TV Watch: ho-hum ‘Housewives,’ juicy ‘Everwood,’ marvy ‘Mars’

Robert Taylor

‘Desperate Housewives’: What the #@!^ happened to my show!?

ABC, Sundays at 9 p.m.

Okay, so Sunday’s episode of “Desperate Housewives” wasn’t just bad, it was so bad I almost want to stop watching the show. All the characters are acting like idiots, there is zero movement on the mythology front and the dialogue is so ordinary I was wondering if this is “Desperate Housewives” or one of its inevitable rip-offs on the fall schedule.

Memo to Marc Cherry: How about you stop doing guest-spots on “Arrested Development” and start looking after your own show, because it’s in critical condition and showing no sign of recovery.

Everwood: Who’s your daddy?

The WB, Mondays at 9 p.m.

I needed a break from “24” (have no fear, I taped it and coverage will return next week) so I flipped over to “Everwood,” a show I used to enjoy and recently fell back in love with in the episodes before the show took its spring break.

For over a month I was actually anticipating whether Madison would tell Ephram he was a daddy, and if Dr. Brown would tell his son that he paid Madison off to leave Everwood. It was such a nice change of pace to be in the dark about what was going to happen next in a time when these “unpredictable” series like “24” and “Alias” have given us the same old cliffhangers so many times we can predict them from a mile away.

And then it happened! After an excellent suspenseful buildup the secret came out right before the first commercial break: Madison told Ephram she got pregnant with his kid! Then the developments kept a’coming: She had a boy and put it up for adoption. When Ephram went back to his father’s hotel room, his father told him that he had paid off Madison to leave town.

Just as gripping was Amy’s quiet nervous breakdown as she waited, knowing what Madison would tell Ephram but completely unable to do anything about it.

Despite all the developments (and bravo to the producers for not copping out and giving us the full story instead of just stringing it out) the episode’s heart was in how fathers treat their sons. Andy controlled everything about Ephram’s life because he thought it was what was best, and because of it his son will never forgive him. Harold, on the other hand, let Bright grow and make his own mistakes, and his son has finally realized what a great person his dad is and wants to follow in his footsteps. Hmm … could the writers be trying to tell us something?

Honestly, this is one of the best hours of dramatic television I’ve seen in quite some time. If “Veronica Mars” wasn’t on the air, I’d say this was the best drama on TV right now. And speaking of the lovely blonde…

Veronica Mars: The Best Show You Aren’t Watching. No, really.

UPN, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

Tuesday is a hectic evening at the Taylor household. With both “The Amazing Race” and “Veronica Mars” on at the same time I often find myself watching “Mars” in the living room and taping “Race” in the bedroom, running back and forth between the two rooms during the course of the hour while making random squeals of joy. Now if I can sentence “The Amazing Race” to the back room for the show, don’t you think you can at least set aside an hour of your week to at least try “Veronica Mars”?

For those of you in the dark, “Veronica Mars” is about a high-school girl named, obviously, Veronica Mars. Her best friend was murdered and her father lost his job as sheriff because he supposedly botched up the investigation. This caused Veronica to be humiliated by her entire high school on a daily basis, and culminated in Veronica being raped one night at a party.

After that night Veronica cut her long blond hair, helped her father start a detective agency and began the season-long job of discovering who killed her best friend.

No, darn it, the show is not a heavy-handed soap-opera, because it manages to perfectly balance the tragedy and comedy, providing viewers with the freshest dialogue on television. I laugh more during this show than any other show on television, and I’m including “Arrested Development” in that category. The town Veronica lives in, Neptune, is like “Dynasty” on acid, where its inhabitants weekly play the game of attempting to keep their secrets while indulging in gossiping about everyone else.

Who killed Veronica’s best friend? Does this sound a lot like Nancy Drew? Why should you care? The only way for you to fall in love with the show is to watch it, despite my witticisms and bribes nothing will substitute for you sitting down in front of the boob tube and experience it for yourself. Please?

Contact Pop Arts reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected].