• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 3, 2004
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    It is not enough to say that Desperate Housewives is the best new series of the fall. In a season of forgettable sitcoms, the hour show is the funniest newcomer. In a largely predictable lineup, it is a shrewd mystery with involving twists. In a medium that often shortchanges women, it is a grand showcase for accomplished actresses. [1 Oct 2004]
  2. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    A brilliantly conceived and relentlessly entertaining new drama. [1 Oct 2004]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    Refreshingly original, bracingly adult and thoroughly delightful, Desperate Housewives is like the answer to a TV prayer you didn't know you'd made. You just know life was much duller before it arrived. [1 Oct 2004]
  4. Reviewed by: Mike Duffy
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    One of the fall season's most purely enjoyable new series is also one of the very best. [1 Oct 2004]
  5. 100
    The smartest and most entertaining new series on the fall schedule. [3 Oct 2004]
  6. 100
    Serving up the kind of dialogue that leads to tears and cackles, it may be the most joyfully scathing look at stifled lives network TV has ever seen. [1 Oct 2004]
  7. Jun 20, 2013
    100
    Deliciously written ... this is the most compelling and original television series, and [Marc] Cherry our most gifted auteur, since The West Wing and Aaron Sorkin burst upon the scene five long years ago. [1 Oct 2004]
  8. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jun 20, 2013
    100
    Funnier than all of the new sitcoms combined, featuring the strongest ensemble of dramatic actresses around and able to leap genre cliches in a single jump cut, 'Desperate Housewives' is the superwoman of the new fall season and is easily the most delightful and intriguing hour to come along on ABC in years. [1 Oct 2004]
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 20, 2013
    90
    What makes Desperate Housewives so intriguing -- and, in a broadcast universe that feels cookie-cutter homogenous, so different -- is the risks it takes. [3 Oct 2004]
  10. The best new series of the season, it's a drama that deftly blends familiar elements of "The Stepford Wives" and "American Beauty" with a dash of "Twin Peaks," while still managing to feel strikingly new. [3 Oct 2004]
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Jun 20, 2013
    90
    In visual style, witty language, borderline surrealism and overall mad attitude, "Desperate Housewives" stands on a mountaintop all its own, the best new drama of the season and perhaps the best new comedy, too. [3 Oct 2004]
  12. Reviewed by: Phil Rosenthal
    Jun 20, 2013
    88
    "Desperate Housewives" is, quite simply, a very good time. [30 Sep 2004]
  13. Reviewed by: Scott D. Pierce
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    There are the sort of soapy goings-on you might expect, but it's done with style and -- most importantly -- wit. This is one very funny show. [1 Oct 2004]
  14. Reviewed by: Mark Dawidziak
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    Part prime-time soap opera, part wicked social satire, this unpredictable newcomer has a blast poking around at the dark edges of a sunny and seemingly perfect suburban neighborhood. [3 Oct 2004]
  15. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    A kinky streak of humor keeps Desperate Housewives from sliding into morose desolation. [3 Oct 2004]
  16. Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    Desperate Housewives' style and dark, comic tone owe much to such groundbreaking cable productions as HBO's Six Feet Under. And, while the writing is no match for that of Alan Ball... several fine performances by an outstanding ensemble cast make Desperate Housewives one of the more wickedly entertaining network pilots of the fall. [3 Oct 2004]
  17. Reviewed by:  John Doyle
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    As events unfold, they unfold with humour and, sometimes, extreme goofiness. This ain't a typical new TV drama of this season. There are no grim lawyers and cops muttering forensics babble. It's all about the women and their wit. With five juicy roles for women and all five leading ladies in top form, it's a lot of fun. [1 Oct 2004]
  18. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    Unique, fresh, and quite entertaining. [1 Oct 2004]
  19. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    The series tells hard, funny truths about marriage and parenting that often escape notice in other stories - truths which suggest that writer-creator-producer Marc Cherry and his collaborators have actually taken the time to understand the people they're satirizing. [2 Oct 2004]
  20. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    The season's brightest, darkest new drama. [3 Oct 2004]
  21. Reviewed by: David Bianculli
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    The new prime-time soap opera "Desperate Housewives" could be described as a guilty pleasure - but there's no reason for guilt. This show is an absolute pleasure - and the most entertaining new show of the fall season. [30 Sep 2004]
  22. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jun 20, 2013
    80
    What makes "Desperate Housewives" so much fun is that as ridiculous as some of the scenarios are ... these scenes are also rooted in truth. Sure, the show offers a heightened reality, but it's not too far-fetched. [30 Sep 2004]
  23. Reviewed by: Terry Kelleher
    Jun 28, 2013
    75
    So cheeky, sexy and alive that you can't help enjoying it.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    An inspired wedding of sharp comedic sensibilities with primetime soapiness ... The one cautionary flag is preventing the soapy elements from bubbling over the top, as they threaten to do on only a few occasions in the premiere. [27 Sep 2004]
  25. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jun 20, 2013
    60
    "Desperate Housewives" is entertaining, but it turns the clock back to pre-Betty Friedan America, lampooning four bored, frustrated, white upper-middle-class ladies who lunch.
  26. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    What is this, 1961? Who portrays women as non-productive mooches, hellbent on doing nothing besides living off their hard-working husbands and sleeping with the help? [30 Sep 2004]
  27. Reviewed by: Robert Lloyd
    Jun 20, 2013
    40
    It delivers mixed signals. Because the language is elevated, the production assured and the acting fine, it can feel that something important is happening. But perhaps there is less here than meets the eye; maybe it's just a tricked-up mystery show. It comes on like satire, but it's too scattershot, too inconsistent, too over the top to make any significant points.
  28. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 20, 2013
    40
    There's something lazy about this show's refusal to choose a target. It's easy to feel feminist when you're deploring the plight of '50s-style birds in a gilded cage. But why do we need to invoke this simplified formula to be interested in exploring women's lives?
  29. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jun 20, 2013
    30
    I found that the satire of "Housewives" wasn't tart enough to be truly funny, and the drama wasn't nearly textured enough to reflect the real lives of contemporary mothers.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Sep 3, 2014
    10
    I love this show and i rated show 93/100.I like Season 1 but for me this show is funny and exciting to watch at home much better than those other new TV shows nowadays because this show is amazing and my favourite show to watch. Full Review »
  2. Oct 27, 2013
    10
    THE BEST CONCLUSION FOR A TV SERIES!
    Amazing Marcias Cross and Felicity Huffman, Cross with the winter finale. So good, so unexpected, so
    reflexive. Well writing that episode: That suicide's attempt perfect. I love so much Lynnete-Tom storyline and the epic conclusion throgh the penultimate episode. The last episode was not so good for that storyline.
    I hate Mike's death, and I didn't see so necessary. But well writting. A TV classic. The best mix of comedy and drama in the same show.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 21, 2013
    9
    I'm writing this review prior to finishing the season, but the season thus far is great, so I say hell yes. The turns and everything is just fun and entertaining. Full Review »