Sunday, April 19, 2009
Well, Edie bit the dust on Desperate Housewives tonight, and with her death goes one of the shows brightest stars Nicolette Sheridan.
I enjoyed DH in season 1, but left due to the poor storytelling in season 2. I mean what show could hire one the world’s best actress’s, Alfre Woodard, and give her such horrible writing. Well, Marc Cherry could. As much as it is written what a great writer he is to women, he equally is their worst nightmare.
Strong Women do not go unpunished on DH. The whole premise of the first season was the murder of Mary Alice. The show began with the theme of making strong women pay, and it has not stopped going down that path. Yes of course many would argue that DH rejuvenated the careers of 3 former tv stars (Sheridan, Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher), gave an up and coming soap star her prime time break (Eva Longoria) and brought the talents of Felicity Huffman to the masses. Cherry should be given for credit for this, but as many times as he writes them juicy material, he equally gives them frequent doses of pain and misery.
All four of the five main characters have been put through the ringer over and over again. As they are put through trauma after trauma, Cherry insists they all look sexy and fit and of course in high heels through it all. Marcia Cross’s Bree has lost a husband, alienated her kids and now is married to a klepto who previously tried to murder her neighbor. Susan, played by Teri Hatcher can never find happiness, and Cherry will ensure she remains unhappy until possibly the series final. Gabby played so brilliantly by Eva Longoria has lost her fortune, lost her looks briefly, lost her husband, then got him back only to have him go blind. (She also lost Jesse Metcalf, which is more than anyone should have to bear). Of course the strongest woman on the show, Lynette played by Felicity Huffman suffered the greatest trauma of them all. This strong woman was given cancer. I would have thought those kids of hers would have been enough misery for one woman to handle.
Then you factor in all the loonies and losers Cherry has had some great actress’s play. From Dixie Carter to Laurie Metcalf, Cherry hires the best, then makes them psychopaths or murderers and usually kills them off or ships them off to old folk homes or mental institutions. Marc Cherry even screwed up a guest shot by the great Carol Burnett by giving her basically nothing to do and nowhere to shine. (Law and Order SVU did it much better a couple of weeks ago).
If you watched China Beach, you would know Dana Delaney is one of tv’s best actress’s. If you watch DH you would not know this. She is given little to do, nothing to sink her teeth into. The fans of DH have certainly not taken to Dana or her character Katherine, no matter how Cherry tries to spin it. Not Dana’s fault by any means, it is all about the writing.
Now I might be wrong about it all, I mean I don’t know Cherry personally and I can see he does not give a lot of attention to the male’s on the show either, but the men of DH’s are supporting players to move along the storylines of the women. Cherry may like women very much, or he may hate them and not even know it. But one thing is for sure. Nicolette Sheridan was a standout on DH and Edie a fan favorite. Getting rid of her was a mistake. Cherry can claim money issues all he wants, but that is not the real reason. I mean the supporting players he claims to have saved like the gay couple next door are mere extra’s as written by Cherry and given next to nothing to do. Cherry wanted Sheridan out and he finally got his way. He has been treating the character and actress badly for years. Yes, Edie still gets the odd juicy scene but he writes her out of many scenes she should be in and she shines despite his writing not because of it. The last few seasons, Cherry has not even put Sheridan in the season final and usually puts her in some sort of life or death situation just to let her and the audience know that he has the power to dismiss her at any time. I am sure it is not Cherry who insists Sheridan be featured on magazine covers and award shows with the other 4. Cherry certainly didn't bother to add her to the opening pic to cement her role as one of the 5, he ensured it was always 4 plus 1 and the plus is always expendable. Edie paid by being electrocuted, a ghastly way to go. The final episode for Nicolette was actually a great one looking back on moments with the other women. Moments which only make me think of all the potential the character still had. There was so little with Edie and Bree and Edie and Lynette that could have been explored. Writers of hit shows never write out a main character, especially a fan favorite, that is if they see them as a main character. That is sadly not what Cherry felt. Cherry wanted Sheridan gone, that is one thing that is clear.
Goodbye Nicolette and goodbye Edie. I hate those who whine after a character is gone that they will not watch again, but that is how I feel right now. The 5 women of DH were full of beauty, heart, goodness and soul and you completed the group with spirit and without the spirit what is the point!