Desperate Housewives Review: Back To Bedlam

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: Wednesday 13th April, C4, 10pm

Over the years Wisteria Lane has probably seen more action that Charlie Sheen’s bedroom during this year’s spring break. There have been murders, suicides, plane crashes, kidnappings and car accidents, so it seems only fitting that as we welcome back Desperate Housewives this evening, we find ourselves up to our earrings in drama once more.

In fact we return to a classic case of whodunnit following the shooting of resident baddie Paul Young. After moving back to the white picket fences of Fairview, Paul puts his plan for revenge into action by deciding to open a rehabilitation centre for ex-convicts right on the manicured front lawns of his former neighbours. Consequently they immediately revolted, though given that most of them have been involved in some element of criminal activity during their time in Fairview, they should have really been more accepting. The anguish culminated in the last episode (where we saw a riot on Wisteria Lane that was about as realistic as the acting on The Only Way Is Essex) with the residents hiring a merry throng of middle-class thugs carrying baseball bats to make a point. Given the lengths Paul’s neighbours went to in order to quash his spiteful plan, it comes as little surprise that as a couple of sharp-suited cops work their way around the neighbourhood trying to uncover the mystery shooter they find little sympathy from anyone.

Susan Myer is also in the hospital, after she was trampled during the riot and had to have a kidney removed. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but it seems her one remaining kidney is as flawed as her ability to keep a man, and Susan is told that she will need dialysis until a transplant is available. Whilst this rocks her friends on Wisteria Lane, the one plus side of the now desperately seeking Susan is that a array of characters appear back on the show – her much-loved husband Mike returns from Alaska, her dutiful daughter Julie arrives and there is also a treat in the form of Susan’s bitchy mother.

Back on the street, Bree is finding life very exhilarating. Never a show to overlook fashion (think Gabrielle Soleis’ wardrobe), it’s great to see that Desperate Housewives has jumped on the bandwagon in promoting the fact that older women are still alluring and can have active sex lives, much like popular(ish) show Cougar Town. She may be Wisteria Lane’s answer to Martha Stewart, but Bree Hodge has managed to skate through menopause, bag herself hot younger man Keith and persuaded him to move in with her. But it wouldn’t be a drama unless there was some trouble on the horizon, and with her disabled ex-husband Orson needing somewhere to stay it isn’t long before Keith is demanding Bree make a choice between ‘Sloppy Joe’ and ‘Coq-Au-Vin’. Given that ‘Sloppy Joe’ represents a hunky toyboy who wears a vest whilst sanding down your woodwork whilst ‘Coq-Au-Vin’ means a controlling, straight-laced former dentist who was accused of killing his wife and is now in a wheelchair, we can’t imagine the decision will be too taxing for her.

Needless to say, returning back to this killer season of Desperate Housewives is a melange of excitement, satisfaction and nostalgia. Theatrics aside, having Paul Young as the centre of attention will be reminiscent for die-hard fans considering that he was a major character in the very first two seasons. Where other shows such as Friends faltered as the years went by and characters, such as Joey, seemed to lose their spark, it is the development of characters such as Paul that allows Desperate Housewives to march boldly through its seventh season without a weakest link in sight.