Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Desperate Housewives Desperate for Idealistic Families



It is apparent in each of the four main female characters of Desperate Housewives that “The equilibrium of a happy, stable family is constantly there in the background, but is never achieved” (Fiske). Each woman claims at one point to want an ideal family life but their actions in the series never fully allow them to achieve this desire. Gabrielle for example moved to a suburban town without any intention of becoming a “housewife”. She had an affair with the gardener, and her husband Carlos took her back. They decided to start a family in hope to mend their relationship but needed a surrogate mother to do so. Carlos had an affair with the surrogate mother and the baby she was carrying turned out not to be Gabrielle’s and Carlos’s. Bree, the perfectionist strives for a picture perfect family perhaps the most out of the foursome. She’s polite, well spoken, and a perfect host; however she has two rebellious children and suspected murderer for a husband. Susan is the divorced single mother who wishes for a prince charming to sweep her off her feet so she too can attempt to achieve stable family status. However she slept with her ex husband who was engaged to Eddie Britt. Lynette has the only stable family out of the four main characters in part due to her husbands’ apparent love and devotion towards her. She is also the only woman who works outside of the home while her husband stays home with their four children. I think Desperate Housewives is a comforting and comedic outlet to many women who can relate to this reach for the unattainable idealistic family.


Fiske, John. Gendered Television. Gender, Race, and Class in Media, 470.

I found all of the pictures in my collage at starpulse.com

6 comments:

Jessie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessie said...

The topic you chose is quite relevant for the collage assignment and this television show. It's an important point that you illustrate: the quest for the ideal family is unachievable, but that doesn't stop the characters from trying to attain this impossible ideal. The only point I would add is that it is important to analyze how the audience perceives this quest for the perfect family as a source of "comfort" because that would imply that hegemonic norms are reproduced through this depiction; however, this topic is better suited to your future analyses than my guesses :o)

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