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RW 1.01 - "Pilot" Episode Discussion

What do you think of the Pilot?

  • Avatar of Zazawie

    Zazawie

    [1]May 20, 2012
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    SEASON 1 (October 3, 2004 - May 22, 2005)


    The main cast for the first season included Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van de Kamp, Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis, Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt, Steven Culp as Rex Van de Kamp, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos Solis, Mark Moses as Paul Young, Andrea Bowen as Julie Mayer, Jesse Metcalfe as John Rowland, Cody Kasch as Zach Young, Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young and James Denton as Mike Delfino.


    EPISODE 1: "PILOT"


    On Sunday October 3, 2004, "Desperate Housewives" aired its very first episode, entitled "Pilot", which would breathe back some life into ABC and mark the beginning of a series captivating audiences all over the world for eight years straight. The episode was written by creator Marc Cherry and directed by Charles McDougall.


    After Mary Alice Young commits suicide for seemingly no reason, her best friends wonder what could've driven her to this: Bree Van de Kamp, a woman hoping to be the perfect housewife; Gabrielle Solis, a successful model who gave up her career for her husband and is now doomed for an existence in the suburbs; Lynette Scavo, mother of four children without any help from her husband; and Susan Mayer, a clumsy housewife looking for love.


    Guest stars include Christine Estabrook as Martha Huber, Doug Savant as Tom Scavo, Joy Lauren as Danielle Van de Kamp, Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van de Kamp, Brent and Shane Kinsman as the Scavo twins, Zane Huett as Parker Scavo and Nike Doukas as Natalie Klein.



    Let the reviewing beginLaughing

    Edited on 05/20/2012 1:17am
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  • Avatar of Kadodian

    Kadodian

    [2]May 20, 2012
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    Lynette made the best impression for me in the pilot. There's alot I saw in her that I saw in my own mother.
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    rentlover1

    [3]May 21, 2012
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    The pilot has a lot of stuff I love and some stuff I just dont care about after all this time. It used to be one of the best episodes but now its such a starter kit kind of episode I dont really watch it much.


    I love Mary Alice's intro but her narrations seem robotic to me in this episode- probably because over time she became more lucid in her delivery of the dialogue.


    My favourite introduction for a character is Bree with the baskets. Shedefinitelyshines out amongst the women in this episode.


    Susan is the boring one in my opinion. Seeing the beginning of her and Mike is very bla until Edie shows up and thats when things really get interesting.


    Finally my favourite moment in the episode is Lynette punching Tom for not wearing a condom. That is gold!


    But I cant stand the ending. Why the hell does Paul dig up the body and move it? If it hadn't been for that it all would have been ok and Mary Alice was an idiot to kill herself considering what Martha Huber had on her was mis information anyway. Its very weak story telling the Season 1 mystery when you think about it.

    Edited on 05/21/2012 12:26am
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  • Avatar of RenatoB

    RenatoB

    [4]May 21, 2012
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    The pilot episode, I think, could actually stand to be my all-time favorite episode of Desperate Housewives, if it weren't for me stating that I prefer other episodes, which are either more emotional (5.13, 8.23) or action-packed (2.24, 3.07). It is definitely, without a doubt, the episode I've seen the most times over the course of the last seven years. I probably haven't watched it 50 times yet (seems to be too many), but it's probably also not that far away. Seriously, I pretty much know this episode start to bottom. Heck, I recapped it for the wiki, so I should know.


    One of the things I cherish the most about this ground-breaking pilot is the characteristic original music. I love re-watching the scenes and remembering all those pieces, like Gabrielle mowing the lawn or Edie's introduction. Or the very first piece, with Mary Alice introducing herself. Or the first time we hear a mystery theme. I know all of this music by heart. And visually, the episode is just beautiful.


    I apologize for the lack of flow in the subsequent review, I added to it as I watched the episode.


