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Desperate Housewives on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 • Season 4 • Season 5

"Desperate Housewives" The Complete First Season DVD Review

Buy Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season from Amazon.com Desperate Housewives: Season One (2004-05)
Show & DVD Details

Regular Directors: Larry Shaw, Arlene Sanford, Jeffrey Melman, Fred Gerber

Regular Cast: Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer), Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo), Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp), Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis), Nicollette Sheridan (Edie Britt), Steven Culp (Rex Van De Kamp), Ricardo Chavira (Carlos Solis), Mark Moses (Paul Young), Andrea Bowen (Julie Mayer), Jesse Metcalfe (John Rowland), Cody Kasch (Zach Young), Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young), James Denton (Mike Delfino)

Recurring Characters: Doug Savant (Tom Scavo), Harriet Christine Estabrook (Martha Huber), Sansom Harris (Felicia Tilman), Roger Bart (George Williams), Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Van De Kamp), Joy Lauren (Danielle Van De Kamp), Shane Kinsman (Porter Scavo), Brent Kinsman (Preston Scavo), Zane Huett (Parker Scavo), Lupe Ontiveros (Juanita Solis), Lesley Ann Warren (Sophie Bremmer), Sam Lloyd (Dr. Albert Goldfine), Sharon Lawrence (Maisy Gibbons), Richard Roundtree (Mr. Shaw), Bob Gunton (Noah Taylor), Bob Newhart (Morty), Alfre Woodard (Betty Applewhite), Marla Sokoloff (Claire), Heather Stephens (Kendra Taylor), Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey), Lucille Soong (Yao Lin), Mark L. Taylor (Mr. Steinberg)

Notable Guest Stars: Ryan O'Neal (Rodney Scavo), Marlee Matlin (Alisa Stevens)

Running Time: 997 Minutes (23 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned
DVD Release Date: September 20, 2005
Season 1 Airdates: October 3, 2004 - May 22, 2005
Six single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Eight-sided fold-out Digipak with clear slipcover

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Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-4
Page 2: Discs 5-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

By Tricia Mayes

When ads for "Desperate Housewives" first began running on ABC in late 2004, I distinctly remembered getting very excited. Not one to enjoy reality shows, I was getting sick and tired of the Fox mentality that had infected other networks.
The public was finally starting to crave scripted dramas once again, and Marc Cherry was there to deliver with his unique creation.

Deep within the heart of the fictional suburban town Fairview lies Wisteria Lane. In this fairy tale community littered only with picket fences and manicured lawns, you would think that a brown betty bakes in every oven, a father and son play catch in every backyard, and a girl plays with her dolls in every pink bedroom, but something much more horrific lies beneath the surface.

The series starts with the earth-shattering suicide of Mary Alice Young, which leaves the neighborhood in a frenzy trying to figure out why the seemingly perfect wife and mother decided to suddenly take her own life. That is until our four main ladies find a blackmail note claiming, "I know what you did. It makes me sick. I'm going to tell." Their startling discovery is the basis for the entire series, as the remaining housewives try to figure out the mystery that lies deep within Wisteria Lane, while battling with everyday dramas as well.

The "Desperate Housewives" title logo, as it appears in the opening credits. The four central housewives peer out onto their home street, Wisteria Lane. Marcia Cross plays Bree Van De Kamp, the most daedal of the leading characters.

The characters themselves are just as complicated as the storylines. Creator Cherry says each woman is based on certain aspects of his own mother. Closest to Marc's mum is Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), a WASPish perfectionist arguably the most daedal of the housewives. Bree upholds a severe and sharp exterior while hiding an extremely vulnerable psyche. She is perhaps my favorite character because of her ability to "tell it like it is." She holds nothing back and rarely spares peoples feelings.

On the other hand, Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), is exactly the opposite; she is vulnerable on all levels. The bumbling single mom to teenaged daughter Julie (Andrea Bowen) rarely has an error-free moment. We love Susan because we feel sorry for her. She has never had a good break, and when it seems things are finally looking up for her, she does something terrible to screw it up.

Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) is perhaps the most deceitful of all the housewives. She not-so-successfully juggles a husband (Ricardo Antonio Chavira) and a teenaged lover (Jesse Metcalfe), still managing to look beautiful all the while. A former model, Gabrielle stands for the girl who came from nothing and rose out of the ashes into something, just to throw it all away for nothing again. Oddly enough, we root for Gabrielle even though she really doesn't deserve it.

Teri Hatcher plays the clumsy and vulnerable Susan Mayer. Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria) leads a duplicitous and complicated life with her money-making husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira). Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan) is the neighborhood sexpot.

But perhaps the person we cheer for the most is Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman, who recently won the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy award). The once-successful businesswoman-turned-stay-at-home-mom is likely the funniest of the four. Her deadpan view of life and curiously casual relationship with her husband Tom would make any woman strive to be like her. That is, until you meet her children! This brood of four make birth control look very good. Cherry says he came up with the idea for Lynette's character when he learned of the horrible tragedy surrounding child-drowner Andrea Yates's family.
He claims that when he talked to his mother about the murders, she simply replied, "Yeah, I've been there." With this oft-tested character, Marc recognizes that every mother has been driven to the edge by her kids at one point.

Speaking of on the edge, there's also Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the woman who has no friends, no man to speak of, and thanks to Susan, no home. She's a man-eater but has a certain desperation about her that makes the audience pity her. No matter how much you want Edie Britt to get her just desserts, you can't help but hope everything turns out okay for her in the end.

The thickening plot on Wisteria Lane speaks of just about every neighborhood in Suburbia, USA. Everyone has secrets they wish to hide from their neighbors and on the flip side, everyone wants to know just exactly what their neighbors are up to. From borrowing a cup of sugar to peeking in the back windows, we all have ways of keeping tabs on the people next door. Cherry takes this idea, adds a massive amount of his own family history, spices it with a little Donna Reed and June Cleaver, hits purée and ends up with "Desperate Housewives". This Stepford Wives-meet-"Married...with Children"-style dramedy serves up a healthy portion of murder, lies, deceit, intrigue, romance, comedy, and horror all on one plate, and it tastes delicious.

A star () denotes my eight favorite episodes from the season.

The ladies get a front row seat to the burning Britt house show. Bree and Rex try out marriage counseling. Oh no! Susan lost her clothes!

DISC 1

1. Pilot (43:19) (Originally aired October 3, 2004)
Mary Alice Young commits suicide, leaving behind a very mysterious trail on Wisteria Lane. Susan, Bree, Lynette, and Gabrielle are her friends who are left behind. As the four neighbors try to piece together the strange circumstances surrounding their fellow housewife's death, Mary Alice narrates the story from an omnipresent perspective. Susan, a divorcee, searches for happiness and love. Bree struggles to uphold her Martha Stewart-like persona amidst a crumbling marriage. Lynette gives up her career to start a family and Gabrielle juggles a lover and a husband with narrow success.

2. Ah, But Underneath (43:19) (Originally aired October 10, 2004)
Bree and Rex decide to attend marriage counseling in an attempt to salvage their crumbling relationship. Gabrielle's husband Carlos has suspicions she may be cheating. Lynette tries a new parenting technique in hopes it will control her rambunctious boys. Susan competes with neighborhood harlot Edie Britt over the affections of the new resident hunk, Mike.

3. Pretty Little Picture (43:19) (Originally aired October 17, 2004)
Susan comes to terms with her divorce, while Bree triess to stop hers from happening. Gabrielle is caught kissing John by a pint-sized spy who then passively blackmails her. Lynette proves to Tom that their boys will be boys. Meanwhile, police uncover the mysterious box Paul dropped in the lake and suspect that it contains human remains.

