Twelve years have passed since Susan, Lynette, Bree, and Gabrielle gossiped at a round table over hot coffee about the mysterious suicide of their close friend, Mary Alice Young. First aired in October of 2004, the critically acclaimed ABC Studios drama series, Desperate Housewives, covers thirteen years of domestic struggles, family secrets, and mysterious affairs on Wisteria Lane, the superficially perfect, cookie-cutter suburban neighborhood.
Given the fact that I was nine years old at the time the show aired plus its seemingly mature and risqué topics, I didn’t have the pleasure of discovering this incredibly addicting drama series until this past year. After just watching the pilot episode however, I became immediately hooked. Almost every evening, it became my routine to curl up in my bed with glass (or two) of Pinot Noir, and enjoy at least one (or three) episodes of endless mystery and thrill.
The writers creatively developed five complex, strong, and yet vastly different female characters to whom I felt I could see part of myself in every one of them. From Bree Van de Kamp, the OCD housewife who strives for perfection in all aspects of her life to Lynette Scavo, the protective, hard-working, and resilient mother of five, to Susan Meyer, the compassionate, down to earth, and ditzy hopeless romantic, to Edie Britt, the promiscuous serial divorcée , to Gabrielle Solis, the saucy ex-supermodel with a high-maintenance lifestyle, the writers successfully established five very complicated female characters, and I find myself relating to each of them in some way.
Stills from Desperate Housewives, “Love Is in the Air,” (Season 1, Episode 14, 2005.) Image from Getty Images.
The hit drama series became widely successful, racking up six Primetime Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards in its premier season alone. Its writers touched on almost every character flaw thinkable including adultery, alcoholism, suicide, manipulation, seduction, prostitution, deception, bribery, pill-popping, divorce, and murder. Every episode seemed crazier than the last, building upon previous drama to divulge even more Wisteria Lane secrets. It was relieving however, to see the lives of these five women unfold and erupt before my eyes, offering this underlying message that women could be funny, smart, and tough, yet also vulnerable and imperfect at times too. Despite its critiques, Desperate Housewives will be forever known as a television touchstone for our generation, and I encourage everyone to give the show a decent chance…you won’t regret it.