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Desperate Housewives: What Are They Thinking?

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Every once in a while the TV and Film Guy gets to wondering. And the wondering eventually turns to ruminating, and the ruminating to fuming, and the fuming to ranting.  This is one of those times.

What in the name of all that is good and holy is Desperate Housewives thinking? 

Bree gets married, but her daughter doesn’t bother to attend. Where is her daughter?  What is going on there? Did the producers just realize how horrific a storyline the daughter had and decided to completely expunge her and her memory from the show?  Hmm? We don’t even get a tossed off reference to where her daughter is and the reasons her daughter couldn’t attend? 

And, as long as I’m complaining let me throw this little gem out there. Carlos and Gabrielle’s baby mix-up — ridiculous. Utterly ridiculous. The clinic messes up, implants the wrong embryo into Xiao-Mei, at some point figures out their mistake, and… says nothing to anyone. They instead wait for the baby to be born, have their lawyer on call for the event (it was during the weekend and at night, but magically he can be at the clinic with the doctor, and the clinic just happens to be open at such an odd hour, sure, whatever), and then calmly explain to the couple that the mistake occurred. 

Even worse, Gaby and Carlos simply accept the switcheroo and give up their baby. They were fine with adopting a child last season, so clearly it was the notion of having a child and not necessarily the fact that it was actually their flesh and blood that was important. But this baby they’re perfectly happy to giveaway without any sort of fight over him (or is it a her?) or anything?

I just do TV and film, I don’t know the law, but I have to imagine that if they wanted to keep the child there’s some sort of legal action that could take place here. The court case might make for good television, and is the exact sort of thing Desperate Housewives could do well (imagine the people that they’d be fighting with in court, their dirty secrets, etc, etc).  Instead, Gaby and Carlos throw in the towel.

What you’re selling, I ain’t buying. 

Add to all of the above the fact that we’re going to have to put up with Julie dating, wanting to date or just fooling around with Edie’s nephew, Austin, and it’s all a little more than I can take.  Must we rehash the 'Edie and Susan hate each other' storyline?  Are we really going to go all Romeo and Juliet here? 

I will close by stressing the following:  I don’t believe the show has permanently lost its way.  I firmly do believe that it has strayed, and is continuing to stray.  It can get better. It should get better. Frankly, it must get better.

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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.
  • Kris

    The baby had parents who used the clinic. No offense but obviously they wanted a child if the went to the clinic to make a child and woulf be overjoyed to take their baby home. Gaby and Carlos had no more claim to that babt than I would to walk into a random nursery and try to claim a random baby that is not mine.

  • Chris,

    I wish I shared your optimism. I just don’t know why the audience is watching anymore. The first season the entire country was desperate to know why Mary Alice Young killed herself. Last season less of the country was interested in the story behind the Applewhites. And this season…? Kyle MacLachlan? I think he’s a fine actor, but is the mystery of Orson Hodge anywhere near as fascinating as the one surrounding Mary Alice Young? Thus far, I see nothing to indicate that it is.

  • It was a pretty good episode, but yes there were plotholes. I have faith though, that it will only get better from here.

  • Catana – I have to disagree with you about how much Carlos & Gaby wanted a baby, they were both quite willing to adopt last season, so the blood relation can’t be that important. As for whether or not an adoptive father feels less than a biological one I won’t hazard a guess about. Though, if pressed, I’d guess that it completely depends on the individual.

    Bat Boy – How could Bree not want her daughter at the wedding? Bad mom or no, she’s all about appearances. I’m actually hugely surprised Danielle wasn’t the Maid of Honor. Think about how “perfect” that would have been.

  • Bat Boy

    I thought it was a pretty good episode.
    -Danielle or no Danielle I did not miss her at the wedding. She has been left out of things before and Bree’s character as of late is not focused on her parenting. Danielle probably didn’t want to go anyway.
    the person in the front row looks sorta like her, coulda been a stand in to save money.

  • Let’s genteely pass over the idea that hispanics might be just as prejudiced as anyone else (the baby, as far as I could tell, was african-american). But the essential point that even if Gaby’s baby lust was pretty shallow, Carlos’s wasn’t, and there is no way he would accept as his own a baby that clearly wasn’t of his own blood. Being a birth father isn’t the same, emotionally, as being an adoptive father.

  • TV and Film Guy

    If Danielle was there I completely missed her and that is a problem with how the show was made. If you need to pause the show and look at the front row to see the daughter, it’s a problem. As for her getting over the death after six months (surely her father died closer to 18 months prior, no?), I’m not sure how that’s relevant to her not having any part on the episode.

    And, of course, it wasn’t the hospital doc they were complaining to, it was the clinic doc, who, if the story is true to life is most likely a Reproductive Endocrinologist, and not the same person that would would deliver the child. Therefore, it would not be the hospital lawyer they were talking to, but the clinic’s lawyer. And, I’m sticking by my guns that if Gaby and Carlos decided they wanted to keep that baby they absolutely would have a case in court. They may not win, but they’d have a case.

    Beyond that, if the clinic didn’t know they’d done something horribly wrong why didn’t they confess to Gaby and Carlos, why did they wait for Gaby and Carlos to come to them? It’s sloppy writing, plain and simple.

  • The Critic

    Just to let you know, upon closer inspection one can see Danielle front and center at her mom’s wedding standing right next to Julie in that god awful dress. Secondly, the show has picked up six months after the Applewhite storyline and by that time it makes sense that Danielle was able to move on and get passed it. I’m sorry but i’ve seen teenagers move over a parental death over six months. Time heals all wounds and six months can make new a lot of things like Susan’s house, Edie not as crazy vengeful, and Danielle being able to get passed the Matthew controversy. To your comment about the attorney, a hospital’s attorney is most likely being paid more dollars than I can type on microsoft word, and like a hospital they may need to call on one of their attorneys at night and I do believe that a high paid attorney will get up in the middle of the night like on call medical students are to go and settle a case. Like ER used to say, Life and Death dont take weekends off, so in that case neither can their lawyers. Also, they swapped embryo’s meaning that the couple who’s baby was birthed through Xiao-Mei is still the real mother and father, and to think that Gaby and Carlos can fight that couple for their baby when bothed of them have been wronged the same is a serious slip in judgement. Would you think that another couple has a right to take your child I dont think so. The episode was great and I must say rivals first season creativity. I dont think anybody will totally say that Desperate Housewives has made a comeback until they start winning all these awards and Oprah does another Housewives spoof. If Desperate Housewives continues this streak, I’ll say that this season may become the best yet.