But there's at least one problem: The placid suburban lifestyle of shows like Desperate Housewives-a world in which whole communities of stay-at-home wives expect to be subsidized in grand style by the labor of their uncomplaining husbands, who in turn expect to come home to spotless mansions-doesn't exist anymore, at least not in the pure form depicted on this show. Why are we so, well, desperate to satirize a rapidly disappearing slice of American life? Is the recent wave of suburban snarkiness just suburban nostalgia in disguise?
Caitlin Flanagan has written that we don't have housewives anymore, we have full-time moms. The difference (she didn't put it exactly this way) is that housewives spent their days in their kitchens; FT Moms spend theirs in their minivans.