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Desperate Housewives‘ Big Leap Forward

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Okay, last night Desperate Housewives premiered.  That means today we need to talk about this five year jump that the show is doing – is it the last gasp of a desperate series or a genius way to reinvigorate it?

I honestly don't know. It feels as though it's a last gasp, but I didn't think that the show was gasping its last. I hate to use the phrase, I disagree with the phrase, but I need to ask, did our friends on Wisteria Lane jump the shark last night? Why, I ask you, would they jump the show five years into the future? Why?

I'll give you that last night's episode was fun to watch (everything but Gaby's storyline anyway), but I really only found it fun because I was curious about what happened during the five years we didn't see, not what was happening right then.  And, from what we saw, not much of interest happened during those five years.  Here's what I got – the twins' disobedience only got worse, Susan sabotaged her relationship with Mike in a way that couldn't be repaired, Gaby had kids, and Bree lost the baby that wasn't hers anyway. 

I guess that if the producers were dead set on those being the big events over the course of the five years we missed, it was better that they skipped them, but I have the nagging sensation that they could have come up with a little bit more. 

Plus, you didn't actually think Mike was dead because of the accident, did you?  No discussion of a body and no discussion of a funeral meant that Mike wasn't dead.  Sure, there's a story about Orson getting taken back by Bree (and presumably it involves his going to jail), but I'm betting that was her first grasp at rebuilding her life after losing the baby that wasn't hers.  And, as for Gaby, I'm not sure where they think they're taking that story.  If the whole story about her daughter's weight is transformed into the story of how Gaby gets her body back I think it might make me ill.  The message that would send is horrific.

The Amazing Race also started up last night, and at this point I remain unconvinced that I can root for any of the teams.  I found something moderately objectionable about each group, and, a bunch of them don't seem that smart.  There were two occasions last night where at least one group didn't bother to go to follow race flags, opting to do their own thing instead.  Okay, I can understand the mistake getting made once, but it occurring a second time, even if it was to a different team is just plain foolish. 

I still think it's consistently one of the best reality shows on television, but what we saw last night makes me think we may be in for a lackluster season.  Sure, there will be some truly outstanding bits, and I'll eventually find some group to root for, but right now I'm kind of low on candidates.  The frat boys top the list right now, but not by much. 

How about you?  Housewives go too far?  Race get too foolish?

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.
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