The Voice


I was desperate to give Desperate Housewives another chance after scoffing at the pilot episode. I tuned in last week for Episode 4, but I still couldn't get past the horrible, horrible voiceover of the dead lady. Her saccharine, schmaltzy tones felt like piranhas were attacking my eardrums. But even more infuriating was how she just burst in and explained the hell out of Every Freaking Scene, when it was really completely unnecessary. There are actors on the screen; they are armed with dialogue and facial expressions and props! Why can't she just shut up? It didn't take long for me to lose it. The voiceover came a-wafting, "While everyone else on Hysteria Lane was fast asleep, Lynette was up all night frantically sewing costumes for the school play!". I lunged for the telly and scratched my nails at the screen, "Well DERR! Do you think we are blind!? We KNOW she is up all night sewing costumes while everyone else is asleep, because you just gave us a shot of the stupid street with the full moon squatting over it! And all the houses are dark! And what do you know — the woman is sitting in front of a SEWING MACHINE, surrounded by fabric and looking mighty vexed!" Then there was the whole storyline about the visiting mother-in-law trying to figure out if the Foxy One was having an affair. There's a shot of her on the porch, creaking away in a rocking chair, pretending to knit as she eyes the adulterous strumpet. To me this pretty much established the air of suspicion. But noooo! "Juanita was confident her daughter-in-law was having an affair. But with whom? She was just about to find out!" Foxy One walks past Gardener Boy and fails to act natural. Mother-in-law narrows eyes and starts knitting with karate-chop ferociousness. "Who are these idiots?" I cried. "Why are they doing this? Do they not know the first rule of writing… SHOW, DON'T TELL!" "There's rules of writing?" asked Gareth. "Well, I dunno. Serving suggestions, maybe. BUT, STILL!" When it was over, Gareth declared, "That was pish". He also said the voiceover reminded him of Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movies — always hovering around with nothing to do but state the bleeding obvious in breathy tones. Maybe in the deleted scenes he served a higher purpose, like the Fellowship using his cheekbones to sharpen their weapons, but for the most part Orlando does little but look pretty and make the audience scream, "No shit, mate!". For example, there's a dramatic scene where that smouldering sexpot Aragorn describes his plan to distract The Eye so Frodo can safely scuttle across Mordor and destroy the ring. Legolas pipes up helpfully, "A diversion!". Let's face it, the boy Bloom hasn't done anything too exciting since the Rings. So why not fire the Annoying Voiceover Lady and give him the Housewives gig? He is equally gifted at stating the obvious, and his elfin presence would be extra eye candy. He could float about helping the stay-at-home Mum with her tribe of boys, defrosting the fridge for the Crazy Redhead, or popping over to the Hatcher residence and whispering softly, "The Daily Planet needs you, Lois". And he'd be dead handy for the Gardener Shagging Vixen — he could gaze out the window and murmur mysteriously, "Danger approaches" if the husband comes home early from work.

About Shauna Reid

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24 thoughts on “The Voice

  1. I watch Desperate Housewives with the sound off for the most part, so I don’t have to hear the dead lady going on and on about whatever secrets she’s keeping from her friends somehow.

    The reason I watch the show? Eva Longoria.

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm… Eva…


  2. Not many comments on this post! ‘You stressed about somethin? Hihi!

    I got married last summer and was a bit stressed myself. And we only had 4 guests (not even family…only good friends)! So I can nearly relate…

    Relax, take a deep breath…

  3. Well Robert, the entry has only been up an hour or so! I’m no Dooce with armies of folk waiting around for a new one to comment on, hehe 🙂

    As for getting hitched I’m not stressed at all. Everything’s completely organised and ready to go so I’m just sitting here waiting for the day to roll around! The stress in the entry stems purely from that woman’s voice shitting me off THAT MUCH.

  4. hahaha, oh man, my friend (who also reads your blog avidly) and i both picked that line out from LOTR when we watched, too! we were just like, “… are you serious??!” *shakes head* but he was pretty good in pirates of the carribean, don’t you think? (or maybe just no one could ruin the film because johnny depp was so amazing… hmm, quite possible.)

    (and you’re right: i go to school for creative writing, and our professor specifically said dialogue should never caption a scene. it’s meant to add, not repeat. only geniuses are allowed to break/bend those rules, and, um, i’m gonna go out on a limb here and say the writers of desperate housewives are NOT geniuses. just a guess…)

  5. Haha! I don’t mind the voice over. I love Desperate Housewives, don’t know why. I guess it’s because I can never stay home and watch the lame ass daytime US soaps. Besides, I loved that they put in Ontiveros as Juanita. I got to meet her, she’s such a nice lady.

  6. I think the voiceover adds a nice touch, more depth to the dead character who obviously still has influence. I think it’s trying to keep her ‘in’ the show, rather than just have a dead lady in the pilot then have newcomers to the show wonder what the feck is going on.



    Hubba, and most certainly indeed, hubba.

