TV time with Bob

Robert Taylor

“Desperate Housewives:” War and Dirty Laundry ABC, Sundays at 9

When I say Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives” was the best episode of the season, you have to understand in what context I put that statement.

Whereas I loved most of the first season, I’ve disliked every plot development and payoff this season. None of the characters even act like human beings anymore (with the possible exception of Gabby) – they’re just caricatures of the people they played in season one.

Last night, that all changed. Bree once again became the ass-kicking heroine we knew before, Lynette showed her sensitive side instead of being a Nazi mother/husband and Susan was cute instead of grating.

Of course if this episode happened in season one, it would have been one of the worst episodes of that season. It’s so sad to see the show has fallen so far so fast.

“The O.C.:” Generations Fox, Thursdays at 9

Am I the only one relieved by “The O.C.’s” move to Thursday so I can watch “Smallville” at 8?

Marissa’s sister Kaitlin has swept back into town with (gasp!) boobs and (dear God!) the old Cooper screw-up gene. I give the casting department kudos for making Kaitlin look so much like her mother.

And while “The O.C.” has been in a bit of a rut lately (OK, all season), it’s slowly been getting better, adding newer, interesting characters (Summer’s father, Taylor) without shoving them down our throats like last season and setting up quite a few dominoes that could begin to crumble at any second.

But the best part of “The O.C.” is watching how much its principle actors have matured. Mischa Barton would never have been able to pull off some of the scenes she had recently, where she speaks frankly with Ryan about her needs in their relationship, and Benjamin McKenzie isn’t monosyllabic anymore either!

Now if the show would just put that annoying surfer dude Johnny out of my misery, I would give it two thumbs up.

Contact ALL reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected].