Saturday, December 04, 2004

“Desperate Housewives” is more than just the name of a TV show.

With all the problems we have in the world the least of them should be a TV show, but the real life Desperate Housewives are on a media crusade. At the time I’m writing this, "Desperate Housewives" is the #1 show in the ratings. I also understand that the show is doing just as well in the Red states as it does in the Blue states. I can’t help to think that if this show weren’t doing so well, people would leave it alone to die like so many other new shows that debut every fall. This fall CBS debuted "Clubhouse" a show that was well acted, well written and full of family values. It only lasted a few weeks. ABC took a big risk putting this show on the air, and the risk paid off. "Desperate Housewives" is new and different. I for one find it refreshing to see talented actors and writers working, rather than seeing a guy eating goat testicles for our entertainment.

One of the big complaints I keep hearing is that the show mocks motherhood. This sounds very familiar to former Vice-President Dan Quayle saying that Murphy Brown having a child out of wedlock mocks Fatherhood. That incident also took place in an election year. Coincidence? If anything the show mocks the suburban ideal along with movies, very much like this summer’s "The Stepford Wives". People enjoy seeing someone throw a pie in the face of suburbia. After many people grew up with TV telling them that shows like "Leave it to Beaver" presents an American ideal making many American kids feel less then normal if their home life did not match up the TV families of the day. After all isn’t the main issue with "D.H." the corruption of our children? Well first, the show has a TV PG rating. You have a TV rating system and the "V" chip. Use it. Second, to the issue of morals, "D.H." shows the characters repercussions for their actions, just not in the course of one episode. For example, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) eventually did pay the price for her addiction to the twins' ADD medication. Let’s also look at her moral decision not to medicate her overactive kids. This reminds me of another parental complaint. Television makes kids think that their problems could be resolved in half an hour or in this case an hour. "D.H." shows how ones bad behavior can escalate over time. Just because bad behavior is shown on TV does not mean that TV is glamorizing the bad behavior. Speaking of "glamour", I am surprised that more American women aren’t celebrating the fact that with the exception of one of the women on the show (Eva Longoria) the rest of the women have past the big 4-0 and are still depicted as attractive and sexy. I thought that this was a big grievance that women had with Hollywood, even though now I hear that 40 is the new 30. Finally, don’t forget that it took just one real life Desperate Housewife in Michigan to make "Married with Children" the success it was.

To quote William Shatner on SNL, "It’s just a TV show! It’s just a TV show!"
I think I’m gonna use that quote a lot.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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