I just want to thank you all for being so patient! I had my lunch with Marc on Saturday and he answered many of your questions about "Desperate Housewives." Because of time contraints we did not get to every question but I did try to cover as much territory as possible, in some cases combining similar queries. Also, I wanted to give everyone a fair shot so some of you who answered multiple questions may not see answers to every single one. Please don't take it personally if your question isn't answered. This was the first Q&A for Season Pass and I've learned some lessons about procedures.
I've been lucky enough to get to know Marc a little bit over the last year. He's a generous soul and extremely sweet, with a razor sharp wit and a biting sense of humor. He's great fun to be around. He's also wickedly good game player although he's a bit of a taskmaster at charades. (Sorry Marc, but you know it's true!)
I read to him all of your lovely comments and he was very touched. And Julie and Karin, he was quite impressed that you made a video question. There was a little technical difficulty and he didn't get to that answer, but I'm hoping he emails it to me so I can add it later.
His favorite question was Simon's, about how the strike affected production of season 4. See below for that answer. But I'm going to start with a little video (please excuse the jiggling, I just got this flip video thing) where Marc explains his inspiration for the fast-forward device and his answer to fans and/or critics who aren't happy with that decision:
Bonus video answer (with text after in case you have trouble viewing it):
Q. What made you want to fast forward the show at a point in all the storylines when it would have been so simple to stay at the current time? — Kate
Q. I feel like we are going to be going through another upheaval again… Can’t we get a little stability? I was happy with the finale but so annoyed by the last five minutes that I at the time I never wanted to see the show again. — Jake
A. I thought it was a fascinating artistic choice and I thought it would be interesting for the gals. And I thought that really since all the storylines in some way relate to where we last left the characters I thought it would just be a fun, interesting move for the fans. I don’t think people will object once they see what we’re doing with the new season.
You know as an artist you get used to not everyone liking your art. It’s almost the definition of what it means to be an artist that some people’s ideas of what would be good will not coalesce with yours. I think that if this person tunes in to see the season premiere they’ll see how the five-year jump connects to where we left the characters. You know, what is a series anyway? You’re following the lives of characters and seeing how the respond to different situations. This five-year jump has just taken characters you’ve known and loved and just plopped them forward ahead in their lives and I think it will be just as interesting as it was if we’d stayed exactly with them. I actually think now that I’ve been writing it, it makes so much sense. I may start a trend with TV series. And, you know, I’m hoping people respond. But that being said, maybe it will turn out to be a big mistake. But I’m glad I did it because I’m having fun writing it.
And the winning question:
Q. What material was planned for the second half of the fourth season, had the writers’ strike not occurred? Did you manage to represent all the planned storylines, even if only briefly (such as Lynette finding faith in “Sunday”), or can you think of arcs that had to be scrapped entirely? Similarly, how would the season’s mystery have been expanded? This question can also apply to season three, with the mystery’s arc shortened because of Marcia Cross’ maternity leave. —Simon
A. That is a good question. We ended up using most of what we had planned and there were a couple of storyline ideas that we just pushed later. We had a storyline (that we had to let go of) involving Gabrielle and her stepfather who molested her. We’ll be revisiting him sometime in the future.
(and the second part of that question) Marcia’s twins caused me and my writers many sleepless nights. But I’m happy to say it was worth it because they’re so gorgeous and we did manage to come up with some good stories even though we had to shorten the mystery that season.