At the fourth season's end, the story fast forwarded five years into the future, and we now see life on Wisteria Lane starting from 2013, one year after the show's last season was on TV. Much has changed for our housewives. Susan has left Mike and raises her son MJ, Bree is a professional caterer with Catherine ever since Orson went to jail and Danielle took back her son, Lynette's children are teenagers, and Gaby's a mommy. As for Edie, well, she is back and for the better for of all the Wisteria Lane characters, she is truthful about who she is, what she wants in life, and she doesn't hesitate in saying it out loud. Not only that, she is married to a new husband whose intentions are not that honest.
Of what hasn't changed, Fairview still has a Season Mystery in which our Housewives are involved, while their own lives get out of control as we see them solving their problems with unethical solutions. However, I think that Marc Cherry, instead of preparing his plotlines with the same care as in the first four seasons, started to lack direction and fresh ideas in his storylines. Indeed, at the first season, Desperate Housewives intrigued me because it was a clever satire/tragicomedy on Suburbia under the covers of a Soap Opera. Which was how the show could be sold according to Cherry. But after the incredible success of the first season, which never happened again during the show's course and went downhill, I felt Marc Cherry wanted to recapture this success by reusing the same plotlines that made the first season a success.
For instance, Lynette learns that one of her sons has sex with the mother of his friend, a mother whose husband beats her. When he is unmasked, her son warns Lynette that if she tells that man the truth, he will leave Lynette's house. And this is where I found the show less interesting because to me, and to other people who agreed with me, this plotline, along with others in the final seasons, were too similar to storylines used in the first four seasons. And I was glad to see that in the Bonus Feature “What more do I need – A Very Good Read”, which discusses the writing process for the episode in which Lynette's son is unmasked, a writer warns everyone that the storyline is too similar to what Bree lived through when Danielle warned her mother that she would leave home if Bree tried to stop Danielle's relationship with her History Teacher.
Secondly, several contradictions appeared in the show. First in Mary Alice's narration, and then into the dialogues. For Mary Alice's narration, she says that, after Lynette's son is arrested for a crime he didn't commit, the breakfast the Scavos did was the last they ever took together as a family. But guess what? A few episodes later, they were all back and happily eating together again. What happened in that sudden change of storyline? Was Cherry afraid of upsetting some of his viewers, which the “What more do I need – A Very Good Read” revealed as some of the writers showed concern of not upsetting fans with their storylines? And for the dialogues, I was astonished to see Lynette say at the twenty-sixth minute of the episode 17 (The Story of Lucy and Jessie) that she is forty-three while Tom say he is two years younger, which means forty-one, the same age Tom was in the first season when he said to Lynette that if he didn't get a high position in his office he would be nothing. Did Tom and Lynette drink at a secret fountain of youth or what?
Back to the warning Marc Cherry got from a writer in the bonus feature, Cherry agreed with the storyline's similarity and gave a subtle difference to what Lynette does in comparison to Bree. However, it was while watching this making-of, along with the uninspiring bonus features “I Know Things Now: Desperate Housewives celebrates 100” and “So Very Teri”, that I felt the show became complacent. Which even Nicolette Sheridan said in interviews after her controversial departure from the show, both behind-the-scenes and in the show. And speaking of Edie Britt, her death bothered me because apart from Mary Alice's mystery, Gabrielle Solis and Bree, she was the other reason why I loved watching Desperate Housewives. She was funny, she had guts, she was a unfair loner who deserved better respect, and one of the few that did and said what the other housewifes wanted, but never admitted to themselves and their families. And as Edie dies in the middle of the fifth season, I cannot help finding her accident, and the special episode dedicated to her, sour-tasted as Marc Cherry got rid of one of his show's most popular character. One I definitely preferred over Susan's relentless romances and annoying clumsiness.
Of the season's highlights, my only favorite episode was the 100th, dedicated to Eli Scruggs, a handyman whose actions influenced all the housewives on Wisteria Lane. Even though this episode was made up at the last minute, as Cherry said in the commentaries, it was nice to see a small tribute to the consequences of a secondary character's actions.
As such, I give the show four stars mostly because of the season's excellent mystery, and for Edie Britt, who has always been to me one of the main housewives on the show.
PS: Did any of you noticed how Nicolette Sheridan's face was blurred in the making-of “What More do I need – A Very Good Read”? Did her conflicts with Marc Cherry and ABC resulted in this censorship or did something else happened? Very weird to see that blurred face on the screen.Read more ›