"Everyone has a little dirty laundry"
I found long characteristics our desperate housewifes on www.abc.com:
The series began with Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) leaving her perfect house in the loveliest of suburbs -- and ending it all. Now she takes us into the lives of her family, friends and neighbors, commenting from her elevated P.O.V. Her circle of girlfriends on Wisteria Lane include Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), the divorcee and single mom who will go to extraordinary lengths for love; Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), who recently went from being a stay-at-home mother of four back to her fast track career in advertising; Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), Martha Stewart on steroids, whose recent widowhood has completely reeked havoc on her perfect life; and Gabrielle Solis, the ex-model with everything she's ever wanted - a rich husband, a big house, and now a baby to go with it all… the problem is she's not sure who the father is; and serial divorcee Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the free spirited real estate maven whose love life has everyone buzzing. Enter newcomer Betty Applewhite (Alfre Woodard) and her handsome teenage son, Matthew (Mehcad Brooks), who mysteriously moved into a house they'd never seen in the middle of the night. Then there are the men: Mike Delfino (Jamie Denton), a supposedly widowed plumber who has won Susan's heart; Lynette's adorable husband, Tom (Doug Savant), who volunteered to be "Mr. Mom" so his wife can go back to work; Gabrielle's better half, Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), who is currently in jail and recently learned of his wife's infidelities with John (Jesse Metcalfe), the gardener; and Mary Alice's widowed husband, Paul (Mark Moses), who is on the run from the demons in his past. From her unique vantage point, Mary Alice sees more now than she ever did alive, and she's planning to share all the delicious secrets that hide behind every neighbor's closed door in this seemingly perfect American suburb. Desperate Housewives stars Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp, Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis, Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt, Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite, Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young, James Denton as Mike Delfino, Doug Savant as Tom Scavo, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos Solis, Mark Moses as Paul Young, Cody Kasch as Zach Young, Andrea Bowen as Jenna Mayer, Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van De Kamp, Joy Lauren as Danielle Van De Kamp, Mehcad Brooks as Matthew Applewhite and Jesse Metcalfe as John. Marc Cherry (The Golden Girls) is executive producer and creator and Tom Spezialy (The District, Ed) is executive producer of the series, which is from Touchstone Television.