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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Geek/CounterGeek: Is Desperate Housewives The New Twin Peaks?

Will ABC's smash Desperate Housewives be able to maintain its creative momentum? Or is it setting itself up for a fall, like cult favorite Twin Peaks? Our own Vito examines the long-term viability of TV's newest quirky, mainstream hit in this week's Geek/CounterGeek.

Geek: Desperate Housewives Is The New Twin Peaks

One of my all time favorite shows is Twin Peaks. One of David Lynch’s specialties is to pull back the (red) curtain of a seemingly idyllic place to show its dark underbelly. TP was a phenomenon in its time, very much like Desperate Housewives is today.

Both shows mix the quirky and comical with the horrible and violent. What fan of TP could forget Agent Cooper’s love of coffee and pie, Deputy Andy’s childlike romance with Lucy and the mystery surrounding the brutal murder of Laura Palmer? What DH fan will forget Susan’s bumbling attempts to attract Mike, Gabrielle’s affair with the underage John and the mystery surrounding Dana?

Hopefully DH will avoid the fate of TP, where the audience lost interest as soon as the “Who Killed Laura Palmer” plotline was wrapped up.

CounterGeek: Desperate Housewives Is a Glorified Soap

Desperate Housewives is the new Twin Peaks and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Both shows are essentially spruced up soap operas, camoflauged by high production values and talented casts. TP definitely elevated the genre.

For all of David Lynch’s weirdness and the undercurrent of evil, there were enough hookups, breakups, threats and false deaths to give the most ridiculous daytime show a run for its money. DH is a notch above the average soap, but only a notch. After the most recent episode, with John’s parents asking Gabrielle for help, evil George and the deep dark secret of Lynette’s husband, I was waiting for Larry Hagman to appear and take a bullet from a shadowy figure. The writers already seem to be getting desperate themselves, throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks.

If the whole Dana storyline doesn’t have a satisfying payoff, I might just Tivo old episodes of Dynasty and watch those instead.

Vito's Geek/CounterGeek appears every Tuesday.

Where do you stand? Speak out and comment below!

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2 other geekspeak:

  • I think a big difference is that "DH" doesn't take itself too seriously. There's a wonderful current of kitsche / campiness running thru the show. Hopefully this will continue - it's what makes the show so much fun.

    By Blogger joevideo, at 6:16 PM  

  • One of the producers of "DH" is from "GH" ("General Hospital"). Charles Pratt, Jr., was part of the team behind "Melrose Place" and now is writing for GH as well as producing DH. Maybe that's why there's a sopay flavor to the housewives.

    By Blogger Frank Strovel III, at 9:57 AM  

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