Sunday, March 25, 2012

Marc's Cherry On The Cake 3/25/12

Nicollette Sheridan’s Edie Britt did not stick out like a sore thumb on Desperate Housewives; it was more of a sore torso.

The final series of what has, for me, been one of the most brilliant TV dramas ever, is ending with more than a touch of controversy (and I don’t just mean Mike’s inability to buy a change of shirt). Nicollette Sheridan has been in court, suing the show’s creator, Marc Cherry. She claims that he got rid of her for reasons other than those he claimed (you will have to read up on this elsewhere; I don’t want to enter the legal minefield), and it’s allegedly all heading back to court.

Obviously, I know nothing of any of this, other than what I have read about the court proceedings, but as a TV critic, I was always 100% behind Sheridan’s departure – in fact, as passionately as I was against her arrival in the first place. To me, her character never worked; she just sort of landed on Wisteria Lane with about as much at-home-ness as ET arriving to address the Senate.

It wasn’t just that she was new. The central four – Gabby (Eva Longoria), Bree (Marcia Cross), Susan (Teri Hatcher), Lynette (Felicity Huffman) – have made relationships with several newcomers, including, among my favourites, the character of Katherine, played by the sensational Dana Delaney (now the star of Body of Proof).

I could just never get to grips with who Edie was supposed to be. She was a vamp, certainly, yet without the charm of vampishness that Vanessa Williams has brought to the part of Renee – who, despite outward appearances, still has layers that often expose her vulnerability. By comparison with both Renee and the foursome, Edie was . . . well, very one-dimensional and predictable.

I’ve been pondering these matters today as I’ve sat indoors, despite it being a beautiful sunny day outside, catching up with the series – the eighth, which will be its last. If you’re in the UK and watching Channel 4, don’t read on if you don’t want to know what’s coming up (even though some papers have already ruined the surprise).

I’ve been weeping uncontrollably at Mike’s funeral, as characters’ flashbacks of him steer them in different directions in their lives. If you are still reading, you would be well advised to stock up on Kleenex as you prepare to say goodbye to this wonderful character – and Hatcher delivers her best performance ever.

Yes, yes, I know that it will be the end for everyone soon, and I have stocked up on tissues for that day, too (anyone on for a DH end-of-life party, by the way?); but Mike’s death took me by surprise.

I don’t know how I’m going to live without the show. Eva Longoria’s beauty and Gabby’s hilarious selfishness; evil Orson and his determination to destroy Bree, the wife who spurned him; the gorgeous Tom, who has yet to realise that Lynette and he belong together; Susan as grandmother, supporting her daughter as she prepares to become a mother – I have loved every minute (even the daft bits).

It’s a shame for everyone that it’s ending on such a sour note and in court; but for some of us, Ms Sheridan’s exit really was the Cherry on the cake – literally and metaphorically.

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