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'Desperate Housewives': How come its younger actresses aren't up to par?

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Maiara-Walsh-andrea-bowen_l Like a dental appointment that ends with news of not just one, but two cavities, this week’s back-to-back announcements from the set of Desperate Housewives — first, that Andrea Bowen will be reprising her role as Susan’s daughter Julie (an Ausiello exclusive!), and second that Maiara Walsh (Carlos’ scheming niece Ana) has been promoted to series regular — were, to say the least, unwelcome! I mean, seriously? Bowen and Walsh’s individual line readings are so deeply unconvincing, the ladies risk getting upstaged if there’s so much as a house plant in a scene with ’em. And this raises a burning question for me: For a show that’s never had a problem casting women of a certain age — think Kathryn Joosten, Lupe Ontiveros, or the fabulous Harriet Sansom Harris — how come Desperate Housewives has such a dreadful track record with younger actresses (none worse than Joy Lauren as Bree’s beastly daughter Danielle)? Am I the only one who thinks Housewives‘ casting department should outsource any decisions involving actresses under the age of 30? And while we’re on the subject, which young (talented) actresses would you like to see make their way to Wisteria Lane? I’d choose Summer Glau, EW’s recent pick as a 2009 SciFi hottie, and maybe even her Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles costar Leven Rambin (love that chick!). Your turn, so please sound off below!

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