Desperate Housewives Series 1, Channel 4

by | Apr 12, 2005 | All, Reviews

Debut Wednesday 5 January 2005

US drama series about a group of four wealthy mums living on Wisteria Lane, a suburban cul-de-sac, who seem to lead idyllic lives but are really harbouring dark secrets.

The satirical stories are observed by Mary Alice Scott, one of the “happy” residents who has ended her life and is watching from above.

Created by Charles Pratt Jr (whose credits include Melrose Place) and Marc Cherry, who says it is a dark parody of upper-middle-class suburbia: “If it’s a gorgeous fantasy neighbourhood with nice cars and nice houses and pretty people, the darkness of their actions will seem more fun.” One critic called it “Ally McBeal meets Dynasty meets Melrose Place, with a little Twin Peaks surreal suburban noir thrown in”.

Debuted on ABC in September 2004

The cast

Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Scott, the dead housewife who can now see exactly what goes on in the seemingly perfect American suburb (Sheryl Lee played the role in the pilot)

Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, an insecure, frustrated divorcée who is desperate to find love. Fancies neighbour Mike Delfino

Felicity Huffman as pill-popping Lynette Scavo, a former career woman who is bored and frazzled by raising her four unmanageable kids

Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp, a bossy homemaker who thinks she’s the perfect supermum, but her kids hate her and her husband wants a divorce

Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis, a former model who has a neglectful rich husband, a big house, a 17-year-old lover and a mother-in-law she’s at war with

Steven Culp as Rex Van De Kamp, Bree’s husband, who is fed up with her abnormal perfection and wants a divorce

Jesse Metcalfe as 17-year-old gardener John, who is sleeping with Gabrielle

Mark Moses as Mary Alice’s widowed husband Paul

Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Gabrielle’s wealthy husband Carlos, who spoils her rotten and treats her mean

Andrea Bowen as Susan’s teenage daughter Jenna Mayer

Shawn Pyfrom as Bree and Rex’s gay son Andrew

Joy Lauren as Bree and Rex’s daughter Danielle

Jamie Denton as hunky plumber Mike Delfino

Cody Kasch as Mary Alice’s son Zach

Nicolette Sheridan as manhungry serial divorcee Edie Britt

Doug Savant as Lynette’s husband Tom

Alfre Woodard as the secretive Betty Applewhite

Mehcad Brooks as her handsome teenage son Matthew

Episode guide

Pilot: After killing herself, Mary Alice Scott looks down on the idyllic suburban cul-de-sac that she has left and observes the dark secrets her neighbours are harbouring. There’s love, lust, crime, a hunky gardener, lots of bitchiness, awful kids etc.

Ah, But Underneath: Ex-model Gabrielle goes to great lengths to hide her affair with teen gardener John; Lynette gets tough with her three unruly boys; Susan invites hunky new neighbour Mike to dinner, only for serial divorcee Edie to gatecrash.

Pretty Little Picture: The women go ahead with the big dinner party Mary Alice had planned to host before her suicide. Adulterous Gabrielle becomes the victim of a nine-year-old blackmailer, Bree struggles to keep her marital problems a secret, and Susan bares all when she confronts her ex-husband.

Who’s That Woman? Carlos suspects Gabrielle is having an affair with someone, but mistakenly pins the blame on the cable guy rather than John the gardener. Mrs Huber blackmails Susan; Bree struggles with her rebellious son Andrew; and Lynette’s recalcitrant twins cause trouble at school.

Running To Stand Still: While making costumes for her son’s play Little Red Riding Hood, Lynette comes into conflict with another parent. Susan investigates Zach’s sudden disappearance, Mama Solis gets closer to discovering Gabrielle’s secret, and Rex suggests to Bree that they should hire a sex surrogate.

Anything You Can Do Lynette steals a Ritalin tablet from the mother of her sons’ friend, while Susan is annoyed with Mike after he cancels a date with her in favour of meeting old friend Kendra (Heather Stephens). Meanwhile, Mrs Huber transplants a heart attack victim to Bree’s lawn so the paramedics won’t despoil her garden, and the enigmatic Mr Shaw (Richard Roundtree) comes closer to solving one of Wisteria Lane’s big mysteries.

Guilty While Carlos’s mother lies sick in hospital, Gabrielle confesses her affair to a priest. Lynette’s efforts to relax through acupuncture are constantly interrupted by her sons, Susan grows suspicious of Mike after finding money in his cupboard, and Mr Shaw sets out to assassinate Edie.

Suspicious Minds Multiple calamities strike as Gabrielle admits to John’s mother she is sleeping with her son, while Bree and Rex are furious at their son Andrew after his drunk driving injures a girl, but matters get even worse when drugs are found in his swim team locker, Elsewhere, Edie and Susan clash again – this time over a fashion show, and Lynette hires a nanny for her children.

Come Back to Me: Bree discovers bossy mum Maisy Gibbons is working as a prostitute in the afternoons and Rex is a client; Gabrielle’s car is confiscated; Susan plans to take her relationship with Mike to the next level, and she also discovers Zach has been hiding out in Julie’s room; and a jealous Lynette decides to videotape her new nanny (Marla Sokoloff).

