Susan, Lynette, Bree and Gabrielle: the Desperate Housewives

I saw the first episode of Desperate Housewives completely by accident.  It was a Wednesday evening in January 2005 and there was nothing else decent on TV, so my Mum and I decided to watch the new ‘darkly comedic’ suburban drama on Channel 4.  My 16 year-old self was instantly hooked and shameful as it may be to admit, I’ve not missed a single episode.  The final season started last Sunday on E4 and although I’ve come to expect the ridiculous over these last seven years (has it really been that long?), I must admit that a twist in the episode’s last minute has restored some of my faith that season eight will be action-packed with intrigue, if not with realistic drama.

The Fairview ladies really have seen it all: suicide, a tornado, cancer, divorce, a plane crash, more divorce…there have been some gripping cliff-hangers despite the unlikelihood of these multiple calamities.  It surprises me how genuinely upset I feel that Lynette and Tom, who were the only original couple to still be happily married, are now separating, which is testament to the on-screen chemistry of the cast.  In fact, if the previews are anything to go by, there doesn’t seem to be much hope for any of the relationships I’ve watched develop for so long.  The body of Gaby’s abusive step-father is buried in the woods and weighing heavily over everyone, particularly Susan, who is not even attending Wisteria Lane’s weekly poker game.  Could a desperate need for absolution actually spell the end of the Housewives’ friendship?

I’m not generally one to make predictions, but I have a feeling a few familiar faces might return in this final season.  Could Orson or Zach be responsible for the anonymous note left in Bree’s mailbox?  And did Felicia Tilman definitely die in that car crash we saw coming at the end of season seven?  Hard to say, but as Mary Alice guides us through the ruthless suburban streets one last time, I’m sure secrets will surface that even my years of loyalty to Desperate Housewives haven’t prepared me for.  There aren’t many shows that manage to keep characters human and storylines enticing in spite of what is, to be brutally honest, sheer farce.  So, as long as the doom and gloom are tempered with a few humorous moments along the way and there are at least a couple of happy resolutions, I’ll stay on board for the last stage of the ride.