Robert Taylor

“Desperate Housewives:” Snowballing

ABC, 9 p.m. Sundays

After finishing Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives,” I seriously considered dropping the show for the first time. Aside from the out-of-left-field killing of Bree’s psychiatrist, the episode was full of nothing but predictability and dullness.

Poor Bree – unable to even make a decision on her own without first talking it over with all of her friends and her shrink. Remember when the woman used to be a free-thinking, smart person who knew what she wanted and went after it? Last year the woman was Gucci, and this season she is nothing more than a Wal-Mart sweater.

The man who is chained in the basement escaped again, but this time he actually left the basement to terrorize Gabrielle. The writers could have added in a lot of suspense to that plot, but the pacing of every plot development was ruined because of unnecessary humor. The family is stopped from searching for the escapee because the son is busy hitting on Bree’s daughter? Gabrielle can’t run away from crazy guy because she is in a tight dress? That isn’t the way to make any story hit home emotionally.

And don’t get me started on the uselessness of having Susan sleep with her ex-husband for no reason and then being stupid enough to allow their daughter to walk in on them naked in bed together! Susan used to be clutzy, sure, but you always knew at heart she was a good mom. Well, not anymore!

So what’s the point of even putting up with the characters and the mysteries anymore? They aren’t interesting. And now the producers seem intent on just having sad and depressing things happen to the characters without having anything good happen, so why should I be invested when there is nothing I can root for?

“Reunion:” Wait a minute, when did this get good?

Fox, 9 p.m. Thursdays

With the sad cancellation of “The Night Stalker,” I decided to give “Reunion” a try again. The last time I watched it, the show was cheesy beyond all cheese, with bad acting and worse soap-opera developments. Not much has changed, but at least this show knows how to surprise the viewers.

I’m not invested in the mystery yet, and none of the actors are getting any better, but characters are showing development from episode to episode, (gasp!) and the writers timed the twist of showing who actually died perfectly (whoa!).

I’m also pleased that the producers and writers are letting the characters branch out and not stay together in the same apartment, town or even country over all the years. They move around and explore themselves and their place in the world, and it helps to reign in all the unbelievable plot developments.

Plus, the character interaction and dialogue is realistic without relying too much on hip comments and “I’m in a flashback show” winks to the audience, like I saw in the first few episodes. I was unaware how grating the dialogue was until it got better.

As for who killed who, since we’ve only reached 1990, there aren’t many hints of the mystery and most of the drama is still centered on babies and weddings. There is no reason to care that whatshername died in the ballroom with the candlestick. I want the mystery element to be amped up; now that we know who lived and who died, the clues should be coming faster, and the twists should be pulled out immediately. If not, I’ll be disappointed and might have to settle with changing the channel to “Everwood.” Or, better yet, getting a life!

I’m not certain I want to continue to watch the show on a week-to-week basis, but I’ll definitely be picking it up on DVD after it’s canceled this spring.

Contact ALL correspondent Robert Taylor at [email protected].