Characters: Desperate Housewives
This is the character sheet for Desperate Housewives
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"It was common knowledge on Wisteria Lane that where Susan Mayer went, bad luck was sure to follow. Her misfortunes ranged from the commonplace, to the unusual, to the truly bizarre."
Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman)
"She used to see herself as a career woman. And a hugely successful one at that. She was known for her power lunches, her eye-catching presentations and her ruthlessness in wiping out the competition. Lynette gave up her career to assume a new label: the incredibly satisfying role of full-time mother."
Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross)
"I remember the easy confidence of her smile, the gentle elegance of her hands, the refined warmth of her voice. But what I remember most about Bree was the look of fear in her eyes. Bree had started to realize her world was unraveling. And for a woman who despised loose ends, that was unacceptable."
- The Alcoholic: In season 2, plus the occasional relapse. There was her slip during the time jump, and Bree's current arc has her falling off the wagon. Hard.
- Badass: When it comes to guns. Also when she kicks her son Andrew's bedroom door in when she finds out he is at a strip club.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
- Break the Haughty
- Cartwright Curse: One surefire way to predict if a male character is going to die is judged by one question: Is he Bree's love interest? So far, the one—one—love interest she's had who didn't end up dead by the end of the affair is Orson who ends up in a wheelchair for life by the end of the relationship. In comparison to the others, he got off lucky.
- Lampshaded in a season five promo, where the paper boy recaps the events of the past four seasons, and ends his recap of Bree with "I hope Orson doesn't die, too."
- She even lampshades it herself during season 7:
Bree: My track record with lovers... two dead, one in a wheelchair.
- Control Freak: And how.
- Despair Event Horizon: During season 8, with her ex-boyfriend cop harassing her (and explicitly doing it in order to make her feel miserable) and the loss of her friends, Bree relapses into alcoholism, and in the 9th episode she ends up alone in a hotel room, with only a bottle of wine and a gun, speaking to an imaginary Mary Alice and contemplating the idea of suicide.
- Driven to Suicide: Averted, thanks to Renee.
- Fiery Redhead: When she wants to be.
- The Fifties: Her look, moreso in the earlier seasons: A-line skirts and dresses, twin-sets with pearls, white gloves, her "flip" hair-do etc.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Melancholic.
- Freudian Excuse: Her mother died traumatically when she was 5 and her stepmother was a distant and unloving woman.
- Gun Nut
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Marcia Cross' other best known role is Dr. Kimberly Shaw on Melrose Place.
- Housewife: Obviously. She's the most classic example in the series and evokes the archetypal 1950's housewife.
- Lady Drunk: During season 8, the tension between the girls became so high that she ended becoming their scapegoat, and finally they abandonned her. She then relapses hard into alcoholism. She was on the verge of suicide, but is stopped just in time, thanks to the intervention of Renee. Now, she views herself as lost, not knowing anymore who she is. Slowly, she is deconstructing herself, and is becoming ''easy'', something she acknowledges. She didn't even deny when an angry spouse called her a whore (truth to be told, she was quite drunk at that time, but she doesn't seems to care at all, if the end of the 12th episode is any indication).
- Love Hurts: Despite the perfect facade, she is consistantly unlucky in love.
Rex Van De Kamp: Bree, I can't live in this detergent commercial anymore!
- Mama Bear
- Neat Freak
- The Perfectionist: Especially in the first season, when she couldn't even stand the sight of a loose button.
- Preppy Name
- Pretty in Mink: Wore a sable coat to try to win back Rex.◊
- Proper Lady: Deconstructed since the very first episode.
- Really Gets Around: Yes, you read that right. During season 8, she relapses into alcoholism, and began to date a lot in bars. However, what was only a brief experience became an habit, and it becomes clear that she has a different man each night in her bed. When she is confronted by an angry spouse (because she had sex with her husband) in the middle of the church during the 12th episode, she doesn't deny it. Worse: she actually acknowledges it, and is on her way to embrace this way of life.
- Sexy Coat Flashing
- Stepford Smiler: The other housewives have traces of this, but Bree is the ultimate Stepford Smiler of the show. Her own son calls her out on it in the pilot, saying she acts like she's running for Mayor of Stepford.
- Sugar and Ice Personality
- Super OCD: There were hints of this, especially in the early seasons, but it was never explored very much. She also referred to her quirks in terms of "anal retentiveness" and not "obsessive compulsiveness".
- Trauma Conga Line: If something traumatic is going to happen to one of the leading females in the cast, it is inevitably going to be Bree.
Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria)
"Gabrielle was a drowning woman, desperately searching for a life raft. Luckily for her, she found one. Of course, Gabrielle only saw her young gardener as a way to infuse her life with a little excitement. But now she was about to discover just how exciting her life could get."
Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong)
"Oh, Mary Alice, what did you do?"
Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan)
Karen McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten)
Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany)
- The Artifact: In season six, the writers didn't really know what to do with her after Mike marries Susan. So she ends up going through various hysterics that were almost completely irrelevant to the rest of the season's plot, before randomly finding out she's a lesbian and leaving for Paris with her new ex-stripper lover.
- Back for the Finale
- The Friend Nobody Likes
- Mysterious Past
- Put on a Bus
- Remember the New Guy: Sorta. She moves onto Wisteria Lane in the Season 4 premiere, and it turns out she lived there some time before the show started, and was Susan's best friend. And yet, she was never mentioned in the three years prior to Season 4, not in Mary Alice's narration or by Susan. Justified in that she apparently moved away before the rest of the housewives even arrived, so there wouldn't be any need for Susan to mention her.
- Villainy Discretion Shot: Was gratuitously cruel to her dying aunt and treated her daughter poorly before her secret was revealed and she joined the core group.
- Yandere: In season 6, towards Mike.
- She's practically a poster child. She got increasingly insane in the first half of the season, but then regained sanity later. Turned out she's much more sane in a lesbian relationship.
Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard)
Angie Bolen aka Angela DeLuca (Drea De Matteo)
Mike Delfino (James Denton)
Tom Scavo (Doug Savant)
- Butt Monkey
- Fanservice: His thong scene.
- Flanderization: Both he and his wife suffered this a lot in season five, going from a couple that had their problems but could still work through them together, to a "couple" that argued every other episode over the smallest most insignificant problems (well, insignificant compared to a tornado, a psychopathic child from a previous relationship, and cancer).
- Henpecked Husband
- Papa Wolf
- Promoted To Opening Credits: In season 2.
Carlos Solis (Ricardo Antonio Chavira)
Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan)
- Affably Evil: The "evil" part is subverted once it turns out that he didn't kill his wife. However, in season 8 he's clearly this.
- Butt Monkey: His mother made him think he had led his father to suicide, he was institutionalized after falling into depression, he got his mistress killed by his mother and managed to save his wife from a similar death at the last moment. Not to mention that his first ex-wife drugged and raped him. Once things seemed to be settled, he went into prison and lost his job as a dentist, his wife cheated on him and he ended up paralyzed in a plane crash.
- The Chessmaster: In season 8.
- Death Seeker: Briefly during season 6.
- Gentleman Snarker
- Henpecked Husband: During season 5.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Look, it's Agent Dale Cooper! No, wait, it's Jeffrey Beaumont!
- Keeping Secrets Sucks
- Mommy Issues
- Neat Freak
- Prison Rape: Referenced to, and (luckily) subverted.
- Promoted To Opening Credits: From season 3 to 6.
- Stepford Smiler: Second only to Bree.
- Sympathetic Adulterer: When he was married to Alma.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never know what happened to him after he mailed the evidences against Bree to the police.
Rex Van de Kamp (Steven Culp)
Paul Young (Mark Moses)
Karl Mayer (Richard Burgi)
Andrew Van De Kamp (Shawn Pyform)
- Calling The Old Lady Out: Blames the majority of his problems on his mother.
- Coming-Out Story
- Deadpan Snarker
- Gayngst: Initially, though by the beginning of season 3 he seemed to become much more well adjusted.
- Jerkass: With varying levels. In the first season he seemed to be just a teenager with attitude problems, until he ran over Carlos' mother while drunk-driving, and his only reaction was "She's already lived enough, I'm young and might go to jail for this, and that'll ruin my life". It went downhill from there until Season 3, where, after spending a long time living in the streets, he mellowed down quite a bit.
- Straight Gay
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: During season 6, when it seemed Bree was replacing Andrew with the son she always wanted.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: During season 8, he comes back to his mother's house... And then nothing. He completly disappears from the radar, and isn't even present during the season finale. Please note that he should be living with his mother at this point, in her house, while she's put on trial. But he doesn't show up at all, not even for the trial. It seems that the scenarists completly forgot his existence.
Danielle Van De Kamp (Joy Lauren)
- Brainless Beauty: As summed up by her own mother:
Bree: When I was young, my stepmother told me that I was very lucky. I possessed beauty, wit, cunning, and insight. These were weapons all women needed to survive in the world.
Bree: So take good care of your looks, Danielle. You donít have any other weapons at your disposal.
Danielle: Benjamin's already reading at a third grade level.
Bree: So what are you going to do next year when he overtakes you?
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: And how.
- Hot for Teacher: For two episodes in season three, done out of spite more than anything else.
- Jerkass: Blackmailed Julie's boyfriend into continuing to sleep with her.
- And if she hadn't, she wouldn't have gotten pregnant. (Assuming she wasn't already pregnant at the time, that is).
- Popular Is Dumb
- Spoiled Brat
"I don't care as long as I have my own bathroom..."
- Teen Pregnancy: Seasons three and four.
Julie Mayer (Andrea Bowen)
Zach Young (Cody Kasch))
Ana Solis (Maiara Walsh)
Martha Huber (Christine Estabrook)
Felicia Tillman (Harriet Sansom Harris)
Gloria Hodge (Dixie Carter)
Bob Hunter and Lee McDermott (Tuc Watkins and Kevin Rahm)
- Faux Yay: Lee pretends to be straight in one episode in Gabrielle's scheme to catch her housemate in the act of soliciting sex.
- Only Sane Man: There are exactly two men in this show that are sane and normal and without any drama in their lives. They are married to each other.
- Pet Homosexual: Much to their frustration, the housewives always invite them over when they need some gay friends.
- Straight Gay: Bob is a tad more masculine than Lee, but they both act like your average middle aged man.
Maisy Gibbons (Sharon Lawrence)
Alma Hodge (Valerie Mahaffey)
- The Ditz
- The Dragon: To Gloria.
- Heel Face Door Slam: She falls from the roof and dies while trying to warn Danielle.
- Manipulative Bitch: She tricked Orson into marrying her by getting pregnant. Of course, she's overshadowed by Gloria.
- Never Found the Body: Because Orson didn't murder her.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: It's not clear how much she pretends to be an airhead and how much she actually is.
- Redemption Equals Death: When she realizes that Orson won't ever love her, she gives up the plan, but Gloria doesn't. So she tries to escape and warn Bree (the only decent act she ever does on-screen), but accidentally dies in the process.
- Smug Snake: She thinks to be really smart, but she's just Gloria's pawn.
Eddie Orlofsky (Josh Zuckerman)