Viewers desperate for ‘Housewives’

Suzanne Conway

The fictional Wisteria Lane is a quintessential suburb where everything seems pleasant and inviting – that is until you look deeper. Beyond the white picket fences, the flawlessly-manicured lawns, and the picture perfect families lie the housewives – desperate housewives to be exact. Say goodbye to your notions of the cookie cutter wife. These women are ruthless, unstable and continue to shock viewers as each episode unfolds. ABC has hooked America with their twisted new drama, “Desperate Housewives,” teaching us all that things are not always as they seem.

Behind closed doors we see anything but what we expect of small town suburbia. We are transported into a world filled with suicide, a lurid affair, suspicious, nosy neighbors, and a house fire-and this is just within the series opener. Right away we are introduced to Mary Alice, the housewife who kills herself and fittingly becomes narrator of the show, peering from above into the secrets and shocking lives of her fellow housewives and neighbors. Meanwhile, these same people are trying to make sense of Mary Alice’s drastic measures.

As the series unfolds we start to see exactly what role each housewife is there to depict. Take Lynette (Felicity Huffman) who is convinced by her husband to drop her high- powered career, is now left as the stay-at-home mom of her four unruly children. Looking like she could have a nervous breakdown at any minute, her new life as soccer mom is far from her ideal. Desperate to be a good mother she goes so far as to turn to her child’s ADD medication for relief.

Then there is Gabrielle (Eva Longoria), the unsuspecting seductress who seems to have everything from a beautiful house to expensive jewelry and nice clothes, but is missing just one thing – a fulfilling marriage. So what does one do when they are unhappy in their marriage? Well in Wisteria Lane sleeping with your 17-year-old gardener seems fitting, at least to Gabrielle who hides this affair for some time, but later is found out by her husband’s suspicious mother.

Next there is Bree (Marcia Cross), the epitome of perfection, or so it seems. Looking like a typical housewife from the 1950s, her Martha Stewart ways are enough to know she must be hiding something. Behind her closed doors we see her marriage falling apart along with her children.

Susan (Teri Hatcher) seems the most “normal” of the bunch, but who knows what her character could reveal in the future. In this show nothing is ever predictable. She is the single mother, left by her husband for a younger woman. Susan has her eyes set on handsome new neighbor Mike Delfino (Jamie Denton), but there is only one problem – so does fellow neighbor, Edie (Nicolette Sheridan). Edie is described as “the most predatory divorcee in a five-block radius” who is willing to do whatever it takes to have him.

Along with America, Quinnipiac’s campus has recently caught onto the “Housewives” craze. Senior marketing major Laurie Stolzman is addicted to the show. “You never know what to expect next,” Stolzman said. “And I like how it shakes up the typically perfect image of the middle-upper class housewife who has the perfect family and perfect life.” Laura Rosenbloom, senior physical therapy major watches because “there’s nothing really like it on TV right now. It’s one of those shows that if you watch once you have to tune in to every week to see what else will unfold.”

From blackmail to break-ins to murders to sex, “Desperate Housewives” seems more like a primetime soap than anything else. But the humor and satire crossed with the troubles and mysteries of this small neighborhood place it above your typical drama-filled soap opera. It is scandalous, edgy, and sure to be your new guilty pleasure.