    Well, on to the recap:


    MARY ALICE:I entirely disagree with rentlover's comment that Mary Alice sounds too robotic. Brenda Strong knows how to make her narration flow naturally, as evidenced by the changes in tone in her introduction. Maybe you just, like me, have already memorized it all and thus it appears to be shown in a sing-song manner. I am also quite fond of Christine Estabrook's portrayal of Martha Huber from this very episode on. The way her lips quiver in the beginning, after her phone call... great stuff. Unfortunately, because I don't currently have my DVDs with me, I had to watch the episode online and the audio was ahead of the video. That sucked. Nevertheless, it is impossible for one to not immediately fall in love with that opening. It is so great. I mean... we meet the main character. And she kills herself! Dafuq?? By the way, only now, I think, did it hit me that Brenda's last on-screen appearance in this episode is that flashback with the five ladies, before the 10-min mark. I am not particularly fond of that phoenix line, referring to Mike. Meh.


    LYNETTE: It's a shame Lynette was never referred to as 'Lynnie' in the rest of the series. Or a good thing, seeing as how it bugs me that Gabrielle is always 'Gaby', even in the press releases and promotional videos. I always, always call her Gabrielle. The way Mrs. Huber asks Lynette if she knows what her sons are doing... like she feels pleasure in delivering the news to her and is excited over the scandal. Ah, that woman... Of course, the scene with Lynette entering the pool to fetch her kids is the epitome of awesome. That and Karen at the stand in 8.22, epitomes of awesome of the series. Those bitches are bitchin'!! Speaking of bitches, Natalie Klein seemed so nice in season 1, what's with her being a total beyotch in the finale? But then again, I may have just noticed the subtle undertones of bitchiness in the way she delivers her lines. BITCH!! MAJOR BITCH! I also love the punching scene, Tom is such a douche. My cousins love this scene too. The pilot is the episode I've seen with them the most. Has been a while, though.


    BREE: I remember watching the original trailers for DH and thinking Bree was the villain. Marcia Cross has a mean face, and seeing her with a knife, reupholstering her furniture, looked fricking scary in a 15-second ad. Still, how glorious is her introduction? I have to say, though, I like Bree's evolution. I think we would had grown tired of seeing this woman from the pilot all through the series. It is still so weird how different she is... really, really weird. A completely different person. I love how the basket thingy became a running gag in the series. That first dinner scene is a classic. Well, everything about this episode is a classic. Can someone please explain to me how exactly Shawn Pyfrom became a bad actor? Cos he's quite alright in this episode. I love how I even memorized the names of the dishes mentioned. Basil pouree soup, chicken Saltimbocca... Bree's line after Edie's house burnt down, "We all do.", just seems out of place. Way to make it about y'all, self-centered bitch. Kidding. But yeah, feels odd.


    GABRIELLE:Yeah, um... Ricardo is indeed stiff in this episode. I'm surprised they kept him around, but I'm glad they did, I can't picture anyone else in this role. Gabrielle, too, is so different in the beginning. So lifeless. Gaby may have always been a bitch, but she just had this dark aura about her in season 1. Gaby in the last few seasons is always funny and screwy, even when she's being mean. I never realized till now just how porno-ish Gaby and John's first scene is. Eva and Jesse could have had a future in that business. I'm just saying... Eva's pretty stretchy. I love how Gaby taps her fingers in the varanda the morning after the party. Don't ask me why, cos I dunno.


    SUSAN:When Mary Alice pronounces her name differently... ugh. Also, it astonishes me how much the uncredited extra playing Karl looks like Richard Burgi. Was that on purpose? Cos I doubt it... how did that casting come to be, anyway? I think that Teri Hatcher shines brighter than anyone else in this episode. I might be biased, but it's still pretty clear from the get-go that this woman is the star. Honestly, Mike spitting the mac and cheese into the napkin, on her hands... that always kinda grossed me out. Still, that awkward meeting between those two is still charming. Also, I want to keep track of Bongo's appearances as we re-watch the season. I NEED to know exactly which episodes the damn dog is in. Why don't animals ever get guest star billing?? "Susan had met the enemy. And she was a slut." - How amazing is this? Ah, Edie... it is such a shame the polemic your portrayer caused. I love the Trojan horse maneuvre. I'm sure there's some sort of metaphor there, but I don't know exactly what it is, and don't feel like thinking much. Edie's such a slut... I love her. Ambrosia... puttanesca... hoe. "The clog's in the pipe." I don't get why people hate Susan. She's so charming and awkwardly funny. I love her little squeals. Also, seeing Julie in the pilot and picturing her, with black toe nails, giving birth in the finale... dude... what a major change. Shawn and Joy looked pretty much the same all through the series, but then again, Andrea was 13. Just a kid. It's lovely that she's grown with the series.


