DESPERATELY BORING HOUSEWIVES
THESE "BITCHES" ARE JUST TOO ANNOYING TO BE BELIEVED
ONCE-PROMISING SHOW HAS HUMPED, NOT JUST JUMPED, THE SHARK
Really, How Many Walking Character-Flaws Can One Story Sustain?
Watch and get your answer. I almost gave up last season, but there was nothing much else going on Sundays, so I stuck with it. I was almost tempted by the show's complete make-over this season, until I saw the cast: Still five female assh*les and the neurotic wimps they were so desperate as to marry. Aggravating, not entertaining.
What is it about TV and movies these days? When did annoying become funny, and neurotic heroic? Is it a generational thing? Is it just that so many people now have grown up on utter and complete drivel in comedy and drama? Is it that their own lives are simply so devoid of reality or substance that they no longer recognize or require either? Is it Adam Sandler?
Will someone please "airlock" Adam Sandler and his entire family, unto the fifth generation, in all genetic directions? I'll chip in on the reward. Bonus points for Jeff Probst, the "reality" show huckster. And Paris Hilton, while we're on the subject. This offer is good until Monday, so, get busy.
When somebody good comes along, they have to crucify him or her. Dave Chappelle was really showing promise when Comedy Central started squeezing his head. Ellen Degeneres ended up on daytime TV. Poor li'l Britney was pimped six ways from Sunday, and then kicked to the curb in an orgy of media humiliation unseen until then. Is everything about self-destruction, now?
Desperate Housewives is. You have these five women who are so compulsive that you don't even need a script to know what they will do next. They'll just do exactly what they've been doing for four years, week after week. They're robots, not people, created by someone who obviously doesn't like women.
Bree (Marcia Cross), the gun-toting arch-conservative Republican super-bitch and anal-retentive Martha Stewart clone will always manipulate and pass judgment upon everyone around her, until there is no one around her. She drives away, literally, her psycho gay son, her malevolent bitch daughter and her two wussy husbands without a twinge of regret: Everything is somebody else's fault or character flaw. Bree remains blameless and perfect, always.
Susan (Teri Hatcher), the alleged writer, who never works or writes anything, will always barge and bungle into everybody else's life, compelled by the curiosity of a cop on acid. In the pursuit of her own paranoia and judgmental neuroses, she will savage everyone else's life like a bad puppy left home alone. She's beautiful all right, but she's a f*cking idiot. With only her daughter willing or able to support or sustain her, this incredibly beautiful and sexy woman becomes just one big bundle of sh*t.
Lynette (Felicity Huffman) at first seems like the normal one of the group. Until you see her children. They are monsters, completely out of control from birth. Lynette is too busy with her own career, or micro-managing every aspect of her wimpy, dumb-shit husband's life, to attend to her ever-growing brood. She'll never be alone, but she'll always be lonely even living in that crowd of assh*les. Who wouldn't be? Why does she stay? Why does she do anything she does? Her character has no apparent motivation, except to maintain the illusion of control, that ultimate female bugaboo.
Gabrielle (Eva Longoria), the token Latina spitfire, while fabulous in lingerie, is a character without character. She marries, and remarries a scumbag Latino stereotype, and they live unhappily ever after, obsessing about money and infidelities which they can neither control nor enjoy. Like everyone else on this show, they are detestable yuppie stereotypes; only, pretending to be Hispanic, sorta. Yo no lo creo.
Hatchet-faced former hottie Edie (Nicolette Sheridan) rounds out the original group. She's a nymphomaniac realtor, the only character with a consistent source of income, an actual job; but no "significant other" that can stand her for more than a few f*cks. She spends most of her time screwing her friends, by screwing her friends' husbands and boyfriends, sons and fathers, brothers and pool-boys. Why some one hasn't simply killed her years before is the central mystery of the show.
The other central mystery, the one that started off the show, the narrator's alleged suicide, seems to have been forgotten. New writers, maybe. Every month, maybe? Consistently inconsistent.
Several other characters have been dragged through the series, kicking and screaming. Alfre Woodard was thoroughly wasted as a weird black neighbor with a weird black family, burdened with one of the program's most unbelievable plot-lines. She disappeared quickly and without a fuss, in the exact manner that a bunch of Republican yuppies would like to see all African-Americans disappear.
Katherine (Dana Delany) has now joined the group, but she's basically just a clone of Bree, with a bit of Lynette thrown in. She has a Dark Secret. And then Another Dark Secret. And soon Yet Another Dark Secret. Enough with the soap opera already. You just want to smash this bunch of nested Russian dolls with a hammer and get to the central mystery before dinner. She's boring, bitchy and unbelievable.
These are women seen from the outside, by a writer who has never known the inside of a woman, never slept beside one in sickness and in health, never shared the ultimate glories and sorrows of life with a real, live, girl. Marc Cherry's "females" are characters without character: Cartoons and caricatures sketched by someone with distorted or defective vision: Relentlessly manipulative, emotionally controlling, sexually dead ballbreakers without a single redeeming quality, utterly out of balance, totally unreal, manifestations of pure hatred of women. If you didn't already know he was gay, Cherry's depiction of gays would reveal him in all his self-loathing glory.
Conservative Log Cabin Republican Cherry hates himself for being gay. (There's a lot of that in Hollywood.) He hates women but he wishes he were one. His women are, in effect, drag-queens, and not very convincing ones. They lack all humanity, have no saving graces, no balance, no reality, no dimension, no depth. They are only there to be moved around like pieces on a game-board. It's only a matter of time before they all kill themselves, or each other. I can't wait. I won't wait. I'm done watching. Besides, there's a much better soap on Sundays now: "Mad Men."
Cherry needs to write about what he knows: Being a conflicted gay man in a straight world, going along to get along. His experiences among the Log Cabin boys might be a better subject for a show. But he would never think of jeopardising his cushy spot in Network Heaven for anything like reality, or quality. I doubt he truly knows any real gay men either; just those half-closeted collaborators in the Cabin, with whom he probably has no actual emotional contact.
Our emotional reality is the foundation of our lives. It should be the foundation of our art; especially our drama and our comedy, television, theater, radio and movies. Otherwise, they lack all humanity, and are no more than video games, cartoons, caricatures. We cannot learn from them, we get no emotional release from them, they mean nothing to us. They are simply unreal. Watching them is like eating wax fruit. It may chew well, but there is no sustenance. It is there, but not there. There is nothing to it, nothing real.
Maybe that's the problem with our art and our artists today: They have never lived in the real world. They are either out-of-control thrill addicts or totally insulated eternal adolescents. They never grow up, never experience real adult life, and they can never really connect with us. We deserve better. We need it.
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