Vanessa Williams had appeared on Desperate Housewives since the seventh season of the show. By that time, most of us were sorted with the characters who had been originally present in the show. Bree Van De Camp was the housewives with impeccable taste in music, art, and love for tradition, a Republican who feared dating a Democrat more than dating a potential killer. However, her urge to achieve perfection led to several separations, first her husbands, boyfriend, later her children.
Lynette was the smart mother who knew how to expose a fraud daughter-in-law without appearing as a villain in front of his sons. Susan Delfino was a hopelessly romantic character, who held her moral standards high above everything else. Gabriel Solice was a fashion enthusiast, a terrible mother who was too self-absorbed to accept that most of what her children had turned into, had been under her own watch. Vanessa Williams walked in as Renee Perry and she was a combination of all the housewives.
Renee Perry was a divorcee who unapologetically owed to her sexuality. She was kind but always remained careful about not exposing her weakness out in the open. Renee loved money and hated children and had no qualms in admitting it. It's is easy to quickly hate a character like Renee. She is conceited, materialistic, self-obsessed, being one who hardly valued what other women in the streets valued the most -- friendship, loyalty, and unity.
Renee had probably garnered the most amount of hate when she betrayed Bree Van De Kamp during a trial session of her murder. But when we dig deeper, none of the women in the streets valued to welcome her, excluding Lynette who also suffered from the hidden insecurity of Renee being a bad influence on her children. But Renee had been brutally honest and only chose to look out for herself.
Bree and the other women had always kept a safe distance from Renee, hence she failed to develop a strong bond with the women in the street apart from Lynette. She strongly valued her friendship with Lynette and with her Renee had remained honest and sincere.
In a few instances, the makers may have portrayed Renee as a replacement for Edie, but Renee was so much more. To begin with, she knew how to be a loyal friend and never hit on her friend's husband. When she knew she had a competition with another girl in the neighbourhood regarding a man, she chose to rethink if the fight with the man was worth fighting for (remember how she stepped aside for Bree). Renee loved a rich and luxurious life and never chose to compromise with her choices.
Now imagine Desperate Housewives without her!.