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Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives (Smart Pop series) [Paperback]

By Leah Wilson (Editor)
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Item description for Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives (Smart Pop series) by Leah Wilson...

As the hit television show Desperate Housewives continues to seduce viewers with its outrageous humor, absorbing mysteries, and deliciously naughty images of suburbia, this collection of essays examines the program's appeal and why it has struck a chord with modern women. Critics, including bestselling chick-lit authors Beth Kendrick, Julie Kenner, and Shanna Swendson, address key areas in essays such as "Why American Heroines are Best When They're Bad," "The Everywoman in an Apron," "Edie Brit as Queer Critique," and "The Rebirth of Irony." Not a typical fan guide, the essays deeply explore the show, answering the question on everyone's mind: Just what is it about this show that has America so enthralled?

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Item Specifications...

Pages   158
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.55 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 28, 2006
Publisher   Benbella Books
ISBN  1932100792  
ISBN13  9781932100792  

Availability  0 units.

More About Leah Wilson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Leah Wilson graduated from Duke University with a degree in Culture and Modern Fiction and is currently Editor-in-Chief, Smart Pop, at BenBella Books. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Radio > General Broadcasting
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > General
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > History & Criticism
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Television > Shows > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives (Smart Pop series)?

A Fascinating Psychoanalysis  Feb 10, 2007
As a committed fan of Desperate Housewives, I enjoyed this collection of 17 fun essays probing various ideas, opinions, and critiques about DH. The topics were diverse and thought provoking. For example, one essay was entirely about DH homes, called "Oh Give Me a Home: Deconstructing the Houses of Desperate Housewives". Another essay was "Why I Hate Lynette and Why That Could Be a Compliment"; yet another was identifying with Lynette. It was indeed a type of psychoanalysis of the characters, the episodes, the themes, etc. But for a fan, this type of analysis is far from dull.

The writing style is interesting, often tongue-in-cheek, with about half of the writers having previously been attorneys, and the other half professional writers. I would call the writing style in between an academic tome and a fan book---for me a perfect, thought-provoking, intelligent adventure of a book.

Good ideas but needing more depth  Sep 3, 2006
I found this book online and I could not put it down! I am a geek for feminism and pop culture pieces so it made this a fun read before reading academic literature. Being really into gender studies I find the TV show desperate housewives addicting because there is a lot of fascinating depictions in the show about the lives of suburbian women.
The book is probably better with cultural criticism from a literary light. However I must admit that it would have been nice though to have some connections with Feminine Mystique or to be looking at more of the social science patterns that Desperate Houswives does or does not reflect. Some of the levels of thinking seemed more like essays from an introductary college class than some detailed cultural analysis. However it does give you a spring board for some of the many things that seemed wrapped up in the TV show desperate houswives and could use more depth and detail for making the cases about what is going on with it.
Also, in the end, I still love the show!!!! If you are a desperate housewives fan learning to think criticially about the show is not a bad idea because it helps us grapple with the question "why are we so engrossed by this show" from a critical light instead of just and adoring perspective on the brillinat show.
Not Your Typical Publication  Jun 23, 2006
If the intention of "Welcome to Wisteria Lane" was to capitalize on the (now waning) popularity of Desperate Housewives, they could have produced another fact book; full of pictures, biographies, timelines, and really nothing the average regularly-viewing fan didn't already know. How "Welcome to Wisteria Lane" differs from this kind of "quick buck" is that it is comprised of thoughtful essays that go beyond Bree is So Uptight! and GASP, Gabby's Sleeping With Her Gardener.

The writing techniques of the various contributors vary. Some (mostly near the beginning of the book) relate their own lives to that of the Desperate Houswife they feel most closely resembles them. While the first few essays are admittedly of the standard variety (Go Lynette, the only "real" housewife! and the like), drawing parallels between the lives of the housewives and the lives of the authors is a valid method of exploring and relating to the show. Part of Desperate Housewives appeal lies in the title: there are many housewives, and quite a few of them are desperate. Affairs with gardeners, vehicular homicide and suicides aside, the reason many viewers tune in to Desperate Housewives is to try and catch glimpses of their own lives in that of Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabrielle's experiences. An author exploring their own relation to the show is no more self-serving than any viewer who sits in front of their television screen and reacts approvingly or disapprovingly to the housewives' decisions.

In the middle of the book, the collection begins to pick up steam, with essays exploring sex in the suburban settings of classic television shows in relation to it's use in Desperate Houswives. Another delves into Edie Britt's role as the outsider perspective on Wisteria Lane that the show's narrative tropes and character-building revolves around. Yet another interprets the show as a morality play, with each character representing a traditional vice.

If a potential buyer is interested in another factbook on Desperate Housewives, or an expose on the backstage secrets of the show, or a simple recap of the plot to date, this is not the book for you. If the potential buyer is interested in a decent collection of scholarly essays exploring topics both directly and indirectly related to the show, "Welcome to Wisteria Lane" is worth the purchase.

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