Move On: Edie organises a neighbourhood search for the missing Mrs Huber; Bree seeks a date with an attractive pharmacist (Roger Bart); Susan’s ex, Karl, reappears; Lynette fears that Tom is attracted to the new nanny; and Gabrielle gets a job.

Every Day a Little Death: The residents learn of Martha Huber’s death; Susan is forced to do a deal with Edie to cover up the measuring jug mystery; Bree’s boyfriend George gets too close for comfort; Lynette lies to get into a yoga class; and Carlos begs for Gabrielle’s help.

Your Fault: Ryan O’Neal guests as Lynette’s father-in-law, a traveling-salesman, who pays a visit and reveals a family secret; Susan is disturbed about Julie’s romance with Zach; Rex wants to get back with Bree but all she wants is the country-club membership; and Gabrielle is shocked when she’s asked a favour by John’s parents (Kathryn Harrold and Mark Harelik).

Love Is In The Air: On Valentine’s Day, Susan looks forward to a romantic date with Mike, Bree discovers something new about Rex, Lynette falls out with her old neighbour (Kathryn Joosten), and Gabrielle gets work as a mattress model for the Siesta King (Jon Polito).

Impossible: Mike is questioned about Mrs Huber’s murder; John’s friend Justin (Ryan Carnes) tries to blackmail Gabrielle about the affair; Lynette isn’t happy about Tom seeking promotion; Bree is shocked to find a condom; and Zach’s pool party gets out of hand.

The Ladies Who Lunch: Maisy Gibbons is arrested for prostitution and Bree is frantic that husband Rex will be exposed as a client. Gabrielle and Carlos are forced into desperate measures when their sewage pipes burst.

There Won’t Be Trumpets: Mama Solis comes out of her coma but then dies in a fall; Lynette befriends deaf mother Alisa (Marlee Matlin); Bree has more trouble with son Andrew; and Susan is attracted to Edie’s hunky new contractor Bill (Rick Ravanello).

Children Will Listen: Susan’s mother Sophie (Lesley Ann Warren) pays an unannounced visit to Wisteria Lane after splitting with her boyfriend (Bob Newhart); Gabrielle faces Carlos’ wrath after he learns about the hospital settlement; and Lynette is unhappy when Bree disciplines Porter while babysitting.

Live Alone and Like It: Susan’s mother (Lesley Ann Warren) turns up, newly single like her daughter, and tries to resurrect both their love lives. Lynette regrets befriending nasty neighbour Mrs McCluskey, Gabrielle, who is sleeping with John again, has his credit card rejected in an upmarket restaurant, and Andrew makes a confession to a priest.

Fear No More: Pharmacist George Williams re-enters Bree’s life; Lynette discovers that Tom’s old girlfriend has joined his firm; Gabrielle plans a big farewell party for jail-bound Carlos; and Susan and Julie face unneighbourly behaviour from the Youngs.

Sunday in the Park with George: Pharmacist George Williams continues to worm his way into Bree’s life; Lynette tries to spice things up with Tom; Gabrielle has more man troubles; and Susan gets a surprise visitor.

Goodbye for Now: Susan believes Mike is up to no good; Lynette ensures Annabel doesn’t come between her and Tom; Bree realises George’s motives and remains calm when Rex has a heart attack; and Carlos makes a mistake when he believes gay Ryan is Gabrielle’s lover.

One Wonderful Day: Paul reveals all to Mike about Zach’s past and the killing of Deirdra; Susan is held at gunpoint by an angry Zach; Carlos loses his temper with John, justas Gabrielle is trying to help him in court; Rex goes to his grave believing Bree poisoned him; and Tom tells Lynette to go back to work.

Series two

Next: Mike arrives home to find Zach holding Susan hostage; Lynette prepares to return to work now that Tom has agreed to stay home with the kids; Rex’s mother Phyllis drives newly-widowed Bree crazy; Gabrielle starts visiting Carlos in jail; and the secret surrounding newcomer Betty Applewhite and her teenage son Matthew is set to be revealed.

You Could Drive a Person Crazy: Lynette feels Tom isn’t pulling his weight around the house; Susan and Edie clash again over Susan’s ex-husband Karl; Bree struggles with Rex’s grieving mother, and Gabrielle is sent on a mission by Carlos.

You’ll Never Get Away From Me: Bree’s mother-in-law is in trouble with the law; Susan tries to accept Edie’s new role in Julie’s life; Lynette’s demanding boss makes her miss Parker’s first day of kindergarten; and Gabrielle meets John again.

My Heart Belongs to Daddy: Gabrielle causes a prison riot while visiting Carlos, Lynette learns that Parker has an imaginary friend, and Susan helps Mike search for Zach.

They Asked Me Why I Believe In You: Susan’s book agent Lonny Moon gets into financial trouble; Lynette is forced to go out to bars with her man-hungry boss Nina; Bree re-buries Rex amid police suspicions; and Gaby hires hotshot lawyer David Bradley to defend Carlos.

