Desperate Housewives: Bree's Gotta Go

Bree Hodge (Marcia Cross) leads a dramatic life. Such a revelation should come as no surprise; Wisteria Lane isn't exactly a docile neighborhood, and over-the-top occurrences come with the territory. But lately, Bree's life has become ridiculously melodramatic—even for an over-the-top show like Desperate Housewives. The lady is at the end of her rope, and at this point, there's not much else for her to do but hang from it.

Don't believe me? Here's what Bree has had to deal with over the years. In Season 1, the writers killed off her husband. In Season 2, they killed off her boyfriend, who had actually killed her husband, and then made her drop off her gay son on the side of the road. In Season 3, they married her off to Orson (Kyle MacLachlan), an alleged murderer. In Season 4, a tornado destroyed her house. In Season 5, Orson began to blackmail her and she started an affair with Karl Mayer (Richard Burgi). And now, in Season 6, they killed off Karl and turned Orson into a selfish, paralyzed, suicidal mess. Bree's story is just too much. Either she needs to gain better control of her life, or she needs to be killed off. There, I said it.

Of course, that might make things more complicated, considering that it's Bree's wheelchair-bound husband who's on the verge of suicide. Was I the only one offended by this new development? Obviously, Desperate Housewives has addressed suicide before; a housewife's suicide was a major plot point in the first season. But to have Orson announce his upcoming suicide so flippantly—and then to have Bree react with such underwhelming surprise—was just in poor taste. It was like Orson was a liberal kid in a household of Ivy League legacies, and upon his decision to attend hippie-dippie Reed College, his parents had simply said, "We've already mailed in your Harvard acceptance papers. Here, have a sweater vest!" Bree didn't even call a suicide hotline or consult a doctor. She invited over a couple of handicapped guys (what up, Darryl "Chill" Mitchell!) and gave Orson a sappy speech about staying alive and making their marriage work. I'm sorry, but doesn't a suicide threat require more serious measures to be taken? Unless the show makes a statement in the next few episodes about what not to do on a suicide watch, Marc Cherry and the writers could face some serious backlash if they don't handle the issue responsibly.

The whole situation is sad because Cross is one of the best actresses on Desperate Housewives, second only to Felicity Huffman. Cross began the show so brilliantly, giving Bree the most emotional depth of any of the housewives. But Bree's Season 6 storyline has morphed into a campy soap opera, forcing Cross to saturate every scene she's in with over-played melodrama, while the rest of the cast drifts along in a sea of semi-grounded dramatic, ironic, or playful situations.

Speaking of playful situations, at least we had the dependable tag team of Gaby (Eva Longoria Parker) and Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) to deliver some legitimately funny moments. Seeing Gaby and Carlos munch on cookies whilst lurking outside the Bolens' house tugged on the old I Love Lucy heartstrings. And my favorite line came from Gaby, when she described Ana (Maiara Walsh) and Danny (Beau Mirchoff) as "just a couple of teenagers alone with their genitals."

Random side note: How gross was M.J.'s crush on Susan's (Teri Hatcher) ex-stripper friend? It's not funny to watch a six-year-old kid ask a hot blonde for a bath. Inappropriate.

What did you think of the episode?

Follow writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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