    (mind you the redhead one has a certain something about her, that kinda worries me)

  7. I tried watching the show after hearing how great it was doing…I can’t get on with it though.

    I have started watching (while on the treadmill, so it’s acceptable!) old reruns of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place and they take me right back to my teens/early 20’s. Now those were some cheesy plots!

    Give me Coronation Street any day! And I have to have a giant antenna on an ironing board on the spare bed in order to get the signal from Cananda. Now that’s dedication!

    P.S. Love your posts – very funny!

  8. “Hysteria Lane”? LOL.

    But, uh, isn’t it “Wisteria Lane”?
    Here in Canada, Desperate Housewives gets such endless publicity that it’s kind of pathetic that a non-viewer such as myself could actually know that. But then again, if the show itself displays enough self-mockery to have the narrator refer to the place as “Hysteria Lane”, then maybe (just maybe) it isn’t all bad.

  9. It’s the abyss of non-ratings season here (Australia) so DH is very nearly the best thing on TV at the moment. Pray for us.

  10. Brillant, I love a good Rant! AND I hate the stupid Dip shit House Wives too.

    I hope you have an extra super Day!

  11. This is my first time visiting your blog but I have to say that this entry is hysterical! I don’t watch “Desperate Housewives” but I loved your commentary on Legolas. Too funny. 🙂

  12. Thank God. Someone else who thinks this show is complete rubbish and completely over-hyped. I simply can no longer force myself to watch it.

    As for the lovely Orlando Bloom… I called him The Peer-er. As every scene, he holds his hand in salute stylee to his chiseled forehead (is it possible to have a chiseled forehead?) and PEERS. That seemed to form his only function on LoTR. Well, that and being the requisite Eye Candy, bless.

    Thanks for another amusing post. xxx

  13. I watched the first episode and was intrigued, then the second, but didn’t bother then onwards. Nothing special about it. Have better things to do with my spare time. That voice over b**** has a condescending tone. Perhaps the writers assume that their audience has small brains or something and need this stuff spoon fed to them. It isn’t quirky, it’s stupid and doesn’t deserve the hype it’s been getting. They’re just a bunch of disfunctional – in the most mundane way – Stepford Wives.

  14. Never seen DH, but you mentioned Aragorn and I feel the need to say ‘Cor! Phwoarrr! Raowf, raowf! Aaroooo!’

  15. You mean when I write my next play entitled: Desperate Husbands I should make sure that the voiceover is not on steroids.

    In fact, almost anything one reads or sees these days coming with the tag Made in Amerika appears to be about the bleeding obvious (sic) 😉

  16. Alas, I don’t mind DH – or the voiceover for that matter. It reminds me of “American Beauty” where the deceased has a higher view of what goes on. But of course, like all American shows, they sometimes miss the balance. I am becoming somewhat intrigued with the characters, but of course, I am easily pleased.

    Anyway, it’s more palatable and the characters are more complex than watching Law and Order where Inspector Goran verbals and entraps his criminals in a way that I’m sure must be illegal everywhere in the world besides Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

  17. O Thankyou again for such a marvellous post! I have not been able to bring myself to watch DH – purely because of the name! I just had a sneaking suspicion that anything called “Desperate Housewives” would be tripe. The publicity it has been getting, both in the media and in the tearoom at work, has also done nothing to convince me otherwise – though the show seems to have it’s fair share of addicts. However, I’ll be sure to turn it on if I need to let off some steam – nothing like shouting at bad TV to make one feel better! (usually any of the folks on Today Tonight qualify to defuse pent up wrath).

  18. What is the fixation that many women (girls!) seem to have on Orlando Bloom anyway? He’s an effeminately pre-pubescent nancy boy! If I was a woman give me an Aragorn, or Johnny Depp or Thomas Jane over an Orlando Bloom any day. Mmm, Thomas Jane, a man a good hetero boy could turn for.

    Is it just me or is Teri Hatcher way more attractive at 40 than she ever was during Lois & Clark days? I have to watch DH because I’m just so over the 15 different Law & Order shows out there.

  19. Oh my god, I just changed the title of my blog to say “A diversion!” after watching Return of the King on HBO last night! That was such a hilarious moment! Until now, I thought I was the only one bothered by it!! ROFL!!

  20. Oh, god, my mother and I have determined that the voiceover lady just sounds far too calm to be believably suicidal. I mean, we’re not suicidal, and we rarely sound that calm unless we’re sleep-talking. It’s ridiculous.

  21. This isn’t about this, but your random flickr photos on the side. H0t damn you take some goodies! And many keen racing shots, I notice – you’re a girl after my own heart, Shauny.

  22. Just discovered both your blogs via Tales from the Scale (love the book, congrats on that, your nuptials, etc., etc.!)

    Aragorn. I just had to come here and share the lust. Viggo is a specimen to behold.

    I like Orly in the movies, though. They needed a little comic relief!

    Oh, and I’ve never watched DH, but I hope you’re checking out “Lost” — I think it just debuted in the UK and it’s my favorite show.

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