora déjà vu tonight? Little Kayla (Rachel Fox) is carrying on the tradition of her annoying mother, treating Lynette like crap just like Nora did. OK, it makes sense for Kayla to be going through trauma-with-no-mama, but having her put Lynette's heirloom doll in the garbage after literally trashing it was uncalled for. It's fun to watch the Scavo boys work as a posse, and that was a nice scene with Tom telling Kayla that Lynette wasn't the cause of her mother's death. But you know there's trouble brewing, when Kayla told Tom she'll never love Lynette: "And you can't make me."

Two more big "reveals" happened in this episode — one I saw coming, and one I didn't. I wasn't shocked at all when it was revealed that Austin was secretly sleeping with "Little Miss Van De Tramp" Danielle, behind Julie's back. Hey, I was just happy slutty Danielle's hair looked like it was from this decade. Once again, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) had one of the funniest lines, describing how he knew Austin was straight: "Austin's not gay — even after three beers." Oh no he di-int. What I did not see coming was Paul Young being in the same prison as Mike Delfino. Not a complete shocker, but it was one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" moments. We all knew Susan would make at least one more visit to Mike, but it seems as though she's convinced Ian that she really does love him and has said her last goodbye to Mike. As I mentioned earlier, we shall see....

So how long will Bree's friendship-breakup with Susan last? Great call-waiting scene between Bree, Susan and Detective Ridley (Ernie Hudson). Of course Susan was going to try to turn Orson in just to protect Mike. But poor Susan didn't expect Ridley to show up during Bree's "Shame On You For Thinking My Husband Killed Someone" dinner. Desperate Housewives, indeed.

Posted by Dave Anderson 01/8/07 4:18 AM


November 26, 2006: The Miracle Song
It's always a treat when we get answers to questions that have been baffling our minds. But in the true Desperate Housewives tradition, questions still remain unanswered, so our head-scratching never truly comes to an end. Alma is alive and has been in hiding and in cahoots with Gloria (Dixie Carter) all this time. But where has she been? Has she been hiding because Orson was the one who killed Monique or did Mike? Since Mike still has amnesia, he doesn't even know (although Monique's blood was on Mike's wrench — uh-oh). When I saw Valerie Mahaffey listed with tonight's guest stars in the opening credits, I figured it was because she'd be seen in only flashbacks. When Gloria called that mystery person on her cell phone and said "meet me on the corner in an hour," my smart roommate Jason yelled: "I bet it's Alma!" I liked Susan sneaking into Orson's office and finding the evidence that he was in a mental hospital for psychological depression when he was younger. Plus, Susan heard Orson tell Bree that he never loved Alma, and that's why he turned to Monique. Aside from those tidbits, what are the secrets that Gloria still has over Orson? Color me intrigued.

The other big unknown that was answered was the "Is Art a pedophile?" question, much to the horror of Lynette. I knew as soon as Art made the reference that his (newly dead) sister Rebecca always believed in him, Lynette's earlier suspicions would be correct. Gross. Art's two lines to Lynette — "I'm free" and "I have you to thank" — just made Lynette even more mortified. Earlier, Art sure got a Wisteria Lane unwelcoming when he showed up to the holiday block party as a ho-ho-ho-ing Santa. Everyone looked at him with disgust, especially Lynette. But it was oh-so-Lynette of her to start feeling sorry for Art after the neighbor housewives staged their protest with the anti-pedophile signs — a protest that Lynette caused herself. That was Alison La Placa as Rita, the neighbor who organized the protest along with Mrs. McCluskey. I hope they give the very funny Alison more to do next time she's on. I was glad we didn't really get to know the extent of Art's pedophilia. For that story line, less is more.

How typical of Edie to break it off with Mike (or "take a break") after he was arrested for Monique's murder and was behind bars. I loved that they had Susan come to visit Mike right after Edie's breakup. Nice timing: Just when Ian's parents were coming to visit and eat a delicious dinner that Susan asked Bree to cook for her. Then I loved that Susan and Bree argued over who murdered Monique — Mike or Orson. Of course, Bree was going to side with Orson, and Susan was going to side with Mike. No Bree cuisine for Susan. But luckily, Ian's parents were delayed and stranded at my hometown airport, O'Hare. That Ian is a clever dude. Interesting way to get Susan to stay away from Mike — paying for an expensive lawyer to represent Mike and get him out of jail, but only if Susan stops visiting him. We'll see how long Susan follows that arrangement.

