Image A+ Sound A Extras B+
"Pilot," "Ah, But Underneath," "Pretty Little Picture," "Who's That Woman?," "Running to Stand Still," "Anything You Can Do," "Guilty," "Suspicious Minds," "Come Back to Me," "Move On," "Every Day a Little Death," "Your Fault," "Love Is in the Air," "Impossible," "If It's Brown, Flush It Down," "There Won't Be Trumpets," "Children Will Listen," "Live Alone and Like It," "Fear No More," "Sunday in the Park with George," "Goodbye for Now," "One Wonderful Day"
by Walter Chaw The writing on Marc Cherry's "Desperate Housewives" is astringent and bright for the first dozen episodes or so. For more than half the first season, the show works as an effervescent satire of evening potboilers like "Dallas" or "Falcon Crest": It understands the attraction/repulsion dynamic of venerable bodice-ripping soapers and boils them down to their base elements of women, houses, relationships, and desperation. Eventually, though, the series falls off the tightrope all satires walk between commentary and indulgence--it starts having too good a time pretending to be that which it disdains and, in so doing, reveals its true colours as a drag revue played by women, ultimately freeing it of irony. Just look to the reports of on-set strife and photo-shoot jealousy to see that the tabloid has overtaken the snark, with intelligence and purpose quick to follow.