Reading 'Desperate Housewives': Beyond the White Picket Fence (Reading Contemporary Television Series)

Overview

The darkly comic series about the secret lives of Bree, Gabrielle, Lynette, Susan and the other ladies living on Wisteria Lane became an instant breakthrough hit when it premiered in the fall of 2004. Reading Desperate Housewives offers a wide-ranging critical assessment of one of the most talked about shows on American television, dissecting its appeal and tapping into early responses to the show and the controversy surrounding it. Essays consider such diverse issues as its representation of the war of the sexes...

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Overview

The darkly comic series about the secret lives of Bree, Gabrielle, Lynette, Susan and the other ladies living on Wisteria Lane became an instant breakthrough hit when it premiered in the fall of 2004. Reading Desperate Housewives offers a wide-ranging critical assessment of one of the most talked about shows on American television, dissecting its appeal and tapping into early responses to the show and the controversy surrounding it. Essays consider such diverse issues as its representation of the war of the sexes and how it illuminates contemporary feminism, Republican politics and the rise of the Right, gender and femininity, motherhood and marriage—as well as the rumors surrounding that notorious Vanity Fair cover shoot. Also including an episode guide, this enjoyable companion asks: Has this show done for suburban women what Sex and the City did for the single girl?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781845112202
  • Publisher: I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/19/2006
  • Series: Reading Contemporary Television Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

Kim Akass is Lecturer in Film Studies at London Metropolitan University. Janet McCabe is Lecturer in Film Studies at Trinity College, Dublin. Both are editors of Reading Sex & the City (I.B.Tauris, 2004) and Reading Six Feet Under (I.B.Tauris, 2005) and Reading the L-Word (I.B.Tauris, 2006).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Contributors Regular cast list Introduction, Janet McCabe and Kim Akass

Part 1: Culture

1. W Stands for Women, or is it Wisteria?: Watching Desperate Housewives with Bush, David Lavery

2. Still Desperate: Popular Television and the Female Zeitgeist, Rosalind Coward

3. Having It All: Desperate Housewives' Flimsy Feminism, Ashley Sayeau

4. Still Desperate After All These Years: The Post-Feminist Mystique and Maternal Dilemmas, Kim Akass

Part 2: Sexual Politics

5. Desperately Straight: The Subversive Sexual Politics of Desperate Housewives, Samuel A Chambers

6. What Is It With That Hair? Bree Van de Kamp and Policing Contemporary Femininity, Janet McCabe

7. As Kamp as Bree: Postfeminist Camp in Desperate Housewives, Niall Richardson

8. The 'Right' Ideology and Homosexual Representation in Desperate Housewives, Kristian T. Kahn

9. Hunters, heroes and the hegemonically masculine fantasies of Desperate Housewives, Brian Singleton

Part 3: Genre, Gender and Cultural Myths

10. Disciplining the Housewife in Desperate Housewives and Domestic Reality Television, Sharon Sharp

11. Murder and Mayhem on Wisteria Lane: a Study of Genre and Cultural Context in Desperate Housewives, Judith Lancioni

12. White Picket Fences, Domestic Containment and Female Subjectivity: Romantic Love in Desperate Housewives, Sherryl Wilson

13. 'Desperation and Domesticity': Reconfiguring the 'Happy Housewife' in Desperate Housewives, Anna Marie Bautista

Part 4: Narrative, Confession and Intimacy

14. Dying To Tell You Something: Posthumous Narration and Female Omniscience in Desperate Housewives, Deborah Jermyn

15. Desperation Loves Company: Female Friendship and the Façade of Female Intimacy in Desperate Housewives, Sherianne Shuler, Chad McBride and Erika Kirby

16. 'Mother, Home and Heaven': Nostalgia, Confession and Motherhood in Desperate Housewives, Stacy Gillis and Melanie Waters

Index Bibliography

Episode Guide Film and TV Guide

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