by Kimberly Grams
Vicarious. Cathartic. There’s something therapeutic about watching fictional people do outrageous things. “Desperate Housewives” is my favorite, over-the-top show. It’s juicy – deliciously satisfying. I rate the greatness of the episode how many times there is a plot twist I wasn’t expecting and on the cattiness of the episode, i.e. how many times I say “that witch!”
“Desperate Housewives” is one of the only shows that I DVR, but can’t WAIT to watch. Cheating, lying, stealing, blackmailing – all complete with witty banter. Fake pregnancy so people won’t know your teenage daughter is pregnant? Check. Amnesiac husband addicted to painkillers? Check. Current husband married you to boost his political campaign, so you’re having an affair with your ex-husband? Check. Have five kids and just got through cancer treatments? Check. Mystery about the new neighbor returning to the cul-de-sac years after leaving abruptly – and some unspeakable secret involving her daughter? Check.
I thought that the tornado episode would be the last and leave us hanging on indefinitely until the end of the writer’s strike. The episode started with a comment along the lines of “little did the four women know that four hours later, one of them would lose a husband, and all of them would lose a friend”. OK, Gabrielle’s current husband is evil and got staked with a fence post during the tornado, so he’s likely the dead husband. But no one liked him, so he’s not the friend. Is it Carlos, the ex-husband who got hit in the head? Is it Tom, trapped with the kids under the rubble of what used to be Wisteria Lane? Will it be Ida, who was trapped with them? Presumably the psycho-stalker girl sucked out the door by the tornado is dead, but she wasn’t a friend either. Who else? Will any main characters die? Or will Ida be the friend they will lose?
When I saw there would be at least one more episode I was definitely relieved. How much will be revealed about the aftermath of the tornado? How much of Wisteria Lane will be destroyed? What new questions will arise? The writers of this show have never been afraid to shake things up a little. The show was just hitting its creative stride again this season, and now who knows how long we’ll have to wait to find out more.
As of mid-November EW reported that there were 3 new episodes left for “Desperate Housewives,” so the one on Sunday will most likely be the last one for a long while. I thought that we might not find out the fate of Lynette’s family and the whole episode would be melodramatic and still leave us hanging. I was pleasantly surprised to see that question resolved almost immediately, as Tom and the kids were found alive at the beginning of the episode. And, as I predicted, Victor was the dead husband, and Ida the lost friend. So, some things were resolved, but we still have to wait to find out the rest of the Catherine’s-secret-about-her-daughter storyline.
The writer’s, smart people that they are (and would the stupid people who are feuding them please give them what they want so we will not be left in limbo), moved the story line along, while still tying up some issues. It was a very satisfying episode – I cried a few times (I hate crying) but I also laughed out loud several times. Lynette switching Ida’s ashes with dust from the vacuum and then running around the baseball field to scatter them was priceless. That is totally something I would do. (Note to self: when we go to scatter Dad’s ashes, don’t call and ask in advance).
Despite its outrageousness, “Desperate Housewives,” packs an emotional punch, not in the big moments, but in the quiet moments of desperation. When Lynette realizes that she missed the opportunity to get to know the amazing Ida, who sacrificed herself for the Scavo kids, or when Susan tells Bree that she needs her domestic skills to maintain sanity – these are the moments we identify with most. Which makes the show not just entertaining, but powerful.
The truth is, anyone who’s ever been a housewife has probably been desperate at some time. Most people, not just housewives, will have moments of desperation in their life. Financial troubles, health problems, job changes, marriage/divorce, kids – life and death. If you’ve never had a desperate moment you’re either very young or very, very “lucky.” Like Lynette, Susan, Gaby, and Bree, I’ve been through some desperate moments with my own friends. When my best friend’s husband was killed in 9/11, those desperate moments – desperate for information, desperate that someone would be pulled alive out of the rubble, desperate for this to not really be happening were horrific beyond belief.
My life did not turn out like I envisioned it – not by a long shot. I didn’t know my health would keep me from being the super-mom I planned to be. There are many things I planned to do with my kids that I can’t. But you know what? God sits a lot higher than we do, and can see not just down the road, but around the corner as well. For every almost every desperate situation I’ve personally faced, something good – something unexpected – has come out of it. And despite desperate situations, there have been many, many blessings. If my health hadn’t made me almost unemployable, I probably wouldn’t have become a writer.
As you begin this New Year, I hope and pray that your life will be blessed and that you won’t experience many desperate moments. And if you do, remember that God is with you, bringing good out of all things for those in Christ. Remember that our Father becomes “desperate” for you, to save you from all the twists and turns of the outrageous moments in life. The Lord knows your every desperation, gifts you with faith in Jesus, and provides for all you truly need for body and soul.
Kim Grams is a writer and pastor’s wife who lives in Scottsbluff, NE. A dancer and an avid reality TV viewer, she has also written So You Think You Can Dance? True Confessions of a Former Liturgical Dancer
Created: January 15th, 2008