Eva Longoria was once again the comedy MVP. The way she set her sights on Bill Pearce — the single father of Amy, the one little pageant girl that Gaby and "spineless 'mo" Vern (Alec Mapa) were planning on firing — was hilarious. Funniest moment was the baton hitting Amy on the head, and then Gaby closing the blinds and saying to Bill, "Yeah, she's a special girl." The actor who played Bill — Mark Deklin — totally reminded me of Casper Van Dien. And the young actress who played Amy, Juliette Goglia, was a bit of a Madonna's daughter Lourdes-look-alike. That conniving Gaby wasn't about to allow Amy to set up her daddy with her best friend Sherri's mother. What better way to thwart that than to suggest Sherri (the most promising contestant, played by Chloe Moretz), perform with Amy (the least promising and so bad that Gaby said, "If she was a horse, we'd have to shoot her")? Suddenly, the best friends were enemies. There's no stopping Gabrielle: "Friends come and go, but a crown is forever."

Two final random observations:
— How many of you were thinking the wheelchair-bound Rebecca (Jennifer Dundas) was going to get run over by a car, a la Mike Delfino and Mama Solis, as she wheeled herself away from Lynette? Thankfully, that didn't occur. Not that dying of a cardiac arrest wasn't tragic enough, but you get my point.
— Oh my, Marcia Cross is definitely pregnant. It kills me when they don't hide it as well as they normally do.

Heads up for next Sunday and all of December: No new episodes! ABC is repeating the season premiere next week and won't have a new one airing until January 7. See you then; but in the meantime, comment away.

Posted by Dave Anderson 11/27/06 6:14 AM

#12
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

January 21, 2007: Come Play Wiz Me
After last week's laugh-filled hour, tonight was a bit of a letdown as far as the humor level goes. This doesn't mean I didn't like this episode — I just enjoyed it less, and I am in agreement with those of you who are starting to get a bit tired of the Alma story line. When, oh, when will we get to see Monique in flashbacks again? At least we know that those teeth are actually Monique's, as expected, and we found out what Alma was injecting herself with — hormones, so she'd get pregnant more easily. Speaking of which, how about Alma giving Orson both sleeping pills and Viagra so that she could rape him while he was passed out? I do give the writers (Valerie Ahern and Christian McLaughlin) credit for making references to Viagra without actually mentioning it, like Alma saying she gave Orson something "to keep the part of you I need nice and perky." That was pretty creepy when Gloria mentioned how much she wanted a grandchild while Alma got ready for her night with Orson by revealing the sexy nightgown she was wearing. The creep-fest got much less creepier when Gloria left the room to give them privacy. Contrary to what was suggested in last week's previews, Bree did not fall for the Orson-in-bed-with-Alma scenario. Bree figured something was up. When she couldn't get Orson out of bed and then saw the liquor on the table across the room, Bree put two and two together, checked under the covers and saw that something was indeed up: "You raped my husband!" Good thing Bree didn't bring her gun with her — she had to get her frustrations out by simply knocking Alma out, followed by a quick call to Andrew: "Come over right away... and bring the wheelbarrow!"

So, Ian's comatose wife Jane is now dead. What excellent timing for Susan to find out from Jane's best friend Erica (Amy Aquino) that Jane was having an affair with a dude named Ted. Certainly made Susan feel way less guilty about dating Ian, and no wonder why Ian gets so jealous of Mike. It looked as though Susan really meant it when she told Mike that she couldn't see him anymore, even now that he's out of prison thanks to Zach (I'll get to Zach and his mop-top later). You can tell Mike really loves Susan now, so something tells me he's not going to stop those feelings. And with Mike out of prison, will Edie want him back? Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy tonight as much as last week — there was no Edie!

It did not surprise me that Lynette quit her job to become Tom's restaurant manager. All it took was her son Parker's look of utter disappointment after he heard Lynette tell her boss Ed she'd be back to work on Monday. She and Tom do make a great team, so we'll just have to see if the Scavo Pizzeria is a success. Of course, Lynette has no problem that she has to "sleep with the boss." Earlier, I liked that Mrs. McCluskey encouraged Kayla to apologize to Lynette for not going to the street fair, but demon-spawn Kayla just had to spill the beans to Ed about where Lynette was.

OK, can we talk about Zach's hair again? It seems as if it got even longer than it was last week. Every scene Cody Kasch was in, I couldn't really concentrate on what was going on plot-wise, because I was so distracted by his Jaclyn Smith-like hair. And what kills me even more is that no one on the show is calling him on it! Even when Zach visited Paul in prison, Paul complimented him on his looks (?!) and said: "Your mother would be proud." Yeah, right. Luckily, Gabrielle is not attracted to Zach. Even with all his money, she still didn't want to give him a real kiss goodnight. Loved Gaby's line after Zach tried to turn the kiss into something bigger: "Kiss my lips, not my esophagus!" You'd think he'd get the hint, but it looks like Zach's totally obsessed, especially after he indirectly referred to Gaby as his "future wife" to Paul. (Uh-oh... I'm picturing him saying, "I won't be ignored, Gaby!") I was hoping Zach would abide by Paul's request for money to hire someone to track down Felicia — now there's someone I miss.

