Saturday, March 17, 2012

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: THE END IS NEAR…


I discuss the disturbing end of Mike Delfino on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES; was it a desperate attempt to devastate Wisteria Lane, or was it the final major death in a show, where the writers have generously killed off characters? Take a glance at what this development could mean for the end of the show, before we watch the next episode—Mike's Funeral...

With just five more episodes to go, before the two-hour series finale on May 13, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES continues to go strong, with ever character’s story moving forward, or even ending. Yes, one of the most beloved characters of the show, Mike Delfino was shot in the chest at the door of his and Susan’s home, after almost eight seasons of him being such a constant on the show. As I watched him fall, after pushing Susan to safety, with the heartbreaking montage of their moments together since they met in the pilot, I knew that a very essential element of the show’s foundation had been shaken. 

I won’t deny that Mike’s character hasn’t had all that much of a role in the last couple of seasons, with him being fit into storylines that primarily involved others. However, he was an essential part of one of the protagonist’s (Susan’s) story all along, right from the pilot, when she told him not to eat her mac-and-cheese at Mary-Alice’s funeral and he was an integral part of the very first mystery on the Lane—Mary-Alice’s suicide.



A still from the next episode: Mike's friends and Susan at his funeral
THE DEVASTATING DEATH
Since then, Mike and Susan’s relationship has been a complete and total rollercoaster: The initial awkward phase, his secrets and her lies, Susan competing with Edie, his accident and amnesia, their first marriage, a baby, his prescription drug addiction, their divorce, his relationship with Katherine, their second marriage, their financial problems, the return of Paul Young and Zach into their lives, him helping her deal with covering up a crime, his involvement with Ben and Renée’s problems, and finally, his murder. They have been the ‘it’ couple on the show, like Meredith and Derek in GREY’S ANATOMY, or even Ross and Rachel in FRIENDS. And if there was anyone, whose death on the Lane would shake everyone, it had to be Mike. I figured that it would have to be him, considering that killing off others like Renée, Ben, Carlos, Tom, or even Karen McKlusky wouldn’t have made as much of an impact. If it had been Carlos or Tom, it could’ve come close to Mike’s death, but it wouldn’t have served any purpose to the progression of the story, since both Carlos and Tom have their own stories going on at this point, especially Tom. In fact, when it was announced, a long time ago, that a main character would be killed, I had guessed that it would be one of the husbands, and unfortunately, Mike seemed to be the perfect candidate.

THE FUTURE
Having said that, I do still maintain that his death came as quite a shock to me. With the chilling final montage before he hit the ground on being shot, and the haunting music that played in the background, I knew that things would never be the same again. Susan has an all new hurdle to overcome—dealing with the loss of her husband; being a single mother again, to her son this time; and preparing to be a grandmother. At the same time, we know that Mike’s death will have Renée feeling immensely guilty, and it will also make other residents of Wisteria Lane put things into perspective. Besides, with this new development, end seems nearer than ever, with other recent developments like the return of Karen McKlusky’s cancer and Renée’s openness about a future with Ben. Yet, it seems like the next five episodes will continue to be action-packed, with Orson having revealed to the police all that can implicate Bree in the murder of Gaby’s stepfather, with Tom planning a future with Jane, with Carlos’ life still somewhat of a mess and with Susan and Lynette’s preparation to be grandmothers.

THE END
Up until the beginning of the season, it seemed like we might just see all the housewives getting their happy endings, but now it appears that that is not the way it will end, especially with Bree and Susan nowhere close to that. However, I’m sure it will still end on a positive note, and the focus will be on the housewives’ friendships emerging stronger than ever (I even hope to see Katherine Mayfair back on the Lane). In fact, I think the last scene will have all the ladies of Wisteria Lane playing a game of poker, symbolic of how far they’ve all come, and how much they’ve grown separately and together. Yet, the last shot should be of the Lane, as it fades out to us forever. 



What are your thoughts on the most recent death on Wisteria Lane?

Sunday, March 04, 2012

THE TV TALK BEST OF 2011, RESULTS

The polls for the TV TALK BEST OF 2011 were open to readers of TV TALK for over three weeks, and now, with the polls closed, it’s time to declare TV TALK’s BEST OF 2011

The Readers' Choice is indicated in the series and acting categories; the votes in these categories can be seen in the closed polls alongside in the right-hand column


Series – Drama
Bones
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy (Readers' Choice)
House MD

The mystery, suspense, dark humor, and the ups and downs in lasting friendships, which is what made DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES the phenomenon that it became when it started, all came back in a powerful way this past year, making it exceptionally intriguing, exciting and entertaining in every possible way

Series – Musical or Comedy
The Big Bang Theory (Readers' Choice)
Glee
How I Met Your Mother
Modern Family
Two Broke Girls

The past year on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER bettered all that had gone wrong for the show in the previous few seasons, with a growth in characters, an interesting new relationship for the title character, a series of extraordinary guest stars, interesting storytelling and humorous dialogues

Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Drama
Emily Deschanel, Bones
Eva Longoria, Desperate Housewives
Glenn Close, Damages
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Marcia Cross, Desperate Housewives (Readers' Choice)
Sally Field, Brothers & Sisters

Always exceptional as Bree Van De Kamp on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, Marcia Cross achieved new levels of excellence over this past year on the show, portraying the desperation that comes with hiding a crime, keeping secrets, dealing with tumultuous friendships, and succumbing to alcoholism

Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Drama
David Boreanaz, Bones
Hugh Laurie, House MD (Readers' Choice)
Michael C Hall, Dexter
Patrick Dempsey, Grey’s Anatomy
Peter Krause, Parenthood
Tom Seleck, Blue Bloods

Being the centre of the family and everyone’s go-to person is hard to portray, and Peter Krause does a great job of it as Adam Braverman on PARENTHOOD, especially over the last year, as Adam loses his job, starts a new business, and deals with all that comes with an addition to the family

Performance by an Actress in A Leading Role – Musical or Comedy
Courteney Cox, Cougar Town
Julie Bowen, Modern Family (Readers' Choice)
Kat Dennings, Two Broke Girls
Lea Michele, Glee

Playing Claire Dunphy, the daughter, sister, wife and mother--the glue that holds the entire family together, Julie Bowen continues to do an exceptional job on MODERN FAMILY, earning her this, a second consecutive time

Performance by an Actor in A Leading Role – Musical or Comedy
Breckin Meyer, Franklin & Bash
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory (Readers' Choice)
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Josh Radnor, How I Met Your Mother
Matthew Morrison, Glee
Ty Burrell, Modern Family

The excellent portrayal of Phil Dunphy as the family man, who also constantly struggles to own a ‘cool quotient’, by Ty Burrell on MODERN FAMILY earns him this, especially because of his extraordinary handling of the Dunphy family storylines, and the comedy generated, this past year, with the children growing up and facing new milestones in their lives

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Drama
Jennifer Carpenter, Dexter
KaDee Strickland, Private Practice (Readers' Choice)
Lisa Edelstein, House MD
Sandra Oh, Grey’s Anatomy
Sara Ramirez, Grey’s Anatomy
Vanessa Williams, Desperate Housewives

We have seen some really intense shades of Charlotte King’s character, over the past year in PRIVATE PRACTICE, especially with Charlotte having been through physical assault, rape, and battling temptations of succumbing to substance abuse, all of which have been portrayed gut-wrenchingly well by KaDee Strickland

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Drama
Ed Westwick, Gossip Girl
John Goodman, Damages
Justin Chambers, Grey’s Anatomy (Readers' Choice)
Kevin McKidd, Grey’s Anatomy
Matthew Rhys, Brothers & Sisters
Paul Adelstein, Private Practice

This one is for John Goodman’s exemplary performance in DAMAGES as Howard Erickson, who is involved in unethical and illegal military operations in Afghanistan, but is also a man who upholds strong family values and mourns the loss of his late wife

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical or Comedy
Alyson Hannigan, How I Met Your Mother
Cobie Smulders, How I Met Your Mother
Jane Lynch, Glee
Kaley Cuoco, The Big Bang Theory
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family (Readers' Choice)

As an valuable addition to the cast of THE BIG BANG THEORY, Mayim Bialik brings alive the delightful and hilarious Amy Farrah Fowler with such ease, displaying true talent for comedic acting

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical or Comedy
Chris Colfer, Glee
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Jesse Tyler Fergusson, Modern Family
Kunal Nayyar, The Big Bang Theory
Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother (Readers' Choice)

Neil Patrick Harris brought to life the emotional growth in Barney Stinson’s character on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER very convincingly over the last year, especially through his encounter with his father, after being abandoned by him as a child, and feelings that came about thereof

Writing – Storylines & Dialogues
Bones
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
How I Met Your Mother

The tumultuous lives of the surgeons on GREY’S ANATOMY, with growth in relationships and the working of the hospital, with a seamless blend of their professional and personal lives, is presented outstandingly on the show, through effective storytelling

Character Development
Damages
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
House MD
Private Practice

The relationship between Patty and Ellen in DAMAGES, with unspoken reliance and faith, despite a past that has not always been pleasant, evolved naturally and endearingly, in the latest season, into a new working relationship and friendship, despite initial tense moments

Art Direction
Desperate Housewives
Gossip Girl
Modern Family
Pan Am
Revenge
Ringer

Be it the airports, the aircrafts, hotels, homes, streets and other sets on the show, the retro design elements and architecture of the sixties provide the perfect backdrop for PAN AM

Costume Design
Desperate Housewives
Glee
Gossip Girl
Pan Am
Ringer

Set in the sixties, the costumes in PAN AM beautifully reflect the way people dressed in that era

Make-up
Damages
Dexter
Glee
Grey’s Anatomy
House MD

The outstanding prosthetic make-up revealed in the medical conditions and surgical procedures earns GREY’S ANATOMY this honor a second consecutive time

Music – Background Score
Body of Proof
Desperate Housewives
Dexter
Grey’s Anatomy
Pan Am
Revenge

The background music of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES offers the perfect mood and tone for the suspense and mystery of the latest season of the show

Music – Compilation
Glee
Gossip Girl
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Ringer

The songs in GREY’S ANATOMY represent the scenes and the characters’ state of mind aptly, with the Musical Event in 2011, which had the iconic numbers from the show’s past performed by the cast, solidifying its place as the best compilation of the year

Titles – Opening & Closing Credits
Damages
Dexter
House MD
Modern Family
Parenthood
Ringer

The opening credits in MODERN FAMILY capture the essence of the show vis-à-vis all characters from the nuclear family, also including an element of what each episode is about



Please share your views on these results below.

**Please note: The series in the above list are only from among shows that I watch. A list of those shows can be seen further down in the right-hand panel.