Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tommy Picks the Most Frustrating Desperate Housewives Plot Holes

Scarlet fever.
Over a year after it aired its last episode, Desperate Housewives still remains one of my favorite shows of all time. With its dark humor, over-the-top drama, and never-ending army of bitches, I often felt that it was written specifically for me. But for all its glory, the show was not without its problems. The writers never seemed to shy away from rewriting history or just flat out contradicting themselves. Here are some of the more frustrating plot holes I've noticed.

Age is just a number

Desperate Housewives is far from the only show to screw up the ages of its characters; in fact, unless the main characters are in school, you can almost count on show writers to whimsically tack on or chop off a few years on a previously established age. This was a common occurrence on Wisteria Lane, especially once the five-year jump was added into the mix.

Perhaps the most egregious age-related error is that although MJ is born first, Juanita is eventually stated as being older than him. (Maybe the writers thought it was preposterous that a girl who looked 12 was supposed to be playing a 4 year old.)

The curious case of Orson Hodge

Season 3 presented fans with one of the best mysteries on the show: what happened to Alma Hodge, what happened to that whore Monique, and how are the two related? At the center of this chaos was Orson Hodge, Bree's new husband. Eventually, we learned that Alma, his wife, faked her own disappearance to punish him for his affair with Monique. But there was one problem.

When Orson was introduced at the end of Season 2, he was visiting a mute woman in a mental hospital, where Bree happened to have checked in. Originally, the plan was to have Orson and the mysterious women be con artists, but this was scrapped in favor for the Alma storyline. BUT THEY NEVER EXPLAINED WHO THE WOMAN IN THE HOSPITAL WAS. They never even mentioned her. It's an end that it far too loose for my liking.

While we're on the topic of Orson, let's discuss his apparent undiagnosed bipolar disorder. I swear, at the beginning of every season, the writers must have asked themselves, "Will Orson be good or evil this season?" He went from a suspected murderer (Season 3), to a devoted husband (Season 4), to a jealous klepto (Season 5), to a blackmailer (Season 6), to a respectful ex (Season 7),  to a manipulative killer (Season 8). It was all too exhausting.

Oh Tom Scavo, what did you do?

Betrayal is second nature to the residents of Wisteria Lane, so even Tom and Lynette's strong, grounded marriage wasn't safe. In Season 1, the couple learns that Tom's father is having an affair. Lynette warns Tom that if he ever cheated on her, she wouldn't be as forgiving as his mother was. This prompts Tom to confide in his father about something bad that he did.

But we never learn what that bad thing was. The behind-the-scenes story is that Tom was going to have an affair until the writers decided that the show needed at one stable marriage. Fans have tried to retcon the plot hole by saying that Tom's secret was that he hired his ex-girlfriend or had a secret kid, but I'd like to think he was referring to his fling with Lynette's best college gal pal, Renee, which was revealed in Season 7. All I can say is that I'm glad these two ended up together.

Don't call my name, don't call my name, Alejandro!

Season 8 was the perfect way to conclude the series. Instead of the housewives piecing together information about a mysterious new neighbor, they banded together to cover up the accidental death of Alejandro, Gabrielle's abusive ex-stepfather. It was such an intriguing storyline, but one riddled with plot holes. First, there's the fact that early on in the season, the women learn that a missing persons report has been filed for Alejandro; however, when Susan visits his wife and daughter, they don't seem too concerned that he's gone, as he leaves for extended periods of time. #FatherOfTheYear

Taking a stroll down memory lane

Critical moments in the lives of our favorite housewives are revisited time and time again through flashbacks, and while they may not always contradict one another, these retellings certainly don't solidify a clear sense of continuity. Here are just a few:
  • How many different ways did Susan discover that Karl was cheating on her? There's the version where she finds lipstick on his collar, or another time when she discovers his mistress' bra in his glove box. In one version, Edie tips her off; in another, Karl comes clean himself. Sometimes Susan kicks him out and sometimes he leaves on his own accord.
  • We've seen Gabrielle move into her house a million different ways, and each time she has a different attitude, a different "first encounter" with the other housewives, and a different hairstyle.
  • Mary Alice's suicide has been covered in great detail, and as the most pivotal moment in the entire series, you'd think they would pay careful attention when dealing with it. But that is not so, as whenever a character needed more depth, the writers would pretend like he or she had spoken to Mary Alice just prior to her pulling the trigger (see: Lynette, Eli the handyman, etc.). I mean, my lord, you'd think the whole damn neighborhood stopped by that day.

