LOS ANGELES - Ask Teri Hatcher to select her favorite moment from eight seasons of "Desperate Housewives," and she'll most likely reminisce about the time she bared it all.
"There was a new wardrobe girl and at 6 in the morning she came over to me, introduced herself and said, 'Can we please take some gaffer's tape and cover your nipples and crotch?'" said Hatcher of the Season 1 episode in which her character, Susan, locked herself out of the house without a stitch of clothing.
As "Housewives" heads toward its May 13 finale with three new episodes beginning Sunday, it's been making more headlines for ugly lawsuits than steamy scenes. Give the show credit, though, for showing a different kind of nakedness - an honest depiction of the challenges of creeping into middle age without losing one's job, sexual drive or sanity.
In the first episode's most riveting scene, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) breaks down in a public park, thinking she's failed her four children.
"I love my kids," she says while being consoled by her friends. "I'm so sorry they have me as a mother."
Those kind of grown-up conversations were welcomed by women who couldn't relate to the Cosmo-slugging, shoe-shopping gals of "Sex and the City," which had ended its TV run about eight months before "Housewives" premiered, said Leah Wilson, a Dallas-based editor of a collection of essays called "Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America's Favorite Desperate Housewives."
"I feel like [the finale] does a pretty good job at honoring all the different characters and their sort of unique wheelhouses that they brought ... to Desperate Housewives," she explains.
"Whether it be comedy or drama or physical comedy, I feel like the stories make sense. I think it will be better than some other big finales."
Although some of the stars on the show had reported drama over its eight seasons on the air, the relationship between Hatcher and her small-screen daughter, played by Andrea Bowen, is totally solid.
"I say a lot about her and I mean this so much – my [real-life] daughter could not have a better role model than Andrea," Hatcher says. "She doesn't have a big sister and Andrea will be the big sister."
As Bowen agrees, Hatcher goes on to say the young actress will be there "for all the big conversations" for her daughter Emerson Rose, 14.
"[Andrea] is just beautiful and talented and totally sane and grounded and fabulous," Hatcher continues to gush. "I really had the best [on-camera] kids – her and Mason Vale. I had the best kids to work with."