'Everyone has a little dirty laundry.' The darkly comic series about the secret lives of the ladies living on Wisteria Lane became an instant breakthrough hit for ABC. 21 million viewers tuned in for the first episode and this figure has steadily grown as audiences from around the globe have switched on to the shenanigans in suburbia. "Desperate Housewives" was subject to a backlash in America, where advertisers on the ABC network were lobbied by Christian groups and Parents' Associations. But the sponsorship withdrawal that resulted did little to dampen the enthusiasm of its legions of fans. Recipient of several awards including the People's Choice Award and Golden Globe for Best Television - Musical or Comedy, "Desperate Housewives" is a hit. "Reading Desperate Housewives" offers a critical response to one of the most talked about shows on contemporary television. Leading scholars and writers dissect the appeal of "Desperate Housewives", tapping into early reactions and controversy. They consider the American sex wars, contemporary feminism, Republican politics and the rise of the Right, gender and femininity, motherhood and marriage - and that Vanity Fair shoot. The book includes an episode guide tracing all those goings-on beyond that white picket fence.
Janet McCabe: Research Fellow in TV Drama, Manchester Metropolitan University. Kim Akass is a writer and editor; she is, with Janet McCabe, Series Editor of Tauris' Reading Contemporary Television Series and is on the Editorial Board of the Critical Studies in Television journal. She is co-editor, with Janet McCabe, of Reading 'Sex and the City', Reading 'Six Feet Under', 'Reading 'The L Word', Reading 'Desperate Housewives' and Quality TV all published by I.B. Tauris.
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