Ah, so many problems. And this is only the tip of the iceberg! As a DH addict, inconsistencies like these used to make me bonkers. But having a year to get over it, I realize that not only does every show have gaping plot holes, but that they shouldn't take away from the brilliance of the show.


Taylor said...

The part about Orson! LOL! For reals tho!

Madeleine Wills said...

what an interesting post! I guess I should be more surprised that you've seen the show enough times to recognize all those inconsistencies, but I'm really not! Just goes to show how well I know you and your DH obsession :)

Joanna Matos said...

What about the most obvious and annoying one about Susan's old house that burned down and the house Julie really grew up in but later on in the series Susan explains to Mike why the house she lives in now is so important to her and she tells him it's because this was the house Julie grew up in.

Anonymous said...

What about when Susan was trying to win over Edie and changed her flat tire, but then when all the ladies were driving Edie to her son, McCluskie was the only one who knew how to do it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, good ones! I just saw one in season 3. Zach young claims to be 2 months older than John, the teenage former lover of Gabrielle. Lynda Scavo states Zach turned 18 one month ago. Gabrielle just slept with John recently which means he has a successful business, a fiancé, and a second go round with Gabby while still 17. Also, as its season 3, that puts his original age in season 1 at 15, and he had been involved with Gabby for a year, which makes him 14 when they started. Scandalous! And kinda gross.

Anonymous said...

Also in the episode when Lynette first meets the women, she's intimidating to the women on the lane. She gets mad that tom never told her that twins run in his family and that she's expecting twins. However in season 8, they flashback to when the Scavos first saw the house that tom bought and Lynette is very pregnant with the twins.

Anonymous said...

When Lynette gives Penny a tablet so she can indirectly spy on Tom's new life, Penny questions her present stating that her birthday was last month. A few episodes later Lynette throws Penny birthday party.... 2 birthdays within a few months??

Anonymous said...

Also when Gabby goes to Lynette to talk about Grace leaving, she says "I have to talk to you because you're the only one I know who's lost a child." Didn't Gabby have a miscarriage when she fell down the stairs in the 2nd season?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone else noticed the major age issue between Zach and John. It drove me crazy. Anyway, i just started season 5 and I'm very confused about the twins age. They're now 16 years old after a 5 year time jump. over 4 seasons, they went from 5 to 11? Last time I heard their age mentioned they were 8, and there's no way they just magically aged 3 years over one season. I expected the twins to be 13 or 14. Not teenage boys who drive, go to homecoming dances, drink, gamble, and take cars for joy rides. Not that it's a major deal, but the boys definitely weren't 11 at the end of season 4.

ArK said...

But in Season 1 it's stated that John was 16 when Gabby first seduced him

Langsather Letters said...

But Tom DID have a secret least I thought so...did he not know about it? I have to rewatch. I have only been rewatching season 8 recently.

Let's Rock said...

After the episode which heavily features Lynette making a huge fuss about not wanting to wear orange while working at the pizzeria (as it's not her colour), she very regularly wears orange throughout all future seasons! So irritating!! Such a silly mistake and would have been so easy to avoid!!

Barbara Ruth Saunders said...

At one point, Tom and Lynette are said t have met on the job. Later, they were engaged back in college.

Fayebie said...

Nope- renee and Lynette met in college- in season 8 it flashes back to their first date where they discuss whether they should keep it a secret from work- They weren't still in college