It is telling that two of the principle cast-members of Desperate Housewives - Doug Savant and Marcia Cross - were residents of Melrose Place before moving to the now famous home of housewives desperate, Wisteria Lane. Both locales share a propensity for the hysterical and seem popular public launderettes for those with dirty, dirty laundry. Like the twentysomethings that shared their beds in Melrose, the housewives -- divorced, depressed, and desperate -- are a creatively troubled group and their many mishaps make for meaty viewing.

To some, it would be blasphemous to compare Marc Cherry's Desperate Housewives to the enjoyable but undeniably schlocky Melrose, but this I do freely and with confidence. For in my role as critical investigator, here of a series that has been doggedly examined, praised and awarded, I feel it necessary to uncover a home truth worthy of Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabrielle: Desperate Housewives is a phenomenal soap opera, but little more. This is not meant in any way as derision, merely clarification. Desperate Housewives has become an industry, something greater than a mere television series. But the zeppelin began as a balloon, and in watching the series en masse as the DVD format demands, one realizes the clever intrigue of writer Cherry's creation and the various actresses' characterizations, but fails to see perhaps why the Housewives industry has become so inflated.

Continue reading: Desperate Housewives: Season One Review