Judging the Golden Globe girls on ''Desperate Housewives'': Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, and Teri Hatcher prove they all deserve to win. And we love you, too, Nicolette

By Jeremy Helligar
Updated January 10, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
Desperate Housewives: Bob D'Amico

Desperate Housewives

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”Housewives”: Whose performance deserves a Globe?

Okay, I’ve got to say what I feel: Edie is starting to grow on me. So her attire is a bit on the cheap side (quality-wise, if not morality-wise). I’m always up for rooting for the underdog. And if ever there was an underdog on Wisteria Lane, it’s Edie. Sure, it’s her own bitch-on-heels attitude that’s led to a paucity of female friends, and her singing is awful (although no worse than Susan’s). But having her put the moves on her rival’s ex was fun to watch.

It was nice to see Nicolette Sheridan getting more screen time in this episode. It made me feel young again. Like a teenager with my eyes glued to the TV set, swooning over Paige Matheson’s too-fab strut on Knot’s Landing.

Alas, the ’80s are over, and what once passed for prime prime-time-diva attitude now simply comes across as bad acting. (If you don’t believe me, just check out a Dynasty rerun on Soap Net.) Though Sheridan’s doing much better as Edie, her facial features look way too sculpted to express a lot of emotion (despite Sheridan’s protestations that she hasn’t had any plastic surgery). More important, Sheridan doesn’t give Edie a wide range of emotional shades. Her consolation is highly unconvincing when she tells Martha Huber’s sister, “Martha’s only missing.”

So you have to think that despite Sheridan’s surprise Golden Globe nomination in the supporting-actress category, she’s the underdog there too. (Her stiff competition includes The Sopranos‘ Drea De Matteo.) But which among her three castmates nominated as best comedy actress — Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, and Teri Hatcher — has the best shot at running off with the Globe? Judging from the evidence on last night’s episode, I say Marcia Cross has the edge. But each one is deserving. Just look at the way they brilliantly played their characters’ diverse plotlines.

Lynette gets some. Check out Felicity Huffman’s reaction to the nanny’s casual revelation that Tom ran into her naked (the nanny, not the hubby). At first amused, Lynette’s expression gradually and subtly changes as she realizes that it was right before said hubby jumped her bones. Although Lynette’s story line has improved in recent weeks, I still feel sorry for her. The rambunctious kids are one thing, but she’s saddled with a cad of a husband who isn’t even sexy. The good news is that with Doug Savant still considered a ”guest star,” his exit remains a distinct possibility.

Bree’s game. Marcia Cross truly rules as a wronged woman. The wronged, heard-it-all-before, I’m-so-over-you woman. ”Do me a favor, Rex. Please don’t mistake my anal retentiveness for actual affection.” Love it! Marcia — along with non-nominated but nonetheless deserving Eva Longoria — gets most of the best lines on the show, and she delivers them with such panache. And kudos to Bree for acting so completely out of character and actually asking out her friendly neighborhood pharmacist (ooh, Roger Bart!). But do you know what would make me really happy? If she’d lose her poise for just one moment and deck her son. I know violence solves nothing, but he’s become the least likeable character on the show, and he’s desperately in need of discipline. A moment like that would be worth several Golden Globes. But all in all, I’m glad she didn’t. The punch-free scene with her son toward the end of the show was pure heartbreak. Save this one for your Emmy reel, Marcia.

Susan’s in love. Every cast should have one. Someone who makes it look so easy you’d think she’s playing herself. Here that would be Teri Hatcher. No matter what Susan says, Teri makes it clear that she’s so not over her ex-husband. When Karl announces that his girlfriend is history, what should have been a triumphant reaction on Susan’s face is infused with a touch of pity — and perhaps wishful thinking. Her freak-out singing scene proves the point even more. Despite Susan’s seeming rejection of Karl’s proposal and her declaration of love to Mike, I would not count Karl out just yet. Poor Mike! He’s got so much on his plate right now. First, a girlfriend who may still be emotionally involved with her ex-husband, and now, a possible murder rap if Paul succeeds at framing him for Martha Huber’s murder.

Which reminds me: Anyone else notice that the guys on this show are just as desperate as the housewives, if not more so?

But I digress. And the winner is . . . Sarah Jessica Parker. Again. If that happens next Sunday, Marcia Cross should demand a recount.

What do you think? Which of the characters is finally in control of her husband? And which of the actresses deserves the Globe?

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Desperate Housewives

Eva Longoria Parker, Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman star in the soap set on the dangerous Wisteria Lane

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