One of ABC's most popular series of the 2004-2005 season, the weekly, hour-long Desperate Housewives took place on Wisteria Lane in an upscale suburban neighborhood. That Wisteria Lane was not as quiet and respectable as it appeared at first glance was brought home forcibly in the opening episode, when housewife Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) committed suicide right in the middle of her comfortable living room. From her vantage point in the great beyond, Mary Alice served as the series' wry, all-knowing narrator, filling the viewer on the various sordid details in the lives of her four best friends. There was divorcée Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), ever-looking for love in all the wrong places and agonizing over the behavior of her daughter, Julie (Andrea Bowen). There was Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), who every day of her life kicked herself over her decision to give up her business career to care for her highly competitive husband, Tom (Doug Savant), and her irritating children. There was Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), the all-too-perfect, control-freak homemaker who eventually drove her husband, Rex (Steven Culp), to divorce court and her son, Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom), into malevolent misanthropy. And there was ex-model Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria), who despite having married into money and luxury couldn't stop herself from fooling around with teenaged gardener John (Jesse Metcalfe). Though her controlling husband, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), was not privy to her infidelity, he had his suspicions that she was less than faithful. Prone to extreme displays of machismo, he took many measures to maintain the marriage. Weaving in and out of the proceedings was the oft-divorced Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), with whom Susan competed over the affections of supposedly widowed plumber Mike Delfino (James Denton). The sexual intrigues of Wisteria Lane were augmented (during the first season at least) by the mysterious activities of Mary Alice's husband, Paul (Mark Moses) -- including digging up the backyard swimming pool in the dead of night -- and the strange emotional outbursts of their tormented, unstable son, Zach (Cody Kasch). Created by Marc Cherry, Desperate Housewives debuted October 3, 2004.
by Hal Erickson synopsis