TV Review - Desperate Housewives: Season Seven

Marcia Cross (left) & Eva Longoria
in "Desperate Housewives"
Season Six did something interesting. It jumped ahead five years. It created some new and fresh dynamics that I enjoyed. Season Seven jumped back five years in that it revisits the very first and second season. For starters, it brought back those early seasons' most notorious character, Paul Young, played by Mark Moses. He was the show's first real villain.
Yes, he returns to cause chaos but the latter half of this season has been Paul's redemption. Being the good comedic, soap opera that it is, a baby-switching storyline came and went, which I'm not sure what the significance of it was beyond giving Eva Longora's character of Gaby something to do.
Vanessa Williams joined the cast as Renee, an old friend of Lynette, played by Felicity Huffman. Ever since the show weirdly killed off the character of Edie, there's been a void. Williams, who became free of Ugly Betty, fills that void. The show needed that no-nonsense, no filter, sassy woman who could be crudely honest. Renee is that, only in African-American form.
Continuing with the show's continuing theme of older women sleeping with younger men, this season had Brie, played by Marcia Cross (Melrose Place), having an affair with her new painter and handyman, Keith, played by Brian Austin Greene (Beverly Hills 90210). Unlike Gaby's affair with her teenage gardener in the first season, Brie actually attempts a relationship with Keith and the issues and real-world problems are better explored.
Back in the first season, Brie's son, Andrew, played by Shawn Pyfrom, avoided prison when Brie covered up the hit-and-run that resulted in Andrew killing Gaby's mother-in-law. After Brie helps Andrew with his drinking problem, a problem Brie herself had, the truth about his hit-and-run are revealed. The underlying issues with all of this were already addressed in previous seasons. The writers cleverly skip over them and makes all this a gateway to new problems, which threaten to divide the housewives as friends.
Lynette deals with her large family after recently having a newborn. The issues with her husband Tom, played by Doug Savant, are never-ending. First, it was his post-partum depression and then it was his over-confidence at his new job.
The main attraction, however, is Susan, played by Teri Hatcher. The financial crisis affected her most of all. Her husband, Mike, played by James Denton, lost his job, which caused them to lose their home. It forced Susan to do some unlikely things to make ends meet. On top of that, Susan suffered a life-threatening injury.
All of this sounds like a lot of drama, which it is, but what I love is that the makers of this show never lose sight of the fact that it is a comedy. There's a lot of ridiculousness here, but it's still even after all these years balanced with enough seriousness and real-world gravity that I accept it so easily. The humor is consistent and superb.
Five Stars out of Five.
Rated TV-14.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 10PM on ABC.


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