    One thing that always irked and confused me about this episode were the conjoint credits. What was that about? Sure, they skipped the opening credits sequence in this episode, but still, that's just... weird. I mean, clearly they already had some idea on what the credits would be like, seeing as how the four main ladies are credited in the exact same order as they are in the rest of the show. And I always disliked that Brenda didn't get billed after Nicollette, she was only the 10th credited. Meh.


    Watching the pilot with these greatly-written, fully-rounded characters, it astonishes me that the show would go on to feature jokes such as Angie Bolen and Chuck Vance. Oh, well... The series really did lose a lot of depth, going from satire to straight-up soap. But... it's so understandable. Eight seasons, 180 episodes, surely the writers can't squeeze in psychological complexity all the time. What matters the most is how entertained we've been by this show and how we've come to adore these characters.


    Question: How is Huber's name spelled, after all? Hoober? Or Hyoober? Cos the characters say both.

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  • Avatar of evafan2005

    evafan2005

    [5]May 21, 2012
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    I will be watching/reviewing later on today but I just had a couple of comments.


    1: Huber is spelled Huber. I think you meant pronounced. And I would say it's pronounced "Hoober" because more people said that than "Hyoober". And I'm pretty sure Cherry says "Hoober". But it reminds me of how different Susan's last name was in the early episodes, THAT was annoying. Mary Alice says one thing when introducing her, but then Susan pronounces it the regular way when she meets Mike. And then in episode 3 (I think?) Edie calls her the wrong one when talking to Martha.


    2: Bree's "we all do" was meant to be a universal comment about women in general I do believe. Just my two cents though.

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  • Avatar of RenatoB

    RenatoB

    [6]May 21, 2012
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    evafan2005 wrote:

    I will be watching/reviewing later on today but I just had a couple of comments.


    1: Huber is spelled Huber. I think you meant pronounced. And I would say it's pronounced "Hoober" because more people said that than "Hyoober". And I'm pretty sure Cherry says "Hoober". But it reminds me of how different Susan's last name was in the early episodes, THAT was annoying. Mary Alice says one thing when introducing her, but then Susan pronounces it the regular way when she meets Mike. And then in episode 3 (I think?) Edie calls her the wrong one when talking to Martha.


    2: Bree's "we all do" was meant to be a universal comment about women in general I do believe. Just my two cents though.



    Yeah, I meant pronounced. Oops. XD

    And I know! Regarding Bree's comment, I totes know that, it's just so flat-out obvious and kind of a 'rub in the face' "subtlety", you know what I mean? It just felt out of place. Bitch just had her house burnt down. It was like... she can make it, we all can, after all. Inaproppriate. To me, anyway.
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  • Avatar of Julietfan2626

    Julietfan2626

    [7]May 21, 2012
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    Okay, first of all, awesome episode. It's so unique and different to any Pilot I've seen. All the characters are awesome, unique, fun The beginning sequence with Mary Alice was so shocking - I remember watching it for the first time, eyes wide open, SOO curious as to why she killed herself, despite having the perfect life! And I might add, Mary Alice's secret is the best in the series However, every time I watch the Pilot, I just seem to like it a little bit less for some reason.....


    Okay, I'll review character by character:


    Bree: In the early seasons, I used to love Bree. She was my favorite. This episode is a great example of why I used to love her. She's a funny little perfect robot - she got some really awesome, funny and memorable scenes in this episode Also this episode begins the journey of one of my most favorite stories of the whole series, Bree's separation, dating George, Rex's death and so on and so forth.


