Media 302- Essay One
Desperate Housewives: Season 5 episode 13- ‘ The Best Thing That Could Have Happened’
Desperate housewives is a prime time high end Soap Opera or ‘Supersoap’ which started in 2004,
written by Marc Cherry and Bob Daily and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. It
spanned 8 years on air and was one of the most popular shows at the time. This makes it an
interesting study because of how popular it was, it has a unique narrative structure while still
following the conventional rules of narrative strategy for it’s genre, which make it accessible to the
audience while still being different enough to stay interesting. The episode this essay will focus on
is the 100th episode titled ‘The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened’. In this episode the
local handyman, Eli Scruggs, dies from a heart attack on his last day of work before he was meant
to retire and the housewives each remember personal moments where he affected their lives.
These events provides tribute to the women of Wisteria Lane; Susan, Lynette, Bree and Gabrielle
together with Edie. This storyline allows the viewers to appreciate changes in the characters, as
well as the things that have happened not only in the fifth season but also since the show started.
Desperate Housewives is an comedy-drama serial which after its premiere in 2004 on the network
ABC, the serial had altogether 180 episodes in eight seasons. Desperate Housewives won several
awards over its course. The fictional setting of Wisteria Lane in Fairview is the home of a group of
women protagonists who are more or less friends; Gabrielle Solis, Lynette Scavo, Susan Mayer,
Bree Van de Kamp, Edie Britt and Katherine Mayfair. All of them conform to seperate stereotypes
which make them all relatability to the many portrayals of the modern woman. The plot of each
episode follows these struggles they have to deal with in their family lives in domestic
surroundings, building the sense of a ‘community of characters’ which is an important part of soap
opera and this “ideal of community which is presented depends upon shared values of support for
each other and stresses the importance of acting with the community at heart” (page 85, Christine
Geraghty 1991). With every episode it builds on the idea of white picket fence ‘all- American living’
being not as idyllic as it seems, with lots of secrets, crimes and mysteries are happening behind
the facade of suburban living making a point of these characters private lives being very different to
their public ones. The answers to these mysteries and secrets are mostly given by another friend
of theirs, Mary Alice Young, who committed suicide in the pilot episode of Desperate Housewives.
Mary Alice Young appears in the series as the ‘omniscient’ narrator of each episode. Her voice
leads the viewer through the happenings and through the plot of Desperate Housewives and
structures the series with her prologues and epilogues.
This episode is an important...