A 'Desperate Housewives' wannabe set deep in the heart of Texas
There are shows you watched once upon a time and still think back on fondly, there are shows you spent years watching and now wonder what on earth you were thinking, and then there are shows where you can't always be sure whether they were good or you just convinced yourself they were.
"Desperate Housewives" falls into the latter category for me. It debuted in the fall of the 2004-5 TV season, an all-time great year in network TV that also gave us "Lost," "House," "The Office," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Veronica Mars," among others. And it was an enormous hit right out of the gate, and I was swept up in both the hype and its place in this great freshman class, even though I generally have little use for soap operas. But I also think that, at least in that first season, "Desperate Housewives" aspired to be more than that, and often succeeded. It was commenting on and satirizing the various soap clichés even as it was cheerfully racing through all of them, and at times it managed to invest its suburban satire with real humanity.
Or maybe I'm just remembering it more fondly because "Desperate Housewives" is coming to the end of its final season — and, more importantly, because ABC is using these final "Housewives" episodes to launch "GCB" (Sunday at 10 p.m.), a new soap that wants so badly be this decade's "Desperate Housewives," but that plays more like a bad parody of it.