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.