- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2005

Newly ‘Desperate’

“Desperate Housewives” fans are probably wondering about Betty Applewhite.

Who is she? And why has she suddenly come to Wisteria Lane?

Producers of the Emmy-winning ABC hit (returning Sunday for its second season at 9 p.m.) offered viewers a glimpse of the character, but little more, during the show’s first season finale. More details will be forthcoming — although, in typical “Desperate” fashion, not necessarily on the season opener.

Here’s what we know: The mysterious Miss Applewhite, played by Emmy-winner and Oscar-nominee Alfre Woodard, is a lady with a dire and shocking secret — so shocking, in fact, that it will make the twisted lives of her neighbors appear tame in comparison.

We also know she was once an internationally acclaimed concert pianist but now makes a living for herself and her 18-year-old son Matthew (newcomer Mehad Brooks) by giving piano lessons to the locals.

On Sunday, however, Betty will be pressed into service to play the organ for Rex Van De Camp’s (Steven Culp) funeral, a request made by the dead man’s daughter Danielle (Joey Lauren).

Meanwhile, there are other matters to attend to.

Although Betty’s story line, along with the actual paternity of Gabrielle’s (Eva Longoria) baby, will gradually unfold, other plots — like the one involving the troubled teenaged Zach Young, who was holding Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher) and Mike Delfino (James Denton) hostage in the first season finale — will soon be resolved.

If none of this jogs your memory, you’ll have to prod others for details or rely on the first season DVD set, conveniently released earlier this week. All 23 episodes are packaged on six discs that also feature commentaries by show creator Marc Cherry and his cast, a bloopers reel and a guest appearance by talk show titan Oprah Winfrey.

‘Curb’ appeal

Larry David manages to get under the skin of just about everyone he meets.

So it comes as no surprise that the star and creator of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” kicks off his show’s fifth season Sunday at 10 p.m. by needling (among others) guest star Ted Danson, his best friend’s wife (show regular Susie Essman) and a kindly deli owner.

And he’s just warming up.

The quasi-improv comedy isn’t in vintage form for its premiere, but Sunday’s installment — the first of 10 new episodes this season — packs enough interlocking plots and squirm-inducing scenes to appease faithful fans.

Sunday’s episode finds Larry in a rare good mood. His favorite deli just named a sandwich after him, and he’s delighted with the honor — until he reads the sandwich’s ingredients. In typical Larry fashion, he plots to switch sandwiches with Mr. Danson, who appears in a muted cameo.

Those still unconvinced of “Curb’s” appeal should stick around for next week’s episode. Larry adopts a dog that only barks at black people, and he loses his good standing in the homosexual community after congratulating a pal when the man’s lesbian daughter decides to go straight.

Mr. David has poked and prodded politically sensitive subjects in the past, but rarely with such comic gusto.

Compiled by Christian Toto and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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