Essay / Culture

ABC.com: Desperate Housewives

ABC.com: Desperate HousewivesThis has to be the worst television show of the year. Pretentious and tacky. . . it is offensive, but boring. It exploits women and liberal stereotypes about the upper middle class.Hope and I sat down to watch what Disney thinks of my wife and her profession of homemaker. Shock. They don’t think much of it. Thank goodness for TIVO, because this show is not family friendly with a bedroom sensibility right through. Pity the middle age actress convinced that not wearing undergarments was a good career move. (“It is liberating to women!” said the smarmy producer.) A woman old enough to be a mother ought to be old enough to understand that modesty and chastity are alluring.I would have loved to hear the marketing meeting, “It is just like cable only on mainstream television!” However, someone should point out to ABC that Emmy voters don’t have large numbers. Many of us do not get premium cable channels in part because of these “cutting edge” shows. Those cutting edge shows are cutting and edgy, but are hardly shows. There is no “there” to most of them, just one barb after another. They depend on conservative culture to mock and shock. They have done such a great job, that it is a hard thing to do now. Shows of this sort are hardly watched, but they are watched by the people executives like to have lunch with, so we get more of them. (Question: in syndication in fifty years will “Six Feet Under” get better ratings than the “Andy Griffith Show”?) Of course, the “intellectuals” in the viewing audience will love the show because it is “edgy” and because it uses plot devices borrowed from the nineties. It hits the right targets and follows the new rule on ABC “if the Bible is shown, someone is evil.” A local divorced woman seduces a man of God while a Bible flies through the air. Ho. Ho. The show has no real passion and runs the risk of making sex boring.In addition to no moral compass, the show is witless. Hope and I could guess lines before they were delivered. Women are exploited and powerless. Motherhood is mocked, but in a LA Fitness work out room sort of way. (“Oh those homemakers say they are so happy, but can you imagine being stuck with a baby!”) Men are boorish or also objects. In short, it is an entire show about people that you ought to dislike. It is an education in immorality for people who think the LA Times Entertainment section is deep.I loved the old Disney company and we wanted to see what Disney thought my family wanted to watch. Walt would be ashamed. He tried to avoid dull fare, but sometimes failed, but he never was wicked. Hope and I are sorry we dropped in for a viewing. . . will not make that mistake again. . . and return TIVO to taping Poirot reruns and Monk. We don’t need the networks and their hatred of red state values.

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