Desperate Housewives
Pilot

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Pilot

Susan and Julie bring mac and cheese. It looks terrible, and I say that as someone who would eat mac and cheese out of a dumpster. Susan, apparently, has a history of unfortunate experiences with mac and cheese: she was eating it when Karl, Her Asshole Ex-Husband, left her for her secretary, and also when he announced that he was divorcing her, a year ago. So she needs a man. And a bra. As the Mayer girls cross the street, Julie wonders why anyone would kill herself. Susan explains that "sometimes people are so unhappy, they think it's the only way they can solve their problems." Julie thinks that Mary Alice seemed happy enough, but Susan tells her that sometimes people seem one way on the outside but are totally different on the inside. "Oh, you mean how Dad's girlfriend is always smiling and saying nice things, but deep down, you know she's a bitch?" Julie chirps. "I don't like that word, Julie. But yeah, that's a great example," Susan says. Heh. They head into the gathering, putting the mac and cheese on the buffet. Julie heads over to talk to the other kids, as Susan joins the Coffee Klatch at the table.

Everyone looks sadly at Mary Alice's empty seat. They miss her, never having been forced to listen to her narrate their lives. As Susan pours the coffee, we flash back to a former Coffee Klatch, in which Susan had to tell her bitch posse about Terrible Karl and his Terrible Affair. "He said -- and you'll love this -- 'it doesn't mean anything, it's just sex,'" she says. All the girls groan. Susan explains that Karl then told her that "most men live lives of quiet desperation." Everyone rolls her eyes. "Please tell me you punched him," Lynette snarls. Susan responds that she asked him what most women lead: "Lives of noisy fulfillment?" They all make a lot of "you go, girl," noises, as though this were a particularly clever comeback, and Susan whines that she can't believe Karl decided to bang his secretary. "I had that woman over for brunch," she says. Also, it's terribly cliché. Gabrielle muses that her grandmother always used to say that an "erect penis doesn't have a conscience." Lynette crabs that even the limb ones aren't that ethical, and Gabrielle cracks a walnut. Heh. Although that's sort of unfair, really. I complain about the menfolk all the time, but I generally find that they are as capable as making ethical sexual decisions as women are. KimberBree announces that this is why she joined the NRA: when Rex started going to all those medical conferences, she explains, she wanted to plant in the back of his mind that he "had a loving wife at home with a loaded Smith and Wesson." Mary Alice makes sympathetic expressions beatifically -- because, you know, dead woman as saint, blah blah blah -- and wonders if Lynette ever thinks Gay Matt is having an affair. "Lynette snorts, "Oh, please. The man's gotten me pregnant three times in four years. I wish he was having sex with someone else." The boards have been doing a lot of math about this and they don't think it's possible, judging from how old her kids appear to be. But...you know, whatever. Lots of babies, in not a lot of time. Also, Lynette, if you don't want all those babies, there are ways to prevent being impregnated. I know! The wonders of the modern age. Lynette asks if Karl is going to break up with the secretary, and Susan snuffles that she doesn't know. She just doesn't know how she's going to survive this. If I may make a suggestion? Listening to "Dear Prudence," as the women appear to be in this instance, is not going to help. I suggest "It's Raining Men" instead. That has seen me through several dark periods. Mary Alice tells her with the Wisdom of the Soon to Be Dead that they all have moments of desperation: "If we can face them head on, that's when we find out just how strong we really are." Mary Alice: patron saint of the pat homily.

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Desperate Housewives

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