I Wish I Could Forget You: Gabrielle valiantly tries to free Carlos; Mike and Susan face a crisis in their relationship when Susan tries to get Paul Young arrested; and Bree goes to a romantic hotel with George.

Colour and Light: Bree is horrified when George proposes at a party he’s organised with his mother Francine (Linda Dano); Tom and Lynette’s kids accidentally watch a homemade porn video; Gabrielle has a visit from old friends; and Betty loses something precious.

The Sun Won’t Set: There’s an intruder on the loose on Wisteria Lane, Susan learns shocking news about her father at her mother’s wedding, Bree’s “engagement” to George hits a problem, Betty discovers Matthew is secretly seeing Danielle Van De Camp and Gabrielle learns to let go.

That’s Good, That’s Bad: Carlos is paroled from prison, Susan meets her birth father, Lynette takes charge of office politics, and George stalks Bree, despite her efforts to break up with him.

Coming Home: Lynette tries to start up a daycare centre at her advertising firm Parcher & Murphy; Gabrielle and Sister Mary Bernard (Melinda Page Hamilton) clash over Carlos’ plans to undertake a mission of mercy to Africa; Bree brings Andrew home and tells him the truth about George; and Susan confronts her biological father’s wife

One More Kiss: Gabrielle kisses Tom; Mike and Paul come to blows; Andrew tries to blackmail Bree; and the Applewhites cause more intrigue.

We’re Gonna Be Alright: Susan meets Dr Right; old pictures of Gabrielle turn up on the internet; Tom is alarmed when the kids get chicken pox, because he’s never had it; and Bree gets arrested.

There’s Something About a War: Dr Ron tells Susan she needs a splenectomy; Gabrielle and arch-enemy Sister Mary Bernard face off in church; Tom applies for a job at Lynette’s company; and Matthew and Danielle’s secret relationship is uncovered.

Silly People: Lynette is forced to bail Tom out when he gets involved in a series of humiliating dares with their boss Ed; Gabrielle and Carlos help a girl being exploited by a neighbour; and Susan must remarry in order to cash-in on a health insurance policy.

Thank You So Much: Edie thinks Karl is going to pop the question, Gabrielle is told about the complications caused by her miscarriage; and Bree’s problem with alcohol worsens.

There Is No Other Way: Carlos and Gabrielle decide to adopt, Susan finally has her surgery, Bree and son Andrew engage in all-out war, and Tom hates taking orders from Lynette at work.

Could I Leave You?: Susan invites Dr Ron to meet Karl; Lynette is surprised that a colleague is still breastfeeding her child of five; Gabrielle becomes very picky about her birth mother; and Andrew throws repressed memories in Bree’s face.

Everybody Says Don’t: Gaby and Carlos learn the truth about their baby, Paul Young faces his demons, and Lynette is forced to give a statement in court about Bree’s drinking problems.

Don’t Look at Me: Lynette’s son Parker becomes obsessed with finding out where babies come from, Carlos and Gabrielle go to court to get custody of their baby, Bree’s father and stepmother come to town, and Susan finds that she still has feelings for Karl.

It Wasn’t Meant to Happen: Gabrielle and Carlos receive a visit from the father of their baby; Lynette tries to help Ed heat up his sex life; Karl splits with Edie; and Bree is shocked by Peter’s addiction.

I Know Things Now: Bree and Andrew reach an impasse in their feud, Ed fires Tom, and Edie’s private detective uncovers details of Karl and Susan’s relationship.

No One Is Alone: Bree checks herself into the Fairview psychiatric hospital; Lynette suspects Tom is cheating on her; and Felicia Tilman has more trouble in store for Paul Young.

Remember: The ladies of Wisteria Lane recall their arrivals on Wisteria Lane, while Bree gets some frightening news; Susan moves into a trailer; Gabrielle and Carlos learn more about maid Xiao-Mei; and Lynette deals with Tom’s infidelity.

Desperate Housewives, Channel 4, Wednesday

What is it?

The new drama about life behind the twitching blinds of suburbia that’s taken America by storm, told from the viewpoint of Mary Alice, who killed herself after a life of “quietly polishing the routine of my life until it gleamed with perfection”.

What to say if you liked it

Stepford Wives meets American Beauty meets Sex In The City, with a twist of Twin Peaks for added intrigue.

What to say if you didn’t like it

Another American self-obsession piece dumped on us. If they hate their super-affluent lifestyle so much, why don’t they just downsize and stop destroying the planet?

What was good about it?

• It took a broad view of women, showing some as good, others as nasties, just like men.

• The introduction of the characters through the dishes they brought to Mary Alice’s wake – harassed Lynette’s shop-bought fried chicken; supermum Bree’s perfectly presented muffins; fiery Gabrielle’s spicy paella and scatty Susan’s rancid macaroni cheese.

• It’s slickly and stylishly produced, if you like that sort of thing.

• Hopefully the Twin Peaks-style mysteries (what’s under that swimming pool, and what did Mary-Alice actually do?) will save it from being just a grown-up Malcolm In The Middle without the humour.

