Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Desperate Housewives - The Complete First Season

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
10 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

Buy this DVD at Amazon.com

Rating: TV-14

Starring:
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
Steven Culp as Rex Van De Kamp
Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis
Mark Moses as Paul Young
Andrea Bowen as Julie Mayer
Cody Kasch as Zach Young
Jesse Metcalfe as John Rowland
Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young
Jamie Denton as Mike Delfino
Doug Savant as Tom Scavo
Alfre Woodard as Betty Applewhite

Special Features:
Unrated, Extended Episodes

Deleted Scenes

Behind The Scenes With The View's Meredith Viera

A Stroll Down Wisteria Lane With Creator Mark Cherry

Audio Commentaries by Marc Cherry and the Housewives

Dressing Wisteria Lane -- A look at the costume and set design

Secrets Of Wisteria Lane

Oprah Winfrey Is The New Neighbor

Desperate Housewives Around The World

And Much More Dirty Laundry

Other Info:
Widescreen – 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Surround ES
French and Spanish Language Tracks
Running Time: 998 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the DVD cover:

"Experience the television phenomenon that has fans cheering and critics raving. "Refreshingly original, bracingly adult, and thoroughly delightful, Desperate Housewives is like the answer to a TV prayer you didn't know you'd made," says Robert Bianco of USA Today. Now you can spend the night with the women of Wisteria Lane and relive every minute of the weekly television event that heated up water coolers from coast to coast. With spectacular bonus features including extended, unrated episodes, this sizzling six-disc set is full of surprises and loaded with entertainment."

Desperate Housewives is rated TV-14

The Series:
I should start out by saying that I never watched a single episode of Desperate Housewives when they first aired. There was absolutely nothing about it that appealed to me. I also have to say I was baffled by all the hype surrounding the show. Why was it in every magazine, mentioned on every radio talk show, and generally everywhere? What was the appeal? After having seen the show on DVD, I can see a few reasons for the hype and the large following for the series.

First of all, there's an intriguing mystery running throughout the series. The show starts off with one of the friends killing herself. Why did she do it? What does it have to do with her husband? And what's the toy chest they have buried under their pool? Then there's the mysterious bachelor that arrives in the neighborhood. Who is he? Where did he come from? Why does he have so much cash stashed in his house? These little mysteries are good hooks and they keep pulling you back episode after episode. And fortunately as they weave new mysteries they also answer the big questions brought up in the first season. There's a satisfying answer to all those questions and they don't leave you hanging or dissatisfied.

The other draw of the show is the portrait it paints of suburban housewives. Each of them is a stereotype, but each one has some sort of trait that the audience can identify with. Lynette is the soccer mom that has to deal with four toddler terrors. Bree is the Martha Stewart wannabe that obsesses with perfection. Gabrielle is the trophy wife. Susan is the divorcee who battles the vamp Edie for the new eligible bachelor in the neighborhood. Each of them faces amusing trials and tribulations that are not only funny but identifiable with audiences at one level or another.

The other appeal of this show is the actresses. They are all beautiful, talented, and funny. Because they are so appealing, it's fun to tune in and check out their misadventures week after week. Leading the cast are Teri Hatcher as Susan Mayer, Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo, Marcia Cross as Bree Van De Kamp, and Nicollette Sheridan as Edie Britt. Also included is fellow Texas Aggie Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis. Together they make a great cast. Think Lucille Ball meets Dallas.

The promos for the show always play up the sex and risquι material on the show. While that's definitely a part of it, it isn't the focus of it. This isn't Sex and the City. Desperate Housewives has a lot more to offer whether it be soccer mom humor, tension between husband and wife, or even physical comedy of Teri Hatcher dealing with dogs or attacking birds. I think the promos emphasize the sex too much and it may drive away many potential viewers. And despite all appearances, there's plenty here for men to enjoy. This isn't exclusively "chick flick" material.

If you're already a fan of Desperate Housewives, then this is a DVD you'll definitely want to pick up. If you're curious about what all the hype is about, this is the perfect opportunity to jump on the bandwagon and get up to speed before the second season starts.

The Extras:
Just like with the recent Lost DVD set, this one is jam-packed with extras. Just about everything you could hope for has been included on this DVD. Here are some of the highlights:

Unrated, Extended Episodes – A number of the episodes can be viewed with extra material included. If you've seen the episodes before, this is definitely an option you'll want to select while viewing.

Deleted Scenes – There are a few deleted scenes here and there, but they are generally quite brief and add little to the overall plot. Still, they're nice to have here.

Behind The Scenes With The View's Meredith Viera – This is a half hour behind the scenes look at the making of the show. Viera interviews all the cast and the creators.

A Stroll Down Wisteria Lane With Creator Mark Cherry – This 15 minute video is also hosted by Viera and she interviews Cherry. While they briefly show the facades of the houses on the backlot suburban neighborhood, they talk extensively about the development of the show. Cherry also gives some hints about what will be seen in the second season.

Audio Commentaries by Marc Cherry and the Housewives – Cherry provides commentary for a few of the episodes, but the lead actresses pick out a few favorite scenes from various episodes and provide commentary for them. For example, Hatcher chooses the naked in the street scene while Nicollette Sheridan chooses the ashes scene. They give great insight about their characters as well as what it was like filming the episodes.

Dressing Wisteria Lane – As you might expect from the title, this is a look at the costume and set design for the show. They highlight the details in all the costumes from the stains on Lynette's outfits to the glamorous custom dresses of Gabrielle.

Secrets Of Wisteria Lane – This featurette discusses some of the big surprises in season one and it also provides a look into a meeting with Cherry and his writers as they plot out what they are going to do with Bree in the second season. It's a surprisingly candid look and it provides a lot of insight into the writing process.

Oprah Winfrey Is The New Neighbor – This was a skit done for the Oprah Winfrey show where she pretended to be a new neighbor moving into Wysteria Lane. She meets all the ladies and then gets a glimpse at their darker hidden sides before fleeing from the neighborhood. It's cheesy, but a fun idea.

Desperate Housewives Around The World – This bonus feature discusses how hype for the show he spread around the world. You can even see samples of the show dubbed into foreign languages.

The Bottom Line:
A great cast, funny stories, and intriguing mysteries make Desperate Housewives a dark comedy / soap opera well worth checking out. The DVD bonus features will also really please fans of the series.

Order this DVD @ Amazon

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