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July 18, 2008

Marc Cherry's magnificent save

Watching the ABC panels one got the impression that a fair portion of "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry's time is spent having to navigate the live-wire sensibilities of his cast. No wonder he was able to pull his way out of the following wings-on-fire plummet.

A critic asked Eva Longoria if the show is insulting mothers because her character is shown to have gained weight after she had children.

After her answer, Cherry says, “As far as an insult to moms, have you been to the Midwest?

The audience -– a fair number of whom are from the Midwest -- groan angrily, disapprovingly. Mothers, insulted. Midwesterners, insulted. And his cast, ever sensitive to criticism, flanking him.

His epic-length multi-faceted recovery, from the transcript, is after the jump.

“I mean, you know, my family is from Oklahoma, and all my aunts will look at our show, and they go, ‘Well, yeah, if I didn't have to clean a toilet and go out and do my husband's dry cleaning. If I didn't have to go out and check on stuff on the farm, yeah, I guess I could get pedicures and manicures and get my hair done. But I don't have time for that.’

[Cherry's pulling back hard on the stick, yet still losing altitude fast]

“In many ways, the women I know from Oklahoma resent the images that TV puts forth because they put forth -- they feel it's unrealistic expectations are put upon them. So for me, I actually felt guilty when I got my cast together because every woman on this stage got her part because she was the best one who auditioned, but I literally was saying to the casting people, 'This is not what I had in my mind.  I had more real women in my mind.'"

[Cherry, still falling, just not as steep...]

“And people always thought, ‘Oh God, you're smart for putting this glamorous group of women in a show called "Desperate Housewives."' Quite the contrary, I just went with the best actresses I could get, and then it became its own thing, and I literally spent four years going, ‘I think there's some real stories about real women suffering that I haven't told because I have the most gorgeous cast in the history of TV,’ and I think there's women out there who go, ‘Can not one of them have a weight problem, damn it? Because I have a weight problem.'"

[Starting to pull up now, got some lift under his wings]

“And as a guy who comes from a family who has that kind of thing, for me, it was a chance to go, ‘Yeah, let's take the glamour out of it. Let's address some real stuff.’ My comment is not an insult about the women of America, quite the contrary. I think that there's something heroic about, ‘You know what, I've gone through my 20s where I got to be glamorous. Now I have to get down to the business of being a wife and mother and all the kind of grimy reality that goes along with that.'  And I honor that and respect it.”

[Cherry, soaring, home free. The critics are satisfied. The Housewives flattered. The man earns his money].

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