“Desperate Housewives” is that rare breed of TV show that refuses to be pigeonholed. Is it a soap opera or a parody of the adult nighttime programs we grew to love with Dallas and Dynasty? Is it a full-fledged comedy, with occasional dramatic instances? Or is it a drama that knows how to make us laugh and break into a knowing smile? It’s hard to say, so it’s best to tag it as a “dramedy,” one part drama/one part comedy.
What makes the show so compulsive is the cast of talented actresses and their well-written, fabulously fleshed-out characters. Each of the women is a “stock” character, a compilation of recognizable, easily identifiable traits. There’s the Career Woman, a mother who is struggling with holding a job while holding her family and life together. Rather than being a stale and overly familiar characterization, actress Felicity Huffman invests her Lynette Scavo persona with intelligence, vulnerability, cocksureness, doubt, pride and, of course, desperation. Sometimes she’s able to do all at one time! It’s not surprising Huffman has received the Emmy Award for this performance, and has been nominated for scores of other awards as well.
Huffman’s not alone in her great work. Actress Teri Hatcher scored a major comeback with her landing of the Susan Mayer role. A lauded ingénue when she starred in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Hatcher admittedly had a quiet career after that TV show concluded its run. With her return to episodic TV, courtesy of Housewives’ clever creator Marc Cherry, she’s an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. She has morphed into a television superwoman!
Rounding out the cast are veteran professionals Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp and Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt. Cross and Sheridan play polar opposites on the program: Bree is a perfectionist who lives by the rules, consulting the etiquette book at every turn. However, Bree is sadly discovering that she may know the recipe for a perfect pineapple upside-down cake, but her home life is quickly and uncontrollably turning upside down, as well. Edie is a renegade, who makes her own rules and quotes from the “Good Book,” the Bible, when it suits her purposes. Very often, she turns a blind eye to her own flaws as she giddily points out the faults of her next-door neighbors and romantic rivals. She’s not above casting stones, or setting suspicious house fires.
The last lady in the coffee klatch is relative newcomer Eva Longoria as the one-time fashion model Gabrielle Solis. Longoria embodies a pampered, selfish, materialistic wife who is slowly discovering the world is much bigger than her clothes closet, and—shock of all shocks—there’s more to value in this world than a brand-new sports car and a huge diamond ring. She conveys the character’s conflicted dimensions brilliantly.
The Desperate Housewife phenomenon goes beyond TV viewing. It has spawned computer games, calendars, boxed DVD sets and board games. It’s a hit with housewives, single women, married men, bachelors and pretty much everyone with a pulse!
Alexander Doll Company (ADC) has launched a terrific line of fashion dolls that capture the mood and nuances of the show’s leading ladies. Now, as we settle down on Sunday night to cheer on our favorite character or to hiss at their villainous trickery, to laugh at Susan’s latest disastrous pratfall or to sympathize with Lynette’s unexpected comeuppance, we can have three-dimensional renderings in hand. Tailored to resemble the actresses and outfits that have actually appeared on the show, the dolls are eye-catching and heart stopping. Being a little bit bad has never looked so good!
The Desperate Housewives dolls, from ADC, are the perfect complement to this ABC hit show. The rapturous women are all 16 inches tall, limited to 350 pieces and priced at $129.95. Now, if we can only convince the Alexander design team to come up with some hunky male dolls! There’s Carlos, Mike, Tom, Ian, Orson…well, the list just goes on. You go, girls!
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The winners of the 2013 Industry’s Choice DOLLS Awards of Excellence (DAEs) were announced April 12 at the Debut of Dolls Banquet held at IDEX in Orlando, Fla. Each entry in this year’s competition was evaluated by our panel of judges: Doll industry consultant Pat Burns, doll writer and historian Penny Herbst, Simon Farnworth of DollObservers.com, author and DOLLS contributor Stephanie Finnegan,
DOLLS editor-at-large Jill Jackson, and Modern Doll President Patsy Moyer. This year’s Industry’s Choice winners go on to become the nominees for the Public’s Choice awards voted on by DOLLS readers. Look for photos of all the nominees, ballot, and online voting instructions in the July 2013 issue of DOLLS.
Iola, Wis. – Jan. 9, 2013 – DOLLS magazine publisher and former editor Carie Ferg received a special VIP Award for Outstanding Achievement in the 2012 Colliii Awards. The Colliii Awards are the largest online dollmaking competition in the world.
“We wanted to present the 2012 VIP Award to Carie Ferg as a recognition of the dynamism and innovation she has brought to the doll industry over the past few years,” said Colliii Awards Director James Carlsson. “The VIP Award is presented every year to a person or organisation that has made a significant contribution to the doll world. It was Colliii.com’s pleasure to present this to Carie as a token of appreciation for her hard work.”
Past VIP Award winners include DOLLS’ Editor-at-Large Jill Jackson for her work with "Doll Reader," the Biemann family from Schildkröt dolls in Germany, and such atists as Stephanie Sullivan.Registration for the 2013 Colliii Awards will begin in July. For more information about the competition, go to www.colliii.com/en.
