Desperate Housewives in Japan

Now that “Desperate Housewives” is airing in Japan, I can’t help wondering what Japanese women make of it. I have yet to speak to any who are watching it, but I doubt that viewers here identify in the same way. Sure, most Japanese women can probably relate to Lynette, with her husband being away most of the time, and her kids totally out of control. (Japanese kids tend to be pretty wild, jumping on furniture in public spaces, etc.) While I’m watching, though, I keep thinking that Bree seems to be the ideal Japanese wife. Her gourmet cooking, her attention to detail, and her obsession with housework is made out to be some sort of psychosis, but she is eerily familiar to me. She reminds me of all the women I’ve seen hanging out their laundry or washing their doors and front steps at the crack of dawn. She reminds me of the mothers at my daughter’s school who vacuum their houses every morning before they leave to take their kids to school. She keeps up appearances, and isn’t that what Japan is all about?

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