Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Desperate Housewives

They Watch Desperate Housewives in Manila?

desperate_housewives.jpg 

I am so glad that the producers of “Desperate Housewives” have apologized for the racial slur against Filipino medical professionals that was on the show’s first episode of this season.

In the season premiere that aired Sunday on ABC, Teri Hatcher’s character, Susan, goes in for a medical checkup and is shocked when the doctor suggests she may be going through menopause.

“Listen, Susan, I know for a lot of women the word ‘menopause'” has negative connotations. You hear ‘aging,’ ‘brittle bones,’ ‘loss of sexual desire,'” the gynecologist tells her.

“OK, before we go any further, can I check these diplomas? Just to make sure they aren’t, like, from some med school in the Philippines?” Susan fires back.

There was an uproar in the Philippines.

The TV episode even became an international incident, with reports on it topping Philippine news shows and drawing newspaper headlines as officials there registered their displeasure. Filipinos could judge the scene for themselves when it was posted on YouTube.

In Manila, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he was writing the producers of the show to seek an apology and note the country’s “vehement protest.” Senior cabinet member Eduardo Ermita told reporters that an apology should be sought “on behalf of our Filipino professionals.”

“The producers of ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ABC Studios offer our sincere apologies for any offense caused by the brief reference in the season premiere,” cable news channnel ANC quoted the statement as saying.

“There was no intent to disparage the integrity of any aspect of the medical community in the Philippines,” they said.

I immediate called my family doctor, Dr. Mark Guinoo, a 1985 graduate of Manila Medical School, to hear his reaction. He was stunned.

“When will the negative stereotypes ever end?” he said.

Dr. Guinoo has truly been a lifesaver to me. Last year, during a bout with pnemonia, he prescribed “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Lotion” for me, and three months later I was cured.

ba-ba-boom!

Sorry, Leese, for the mediocre gag! I owe you some Puto Bumbong for Christmas!

P.S. — Do you know who really deserves an apology? Women with menopause! Teri Hatcher’s character acted as if she had just gotten a death sentence when she heard the news.

P.P.S. — I will keep my comment promises!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Donut Shop Redux

Television Season — Out!

Desperate Housewives, 24, Lost, and American Idol all ended this week, so my network television-viewing season is over.  Maybe I’ll now read more books or actually go outside. 

My report card:

Desperate Housewives:

It was inevitable that actor Roger Bart (Bree’s pharmacist friend) signed on as next season’s villain.   That will make for some interesting twists.  On the whole, Desperate Housewives was a fresh show that was somewhat over-rated.  I think it received media attention because the media likes shows about pretty women, especially when the shows have sexy titles.   The negative:  all of the characters were one-dimensional and there was an uneven mix of comedy, drama, and mystery wrapped in a phony suburban setting.  The positive:  It was a fun twist on the soap opera genre that will become better as the characters develop.  Teri Hatcher was also pretty adorable as Susan.  I liked her daughter, too.

Score:   A –

24

24 has been my favorite show for the last four seasons, but I must admit, it lost its focus this year.  One of the problems was that Jack Bauer was less interesting than half of the other characters, including Chloe, Edgar, Tony, Michelle, David Palmer, Novick, and even President Logan.  It’s nice that Kiefer Sutherland is so generous with his co-stars (especially when he is an executive producer), but he was upstaged in every episode.   His relationship with Audrey was fairly blah.  I hate to say this, but I missed his hapless daughter, Kim.

The Dina and Behrooz story was clearly the coolest subplot, but they were dropped in the middle of the story for the evil Mahrwan, a more traditional villain.  How many fans were waiting to find out that Dina wasn’t dead, but was the mastermind of the entire plot?  And Behrooz — what finally happened to him?  Luckily, I learned from Entertainment Weekly that the producers filmed a scene where Behrooz learned of his mother’s death,  but the scene was edited out.  Why?

Score:   B +

American Idol

This is my guilty pleasure.  Unfortunately, this was the dullest season yet, even though the singers were better than usual.  I think the format is getting a little tired.  None of the singers really stood out as a superstar.  Even Bo.   Vonzell had the best voice.  Constantine and Nadia were the most fun.   Carrie was too cutesy for me.  Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Clay Aiken, and Fantasia all had a spark that no one had this year.  Even the "bad" singers weren’t as humorous as in the past.  Most annoying were the stock responses by the judges, with Randy’s "dawg," Paula’s smile, and Simon’s sarcasm.  The only one I liked better this year was Ryan Seacrest, who at least has fun hosting every week.  That said, the final episode was a lot of fun.  Carrie’s win was a surprise, and I enjoyed the idols singing with their "idols." 

Score:  B

Lost

Lost was the year’s biggest surprise.  The concept sounded incredibly stupid, sort of a dramatic Gilligan’s Island, but it was totally engrossing and mysterious throughout the year.  Watch it in reruns if you haven’t seen it.

Score:   A

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