• Mrs Huber, the gossipy old bag who was the only one pleased with Mary Alice’s suicide – she got to keep the blender she’d borrowed six months earlier

• Lynette’s threat to her unruly children: “I know someone who knows someone who knows an elf and if you act up, I’ll tell Santa you want socks for Christmas.”

• Susan and her sassy daughter stuffing hair, peanut butter and cooking oil down the sink to justify calling sexy plumber Mike to the house

• Bree’s husband’s despair: “I’m sick of the bizarre way your hair doesn’t even move.”

• Gabrielle mowing the lawn at night in her party dress because she’s spent the afternoon shagging the young gardener

What was bad about it?

• Even with the mysteries and occasional twists, it was all too predictable. Women compete for eligible bachelor, trophy wife cheats on brutish husband, neurotic woman forces constricted lifestyle on her family – so what’s new?

• The male characters are just space-fillers (eligible bachelor, brutish husband, wife’s neuroses-sufferer). Sex In The City didn’t make that mistake (think Big).

• Does the idea of having a Carrie Bradshaw-style voiceover narration, but by a character who’s supposed to be dead, actually work? Hmm.

• The “material comforts don’t make you happy” message would be more palatable if it wasn’t coming from an industry at the heart of a society that would rather invade another oil-rich country than give up its material comforts. Turn off your air-conditioners, and we can all stop worrying.

Highlights of Desperate Housewives: Ah, But Underneath

1 Harassed mother Lynette – “My babysitter joined the witness protection programme.” We also loved it when her attempt to make her boys behave backfired – she dumped them on the roadside and they were taken in by a concerned roly-poly citizen (who was then pushed facedown into her lawn)

2 Naked gardener John diving through the window when Gabrielle’s fiery husband Carlos came home early. (We watched it frame by frame and he was wearing flesh coloured pants for the stunt. The coward!)

3 Susan’s attempt to win over Mike by befriending his dog Bongo by wiping gravy on her neck and ear. That backfired when the pooch swallowed her earrings.

4 Mrs Huber – “Edie may be trash but she’s still a human being.” We, of course, hate Edie because she’s muscling in on charming plumber Mike when we want him to pick the lovely Susan. (We like the last-minute revelation that he’s got a gun, wads of cash and a map of his neighbours stashed in his house and is probably a spy or a psycho. No-one’s as they seem on Wisteria Lane)

5 The perfect Bree bringing home-made pot pouri for counsellor Dr Albert Goldfine.

Top 5 Highlights of Desperate Housewives: Pretty Little Picture

1 Bree taking a tennis racket to her marriage guidance sessions to keep up the pretence to her friends that she was having tennis lessons.

2 Bree’s attempt to get husband Rex to return to the marital bed by making the mattress he was sleeping on downstairs as uncomfortable as possible. And Bree’s revelation that Rex cries after he ejaculates – a very impresive dinner party conversation stopper.

3 Naughty Gabrielle wanting to shag John the Jock in his gym kit.

4 Ashley, the fat-faced brat who blackmailed Gabrielle after spotting her snogging a topless John

5 Lynette allowing her kids to eat cookies so they’d be full of manic energy when her husband looked after them for once

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Who’s That Woman?

1 – Evil Edie complaining that Susan was throwing herself at muscleman Mike – seconds after trying to turn him on by getting very moist while she washed her car (for the second day running)

2 – Mrs Huber (and her mincemeat pie) blackmailing Susan – and then having the tables turned on her

3 – Prim, proper Bree tracking down son Andrew to the Topsy Turvy pole-dancing bar.

4 – Carlos making a big mistake by beating up the cable guy because he thought he’d been shagging wife Gabrielle. After knocking him senseless, he realised the guy was gay (the poster for Gypsy was a giveaway) and is now wanted for a hate crime.

5 – Lynette’s boys getting into trouble at school for painting little Tiffany Axelrod blue

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Running To Stand Still

1 – Gabrielle’s battle with mother-in-law Juanita, who has won wars fought over the pre-nup agreement, wedding music and house colour. But Gabrielle succeeded in the struggle to keep the maid. “I need her help.” “It’s only called help when you do some of the work yourself.” Telling husband Carlos that she’d be too exhausted for sex won the argument for Gabrielle, though.

2 – Lynette’s feud with Maisie Gibbons over the attempt to change the ending of school play The Little Red Riding Hood. Maisie claimed the death of the wolf “sends out the wrong message to our kids. We believe animals should only be euthanised as a last resort.”

3 – Gabrielle spitting out her coffee in shock when she hears that John (who she is shagging senselessly regularly) is a member of the school’s abstinence club.

4 – Bree’s sexual hang-ups. “Obviously the scrotum has its practical applications, but I’m just not a fan.”

5 – Susan’s clever pretext to borrow Mrs Greenberg’s car. “Do you remember the two eggs you borrowed last Christmas?”

Top 7 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Anything You Can Do

1 – Frazzled Lynette stealing little Timmy’s Ritalin so she can cope with hosting a dinner party for her husband Tom’s ad agency boss (a la Bewitched) – and then upstaging Tom by coming up with a better idea than him. A great advert for Ritalin!