    Gabrielle: I never used to like Gabrielle that much, I guess it was her selfishness, however, when re-watching, I realize that is why I love her now I miss this type of Gaby, who doesn't give a crap about anyone but herself. I also admire this story of Gaby's - the affair with John Rowland is probably the most memorable ever Gaby is so hilarious in this episode, and I especially love her when she mows the lawn in her tight dress xD Oh yeah, and Carlos - God I hate that man so much. I never actually realized how much I hate him!!! Urgh!


    Susan: Sad to say, Susan's story with Mike.... bores me. Kinda uninteresting Thank God Edie came along to spice things up! Susan and Edie's conflicts are some of the best scenes in the series! However, on a happy note, I do really love Susan and Julie's relationship! So awesome I love it when Julie asks when Susan last had sex - so funny xD


    Lynette: Amazing Lynette never fails to please me. The arrival, the pool scene - fantastic! Lynette is such a great character that I can relate a lot to (not because I have 4 children). Gotta love the sex scene with Tom and Lynette, very funny when he suggests "risking it" and she punches him, THEN hits him with a teddy I WILL ALWAYS LOVE LYNETTE!!!!!!!!!!!!


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  • Avatar of evafan2005

    evafan2005

    [8]May 21, 2012
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    What a wonderful start to the series! I remember seeing the commercials a couple of days before the premiere and being really curious about it, so when Sunday night rolled around I had to tune in. And I was so glad I did! It was the beginning of some of the most wonderful times in my life and I look back on this episode so fondly.


    Susan- When she first walked out of her front door I immediately said "Oh, Lois Lane is on this show? That's cool!" hahaha. Teri Hatcher was the only one on the show that I knew at that time, I had seen Marcia and Brenda in other projects but didn't really know who they were. Because of this, Susan was my immediate favorite. I loved her Gilmore Girls type relationship with Julie and I found myself rooting for her to get together with Mike right from the very beginning. Her interactions with Edie were priceless the first couple of seasons, there was just something about Teri and Nicollette that really stood out to me. I remember laughing when I first saw Susan burn Edie's house down, now I find it kind of ridiculous because I know of all the antics that Susan gets into, but it's still a good point of entertainment.


    Lynette- I remember thinking "God, this woman looks really rough and homely!" and I still feel that way about her for the majority of Season 1 to this day. Something about her mouth just REALLY irks me. Anyway, I liked the same points you all did: Going into the pool to get the kids (one of her series highlights to me.) Punching Tom after he stupidly said "let's risk it" and her scene with Natalie in the store. I have to say, she DID seem nicer in this episode than she did in the finale. But Lynette didn't really grow on me for a few episodes.


    Bree- I did NOT like Bree at all. She just seemed so stiff and boring (I know that was kind of the point, but still). Nothing about her or her story was even mildly interesting, though I did like Rex's little monologue at the hospital. Though I DID find the basket bit funny.


    Gabrielle- She was so outrageous!! Having an affair with a teenager, mowing her lawn in her evening gown just so she can keep said teenager around as her gardener...wow, just wow. Eva really sold the bitchiness, unhappiness and desperation of her character and it really left me wondering what was going to happen next for her.


    Overall, the one I liked best in this episode was Gabrielle. She just seemed to have the most exciting material in this episode to me. But overall, the whole episode was great. I mean a suicide, an affair, a woman putting her husband in the hospital, another woman pulling her kids out of the pool while she's fully clothed, the start of a potential love triangle, a house burning down AND the discovery of a blackmail note/mystery? That's A LOT to go down in one episode, and it was beautifully executed. It really set the tone for the rest of the season and it immediately had me hooked.

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    No1Slayerette

    [9]May 22, 2012
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    First off, I'm not sure how glad some of you are going to be about be participating in the re-watch, seeing as I seem to have a love/ hate relationship with Desperate Housewives. Hopefully I won't annoy you all too much!


