Is 'Desperate Housewives' in a slump?
If you think Desperate Housewives is slipping in quality this season, series creator Marc Cherry has a marked raspberry for you. In an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times, Cherry writes, ”Yes, we’re trying some new stuff. Some of it might work. Some of it might not. This, of course, is the nature of episodic television. They can’t all be gems. But, rest assured, I’m paying attention to my audience’s response and am trying my darndest to please them.”
I’m reminded of the scene in Bad Santa where the kid is disappointed to find a stale candy corn instead of a chocolate in a compartment of his Advent calendar, to which Billy Bob Thornton replies, ”Well, they can’t all be winners, can they?”, glossing over the fact that it’s his fault, since he binged on the chocolates and replaced them with the inferior candy, hoping that the kid wouldn’t notice the difference.
Cherry hasn’t received on-screen writing credit for any episodes this season, but he insists in his e-mail that he’s just as involved in the writing as he was when his name appeared on 80 percent of the scripts. ”I help come up with the story lines, I give notes, and, indeed, I rewrite things constantly. I take the credit and the blame for everything that goes on the screen.”
Still, as if to further shift the blame away from Cherry, the Times consults a ”media psychologist,” who says that fans are disappointed because they’re comparing this season to last season, whereas last season, they had nothing to compare it to. In other words, the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. Yeah, right. By that logic, every innovative show would be a disappointment in its second season, when some shows actually improve in the second or third seasons. (Seinfeld and Arrested Development come immediately to mind.)
Note to Cherry et al: it’s not the fans’ fault if we find the mystery of the Applewhites’ captive less compelling than the mystery of Mary Alice Young’s suicide, or if watching Lynette juggle work and family isn’t as much fun as watching her prove that being a stay-at-home parent to her bratty brood is a full-time job by itself. Just bring us more episodes like this week’s — which saw the housewives interacting again, as well as that squirmy-but-hilarious dinner scene at Bree’s house — and the fans will stop carping.
What do you think, readers? Are Housewives fans just spoiled, or are there things Cherry could do to set the show back on track?