ABC has really fallen in love with the flash-forward.

First, it gave us the post-island Oceanic 6 on

Lost

. Then, this week's season finale of

Desperate Housewives

ended with a jaw-dropping coda that showed us the ladies of Wisteria Lane in five years.

Lynette's kids were being sought by the police for grand theft auto - again. Bree was a highly paid domestic savant, a la Martha Stewart. Susan was in the honeymoon phase - not with Mike but with a guy played by Gale Harold, star of Fox's short-lived

Vanished

. Gaby had packed on some pounds and was wearing an unflattering sweater while she chased a couple of rug rats around the house.

And Katherine - well, that's where

Desperate Housewives

lost me. I found it hard to believe that the ladies would make her part of the inner circle. I found it implausible that the gals rallied around this arrogant outsider, even giving false witness to the police in a murder investigation to protect her. Why? Because Bree asked them to?

But what makes

Desperate Housewives

so piquant is its sweet and salty rendering of suburbia. The plot twists and dark secrets get all the attention, but I actually like the series' soapier aspects: the sentimentality and the romance.

In fact, my favorite part of the finale was Tom's impassioned speech to his gay neighbors about the importance of commitment in a relationship. That hits home on every cul-de-sac.

Wrapped in the flag.

Speaking of speeches, I loved Adam Carolla's return to the finale of

Dancing With the Stars

in full Zorro regalia. His tribute to

Dancing

was delightful and daffy.

"This is why the terrorists hate us," he exclaimed. "We got gay, straight and Guttenberg all working together for one common good: to get the mirror ball. The mirror ball doesn't care what color you are. It doesn't care how rich your parents are. It doesn't care what God you pray to. . . . And I say, God bless

Dancing With the Stars

and God bless the U.S.A."

The one thing I'd take issue with, Adam, is that I think the Russians are likely far angrier at

Dancing With the Stars

than the terrorists are. If you've ever considered the roster of professional hoofers on the show, it's obvious

DWTS

has stolen every good-looking dancer that country had.

Face to face.

A canny skit on

Saturday Night Live

this week matched up the faces of Barack Obama (Fred Armisen) and Hillary Clinton (Amy Poehler) in half-and-half fashion, in imitation of those promo spots for the NBA playoffs with LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and others.

The two candidates were supposed to be reading simultaneously from the same statement but couldn't help interjecting their own viewpoints.

"From the hope of the future" ("the youth," added Obama) to the backbone of the party" ("hardworking white people," kibitzed Clinton . . . ").

"In the end," the spot concluded, "we can all stand behind one idea": "Democracy," Obama said. "I deserve this," countered Clinton.

Quick exit.

I have to say I was a little shocked when the NBC announcer identified this episode of

Saturday Night Live

as the season finale. Wait a minute. Didn't the show just come back? What a cockamamie year of television this has been.

No sooner do all these shows return from the strike hiatus than they're saying goodbye for the summer.

It's like entering a fancy restaurant and having the maitre d' escort you through the kitchen and out the back door into the parking lot.

Couldn't we at least sample the hors d'oeuvres?

Sales pitch.

Love that ad campaign for DirecTV where John Michael Higgins (part of Christopher Guest's comic ensemble in

Best in Show

and other films) plays a flimflam cable executive trying to blunt the competition from satellite with nonsensical buzzword-heavy stratagems.

Like the one where he suggests that "we go viral. We get on the Net and we blog it out. Ta da! We're up 800 percent among suburban tweens."

If Geico's Caveman ads were worthy of their own sitcom, this cable farce is certainly ready for prime time.

Contact staff writer David Hiltbrand at dhiltbrand@ phillynews.com or 215-854-4552. Read his recent work at http://go.philly.com/ daveondemand.