Todd Palin and Desperate Housewives

The first thing that struck me when I watched “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” was the music. The first few tinkly bars were strangely reminiscent of “Desperate Housewives” and I wondered briefly if the show was going to be a spoof about the former Alaska governor.

Then I noticed how she kept bolstering her silent husband’s self-esteem, with comments about how supportive he is of her public role, and praising everything he did from fishing to shimmying up a rock like a mountain goat.

But the killer quote in the show was when he caught a fish. “Todd’s bringing home the bacon,” Sarah said, which is “as it should be.” And I realized that she actually is a Desperate Housewife.

How could Sarah be seriously suggesting that her husband is the breadwinner in that family where she is now a megastar? Her meteoric rise from failed Republican vice presidential candidate to Mamma Grizzly-in-chief must have put strains on her marriage. She is in the position of countless other strong women who end up earning considerably more than their husbands. Even in the most liberal households, it can undermine the self-esteem of the partner who is not “bringing home the bacon.” Remember the husband of Lynette in “Desperate Housewives” who couldn’t stand her being more successful than him?

What did Todd have to say for himself? Strangely, nothing. He haunted the set, like the ghost in Hamlet, a half-smile playing on his lips. What was he thinking? We will never know. He was like a bit-part player on the stage of his wife’s life. Will Sarah save her marriage? Tune in next weekend for the second installment of Alaska’s “Desperate Housewives.”