I love television. I love Buffy, I love Firefly, I love The X-Files…but I also love The O.C., Gilmore Girls, and Desperate Housewives. A lot. I spend as much of my time defending these shows as I do watching them, and I don’t really understand why I have to. I have a friend. She’s smart, funny, she loves most of the same shows as me. She likes American Beauty and Twin Peaks, so it is kind of beyond me that she has no time for Desperate Housewives. She has never even watched it properly, and I try often to convince her that it’s worth her time because I really think she’d enjoy it. It could be a matter of taste, but I’ve come up against the same often from people who aren’t willing to put time into a show just because of how it looks from the outside.
It only takes the tiniest bit of surface scratching to see that Desperate Housewives is not just a straightforward show about women living and struggling through their daily chores and lives. Even if it was, who cares? It is satirical, funny, camp, witty, and often downright farcical. The storylines are ridiculous and convoluted and often saying more than they let on. Desperate Housewives is intentionally very over-the-top, the characters caricatures of themselves. It is violent. Within 1 minute and 16 seconds of the pilot episode beginning, somebody shoots themselves in the head and covers their family portrait in their brains. That is the tone set for the series (six seasons of it anyway). This show is sexy. It says a lot about American suburban life and makes a statement with every episode and storyline. So why don’t you like it? Give it a shot. Trust me.