Heads up for next Sunday — ABC is airing a repeat. Those carefully-worded coming attractions were actually for three weeks from now. The announcer said: "Coming up on Desperate Housewives," rather than "Next week on..." But here's the thing: The SAG Awards are on next Sunday (on both TNT and TBS at the same time), and the DH cast is deservedly up for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series. And Felicity Huffman is up for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series. So, for that reason and that reason alone, I'm glad it's a repeat. The following Sunday, Feb. 4 is the Super Bowl, so see you in 3 weeks — Sunday, Feb. 11.

Posted by Dave Anderson 01/22/07 4:29 AM

#13
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

February 11, 2007: I Remember That
Three weeks ago (when the last new episode aired), I briefly whined: "When oh, when will we get to see Monique in flashbacks again?" So you know I was screaming with joy when I got my wish tonight! Not only did Monique (Kathleen York) reappear in a flashback, but we also got so many answers, as did Mike Delfino, all thanks to his hypnotherapist (Miriam Flynn). So Mike didn't kill Monique — Orson framed Mike by giving Mike his wrench back — the wrench that had Monique’s blood on it. Now we know why Mike's phone number was written on Monique's hand. We also know that Mike never dated Monique: "I'm flattered, but I'm seeing somebody." Monique: "Me, too, but he's married and I'm drunk." I do wonder what Orson told Bree when he "confessed" and told her "the truth." He said she was upset, but apparently not too upset, since she was still living with him before the ladder accident. As usual, we got some answers but were still left with further questions. Like, why would Gloria lock Alma in the upstairs room? If Alma was locked away, how could the elderly Gloria place a bag of marbles way up high on that breakable ladder? I know Andrew thinks that it was Orson who rigged that ladder, but who knows? So many questions. And Orson falling off the top of the hospital roof parking lot after his fistfight with Mike made me laugh — loved the "to be continued...."

Three weeks ago, I also commented that I didn't think the script was as funny as it was the week before. That certainly wasn't the case tonight. We had humorous and rewindable moments galore, so kudos to writers and co-executive producers John Pardee and Joey Murphy. There were so many funny parts and great lines that it's difficult to pick my favorite. But I'll have to go with Lynette and Tom during the scene where Tom pretended to yell at Lynette, making it appear as though he was the boss in front of his staff. Lynette whispering: "Seriously — stop or I will hurt you" was perhaps my favorite, but how about the dialog that lead up to that scene? Tom: "When I go home, basically, I check my balls at the door and that's fine. It works. But for this to work, when you walk through that door, you've got to check yours." Brilliant.

I would've preferred more Edie scenes but her one scene provided my second favorite line. Edie, after Tom tried several times to give her a pizza coupon: "Oh, Tom, please. You've checked out my butt enough times to know that I don't eat pizza," as she walks away sexily and Tom looks over his shoulder with a smirk. I heart Edie! Tonight's script also gave a few actors who don't normally get to be funny a chance to be very funny. I never laughed at Josh Henderson until tonight. Maybe Austin needs to be stoned more often? His marijuana-induced line to Lynette cracked me up: "Julie Mayer dumped me, and I'm very, very upset. Your face is not changing." (I loved that Lynette's facial expressions kept getting acknowledged.) Andrea Bowen also had a great scene when Julie was being supportive to her mother for a change, rather than being annoyed. But she gave support in a humorous way when she helped Susan pick out an outfit for Jane's funeral: "Is sexy what you're going for at the funeral of your boyfriend's wife?"

Those funeral scenes could've been really annoying but what made them work for me was that Ian supported Susan throughout, rather than becoming embarrassed. I enjoyed Suzanne Cryer as Lynn, the slutty sorority-sister friend of Jane. Yes, I know she costarred on Two Guys, a Girl & a Pizza Place, but I never watched that show. For me, she will always be the "Yada Yada" girl from Seinfeld. It made sense for Susan to hide away with "the departed" since she was so mortified by being outed as "the bimbo" at the funeral. I liked when Susan told Ian, "I accept your proposal to propose."