2 – Mama Solis sussing out that daughter-in-law Gabrielle is doing John the gardener – but then being run over after catching them on camera

3 – The feud between Susan and Edie. “We kissed, FYI,” bragged Susan as she headed off for a date with dishy Mike. “How devastating for you, FYI,” Edie spat back when the date was called off and Susan failed to hide behind her dinky little handbag on the walk of shame back home

4 – Perfectionist Bree kicking out the kids, but arranging all their belongings very carefully on the lawn

5 – Sexy Susan talking herself into riding the bull at the Sugar Ranch – but being knocked out before even getting aboard

6 – Mrs Huber being so green with envy about Bree’s perfect lawn that she dumped a dead body in her hydrangeas so that the ambulance crew would cause damage retrieving him

7 – Bree and Rex’s explosive row in front of the school principal

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Guilty

1 – Perfectionist Bree being imperfect for once by getting son Andrew out of trouble after he’d run over Mama Solis by dumping the car in a bad part of town. “Somebody will steal the car. I have faith in the poor.”

2 – Perfectionist Bree being perfect again by using industrial strength solvent to get rid of Mama Solis’s blood from the road

3 – Gabrielle casually doing her nails while husband Carlos sat beside his comatose mother – and then reacting badly when John ended their relationship, Carlos revealed they were going to start a family and the priest told her infidelity as a sin. “Ain’t you a ball of fun.”

4 – Mrs Huber’s fight with slut Edie – “I’m going to have to burn every sheet you touched.” Sadly, Mrs Huber didn’t make it to the end of the episode. We’ll miss her nasty nosey neighbourliness. But we liked the way the director cut between her grizzly death and Susan shagging Mike.

5 – Harassed mum Lynette’s angry fit, accompanied by Feelin’ Groovy

Top 6 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Come Back to Me

1 – Lynette’s relief that supernanny Claire (who she’s spying on via video) can’t make the boys eat brussel sprouts. Lynette tried by telling the boys they’d not grow. “Be three feet eight for the rest of your lives. Good luck in finding girlfriends.” Clare’s one failure was scant consolation for Lynette, though, who was upset that the nanny did everything else so brilliantly, including putting on funny voices while reading stories.

2 – The shock revelation that Maisie Gibbons does more than run errands, cleans the house and feeds her family – she spends the afternoon whoring. Her clients include Bree’s husband Rex who loves Maisie doing her dominatrix act (“scarves or cuffs? boots or stilettos?”).

3 – Bree’s whispered threat to errant husband Rex as he lay in hospital after a heart attack. “I’m going to take your money, your family and your dignity. I’m so glad you didn’t die before I got the chance to tell you that.”

4 – Gabrielle trying to put her nosey neighbours off the scent when her car was impounded. “You call that a paint job,” she shouted as it was towed away. With Carlos in jail, Gabrielle had no time for shagging John (shame) and had to store all her valuable possessions in Bree’s garage to keep them away from government officials.

5 – Susan preparing with petals and candles for some sex with Mike, but then knocking him out because she thought he was an intruder.

6 – Edie’s hatred of worrying “out of concern for her face” because it causes wrinkles.

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Move On

1 – Gabrielle being forced to return to modelling, but instead of New York catwalks, she’s offered a lousy job, trying to draw attention to a Buick at the shopping mall. “Look at this bone structure. This face is a cash cow,” she told the man who ran the only modelling agency in town. “I book women for boat shows and garden tool exhibitions. If you don’t like it, move back to the city.” Gabrielle was forced to swallow her pride and take the job – where she is almost humiliated when Lynette and Tom turn up to shop.

2 – While Gabrielle is quickly running out of money, her maid is getting increasingly stroppy. “Why don’t you hawk your jewellery. Some of the stuff you never wear and most of it is ugly.”

3 – Harriet Sansom Harris (Bebe from Frasier) turning up as Felicia, the sister of the missing (and dead) Mrs Huber, and shedding no tears. “She was a rigid pig of a woman.” Alan (who killed Mrs Huber) told Felicia: “Eveyone is praying for your sister’s safe return.” To which she replied: “I seriously doubt that!”

4 – Bree prepares a lovely breakfast tray for errant and ailing husband Rex. “Please don’t mistake my anal retentiveness for actual affection.”

5 – Edie singing I’ve Never Been To Me at the piano bar, followed by Susan who intersperses her rendition of New York, New York with bitter attacks on her lousy ex-husband Karl.

Top 6 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Every Day a Little Death

1 – The corpse of the much-missed Mrs Huber smiling when a cop told her she’d become front page news.

2 – Felicia’s reaction to the nosey neighbours following the murder of her sister Mrs Huber. “Human beings feed on misery,” she said before addressing the crowd, giving them all the grisly details about the scratches, broken bones, dirt in the lungs etc. “She was probably in great pain,” she told them,” but the good news is that there were no signs that she had been molested.”

3 – Bree being so excited about the gun she got from George. She took him shooting (“You always remember the first time. I hope you’ve bought enough bullets”) and then shot him in the foot, accidentally, as she backed away from a kiss

4 – Lynette getting to jump the queue at the yoga class creche because of her son’s shaved head – the receptionist thought he had cancer; in fact, he’d been cropped because his brothers put chewing gum in his hair.

