Jealousy a- plenty as the soap froth flies
Desperate Housewives 8.30pm, Seven The script is cooking in the fashion that made the series so great
LIKE many of the vaunted American dramas of recent years, Desperate Housewives ran off the rails in its second series. It became improbable, inconsistent and just plain dippy. The third series has reclaimed its former assets, although it still displays occasional inconsistencies.
This episode, Gossip, is one of the better in the series and restores one’s faith. But what would you expect of an episode with such a title? Gossip is the show’s modus operandi and raison d’etre, s’il vous plait.
As the narrator observes, ‘‘ gossip, for most housewives, is just a harmless form of recreation’’. For these housewives it is so much more.
The best gossip, as always, swirls around Gabrielle ( Eva Longoria) and Edie ( Nicollette Sheridan). At Gaby’s engagement party, Edie deliciously and maliciously concedes to the party honoree that she is deliriously in love with her new date, Carlos ( Ricardo Antonio Chavira).
Never mind that Carlos, Gaby’s ex, now seems to be a pillar of calm within this tempest. Gaby turns haughty, later confronting Edie with the schoolgirl taunt: ‘‘ You know the feeling when people hate you?’’
At that moment, loyal followers will breathe in relief, aware that the script is cooking in the fashion that made the series so great, focusing on petty jealousy and retribution.
And it gives Longoria and Sheridan the storylines to which they’re best suited: Longoria huffs and puffs like a frustrated poodle, and Sheridan gives the bitchy soapie snarls she perfected on Knots Landing.
Better, Edie is persona non grata again. Gaby tells Lynette ( Felicity Huffman) and Susan ( Teri Hatcher): ‘‘ Good friends share more than just gossip and brunch, they share enemies, too.’’
Susan has her own problems, pent up with frustration while trying to decide between Mike ( James Denton) and Ian ( unwanted blow- in Dougray Scott). She makes her decision and, in the episode’s only bum note for me, it is scuppered by circumstance. You can see it coming.
Perhaps Susan should shack up with the new chef at Scavo’s Pizzeria, Rick ( Jason Gedrick), who looks suspiciously like her former beau, Clark ( Dean Cain). Sorry, wrong series. Lynette’s shameless flirting with Rick is the latest in the ongoing Scavo v Scavo saga, with her husband, Tom Scavo ( Doug Savant), being forewarned by an obvious snitch.
Elsewhere, the McCluskey mystery wraps just a little too neatly and those lamenting the absence of Bree ( Marcia Cross) will relish a brief reference to her basket of moist muffins. A perfect balance to a better written and more enticing episode of the soap for those who don’t watch soaps.
Desperate blokes: From left, Doug Savant, Dougray Scott, James Denton, Kyle MacLachlan and Ricardo Chavira