Even though Eva Longoria was hilarious in every one of her scenes, this Zach-obsessed-with-Gaby story line needs to end soon, please. Here she is — the youngest of the housewives — and she's feeling old at 31. Uh-uh. Not buying it — not our Gaby. Maybe around Claire Danes, I mean, young Zach Young. But, come on. I was happy to see Strong Medicine’s Brennan Elliott as Luke, but it, of course, bugged me that Luke ended up being on Zach's legal team. I hated that Zach made Luke say to Gaby: "I only date women in their twenties — you're too old for me." Like that's going to make her more attracted to Zach? Only tons of alcohol will do that trick. Cut. That. Hair. Please.

I'd like to focus back on the awesome parts of this episode, and here are further highlights:

— Bree telling Orson he was raped by Alma. Orson: "But I was dead to the world." Bree: "No, dear, you were dead to the waist."
— Gaby to Zach: "I'm a single woman in my thirties. I now have to subscribe to Cat Fancy. It's the law."
— Gaby to Zach (about Luke): "Well, he seemed to like me in the mattress department, so here's hoping I like him in the mattress department."
— Andrew to Lynette, after she asked him if the floor looked "Bree-Hodge clean," "Uh, no, it looks Andrew-Van-De-Kamp clean. But your disappointment in me is very Bree Hodge."
— Gloria to Alma: "I usually don't say this to expectant mothers, but for God's sake, have a scotch!"
— Alma to Gloria: "I'd rather see him in jail than playing house with Tammy Tight-Ass."
— Lynette referring to Austin as "Joe Bong-Hit."
— Tom, explaining to Lynette why he hired Austin back: "Austin is hot. He's gonna bring in every girl from Fairview High... and half the boys in the chorus." Shut up.
— Andrew telling Orson that he's never met "Bad Andrew," "Hurt my mom and you will!"

Next week should be a doozie. I won't comment about the coming attractions since some of you hate spoilers, but all I'll say is: "Can't wait."

Posted by Dave Anderson 02/12/07 7:20 AM

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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

February 18, 2007: The Little Things You Do Together
Those promos at the end of last week's episode were right. We finally got answers to so many questions involving Orson's past:
— He was in a psychiatric ward in 1976 after the supposed suicide of his adulterous, but religious father (but now we know Gloria staged the suicide like she was trying to stage Bree's).
— Gloria had blamed Orson for her husband's death, saying Orson was supposed to watch out for him, but chose to go out with friends.
— It was Gloria who killed Monique with Mike's wrench.
— Orson buried Monique in the dirt while Gloria removed Monique's teeth (ouch).

Ahh...closure, at last. I knew it would be good tonight since it was written by Marc Cherry and Joe Keenan. As discussed here before, Marc had to finish up Bree's story line earlier than originally planned due to Marcia Cross' pregnancy. I was very happy that Gloria ended up alive at the end. When Ida Greenberg found the bodies of Alma and Gloria lying on the lawn, I figured they were both dead. But not Gloria. Sure, she's paralyzed and can't speak due to suffering a stroke, but her brain is still functioning, so you never know — Marc's former boss Dixie Carter may just be back some day. I hope so.

So Zach Young is hung like a horse. Who knew? Looked as though Gabrielle was briefly disappointed that she missed out on that opportunity due to being drunk and passing out. Carlos referring to Zach as "Sea Biscuit" was hilarious. What an ingenious way for Zach's "endowment" to be discovered. Not by Gaby herself, but by Carlos seeing it while peeing at the urinal next to Zach. If this show was on HBO or Showtime, Carlos totally could've gotten away with the following line to Gaby: "Zach Young — what a dick." Glad the Gaby/Zach paring, even though it was one-sided, is over (crossing my fingers). Zach proposing to Gaby in front of everyone was ridiculous — even Gaby isn't that hard-up for money. Her "There will be no clapping!" was great, followed by "You! Moron! Come with me!" to Zach.

At least the first proposal was a success. You knew that Susan would say yes to Ian after hearing Mike confess to Carlos about being involved in Orson falling off the hospital roof. Something tells me Susan hasn't heard the last of Mike — he certainly didn't look too thrilled after Susan put the pizza down and said yes to Ian.

Speaking of pizza, I can only imagine that it will be a challenge for the producers and writers to make the Scavo story line interesting now that Tom and Lynette's pizzeria had its official opening. I did like Tom's speech that Lynette, of course, had to finish with: "If you really want to test a marriage, open a restaurant together."

