'Housewives' game, for lives of quaffing desperation

Posted: December 23, 2004

Is it a drama? Or a comedy? A little of both?

What with its darkly comic treatment of adultery, murder and suicide, Desperate Housewives is probably best described as, well, indescribable. Quirky, campy, a little convoluted. OK, a lot convoluted.

Sexy? Very. Violent? Very very.

And so many puzzling twists. It could drive a Puritan to drink, not that we advocate such a thing.

But that gives us an idea.

The old Bob Newhart Show ushered in the first drinking game we can recall - whenever someone said "Hi, Bob" you had to take a swig - and the repetitive happenings in Desperate Housewives lend themselves to a similar sociable contest.

Of course, no alcohol need be involved. Make it ginger ale, rice cakes - whatever your pleasure, feel free to play along with us. But be warned, playing this game with booze may not be good for your brain cells, waistline or liquor cabinet:

Take a sip, or a nibble, every time a nipple is shown through clothing (men included).

Have two bites if Susan (Teri Hatcher) trips and falls over something. Have an additional half-bite if she trips while half-naked.

Take a gulp if a sex scene occurs in any place other than a bed or bedroom.

Have one small nosh if Bree (Marcia Cross) crosses someone in her own family.

One large swig every time Mike (James Denton) appears shirtless. Half a swig if his shirt is on but open and unbuttoned.

Chug anytime the late Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) appears in a flashback. Make yourself burp if she mentions Wisteria Lane.

Take three small sips whenever Rex (Steven Culp) storms out of the house - but only one sip if he leaves because Bree has insulted his manhood.

Have a big bite when John the teenage gardener (Jesse Metcalfe) refers to Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) as "Mrs. Solis" before, during or after they have sex. Take two bites if John or Gabrielle threatens to break off their affair. Two bites and one sip if her husband, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), almost catches them in the act. One more sip if Carlos, feeling guilty, buys Gabrielle something expensive.

React in mock horror when any of the housewives commits a deadly or venial sin - but take one sip in admiration.

Take a big swig when any of the kids of Wisteria Lane talks back to his or her parents. Two big swigs if Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) says something rude or disparaging to Susan. Another swig if Susan doesn't hear what Edie said or hears it and doesn't react.

Ten mini-sips for every breaking, or attempted breaking, of a commandment. One bonus sip for murder or manslaughter.

When Tom (Doug Savant) wants sex from Lynette (Felicity Huffman), have one gulp. Have another if she gives in. Have a gulp if she assaults him in any way during or after the act.

And the winner at the end of the episode is: any player who's able to do sit-ups.

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