5 – Gabrielle getting her own back on Carlos for their predicament which had resulted her returning to modelling and “spending the day getting grabbed by fat tractor salesmen.” When the takeaway chicken arrived, she went to eat it in the street, knowing that the under-house-arrest Carlos wouldn’t be able to follow her because of his electronic tag.

6 – Susan snogging Mike’s face off in front of Edie – and then having Mrs Huber’s ashes thrown in her face by Edie who had discovered Susan was responsible for burning her house down.

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Your Fault

1 – Bree recalling meeting Rex at a Young Republicans’ event. “I agreed with his stance on the death penalty. We stayed up til two, talking about big government, gun control and illegal immigrants. It was such a magical night.”

2 – Bree and Rex battling over the spoils during their divorce battle, with Rex upsetting Bree by demanding the best china “for takeout”.

3 – Pharmacist George plotting to poison Rex.

4 – An almost unrecognisable Ryan O’Neal guesting as Lynette’s father-in-law Roger who was a bit of a hero when he got little Parker down from the roof (by getting the boy to prove he’s not a “girly girl”) but then got chucked out when Lynette caught him canoodling on the couch with Lois McDaniel. “She’s in paper products. We’re just hammering out details,” Roger lied.

5 – Gabrielle fearing that John’s parents Helen and Bob were going to cause trouble over “that statutory rape thing” and being relieved that they just wanted to blackmail her into making John stay at college. However, it got a bit tricky when John asked: “Mrs Solis, will you marry me?”

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Love Is In The Air

1 – Bree’s description of her uneasy reconciliation with Rex – “forced smiles and perfunctory lovemaking” – but things changed when she agreed to meet Rex’s need to be dominated in bed. Bree entered into S&M territory without too much enthusiasm (“This reeks of unresolved childhood trauma. It’s a perversion.”) but she eventually took on the dominatrix role, but not before popping the handcuffs into the dishwasher before she’d use them and a dispute over their control word – Boysie was picked, instead of Palestine.

2 – Lynette complaining about the dreadful gifts she’d got from her kids over the years – and her delight when they presented her with a nice flowerpot. Joy, as ever, was shortlived when nasty neighbour Mrs McClusky turned up, revealing the boys had stolen it from her.

3 – The Wisteria Lane war between Lynette and Mrs McCluskey – eggs thrown, insults thrown, a bike crushed. And the sweet ending when we discovered Mrs McCluskey wasn’t an evil old bat after all and had lost her son when he was a child.

4 – Lynette giving her sons a choice of punishment. “My hands are tied. Thieves get punished. That’s the way it works.” A belt, licorice stick, spatula and ping pong bat were among the items on offer.

5 – The Wisteria Lane war between Gabrielle and her maid Jaolin. Gabrille got the upper hand – “You’re so fired.” – but Jaolin won in the end, getting a make-up job from Gabrielle when, after being sacked as a matress model by the Siesta King, she’d been reduced to working in a department store’s cosmetics department

6 – Susan’s slapstick moments were back – she had one funny fall and caused chaos in the restaurant after being suprised by a waiter under her table. But for once she was upstaged by Mike – he collapsed from the gunshot wound sustained on a spying mission

Top 6 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Impossible

1 – Justin the yard boy getting Gabrielle to have sex with him because he thinks he may be gay. Afterwards, he’s sure he is.

2 – Susan’s embarrassment when she catches Andrew Van Der Bree snogging another boy in the swimming pool.

3 – Susan’s comedy falls over the sunbeds when she raced away from the pool – and her tumble when Mike was being arrested.

4 – Tom badmouthing his rival for promotion, and then feeling a little guilty when the guy had a heart attack

5 – Gabrielle’s optimism in the face of adversity. “I’ve been broke but I’ve never been poor. Poor’s just a state of mind.”

6 – Zach’s balloon-covered party invite. “He’s genetically incapable of being cool,” commented Andrew.

Top 7 highlights of Desperate Housewives: The Ladies Who Lunch

1 – The Scandalous Arrest of Maisy Gibbons, especially her escape attempt while handcuffed and dressed just in lingerie – and the marvellous montage of women on mobile phones excitedly nattering about the housewife whore’s downfall

2 – Bree’s attempt to stop Maisy revealing that husband Rex’s name was in her Little Black Book by visiting the prison, armed with one of her lovely gift baskets.

3 – Bree’s steely resolve in the face of pitying looks at a restaurant when the Rex news leaked out.

4 – Lynette’s bouncy castle confrontation with the mother who had spread the rumour that Lynette’s boys had started a head lice outbreak at school when, in fact, her son Topher was to blame.

5 – Gabrielle being forced to do the washing in the Jacuzzi when sewage started backing up into the water system – and her theft of a “PortaPotty” from a building site so that she could stop paying visits to her neighbours and then using their loos.

6 – Edie (“Of course I believe in evil. I work in real estate”) and Susan nearly getting caught while snooping in Alan’s house – and Edie being forced to snog a delighted Alan so that Susan could make her escape.