Other things I enjoyed:
— That Orson's fall was broken by a tree. Like a lot of you, I really did not want Kyle MacLachlan to leave the show.
— Lynette comparing the frantic-about-his-opening Tom to herself when she was 6 months pregnant. Tom: "Excuse me — you were hitting people.” Lynette: "Only two...and the mailman had the good taste never to bring that up again. Tom, I don't need to be pregnant to kick your ass. Now go."
— Andrew throughout the entire episode, being so protective and supportive of his mama. Loved that.
— Susan and Bree at the hospital — that was a beautiful scene between two good friends. Bree: "So we're back to being friends?" Susan: "We never really stopped."
— Gaby telling Carlos she assumed she had sex with Zach: "There was a condom wrapper...he said I was amazing...sounds like me."
— Carlos proclaiming to Gaby (and this was the funniest line of all): "I can't believe you bagged another neighborhood kid." Gaby: "Where are you going?" Carlos: "To warn the Scavo boys." Shut up.
— Gaby asking Carlos to protect her by telling Zach to leave her alone: "Go get all cholo on his ass!"
— Carlos comparing Zach's you-know-what to the gigantic hanging sausage at the restaurant.
— Gaby telling Carlos she still needs him as a friend (after he told her it was difficult): "Hang on as long as you can."
— Gloria, before attempting to murder Bree: "Monique — that was easy — she was a slut. You're a good woman. You didn't know Orson already had a wife, but he did."
— The fact that both Andrew and Orson raced home to save Bree.

My only two gripes:
— As usual, not enough Edie!
— Is Danielle deaf? Why couldn't she hear Alma screaming at her across the street? I had to rewind to see if those hoop earrings were actually iPod ear pieces. Nope.

The Oscars are next Sunday, so see you in two weeks.

Posted by Dave Anderson 02/19/07 8:38 AM

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I saw the actress who plays Gloria (I forget her name) in an interview, and she said she loves playing this role because Gloria is so thoroughly evil. She sure is...and it is very convincing acting.

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Housewives Boss Eyes 2011 for Series Finale


In what is being touted as one of the year's biggest TV deals, Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry has inked a four-year, eight-figure pact with ABC Television Studio (née Touchstone), Variety reports. The agreement keeps Cherry lording over Wisteria Lane through May 2011, at which time he anticipates wrapping up the story of Bree, Lynette et al. (ABC has also quietly negotiated deals with key cast members through '11.) "After seven seasons, it will be a good time to call it quits," Cherry tells the trade mag. "I don't want anyone else to run the show, and I don't want us to fade away."

Posted by Matt Mitovich 02/21/07 9:52 AM

#17
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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

March 4, 2007: My Husband, the Pig
What a refreshing change of pace: an entire episode told from the point of view of the husbands rather than the wives. And who better to narrate than one of the dead husbands? Rex Van De Kamp (Steven Culp), great to have you back, or at least your voice. Reminded me a bit of the one time George narrated instead of Meredith on Grey's Anatomy. Shifting the focus to the husbands was an effective way of keeping our minds occupied during the absence of Marcia Cross. You've heard of going braless; well, this episode was Bree-less. But hey, Momma was preparing to have twins. Good timing for Bree to be off "visiting her parents" while her slutty daughter Danielle discovered she was pregnant. And just when Julie was forgiving Austin for cheating on her with Danielle. I loved Danielle loudly puking after Julie was telling Austin she'd give him another chance. Did any of you think Andrew was about to proposition Austin into sleeping with him as blackmail so Andrew wouldn't tell Julie about Danielle being pregnant with Austin's baby? It wouldn't have surprised me. But he's leaving town "for a while" so Austin won't be getting any action on Wisteria Lane anytime soon.

Comedy MVP for this hubby-centric episode was Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos, which was appropriate since comedy MVP is usually Eva Longoria as Gabrielle. I enjoyed watching Carlos interact with all the husbands, like calling Tom "Foldylocks" since Tom kept folding during their poker game. Then he referred to Ian as "Fish 'n Chips." But it was also worthwhile to see Carlos' serious side throughout the hour, like when he had the sexually compulsive online date (Crystal Allen) over and was more concerned with Edie's son Travers (Jake Cherry) being alone outside. Speaking of showing a serious side, what a rare moment to see Edie so vulnerable, admitting to Carlos that she gave her ex-husband custody of their son because she didn't think she was a good enough mother. We can all agree that she was right about that — leaving Travers home alone while going on a date, even for an hour? No bueno. But I won't complain too much — any excuse to have more Nicollette Sheridan, I say: "Bring it!"

Meanwhile, another change of pace was seeing someone romancing Gaby who didn't just go through puberty. Of course, when Gaby welcomes an older man into her life, he just has to be rich. We'll see how long this courtship lasts, but in the meantime, John Slattery as mayoral candidate Victor Lang is a nice addition to the show. Victor to Gaby: "I'm a catch." Gaby: "Well, I'm throwing you back." Victor to his chauffeur: "I'm gonna marry that girl." Can you picture Gaby as the mayor's wife? It could happen.

