Show 101: Desperate Housewives

SHOW: Desperate Housewives

PREMIERES: Season 7 premieres Sunday, September 26 at 9 p.m. on ABC

PREMISE: The short of it: Life in suburbia is a bitch. The long of it: Life in suburbia is a bitch because you get to know your neighbors really well, and then some of them freak you out, and then you get wrapped up in your own minutiae, and then you start keeping things from them to maintain your perfect suburban facade, and then your life becomes a bitch. (I believe I used the word “clusterf**k” in my last DH 101, so I'm just trying to mix it up a little.) The four ladies we’ve followed on this road for the past 6 seasons (and 11 years, thanks to a flash-forward at the end of Season 4) are Susan Delfino (Teri Hatcher), Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), Bree Hodge (Marcia Cross), and Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker). Susan is married to Mike (James Denton), and has a young son (MJ) with Mike and a daughter (Julie) from her first marriage (to Karl, played by Richard Burgi). Lynette is married to Tom (Doug Savant), and they have five extremely mischievous kids. Bree is separated from Orson (Kyle MacLachlan), and she has a son (Andrew, played by Shawn Pyfrom) and a daughter (Danielle), both from her first marriage. Gabrielle is married to Carlos, and has two daughters (Juanita and Celia). Along the way, other ladies have come and gone—blonde bombshell Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan) made her mark for five seasons before her ridiculous death. Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) stayed for three seasons and stole temporarily stole Mike away from Susan before running off with a lesbian lover. Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard) and Angie Bolen (Drea de Matteo) each stayed for one season and harbored creepy secrets. Oh yeah, and the show’s narrator is Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong), the housewife who committed suicide in the pilot. I’ll get to that later.

WHY YOU MIGHT LIKE IT: If you’re an Ugly Betty fan seeking the comfort of seeing Vanessa Williams on screen again, or if you’re a long-time DH viewer with a deep-set investment in the Paul Young storyline, this season is for you. (Fans of cougars are also welcome, as the wives of Wisteria Lane also qualify.)

WHY YOU MIGHT HATE IT: New viewers, beware. Season 7’s story is completely dependent on the previous six, so it’ll probably be hard to jump in. But chances are, if you hate campy, soapy, sex-scandal-y, murder-y, cheesy one-liner-y TV, you probably weren’t tuning in anyway.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Last season, Lynette and Tom had another baby; they were supposed have twins, but one died when Lynette was injured while saving Celia in a plane crash. Gaby and Carlos took in their rebellious niece Ana, who then started dating Danny Bolen, Angie Bolen's son. Bree began an affair with Karl, who died in the plane crash that also paralyzed her husband Orson, who decided to leave her because she refused to turn in her son Andrew, who many years ago had accidentally run over Carlos’ mother with a car. Susan and Mike have money problems, so they decided to move off the Lane and into an apartment. Paul Young (Mark Moses), husband of narrator-who-killed-herself-in-the-pilot Mary Alice, moved back onto the Lane and into their house after serving a jail sentence for murdering Martha Huber, who knew his family’s deep dark secret. Going into Season 7, Vanessa Williams is adding some sass as Lynette’s college roommate Renee Perry! Ready for your quiz now?

Follow writer Stefanie Lee on Twitter: @StefAtTVDotCom

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