Monday, October 26, 2009
Wanting More for Desperate Housewives
Those Desperate Housewives sucked me in last night.
The opening discourse about judging sparked my curiosity. Where were they going with this? Each character received scrutiny from an outside source, making them feel uncomfortable and question themselves. Two story lines in particular caught my attention.
Bree is having an affair with Susan's ex-husband. She meets him regularly at a hotel for their rendezvous without a trace of remorse until the maid at the hotel shoots her a disgusted look when she realizes Bree is married. Bree doesn't like her judgment and strikes up conversations with the maid throughout the week, wanting to make it clear she has no business judging her actions. When the maid doesn't give her any slack, going so far as to remind her she could read the Bible in the top drawer of the nightstand while she waits for her lover, Bree decides the maid must have been hurt by a cheating husband and confronts her in her condescending Bree way.
The maid leaves quietly, then storms back in the room, surprising Bree by telling her SHE was the one who cheated, losing her husband, her boyfriend and her life for a momentary thrill. Bree tries to save face by saying that will never happen to her, but the maid appeals to her morality.
"Don't you feel guilty?" she says.
A tender conversation ensues where Bree admits her guilt and the maid tries to convince her to stop the affair to gain her self-respect and save her marriage.
"Don't you want to feel you deserve more than this again?" (Or something to that effect.)
Oooh. Good stuff. I was delighted to see someone on television actually talk about long term consequences of adultery. Bree contemplates the maid's words for the rest of the episode.
Then we bop over to Tom and Lynette who were having some work done around their house. The handyman kept deferring to Tom for the final decision on any project, irritating Lynette. When she asks him about it, the handyman tells her he thinks a man should have respect and since she doesn't give it to Tom, he will. He tells Lynette, "You can crush your husband's walnuts, but I won't."
(I hope I haven't offended anyone's delicate sensibilities.)
Immediately my husband and I raised our eyebrows at each other. Could Hollywood really be tackling the respect/submission issue? Cool.
But just when it was getting good, Tom has a chat with the handyman, telling him of Lynette's troubled childhood with a dad who was absent and an alcoholic mother. He says Lynette coped by controlling her environment as much as she could. He says she NEEDS to control people to make her feel safe.
"As her husband, it's my job to make her feel safe, so I let her control me," Tom says.
"You're a good man, Scavo," the handyman replies.
Oh brother. Now it's loving to be a wimpy husband? What a cop out. Bleh.
To make matters worse, they knocked our legs out from under us in the final scene, showing Bree sitting on the bed in the hotel room, staring at the Bible in the nightstand. We got all excited for her to make the right choice, when she slammed the drawer shut and rushed into the arms of her lover.
I suppose I totally missed the point of the episode. I'm judging now, huh? But why does a show with such thoughtful, well-written story lines have to end in debauchery every single week? It's so disappointing.
And disconcerting. How many young people are buying into this representation of how marriage should be? How many couples will find out after it's too late that God did not intend for relationships to function like this? What damage does it cause?
No wonder these housewives are desperate.