When Desperate Housewives first aired, I had to check it out. It had great reviews and starred some of my favorites actresses. Teri Hatcher, from Lois and Clark. Marcia Cross, from Melrose Place. Nicolette Shreriden from Knots Landing. I had never really watched Felicity Huffman, but I knew she was married to William H. Macy, who is all kinds of awesome, so she had to be pretty cool as well. I really enjoyed the show for a while. It had it all. Drama. Humor. Mystery. It was must watch TV.
Then something happened, I began to notice that all the main characters had the same annoying trait. Every single woman on Desperate Housewives was manipulative. Not one single female character knew how to get what she wanted without manipulation or trickery. They didn’t know how to be honest about what they wanted or how to compromise with those they loved to make things work. Is that what the writers of Desperate Housewives think of women? That the only way we know how to get what we want in life, that the only way we know how to succeed is by manipulation? What about hard work? Honesty? Compromise? I guess those things don’t make for entertaining television, but they would have made the characters less annoying. I’ll admit it was amusing for a while, but if you can’t like the characters it’s hard to watch a show.
It was Susan trying to manipulate Mike out of naming their child after his grandfather, Maynard, that was the final straw for me. This was the man that she supposedly loved, and it was something very important to him and she acted like a spoiled brat. It’s true that by the end of the episode she agreed to the name, but the fact that she resorting to underhanded means to try to get out of it the whole episode just disgusted me.
One or two manipulative characters can be fun. Take Julie Cooper, played to perfection by Melinda Clarke, on The OC. She started out as a character that you hated but eventually grew to like and root for. You might not have liked her ways, like leaving her husband when he went bankrupt, and going after a rich older man, but Julie did what she did to take of her family. She wasn’t doing it out of some selfish need to always win.
I think that is what bugs me most about the women on DH, they manipulate just to get their way. It doesn’t matter what is best for their family or friends as long as they get their way. That gets old after a while. If it had been one or two of the women, I could have taken it, but it was ALL of them. Not all women are like that, and I can’t support a show that thinks we are.
So, what are your views on Desperate Housewives? Or just the portrayal of women in general on Television?