The winners of the 2012 ProSculpt Annual Sculpting Contest have been chosen by collectors and artists from around the world. Winners this year are from England, Italy, Japan, South America, and the United States. Photos of all the winners can be viewed at the Johnston Original Art Dolls website. The winners are:
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Haute Doll introduces its new exclusive by Horsman Ltd., the modern-style “Heart Chair” perfect for 16-inch fashion dolls. The design was inspired by Verner Panton’s 1959 full-scale contemporary chair design.
The fourth Pullip and Dal Doll Lovers Event (PUDDLE) drew 60 doll lovers from 10 different states and Canada to the Elk Grove Village Holiday Inn in June. This year’s theme, cranes, was inspired by the sandhill cranes at the group's charity organization, the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. Six custom dolls and other items donated by sponsors like The Sleeping Elf and Denise's Dolls were raffled off at the event, raising $500 for the center.
The weekend started Friday night with dinner at Mitsuwa Japanese Mall in Arlington Heights, followed by a tea party at the hotel. PUDDLE officially kicked off at 9 a.m. Saturday, starting with an organized buy-sell-trade opportunity, and dozens of fans milled around trading and buying doll wigs, eye chips, bodies, clothing, and more.
Every attendee received a door prize, thanks to generous donations from many sponsors. Distribution of the door prizes was followed by a secret gift swap and lunch break. Afterwards, an informal Q&A-format customizing workshop answered questions for many fans new to the hobby, followed by a display of fully customized and modified dolls entered in the customization contest. Winners of an online photo/art contest which was held and judged before the event were announced along with the customization contest winners. The photo and art entries can be seen at www.puddlestyle.com/photoart.html.
Many fans continued the fun over dinner in the hotel restaurant and in the hotel lobby until the wee hours. Krista Farmer, who traveled from Toronto for the event, said “It was a crazy cool day.” Although the event officially ended Saturday night, 11 fans stayed for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Willowbrook Wildlife Center Sunday. — Jane EasterlyFor information on PUDDLE 2012, visit www.puddlestyle.com.read more
Attendees at the third annual R. John Wright Convention enjoyed the festivities of several major holidays coupled with outstanding dolls, all rolled into four fun-filled days! R. John and Susan Wright chose “Celebrations!” as the theme for their 2011 event held at the historic Desmond Hotel in Albany, N.Y., which was co-chaired by Loretta Nardone and Lillian Wright.
The convention opened with St. Patrick’s Day reception Wednesday evening, where everyone laid claim to being a wee bit Irish while enjoying a scrumptious dessert buffet. The sales room opened immediately after this kick-off event, with conventioneers hoping the “luck of the Irish” would help them find that perfect doll or dolls.
Thursday began early with the Easter Morning Breakfast; those attending this ticketed event didn’t have to search for large, beautifully decorated baskets serving as table centerpieces. They were filled with molded felt eggs in pastel colors. At the end of the breakfast, the eggs were distributed and the happy new owners opened them to find “Peep,” a 3-inch yellow mohair chick as their event souvenir. His companion, “Posey,” was available for sale. After breakfast the special and competitive exhibits opened, along with the helper room. This year’s special exhibit, arranged by John and Susan Wright’s daughter Emily, was titled “Happy Holidays” and showcased R. John Wright dolls and animal characters and the traditional holidays that inspired them.
That afternoon, attendees boarded buses for the short trip to Bennington, Vt., for a tour of the R. John Wright facility along with other local activities. The Wrights explained the development of their creations from concept through completion before everyone had the opportunity to visit with their employees as they made various doll parts and accessories and shopped in the R. John Wright store. The day culminated with a Fourth of July BBQ followed by fireworks at dusk.
Workshops by dollmaker Gail Wilson and a program by Alan Pate, a leading American expert on Japanese dolls, were offered on Friday, along with several roundtable discussions on various topics. Attendees dressed up for the frightfully fabulous costume parade leading into the Halloween Masquerade luncheon, with prizes awarded in five categories. After lunch, the newest piece from R. John Wright’s Wizard of Oz collection, “Wicked Witch of the West,” made her debut in front of an enthusiastic audience.
The ticketed Victorian Yuletide Dinner featured traditional table decorations and an enchanting program, “A Victorian Christmas,” presented by Nardone. The event souvenir was the 10-inch “Mary Frances,” the latest addition to the Victorian Children Collection. Available for purchase was her 7-inch little sister, “Baby Grace.”
Saturday morning’s activities included another program by Pate and a workshop conducted by Emily Wright. That afternoon, a Valentine’s Day High Tea charmed conventioneers with fine teas and delicacies. The newest addition to the Flower Fairies series, “Rose Fairy,” was available for purchase. The evening’s closing event was a New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration. This elegant banquet featured another entertaining program produced and presented by Nardone. When the souvenir dolls were distributed, delighted attendees found the adorable 12½-inch “Celebration Scootles” would be going home with them. As an added bonus, her delightful twin brother was available for purchase.As the convention ended, attendees were already making plans for next year’s “Around the World” event, which will be held at the same location June 20-23, 2012 and will celebrate the magic of children around the globe. There will also be an added treat as the first bear event held at an R. John Wright convention will be incorporated into the excursion to the Wrights’ facility in Vermont. For more information, visit www.rjohnwright.com or call (802) 447-7072. — Pat Burnsread more