Last night was the series end for Desperate Housewives. I became a viewer when it was well into its run. I wouldn’t say I couldn’t wait for Sunday at 9, but I enjoyed the show most Sundays, with a glass of wine.
The husbands and wives of Wisteria Lane had complex marriages; in some ways less so than husbands Bob and Lee, who were their neighbors and were gay. Bob and Lee had their problems, too. But there were very few secrets surrounding their household.
The lane was like a modern mystery play – values and vices abounded – sloth, greed, lust, and redemption were ever present. There was a simplicity in the structure if not in the relationships. It was fun to watch.
I’ll miss that and I’ll miss another aspect of Desperate Housewives: the presence of Latinas and Latinos on TV. The show was one of the few places where, over the space of 8 seasons, we laughed and cried at various experiences within the Latino culture. There were folks who held on to their ancestral roots, others that ashamed of those roots, those who those who spoke Spanish well, those who spoke Spanglish well, and those who wouldn’t be caught dead with the bilingual gene.
Granted there were fine actors that perpetuated some stereotypes, but that was true across the board. Having 8 seasons allowed for all the characters to develop and for us to reflect on the how and why of that development.
Gaby was made aware of immigration issues because of a potential deportation of someone dear to her, she dealt with body image and her daughters, with in-laws, with sexual abuse and religion. Come on now, how often have we seen a character played by a Latina, a Mexican American at that, go through all of that on a TV show?
I’m going to miss DH on Sundays. I’ll miss seeing the development of a character that is the Everywoman who can understand Spanish better than she can speak it.