Desperate Housewives— Leaving Too Soon


The producers of Desperate Housewives say the series finale will leave a few loose ends hanging, but cautioned fans against awaiting a reunion movie. Creator Marc Cherry said that eight seasons have given the ABC series time to “plumb the depths” of the characters played by Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman and others in the ensemble cast. Desperate Housewives will air its final episode this spring. “I’m very satisfied with where the series stands”, Cherry told the Television Critics Association on Tuesday, the actors alongside him. Cherry contrasted Desperate Housewives with Sex and the City, which did fewer episodes and followed its HBO run with two big-screen movies.

Me? I believe the show still has two solid seasons left in it. But ABC and Marc Cherry have their own agenda. Although not the ratings powerhouse it once was (in 2004 to 2005, between 20 and 30 million viewers tuned in weekly), Desperate Housewives still remains solid in viewership and is especially strong with overseas audiences. Mark Cherry, as most of us know is NOT logging in much time as the Desperate Housewives showrunner for the first time in 7 years, serving only as a consultant while he works on other projects. The show is also dealing with a lawsuit expected to hit a courtroom soon from former star Nicolette Sheridan. She is claiming battery, wrongful termination and unlawful termination against Cherry.

I’ve always been very candid about the way Marc Cherry completely destroyed Nicollette Sheridan’s character Edie. The season following her horrifying death [Dear God could her tragic demise have been any worse?] was still holding it’s footing with Dana Delany, but the fact that Cherry tossed Vanessa Williams into the equation proves that the show had indeed suffered from the loss of Sheridan’s brilliantly layered portrayal of Edie [which I predicted would happen because the character had the “outsider” appeal of a woman that no woman would trust with her husband or boyfriend. Edie was a “diva” and made no apologies for it]. Williams is a class act, a true veteran and it was obvious that the core fans of the show loved Edie… enough for Cherry to “rethink” his cast structure and bring in Vanessa Williams to fill the obvious void. But what really pisses me off is how ABC has continued to pander to Marc Cherry’s skills as a writer and executive producer as though he was the PRIMARY reason for the show’s revolutionary success… I don’t think so.

Yes, Marc Cherry created Desperate Housewives… but he clearly wasn’t the emperor of the entire show [although in some inner circles it has been said that he himself was comvinced of this]. The perfectly symmetrical cast along with the rest of the abundantly skilled writers were all pivitol in the show’s uniquely woven storylines as every character was able to “flip” from good to bad in two lines or less. And the conclusions of each show left you feeling as though you’d been hit by an oncoming train that you never really saw coming.

With Desperate Housewives now winding to an unfortunate close, Marc Cherry is tackling another group of dramatic women for ABC in a new project… as well a few additional pilots. Imagine that. Based on an adaptation of the Mexican telenovela The Disorderly Maids Of The Neighborhood [La Alegría del Hogar], Devious Maids is described as a soap that follows “four maids with ambition and dreams of their own while they work for the rich and famous in Beverly Hills.” Cherry will write and executive-produce the one-hour ABC Studios project. Desperate Housewives executive producer Sabrina Wind is also attached to executive-produce the project.

Essentially, the Mexican version looks positively remarkable, not to mention hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRvgVHAbi1g&feature=player_embedded so Cherry has some serious pressure to translate his version into a major hit. ABC is also redeveloping Cherry’s pilot Hallelujah about a Tennessee town torn between good and evil, after initially passing on it. Gee, do you think the “glut” of supernatural-based shows played a factor in this decision?.

Who knows? Maybe Marc Cherry’s new ventures with ABC will succeed. Prior to Desperate Housewives he did achieve a modectum amount of success as a producer and writer with The Golden Girls back in the 80’s, a show that also pioneered a group of elderly actresses who, as the perfect ensemble, pulled the show into a ratings phenomena and a permanent piece of pop culture history… but I digress.

I have ALWAYS loved Desperate Housewives. It hit the airwaves at precisely the perfect time… as 40+ actresses weren’t even being considered, a huge audience of 40-somethings were being completely ignored and reality shows had drowned the medium with one crappy clone after another. I’ve said this before and i will say it again, the 40+ female audience has a lot of buying power [disposable income] and had been all but ignored until ABC took a risk with Desperate Housewives. The show sky-rocketed into the top ten and NEVER strayed from it’s hilarious title Desperate + Housewives… which equated into a new generation of soap opera that didn’t take itself so seriously all of the time. The unique, intelligent, clever storylines were filled with so many intricately woven twists and turns that as a viewer, you were taken on a wild ride, never knowing when or how the plot would move. The show never insulted the intelligence of its audience and in fact, left us all with season after season of puzzling equations to try to solve without much to go on.

With the show’s end drawing near, I am at a loss as to how Cherry plans to play out the storylines. I’ve been told that he will leave some loose ends… which to me, is a slap in the face to the show’s audience and every single fan who should ALWAYS be given a large dose of closure. Desperate Housewives is a tightly woven show, so there is no reason for any loose ends. When you invest eight years into a show, you deserve to be thrilled and shocked and completely blown away by the conclusion. Look at shows like Friends, Sex and the City, Buffy The Vampire Slayer. M*A*S*H, Newhart [which had to be, hands down, one of the most unexpected endings in television history… and it was hilarious], Knot’s Landing, Cheers and so many more.

So Mr. Cherry, hang up your ego for a few moments and allow all of the Desperate Housewive fans to feel every emotion possible; to be taken on that wild ride of unpredicitable epic proportions. It is the least you can do as you waltz into the ABC “agenda” without your soul [I believe that’s a deposit requirement over at the mouse network]. Several characters from past seasons will also show up as a sort of homage, although, thus far, we haven’t been given a list of names… so here’s hoping.

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~ by upbeatmag on February 7, 2012.

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