7 – Bree sacrificing her country club membership to pay for Gabrielle’s plumbing works

Top 7 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Children Will Listen

1 – Juanita Solis comes out of a five-month coma – but then slips on a wet floor, crashing down a staircase and dying. Her last words to a nurse: “Tell my son his wife is cheating on him.” The message didn’t get passed on, so Gabrielle is in the clear (hooray)

2 – Carlos’s desire to bury his mother a coffin featuring a pink velvet interior with drapes. Gabrielle tries to get him to go for a cheap wood veneer instead.

3 – Bree and Rex look through brochures for youth detention centres to sort out Andrew after he’s caught smoking pot in the school car park. Bree finds several things to impress her. “You have to admit, electric fences are an efficient way to teach respect for boundaries.” And: “That recidivism rate is to die for.”

4 – Susan upsetting Edie by getting a date with hunky builder Bill. “I try to look beyond your flaws,” Edie told her. “Your klutziness, that faux vulnerability, your hair. But you look for ways to push my buttons.”

5 – Susan ruining the date by boring Bill senseless by talking only of Mike, the love she lost, over dinner

6 – Bree’s comment at Madame Solis’s funeral. “You’ve got to hand it to the Catholics. They do grief better than anyone.”

7 – Lynette’s latest mishap – upsetting her new deaf pal Alisa by interfering in her marital problems

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: There Won’t Be Trumpets

1 – Bree failing to avoid babysitting Lynette’s rowdy kids and being forced to spank Porter for upsetting the cookie tray. Lynette was furious at Bree’s use, and advocacy, of corporal punishment. “I feel so blessed to be getting sage advice from such an impeccable mother like you,” Lynette told her. “Your kids turned out perfect. As long as you don’t count Andrew. Where is he? Some sort of boot camp for juvenile delinquents.”

But Lynette found it useful later to threaten her kids with a trip to Bree’s house for punishment when they were poised to flush away their toothbrushes

2 – Our discovery that clumsy Susan takes after her mother Sophie who arrived by crashing her car into Mike’s vehicle. Susan’s best mishap of the episode was kicking the masseur in the face. “It’s just banged a little,” she told the wailing victim.

3 – Rex tells Bree she can’t take one of her gift baskets of lemon squares to Andrew at the juvenile detention centre. “I guess they feel baked goods from mum undercut the boot camp experience.”

4 – Felicia’s description of her late sister Mrs Huber’s house. “This is the place that good taste goes to die.”

5 – John jogging topless; Gabrielle jogging in a pink tracksuit

Top 10 highlights of Live Alone and Like It

1 – Bree’s hilarious homophobia after son Andrew claimed he was gay to his counsellor at the juvenile detention centre. Her first move was to take him home. “There are 200 other boys in this camp.”

2 – Bree’s hilarious homophobia when she tells Andrew: “I would love you even if you were a murderer.”

3 – Bree’s hilarious homophobia when she invite Reverend Sykes over to dinner – but then shocking the priest by blurting out: “Your father is into S&M. No wonder you’re a pervert.”

4 – Bree’s hilarious homophobia when she tells Andrew: “If you don’t change who you are, you won’t go to Heaven.”

5 – The priest’s reaction when Andrew reveals he’s bisexual. “I love vanilla ice cream but every now and again I like some chocolate,” Andrew confessed. “God would prefer you to stick to the vanilla,” Reverend Sykes recommended.

6 – Andrew hatching a plan to rock his mother’s world by pretending to be a goodie goodie and then shocking her by “doing something really terrible.”

7 – Lynette dreaming of a Wisteria Lane in which neighbour Mrs McCluskey is dead and has been replaced by a Swedish family with two adorable daughters who would marry her sons. And then seeing Mrs McCluskey keel over after a row in which she stole the dustbins Lynette had failed to bring in from the kerb. “I assumed you didn’t want them anymore.”

8 – Susan being embarrassed by her mother who held up the queue of kids by chatting up the ice-cream man and then picked up a redneck

9 – Gabrielle having to use John’s student credit card so she can get new shoes and a slap-up meal. “Mrs Solis, to take care of you, it’s my dream,” he’d told her.

10 – Gabrielle in a state of torment but still insisting that John licks her arms.

Top 5 highlights of Desperate Housewives: Fear No More

1 – Bree’s reaction when she saw her ex-boyfriend: “Oh my heavenly days, Rex, it’s George!” She then agreed to go on a date with him – to a bonsai exposition – because he was pretending to be dating his dim assistant Ginger (who has black hair, cut very badly)

2 – Gabrielle coming out of a “downsizing phase” and splashing out (or rather vomiting over) a flashy sportscar, but not being so happy when the saleslady realised she was pregnant (the vomiting, induced by a 100 per cent Italian calf interior, was the telling clue).

3 – The priest’s reaction to Gabrielle’s news: “Sweet mother of God, what have you done this time?” And Gabrielle’s reaction: “The only person more self centred than me is Carlos. We’d be terrible parents.”