Poor Tom can't get a break. His elaborate plans for he and Lynette's ninth wedding anniversary turned disastrous, but after things calmed down, it looked as though at least his plans for sex ended in success (as indicated by his smile on the porch). Best Tom and Lynette dialogue happened earlier when Lynette told him she wanted to go to bed early on their anniversary. Tom: "Hold it — what about my sex? I always have sex on our anniversary." Lynette: "We can still have sex. Just try not to wake me."

My favorite parts of the episode were the Mike scenes — everywhere he looked there was an awkward moment with either Orson or Ian, and at the poker game, both. Interesting how both Orson and Ian have blackmail-type agreements going with Mike. We knew Orson would get his way and Mike would have to remain quiet about their past, but the Ian situation is the one I think will blow up. Me thinks Mike won't keep his promise to Ian not to tell Susan about the suddenness of Ian's proposal caused by discovering Mike's intended-for-Susan engagement ring. It was fun to watch the men instead of the women be catty bitches to each other for a change, don't you agree?

It will be a while before we get the next new episode. It's all repeats for the rest of March:

Sunday, March 11 — "Sweetheart, I Have to Confess"
Sunday, March 18 — "Bang"
Sunday, March 25 — "Children and Art"

See you in April! In the meantime, comment away....


Posted by Dave Anderson 03/5/07 3:59 AM

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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

April 8, 2007: Dress Big
It's been a month since we were last treated with a new episode. Was it worth the wait? For the most part, I'd say yes. These Marcia Cross-less episodes show just how pivotal both the actress and the character of Bree are to the show. But I think you'll agree that the consolation prize is pretty nice: No Bree = more Edie! Nicollette Sheridan rarely gets a chance to truly shine like she did tonight. That scene toward the end, with Edie undressing in front of Carlos, was one of Nicollette's best moments ever. It reminded me of her classic strip croquet scene from years ago on Knots Landing. She still has a rockin' bod. I loved Edie slowly shedding her clothing, literally and figuratively giving Carlos the naked truth, admitting that her breasts aren't as perky as they once were and that she has a C-section scar. Yes, Edie has her faults — like not being the best mother and using her son Travers as "sex bait" — but I'm glad Carlos gave her a chance (good move with the flowers, Carlos). So while we await Marcia's return, we'll get to enjoy more Nicollette. Wait until Gabrielle finds out Carlos is sleeping with Edie.

At least Gaby is keeping busy. Of course, she didn't really mean it when she said she was going to break up with Victor (John Slattery). Not after all her clothes were water-damaged. Gaby screaming the blood-curdling "No!!" and Edie's facial expression killed me. But one look inside Victor's ex-wife Samantha's closet put Gaby in a different mood. Gaby showing up at Victor's house while he wasn't home and "borrowing" some of Samantha's dresses also cracked me up. I just knew Samantha (Challen Cates) was going to recognize her couture dress on Gaby at Victor's function, but I didn't think she'd ask her to take the dress off then and there. I think Victor's the perfect match for Gaby money-wise, but I don't see her physically attracted to him.

Brilliant casting with Lynn Redgrave as Ian's mother and the actor with the very unfortunate last name — Paxton Whitehead — as Ian's cross-dressing father. When Susan walked in and found Ian's dad dressed in her robe and lace bra, wouldn't it have been one of those classic DH moments had ABC not included it their promos? Note to ABC: Stop including spoilers in your coming attractions and promos. Thanks. OK, back to Ian's parents meeting Susan. Enough already with Susan's plethora of pratfalls. Yes, mama Hainsworth on fire outside with Susan by the grill was a hilarious visual, but did Susan have to cause the wine to spill on Mrs. H's top later? Great moment, however, when Susan was about to sign the pre-nup and she looked over at Mr. Hainsworth and made several references that she'd do nothing but be absolutely honest about everything: "There'll be no topics that I need to skirt." Poof — Mr. H said no to the pre-nup. Susan knew it would be a total drag if Ian found out about his daddy's secret.

So I wasn't too thrilled with the Scavo story line, but can you blame me? Lynette's making such a big deal about the orange uniforms was pretty lame — especially sitting down with some of the pizzeria employees and having a "bitch session" that focused on the "ugly-ass uniforms." The only reason I felt all of Lynette's bitching paid off was that it gave Felicity Huffman a chance to show just how fabulous an actress she is after Tom's back went out again, causing him to pass out and be unconscious. Kind of put things into perspective, huh, Lynette? Maybe wearing orange isn't as horrific as you thought (it was nice to see her put on the uniform at the end).

