Today I’m coming out you with a bit of a different review. I watched Desperate Housewives back when it aired on Austrian TV but never came across another episode since. Well, the whole show was available on Disney+, so I thought why not give it a rewatch? So, let’s see how it holds up to the memory I had of the series!
The Plot (according to Rotten Tomatoes):
Behind the facade of a postcard-perfect subdivision live four women whose lives are anything but idyllic. Klutzy Susan is divorced and the mother of teenage Julie. Lynette is married to Tom and the frazzled mother of four rambunctious children. Bree is the neighborhood’s Martha Stewart, whose perfection masks major dysfunction. Ex-model Gabrielle, married to handsome and successful Carlos, wants to have her cake and eat it too. Looking down on it all is Mary Alice, who took her own life but comments on the lives of her former neighbors.
Shows like Desperate Housewives were never really my cup of tea, just not my go-to stuff. But when it air on Austrian TV, there was the option to watch it in English instead of the German dub, which was extremely rare. So, I started watching and I came back for season after season. One of the most interesting parts of rewatching the show was seeing what I remember and what I didn’t because – as one of my friends said – I sure do like to turn everything into work. 😅
After binging all 8 season, I have to say I was very surprised. The show is actually much better than I had remembered it. The acting is really good and – even though some bits are cringy – many of the story lines are very relatable and still relevant today. (Spoilers below the read-more tag!)
Interestingly, the season I remembered best was the very first one. There were even two specific quotes I could recite, even though I had only seen the episodes once. In general it appears that I remember some details extremely well but forget about the bigger picture. 😅
Rewatching the show now that I am a fair bit older than I was during its initial run also means seeing the characters in a different light. I spend a good amount of time thinking about which parts of which character I can identify with. Believe me, there will be something for everybody. What I appreciate is the all the women grow over the course of the show. So, somebody you might have disliked at the beginning could turn out to be your favorite at the end. Their growth seems natural and organic: people change!
As I mentioned before there were some parts of the story that are surprisingly deep for a show like this. I may or may not have cry a couple of times. For example, I clearly remembered the scene where Gabby suffered a miscarriage. I recalled her falling down the stairs in a blue dress (seriously, why did my brain decide to retain that information?). That was such an intense scene and it really touched me. Eva Longoria is such a brilliant actress, a fact that hit me several times over the course of the eight seasons. Or Bree, who watches her life kinda fall apart when her husband dies and just can’t cope anymore with her son who does everything to get to her. Lynette’s struggle to balance family and career!
There are a great many bits of story I didn’t like, things that wouldn’t fly like this anymore. I think I remembered more of those parts before rewatching the show which is why I thought that Desperate Housewives is worse than it actually is. Another thing that my brain somehow had deleted was the very notable lost of cast member that joined over the years: Kyle McLachlan, John Barrowman, Nathan Fillion!
Despite the overall funny tone, the show is extremely dark at times – as I mentioned before I retained some oddly specific details but not the bigger picture, so that was also quite intriguing to rewatch for me.
Binging the show in such a short time will also make you notice all the little details the writers fucked up on. You know something little stated in season 1 that wasn’t actually relevant and never mentioned again. And then in seaon 5 (or whenever) it pops up again but now it’s something different. If you only watch one seaon per years, never in a million years would you realize these inaccuracies. (I noticed the same thing when I rewatched The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) 😅
Naturally, not all seasons are at the same level but I have to say overall I really enjoyed the show. Especially the 5 year timehop they introduced halfway through was very benefical to the series. It changed the dynamic a bit and allowed the writers to easily explore new things. That was a great twist!
And I quite like the concept of Mary Alice (who died at the very beginning) narrates everything. As if she were still watching her friends and family from wherever she went after death. Kind of fascinating!
I was quite surprised that Desperate Housewives is actually pretty good! In my memory it was extremely cringy, and despite some moments that definitely fit that description, overall I found it touching and relatable – and of course funny!
Did you watch the season? Let me know in the comments what you think!