4 – Susan’s mishaps – the first was a faceful gravel thrown by Zach at Julie’s bedroom window to attract his non-girlfriend’s attention; the last was Zach firebombing her home (although a French vanilla candle was the immediate suspect).

5 – Lynette’s latest feud – with Tom’s ex Annabel Foster. She sought legendary predator Edie’s advice but her friendly overtures at a dinner party were so transparent that Annabel saw through her scheme immediately (Porter’s admission that mom had told him to draw a happy family picture didn’t help)

Top 6 highlights of Sunday in the Park with George

1 – The catalogue of Sophie’s marital disasters. The first husband loved gambling, the second loved booze, the third loved man and the fourth was the same one as she married the second time. But she still accepted a proposal from Bob Newhart’s Marty.

2 – Gabrielle’s bitterness towards Carlos’s dead mother after Carlos blamed her for switching the contraceptive pills. “I’ve got a wave of morning sickness coming on and I wanna be standing on your mother’s grave when it hits.” Later she said: “I plan on getting really fat as a tribute to your mother.”

3 – Lynette’s attempt to end a 10-day drought without sex with Tom by dressing in a French maid’s outfit from Nighttime Necessities, but then passing out drunk before he got home – with a colleague in tow. They eventually got it together, when Tom squeezed into a leopardskin thong

4 – Evil Paul drugging Zach but then being caught out by the Fantastic Felicia who, while smiling and radiating sweetness, produces Mrs Huber’s journals which detail Paul’s shady past. “I hid the originals, seeing as you murdered Martha and all. Would you like a cookie?”

5 – Edie spotting Bree and George swapping “sinful” food at a restaurant. “You could have an affair with anyone and you chose a pharmacist. You’re such a Republican,” remarked Edie.

6 – Gabrielle being forced to throw salsa in John’s face to stop her young lover from telling Carlos about their affair

Top 7 highlights of Goodbye for Now

1 – Susan pursues Mike in her car, thinking he’s up to no good, but she loses track of his vehicle and ends up confronting a couple who’re having sex in a carpark. “Was that your wife?” asked the haggy woman after Susan sloped off. “If that was my wife, do you think I’d be here with you?” asked her partner.

2 – Edie Britt’s favourite time of the day: when she arrives at the construction site and is subjected to approving glances, lascivious looks and downright ogling

3 – Susan’s joy at telling Edie that she’s moving in with Mike, after Edie had attempted to inflame his desire through donuts. That left Edie resorting to inviting a workman to a motel just minutes after she’d told him he wasn’t in her league. But Edie wasn’t finished: she encouraged the women to stage an intervention to put Susan off Mike – but that was a flop, too.

4 – Lynette’s latest blunder – her attempt to get Annabel away from husband Tom ended in her nemesis getting promotion and Tom getting the sack

5 – Bree getting upset with George when he got an erection while playing crazy golf.

6 – George becoming even more creepy: photographing Bree’s underwear laid out on her bed, swapping her husband’s heart tablets and uncovering the S&M gear in the cupboard

7 – Bree reminding her daughter: “I never leave the house with an unmade bed” when she was supposed to be rushing Rex to the hospital after his latest heart attack

Top 6 highlights of One Wonderful Day

1 – We got the full story about how Zach came to be Paul and Mary Alice’s son – they bought him off druggie Deirdra – and how Deirdra ended up dead in Zach’s toy chest – she came back to claim her son and after battering Paul with a poker was stabbed by Mary Alice (not as sweet as she sounds in her wonderful disembodied narration). So now we know. But the denouement, and the whole final episode, was a bit of a disappointment. Is Mike Zach’s father? We didn’t find that out but suspect we will in series two.

2 – Bree thanking the doctor very much when he rang to tell her husband Rex had died – and finishing off her task of polishing the cutlery before she allowed herself time to cry. Sadly, there was no tying up of the angry Andrew storyline. Will we have to wait for him to take revenge on his mother for sending him to boot camp? And is Rex really dead? Maybe he plotted with the doctor in order to find out if she had really poisoned him. And will Bree end up with the awful George?

3 – Susan trying to escape from an armed, angry Zach when he held her at gunpoint by mouthing to Edie that she had a gun stuck in her back. But Edie couldn’t decipher the message and thought she was being insulted: “Stick it up my what?!”

4 – Gabrielle telling Carlos that he’d have to take full responsibility for the baby (“I’m not putting a car seat in my Maserati”) including bottle feeding in the middle of the night. When Carlos asked: “Aren’t we breastfeeding?” Gabrielle told him: “No, honey, If you can swing that, more power to you.”

5 – John wrecking Carlos’s chances of getting off his gaybashing crimes by sending him into a violent rage by whispering in his ear: “Didn’t you realise that yours was the only garden in Wisteria Lane that needed mowing three times a week.” Gabrielle hadn’t exactly done her husband any favours by telling the jury, in between smiling seductively at the male members, that “Carlos is an angry, jealous Neanderthal but he’s not a gay basher.”

6 – Lynette being lucky for once – sort of – when Tom told her that she’d have to go back to work and he’d look after the wild kids.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

12/04/2005

Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!

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