Sunday is the premiere of the final season of “Desperate Housewives.” What began as a daring, subversive show has become as mainstream as the minivan soccer mom culture that it satirizes. The women of Wisteria Lane have been through marriages, divorces, affairs, and drinking problems. They have also managed to survive the endless stream of psychos and killers who seem drawn to the neighborhood. Nostalgia is not the only reason to tune in. Here are five reasons why the premiere is the start of one of the show’s strongest seasons.
This Year, The Housewives Are the Criminals: Instead of an outsider antagonizing Wisteria Lane, this year the women are the killers. The mystery arc is all about the cover up of Carlos’s (Ricardo Chavira) killing of Gabi’s (Eva Longoria) pervy stepfather in last season’s finale. All of the housewives are involved. Anyone who has ever seen “I Know What You Did Last Summer” or “Shallow Grave” knows that it’s impossible to dispose of a body and forget about it. The different reactions of the women, ranging from intense guilt to steely confidence, make for a surprisingly rich character study. With every man on the show except Carlos in the dark about what happened, the women are put in the position of keeping secrets from the people that they love. It sets up a scenario that has the potential for endless twists that could end the women’s friendship.
Preview The New Season:
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The Handsome New Neighbor: The steady stream of forty-something hunks is one Wisteria Lane tradition that never grows old. This year, the fresh meat is played by former “V” star Charles Mesure. His character, Ben Faulkner is described as, “a sexy, charming, and occasionally ruthless contractor who has the kind of grit and drive that comes from being a self-made man.” That probably means he’s going to end up blackmailing or killing someone by the end of the season. The Australian hottie immediately catches Renee’s (Vanessa Williams) eye, but he is not impressed by her aggressive tactics.
Tom And Lynette’s Separation Provides Meaty Drama: The implosion of Tom (Doug Savant) and Lynette’s (Felicity Huffman) marriage was the highlight of last season. This Fall their separation continues to ground the often silly show in reality. The couple has officially separated, but their going to great lengths to pretend that nothing has changed. In the premiere, Lynette’s emotions about the crime cover up cause her to reach out to Tom. He misinterprets the meaning of her behavior. This is one storyline with an unpredictable outcome.
The Funniest Pet Funeral Ever: DH is known for its outrageous comedy set-pieces. This premiere episode features two. One involves a situation in which Gabi and Bree (Marcia Cross) find themselves forced to tell a series of increasingly ridiculous lies to Bree’s cop boyfriend. The other features Susan completely melting down at a funeral for an elementary school class’s pet. It is both ridiculous and revealing about Susan’s mental state. The scene is nearly stolen by a tiny extra who manages to deliver a serious contender for the season’s best reaction shot.
A Twist Ending: The episode ends with a doozy of a plot twist that is a callback to the show’s first season. To say anything more would spoil it.