TV Sets And The City - Desperate Housewives

By london_mecca Last edited 168 months ago
TV Sets And The City - Desperate Housewives

OK - it's official, I'm finally, finally into Desperate Housewives. I watched the first two episodes and fell asleep before they had ended, but with this week's third episode, I wide awake and almost turned over to E4 to watch next week's episode (if that makes sense - E4 are a week ahead of Channel 4). When it started I really couldn't see what all the fuss about. 4.6 million people tuned in to watch the first episode on Channel 4 and half a million then did the E4 thing to watch the next episode immediately. You also can't fail to have seen all of the tabloids jumping on the bandwagon with tales of Britain's Real Desparate Housewives.

Unsurprisingly, the American hit picked up a few Golden Globes last week - Best TV Series Musical or Comedy and Teri Hatcher won Best Actress in the same category. In case you've not seen it yet the story focusses on a group of middle classed middle American housewives and their marriages, affairs, divorces and neuroses.

It's a black comedy and is narrated by one of the housewives who committed suicide in the opening of the first episode and now has the benefit on seeing what all her friends are up to. Including the peculiar nocturnal behaviour of her husband who spends time digging up their swimming pool.

You also know it's a black comedy as it has a fairly quirky animiated opening title with quirky music which reminds you very much of the brilliant Six Feet Under. Housewives are featured through different art forms through the ages, getting more and more "on top" as time progresses.

Like Coronation Street, women clearly have the upper hand in this drama even though they may think they are victims. At a dinner party one of the husbands announces that he and his wife are having marriage counselling. There's a hideous awkward silence and friends try to change the subject by talking about embarrassing incidents they've had in their marriages - usually involving sex. The wife who's been trying to keep the counselling quiet, kills the levity by saying "That's nothing, whenever Rex ejaculates he sobs like a baby". A line that's impossible to follow.

We also have a new chubby bratty child who was lucky enough to see one of the wives in a compromising position with her young hunky gardener lover. Her blackmail consists of not only getting the wife to buy her a bike, but to teach her how to ride it, when the wife is wearing killer pink high heeled stilletoes and a tiny mini skirt.

For me the series is finally getting into its stride as we care and understand more about the characters now and they're not just skinny clothes horses living in enormous houses with nothing to do. It's sort of Peyton Place meets Sex and The City. Or Footballers Wives with a budget.

Catch up on old episodes on Channel 4's website and catch it every Wednesday at 10pm.

Last Updated 21 January 2005