Desperate Housewives in Lewisham

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The new series of Desperate Housewives returns to Channel 4 tomorrow. I'm quite excited. I do love the show's darkly cheeky humour and excellent characterisation, especially by Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp) and Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis).

Part of the reason I like Desperate Housewives is its campy critique of the idea of All-American suburbs and housewives, even if this consideration has very little to do with the actual show's storylines. The street-name Wisteria Lane encapsulates suburban bucolic images of pastoral trimmed gardens and white picket fences, shown in wonderful bright pastel colours in the show.

Last week, I took a visit to London's Wisteria Lane to see if it was anything like the street in the show. In fact, I went to two streets - Wisteria Road in Lewisham and Wisteria Close in Mill Hill. Mill Hill is very far north. The streetsigns say 'Barnet', but it may as well be Barnsley. Wisteria Close was nothing more than 3 houses in a secluded off-the-road exclusive development. Very uneventful.

Wisteria Road, however, was more interesting. About 5 minutes from the high street of Lewisham, Wisteria Road is definitely a suburban residential street. Lined by medium-sized houses, there are gardens to the front and rear.

Wisteria Road

Wisteria Road signs

The street is not very long, with a right-angle turn halfway through. The first section is dominated by a number of garages with loud NO PARKING signs. Friendly neighbourhood.

Wisteria Road No Parking signs

As I walked around noticing the street's unique character, I started to imagine a storyline emerging...

Wisteria Road, episode 4...

The old Smith house has been sold, and new neighbours are moving to Wisteria Street.

Within minutes, local flirty gossip Martina Moran-Williams phones her good friend and confidante Suzie Slater. Martina is wearing brown boots, jeans, a pink camisole and a brown bolero.

FYI: Think 'Gabrielle', on a casual day. And on a budget.
"Sooz! Have you seen who has moved into the Smith house?"
"No, have you? Do tell!"
"Well, all I know is there's an attractive young man fixing up a car outside. Babes, he's the new neighbour hood hunk!"

FYI: Think The Gardener with more clothing and less definition.

Minutes later, Martina calls to the Smith house and introduces herself to Darren Marsh, the man lovingly tending the vehicle outside. Martina flashes her best come-to-bed eyes at Darren and suggests that they meet soon at Lover's Lane. The lane is overgrown and wild, befitting the wild passion between Darren and Martina which cannot belong in Wisteria Road's manicured sterility.

Within days, Martina's husband Nigel Williams discovers her rash affair! Nigel barricades Martina into the house for her wilful adultery. Meanwhile, Martina rebels further and throws out the microwave (somehow), telling Nigel that she'll no longer be his domestic slave!

Well, how dramatic! What will happen next on Wisteria Road?! Who knows and who can tell, but I can almost guarantee that the storylines in the fictional Wisteria Lane will be just that bit more exciting that those of the real-life Wisteria Road.


Anonymous said...

There's mystery and romance in every abandoned microwave, I say. Lovely :)