Friday, September 23, 2011

Desperate Housewives - Season 7 Review

US Airdate: September 26th 2010 – May 15th 2011

As the show enters its seventh year, some old faces return to wreck havoc on Wisteria Lane while a new face finds herself becoming a part of the gang.

Wild West Edition: Oh, sometimes I watch this show and I wonder about where it sort of went wrong. I use the phrase ‘sort of’ because while the series isn’t the most talked about thing anymore, it can still produce moments here and there that are worthy of discussion and after this series alone, only one more season is left for the least safest piece of suburbia in American TV.

Season Seven took something of an odd format for the mystery route that we’ve been used to for the last six years. Paul Young finally got the last laugh when Felicia’s attempts to frame him blew up in her face and she wound up in jail as penance. Now, Paul could’ve used the money he was given as compensation to go anywhere and start all over again.

Of course that would’ve been seen as too easy a solution, so Paul decided the best thing to do was to get a frumpy wife in the shape of Beth (who actually gets interesting as a character during the second half of the season) and return to Wisteria Lane, just to rub it into the neighbours that turned their backs on him all those years ago.

As plots go, it’s surprisingly direct even if there are predictable turns with Paul blackmailing Susan during her lowest ebb and causing neighbourhood chaos with the organisation of a halfway house during the first half of the season. It’s only when he gets shot and Beth kills herself that things actually step up a gear.

Okay, so Zach being the shooter was a bit of a copout (Zach’s return in general just proves that both him and John should never be brought back again) but I did love the reveal of Beth being Felicia’s daughter and that when she was rejected by both her mother and husband, she decided to save Susan’s life by ending her own in the show’s 150th episode. Now that was something I genuinely did not expect.

It also provided an interesting change of gears as well for the season. Instead of Paul being the baddie, he became someone we could actually sympathise with for the first time. I also have to admit that his friendship with Susan also became a highlight in the last few episodes along with Felicia’s many attempts to kill him.

Now for the disappointing part of it all. I enjoyed Felicia in the first two seasons and her brand of nuttiness but here I found her more of a nuisance and a far worse human being than Martha had been in the first year. Thankfully this show actually killed her off this time while sending Paul back to jail for a crime he actually did commit. All in all, when I look at the Paul/Felicia plot, I have to admit that it was a lot better than the antics of the Applewhites or Dave in previous seasons but only just.

As for the housewives themselves, it’s been an interesting enough time for them. Susan and Mike’s financial problems sounded good on paper but seemed to lack certain realism. I mean the apartment they’re forced to stay in for most of this year is a lot better than what other people with their dire finances can afford and the erotic housecleaning plot was just silly, even if it did cost Susan her teaching job. The kidney plot however (coupled with brief reappearances from Julie and Sophie) actually worked a lot better, especially given that it resulted in a great exit for Beth and an interesting Susan/Paul friendship.

Bree on the other hand seemed to have mostly storylines involving her love life. With no business to run, a brief look into Andrew’s alcoholism and Carlos finding out how his mother really died, the variations of Orson (who finally left the series), Keith (because Bree was due a younger man) and Chuck (the best match for her, maybe?) certainly proved that Bree still had it in her, didn’t it?

Less interesting were Lynette and Tom and their many arguments of this year. I guess the most refreshing thing about them this year was that they actually seperated but listening to the endless arguments between them over past hook-ups, work issues and the like, it became more and more difficult to actually care about them. If Lynette and Tom are supposed to be our most relatable couple, then theirs really is a marriage that could be likened to a special brand of hell this year.

As for Renee – I was quite excited about Vanessa Williams joining the cast but the first half of the season suffered with trying to find a sufficient role for her and it did take me a while to believe that someone like Renee would actually be friends with anyone on Wisteria Lane but somewhere during the second half of the year, the character seemed to work a lot better. Edie Britt she’s not but she’s probably the closest thing this show will have to it again.

Gabrielle on the other hand seemed to be given a rather important plot towards the end. Although too much of this year is dedicated to the Juanita/Grace storyline, it’s really the killing of abusive stepfather Alejandro and the wives covering up of his body that saw the season end on a bang. Well that and the Come Dine With Me antics too certainly paved the way as well and I liked that Bob and Lee got some more screen time this year as well.

DVD Extras: An interesting enough collection of bloopers, deleted scenes, commentaries and other features for the series. We’ve had more in previous releases but it’s still a modest enough round up of stuff.


7x01: Remember Paul = 8/10, 7x02: You Must Meet My Wife = 7/10,
7x03: Truly Content = 7/10, 7x04: The Thing That Counts Is What’s Inside = 7/10,
7x05: Let Me Entertain You = 6/10, 7x06: Excited And Scared = 9/10,
7x07: A Humiliating Business = 7/10, 7x08: Sorry Grateful = 7/10,
7x09: Pleasant Little Kingdom = 7/10, 7x10: Down The Block There’s A Riot = 9/10,
7x11: Assassins = 8/10, 7x12: Where Do I Belong = 6/10,
7x13: I’m Still Here = 7/10, 7x14: Flashback = 8/10,
7x15: Farewell Letter = 9/10, 7x16: Searching = 10/10,
7x17: Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed = 8/10,
7x18: Moments In The Woods = 8/10, 7x19: The Lies Ill-Concealed = 7/10,
7x20: I’ll Swallow Poison On Sunday = 8/10, 7x21: Then I Really Got Scared = 7/10,
7x22: And Lots Of Security = 8/10, 7x23: Come On Over For Dinner = 9/10.

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