Desperate Housewives 100th Episode Review: Regressing, Even at 100

March 18, 2009 by  
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DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES – 100TH EPISODE, Channel 4, Wednesday 18th March, 10.00pm Alert me

I have to admit, I was sucked into the world of Wisteria Lane in DH’s first series (being a first year Uni student when it came out, I really had nothing better to do). But after twenty seven episodes of Mary Alice Young’s (Brenda Strong) narration, I’d had enough. Strong has that alluringly knowing tone, which fades to a patronising point at the end of every introduction. I knew that if I was to survive the hundredth episode, I needed to get my game face on and ride the cliché wave into the sh*t storm.

For those who have never seen Desperate Housewives, this episode is very much stand-alone in its structure. You don’t need to know about the history of murders, divorces, babies and blindness to watch it. In fact you almost don’t even need a brain.

The plot surrounds the life and death of neighbourhood handyman Eli Scruggs (yes, you have seen him before, his name is Beau Bridges and he plays Earl’s dad, Carl Hickey) who dies without leaving a mess, aside from the oily stain left by an American attempting irony.

Each of the cardboard characters delves into their memory banks for their most puke-worthy moments of nostalgia. Of course, Eli has magnificently altered each of the women’s lives in some tear-jerking way. He turns Gabi from a self-obsessed model b*tch to a suburban socialite, reminds Brie of her cookery book dream, encourages Lynette to put her children above her job and tells Susan she is his hero (eh?).

In this, the fifth series, the make-up team have gone to great lengths to make the girls look less shrivelled than normal. As the actresses get older, it’s clear that years of living on little more than Red Bull and Botox have taken their toll. Nicolette Sheridan, who plays Edie Britt, looks like a vile Alien freak of nature, more ghoulish and gross than Joanna Lumley as Aunt Spiker in James and The Giant Peach.

Yet, she has the figure of a nubile yoga instructor who’s hooked on ginseng. Truly, the body from Fantasy Island, face of Craggy Island.

For the most part, it was tosh, but there was the occasional witty line. When Edie asks Eli to comment on her curves, she asks: “And my breasts, perky and firm?? to which Eli replies, “You’ve named them?!?

Yeah, she had to, simply to take the attention away from her face. Yick.

Sally McIlhone