Other random highlights:
— Horny Edie after three weeks without sex admitting to Gaby that going lingerie shopping when she's horny is not a good thing, comparing it to grocery shopping when she's hungry.
— Lynette asking Tom if he was speaking to her as a boss or as a husband and Tom's answer: "As a boss. As a husband, I'm too damn scared of you."
— The fact that Mike thought one of his earliest fun times with Susan was part of a chick flick he watched with her.
— That Ian has a brother that is "an alcoholic homosexual." Can't wait to see who they cast in that role.
— Gaby comparing the orange color of the Scavo uniforms to cheese doodles.
— Susan to Gaby after Lynette walked out of her own house: "Well, I guess we're babysitting the kids?"
— Edie to Carlos before they had sex: "You nailed me, Carlos. Maybe not the way I wanted you to."

Next week is another new episode. Two weeks in a row — can you believe it?

Posted by Dave Anderson 04/9/07 4:26 AM

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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

April 22, 2007: God, That's Good
I love it when the DH writers give us those moments that involve a murder or a mystery and only one character is told the story behind the murder or the solution to the mystery, but we as viewers don't hear it and are left wondering. In this case, little Parker Scavo was told by Mrs. McCluskey exactly why her dead husband is inside her freezer, but he was sworn to secrecy. I assumed Ida Greenberg would be the one to first discover the secret (after seeing last week's coming attractions), but I didn't expect one of the Scavo boys to be the very first discoverer. Parker's look of utter shock was perfect (kudos to Zane Huett for being a super little actor). One of the funniest parts was at the hospital when Parker first told Mrs. McCluskey about his encounter while they were alone. Mrs. M: "Don't tell your brothers — you were always my favorite." Parker: "I saw the man in your freezer." Mrs. M (shouting): "Lynette! Can you go get me some green jello?" So when Ida was the second person to find out Mrs. M's secret and obviously called the cops, of course Mrs. M was going to assume it was Parker who was the leak.

After Eva Longoria revealed in this week's TV Guide cover story that Gabrielle was going to tie the knot with Victor Lang, I was skeptically trying to figure out how they were going to make it believable for Gaby to marry him so quickly. How clever for them to make Gaby save the day and be the hero by putting a kibosh on the "Lang Bang" sex scandal by stepping up to the plate, or rather, microphone during the press conference and announcing that Victor had just proposed to her right before the rolling blackout. Gaby knew everybody loves a love story so she stood by her man. But poor Carlos. Edie even picked up that he still loves his Gaby.

I thought they advanced the Susan-Ian-Mike story line quite well by having Susan attempt to set up Mike with Roz, I mean Maggie, her wedding chef (Peri Gilpin), to disastrous results. Susan to Mike (after he told Maggie about his jail time): "She thinks you're Charles Manson." I was glad Mike told Ian about his kiss with Susan. Better for Ian to know about this now rather than after marrying her. I liked how Ian kept testing Susan by bringing up Mike's name and then inviting him over. Susan trying to choose between the two wedding cakes was too funny — the "rich and elegant" cake was appropriately placed in front of Ian while the "down to earth and sweet" one was in front of Mike. Once Susan found out that Ian won Susan on a bet with Mike, it made sense for her to figuratively choose "C" — none of the above — so now neither of them will get Susan. But we all know that won't last.

Once again, it was the Lynette/Tom plot that I wasn't as thrilled with. I didn't hate it, though. I liked that Rick (Jason Gedrick) was giving Lynette a reason to feel sexy (letting her hair down again at the end), but I don't buy that she would accept Rick's flirtations. I expected to hear Tom jealously make a comment about Rick's good looks and fire him on the spot. I also found it strange that Lynette wouldn't think Tom would be overly angered by the positive restaurant review in the newspaper. Lynette yet again got a chance to one-up Tom. It isn't every episode that one of the Scavo children get a more intriguing story line than their parents.