    I must admit I enjoy the pilot a lot more than I thought I would watching it again. Towards the later seasons of the show I pretty much hated every storyline each housewife had, and I was afraid this would be the case here, but this episode made be remember while I loved the show at the start. It wasn't just a typical soap-opera drama, but was always a dark comedy, andaimed to subvert typical audience expectations of how, traditionally, storylines would unfold. I just think, unfortunately, as the show went on it sort of became harder and harder for the writers to continue to put an original spin on overused storylines. Lynette retrieving her kids from the pool, and Gaby mowing the lawn in dress dress to save John's job, these were thoseunexpected moments Desperate Housewives had the reinvigorated what could have potentially been bland storylines.


    While generally I hated Susan's awkward attempts to find love, and Lynette's domestic troubles, throughout the show, I'm happy to say looking back to the pilot, they really did start off as fresh storylines, and didn't actually bother me all that much.


    The main problem I had with the episode was how composed and aloof all the housewives were at Mary-Alice's wake. Susan showed an appropriate amount of emotion, but the others... I mean you've just lost one of your best friends! And Gaby's all like, on yeah, there couldn't of been anything wrong, all she did was commit suicide. What??? I sort of forgive Bree for this, because her personality explains why she acts composed at all times. But Lynette and Gaby?


    Also, I didn't realise Natalie Klein (Lynette's old co-worker) was in the pilot originally, another thing to look out for when I watch Finishing The Hat again. And Martha Huber, how I wish they had kept her around longer, and Edie, she was so good in the beginning, I hated her her character ended up.

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    MoHasanie

    [10]May 22, 2012
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    I loved the pilot. Of course, I loved it a lot more the first time I watched it, but re watching it was great!


    My favorite had to be Bree. She was the most fun to watch and had the most interesting story of the 4 housewives IMO. She actually always was my favorite, but in season 7 when she changed, by dating Keith, I didn't like that at all.


    I liked Lynette and Susan's story, but Susan was a bit boring. I guess her stories have always been a bit boring every season.


    I didn't like Gaby's story that much. I just didn't like her character at all. But she was still very funny. I must say, the way Carlos was talking in the pilot was a little weird.


    And, after re watching the pilot, I never realized how scandalous DH used to be. They definitely became less dirty towards the later seasons.


    Overall, 9.0/10.

    Edited on 05/22/2012 8:12am
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    MoHasanie

    [11]May 22, 2012
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    btw, when do we watch the next episode? If its 3 episodes a week, then does that mean, tomorrow we review 1x02?

    Edited on 05/22/2012 9:31am
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    evafan2005

    [12]May 22, 2012
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    Yeah, tomorrow is 1x02 and then Saturday is 1x03. We will be doing the reviews on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday

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    MoHasanie

    [13]May 22, 2012
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    Great!
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    RenatoB

    [14]May 23, 2012
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    By the way, weren't we supposed to rank the housewives?

    1 - Susan, the star of the episode, she was adorably charming and easy to root for
    2 - Bree, there's just something so delightful about a woman feeling sorry for almost killing her husband
    3 - Gabrielle, the porno star's escapades are amusing and juicy
    4 - Lynette, who also has a great starter story, the others are just slightly better

    This episode is great all around, I think. Every 'wife gets good material to work with.
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    RenatoB

    [15]May 23, 2012
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    Dude, I forgot today is 1.02 already. Zazawie? Hello?
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    Zazawie

    [16]May 23, 2012
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    Sorry, I've been busy these last few days, so I haven't even gotten to reviewing the pilot yet.


    And I'll open a new thread now, but anyone can do that you know. I'm not always gonna be aroundTongue out

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    MoHasanie

    [17]May 23, 2012
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    I'd rank them like this:


    1. Bree


    2. Susan


    3. Gaby


    4. Lynette

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    evafan2005

    [18]May 23, 2012
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    For this episode I'd rank them


    1- Susan


    2- Gabby


    3- Lynette


    4- Bree

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    mully

    [19]May 23, 2012
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    The pilot episode seemed to establish Susan as my favorite, followed by Lynette, then Bree and Gaby as my least favorites. It's so funny how things changed as the show went on...

    I loved this episode, specifically the oddball Edward Scissorhands-like quality that Wisteria Lane had back then. The music really set the tone, as well as neighbors like Martha Huber, all decked out in retro clothes and hair.
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