Monday, March 5, 2007

Finale wrap-up: "Desperate Housewives" By Heather Havrileskyhttp

Furthermore, the big mysteries of this season don't feel character-driven, organic or remotely compelling. Unlike the death of their shared friend last season, the arrival of a stranger Betty (Alfre Woodard) with a dark secret is hardly enough to spark our curiosity. Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) the evil dentist replaces the evil pharmacist in romancing Bree, and even when he unexpectedly runs over Susan's beau, Mike, with his car in the last few minutes of the finale (presumably because Mike seems to have known him when he was an evil prison dentist) that back story already seems about as fascinating as Betty's go-nowhere son-in-the-basement mystery. Looney Zach (Cody Kasch) kills his mean grandfather and inherits a fortune, leaving his nasty father to rot in prison, all of which feels utterly inconsequential. And Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) really is sleeping with the maid/surrogate mother of his and Gabby's unborn child.


This article confronts the issues of gender and the media with an in depth analysis of the roles the characters play in comparison to the expected message the show was thought to convey through the ironic title Desperate Housewives. However, there were many notable race and class issues apparent throughout the second season which weren’t mentioned in this article that are related to the gender dimension of the show as well.

The only African American characters in the show are Betty and her two sons, one of which she keeps locked in the basement. Kaleb suffers from mental disabilities and was framed by his brother for the murder of his brother’s girlfriend. Betty is trying to protect her son by chaining him to the basement wall as her other son, the real murderer pursues Bree’s daughter Danielle. Matthew and Danielle run away together however when Bree finds out that he is the real murder she escapes from the institution in which she admitted herself to save her daughter in hopes of protecting her daughter from the wrath of the African American man. Matthew becomes rough with Danielle, portraying the stereotypical role of the violent and murderous African American man. Bree shoots him in defense, killing him and the Applewhite’s fail to return for season three.

When the surrogate of Gabby and Carlos’s baby gives birth to their supposedly child, an African American baby emerges instead of the expected white one and the expressions on the characters faces are of obvious disappointment and shock. The doctor’s implanted the wrong DNA and Gabby and Carlos do not wish to keep the child, instead they separate. All of the characters live on the same street and have around the same social class. Gabby and Carlos don’t have any children so their house is more immaculate then Tom and Lynette’s who have four children. The only character in the second season that is portrayed as having a lower social class is the Solice’s Asian maid/surrogate who is from another country whose freedoms are much more limited and restricted to that of the United States. She came to America in the hope of obtaining freedom and for a taste of the “American Dream”.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

Very interesting response Kristin- I wonder why the author didn't respond; however, it's still nice work!