But for the most part, I really enjoyed this episode. More positive stuff I want to point out:
— The importance of power — both the electrical kind and the mental kind. What would we do without it? Unfortunately, Mrs. McCluskey ended up in jail after she lost her power. I hope we find out what she told Parker and that she returns to Wisteria Lane soon. Kathryn Joosten adds so much to this show.
— Mike asking his roommate Carlos if he had a woman in his bedroom with him since Mike heard "sex noises." Carlos: "No. That was just me."
— Gaby pressing up against Victor in the dark, trapped in the elevator: "Oh, what you're doing is amazing!" Victor: "My phone is vibrating."
— Gaby walking in with waffles for Victor's breakfast. Victor: "Will you marry me?" Gaby: "They're just toaster waffles."
— Todd Sherry was hilarious as Russell, Edie's realtor cohort. Great line after he walked into the house that Edie was using to have secret sex with Carlos: "I see you can't close a sale without opening something else."
— Susan kicking Maggie under the table rather than Mike.
— Nice to see Rachel Fox back with some oomph as Kayla. I loved that they had Kayla walk in with the newspaper review rather than Lynette (another example of giving the Scavo kids something to do besides just being bratty).

I'll leave you with the lovely news that we'll be treated to four new episodes in a row — no repeats (the season finale airs Sunday, May 20).

Posted by Dave Anderson 04/23/07 2:34 AM

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Desperate Housewives

by Dave Anderson

April 29, 2007: Gossip
Seems as though just about all of the housewives were having feelings for two men tonight. Susan had to choose between Ian and Mike; Gabrielle was dealing with her jealous feelings about Carlos while celebrating her engagement to Victor; and Lynette was further flirting innocently with Rick, much to the suspicions of Tom. For the first time ever, Edie was the only housewife devoting her attention to just one man. Nice change of pace for an episode that focused on the subject of gossip.

First off, can we all agree that we're happy our dear Mrs. McCluskey was released from jail and finally told everyone what she secretly revealed to just Parker last week? I don't think any of us wanted her to be a murderer. Mrs. McC's explanation that she came home and found her husband dead on the couch with the remote still in his hand made perfect sense when she added that she discovered his pension plan had not been changed to make her the beneficiary (silly Gilbert forgot to switch it from his first wife). What better reason to put him in the freezer? OK, I'm not saying I would've done the same thing, but at least we found out the method behind her madness. Quick side note to let you know what a TV addict I am: my roommate once came home and found me asleep (but not dead) on the couch sitting in an upright position with the remote still in my hand. Had to share.

Back to DH... I loved how jealous Gaby got about Carlos dating Edie. It did not surprise me that she asked Susan and Lynette not to be Edie's friend, but it was oh-so-Edie for Edie to lure Lynette to Travers' birthday party by having her cater it, and then having Susan there to sign copies of her book. I think my favorite scene of the entire episode was the dialogue between Carlos and Gaby after he picked her up and carried her away from the party. Carlos: "So if I'm just dating and you're in love and getting married, remind me again why it is that you get to be the angry one?" What a way to shut Gaby up.

You knew that as soon as Susan told Mike she decided she was going ahead with her marriage to Ian that it would be a short-lived decision. Mike telling her, "At least I have my memories," was the best way to keep Susan's mind focused on Mike. Playing Mike's phone message twice while Ian was standing behind her sealed the deal for Ian to skip town and head back to England. Sucks that Mike also skipped town. Ida sure summed it up to Susan: "I always liked him." You are not alone, Ida.

Once again, they gave little Kayla something of substance to do. Yes, she can be a little brat, but at least she's protecting her daddy. I thought it was appropriate for Kayla to be the person to see Lynette being flirty with Rick and to alert Tom. I liked when Tom showed up with all the kids via cab to surprise Lynette, spoiling Rick's plans with her. Of course Lynette was not going to agree with Tom when he suggested letting Rick go to save money now that Tom was getting better.

Other highlights I'd like to point out:
— That Susan was going to sing her own rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" at Gaby's engagement party with special lyrics. Something tells me that most of you were happy we didn't get to experience it. Am I right?
— That Julie was finally back to give her mama some needed advice and support.
— That Kayla told Lynette she could tell she was lying: "You always laugh like that when you tell a lie."
— That Gaby described to Lynette and Susan just how cold she wanted them to be to Edie: "I want icicles hanging from that bitch's ears."
— That Susan ("men are scum") had to see the court-ordered anger management therapist (Judyann Elder) after the incident in the parking lot with that random man (Ben Parrillo).
— That Lynette agreed with Susan that they were essentially "whoring" for Edie behind Gaby's back: "Looks like we're working the same corner."
— That Parker defended Mrs. McCluskey to those neighborhood boys who wrote "witch" on her door, and that he convinced Tom and Lynette to hire her back as babysitter, even with a raise.

Did you notice they finally mentioned Bree? I was amused that it was because Bree sent Gaby a basket of fresh muffins from the "top of the Swiss Alps" as a congrats engagement gift. Marcia Cross is a guest on Letterman this Thursday night, so I've already set my TiVo.

Posted by Dave Anderson 04/30/07 4:24 AM




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