Desperate Housewives: Critique
“Previously in Wisteria lane…” this is a line we usually hear at the start of the Television series that portrays the life of 6 different ladies having their own family. The women who play the main characters of the said series are Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer), Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo), Marcia Cross (Bree van de Kamp), Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis), Nicolette Sheridan (Edie Britt) and Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young). Each of the character has their own personalities that we can relate with the people we encounter every day or even with ourselves.
Figure 1. Main Characters of the television series “Desperate Housewives”
The picture above shows that the main characters are set in a place where apple is abundant and that women rule. In review with the Bible, apple represents a fruit (even it did not tell that it was the Forbidden tree bears apples on it) when the woman named Eve had sinned with the Lord. I guess this has something to do with the power these women got in ruling with their household and their own fields. This does not necessarily mean that the women in this series are sinners but have their own weaknesses that make them vulnerable sometimes.
The series actually showed friendship, love, hatred, enviousness and other values we usually see in a family set – up depending on the personalities composing it. It does not show serious matters at all times, other characters such as Susan Mayer and Edie Britt has hilarious personalities with their clumsiness and being tactless. Generally, the stories of their lives are a vision of the natural way we live, though in different degrees and ways.
What about the housewives?
The TV series mentioned above is about a mysterious village where secrets kept for a long time has their own wings to be revealed in a certain time nobody has controlled with. Mary Alice Young, a deceased member of the circle plays as the story teller of the lives of her friends, and even the life of her enemies, in that part is Mrs. Huber who gave her threats about something that should not be known by the public. Mary Alice is the persona who analyzes things that happen with her friends and family. The series ends with challenging facts and questions that the audience can reflect with.
I have observed that during the years 1990 – 1999, the series that are developed by the producers often deal with the teenage or single life of a person. The shows “FRIENDS”, “Dawson’s Creek” and other television series show how a teenager gets in to a romantic relationship with or without the consent of the parents, thus making the youth be involved in situations that deals with the pre-marital affairs since the shows have some vulgar scenes not yet suitable to the eyes of the youth. And since nowadays, youth are inclined with the technological advancement of the society, the television series that they tend to produce dwell on the scientific investigations like “CSI”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, etc have settings dealing with the crimes and the scientific approach on solving the mysteries and the cases like how Detective Conan is doing in his venture with his friends.
Desperate Housewives is like “7th Heaven” that dealt with family issues however in a larger concept. Since the title of the series points out to women, specifically the housewives or adult ladies, the real life experiences that are shown in the program are those experienced by our mothers or the mothers-to-be. The dilemmas Susan Mayer had after having a broken marriage, the unwillingness of having a baby by a supermodel, the accidental killing of a baby, the frustrations of being at home taking care of the babies instead of working, the annoyance for the dirt in the shirt of a lover while making love with him and the loss of a best friend (who is the only one who talks with you, exceptional presence and friendship) are situations we can have specially with the woman in their married lives. The difference of this series with those aired earlier is the relationship with the present status of the human beings in the world: gay relationships, widespread third party relationships are evidently shown in the program.
David Treybig. 2008. Today’s Family: Defining Marriage. Retrievd 30 November 2008 from http://www.gnmagazine.org/issues/gn20/marriage.htm
Desperate Housewives Season 2. Retrieved 30 November 2008 from http://desperate-housewives.tripod.com/id16.html
Study Guide for Lamanna & Reidman Marriages and Families. Retrieved 30 November 2008 from http://www.sociology.ccsu.edu/yeaman/Family_study_guides.html