4. Who's That Woman? (43:19; extended: 45:28) (Originally aired October 24, 2004)
Thinking he's caught his wife in an affair, Carlos mistakenly assaults a homosexual cable guy. Nosy neighbor Martha Huber attempts to blackmail Susan after figuring out she may have had something to do with Edie's house fire. Lynette goes to the twins' school only to discover they may need medication. Bree finds Andrew at a strip bar and humiliates him in front of his friends.

Gabrielle and her obnoxious mother-in-law go for a little tense shopping. Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman) turns to prescription ADD medication for the ability to stay sharp on her job as a full-time mother. Oh no! Susan fell through the floor!

DISC 2

5. Come In, Stranger (43:19) (Originally aired October 31, 2004)
The residents of Wisteria Lane form a neighborhood watch, after Susan reports a break-in. Tom and Lynette attempt to get the twins into a highly competitive private school with disastrous results. Carlos's mother drops in unexpectedly with plans to make Gabrielle miserable, not to mention disrupting her "social" life. Bree shares a painful memory with Zach, causing him to confess that he knows why his mother killed herself.

6. Running To Stand Still (43:19) (Originally aired November 7, 2004)
Gabrielle finds a new and creative way to get rid of Mama Solis so she can spend more time with John. Susan suspects Paul of doing something terrible to Zach, so she follows him. Bree attempts to rekindle whatever remaining passion there is with Rex, but neither are ready to deal with the truth. For the boys' school play, Lynette faces off with uber-parent Maisy Gibbons and contemplates taking the twins' ADD medication. Julie attempts to get information out of Zach about his mysterious past.

7. Anything You Can Do (43:19; extended: 43:52) (Originally aired November 21, 2004)
When Rex serves Bree with divorce papers and buys the kids expensive gifts, she is sent off the deep end. John tries to end his affair with Gabrielle, but Mama Solis already has the proof she needs. Lynette, faced with a daunting dinner party, steals medication from an eight-year-old. In an unlikely twist, Susan and Edie pair up to spy on Mike's new mystery guest. Meanwhile, Paul Young suspects Edie of being his wife's blackmailer. Bree's son, Andrew seeks both parents' help in covering up a terrible accident.

8. Guilty (43:19) (Originally aired November 28, 2004)
Susan discovers that Mike has a secret. Carlos reveals to Gabrielle in front of the entire Van De Kamp family that he wants to have a child. Lynette, in an effort to find a moment into herself, seeks medical help, but realizes she really needs her friends. Bree and Rex successfully rid themselves of Andrew's car, however Bree has some severe concerns about her son's state of mind. Edie reveals the true identity of the supposed blackmailer.

Lynette tries to secretly woo a qualified nanny (Marla Sokoloff, of "Full House" renown). Troubled youth Zach Young (Cody Kasch) confides in Susan's teenaged daughter Julie (Andrea Bowen). Oh no! Gabrielle got her dress stuck, as Mr. Incredible looks on.

DISC 3

9. Suspicious Minds (43:19) (Originally aired December 12, 2004)
Feeling unfulfilled, Gabrielle decides to take the charitable route by organizing a fashion show for the local hospital. While working on the show, Susan discovers John and Gabrielle's little secret. Helen Rowland, John's mother, mistakenly thinks it's Susan that John's been seeing. Lynette, at the end of her rope, decides a Nanny is the best thing for her family, even is she has to steal one. Bree figures out that Andrew is doing drugs, and like a good mother, she sets him up for a fall. Meanwhile, Julie hides Zach in her bedroom and learns his horrible secret.

10. Come Back To Me (43:19) (Originally aired December 19, 2004)
Maisy Gibbons appears at the top of the episode, with a glimpse into her clandestine life. Rex is a part of that life, and it nearly kills him, causing Bree to unveil her darker side. Susan attempts to seduce Mike in her own home, when she stumbles upon an unlikely intruder. After Carlos is arrested by the FBI, Gabrielle's situation goes from bad to worse, so she decides to store all of her possessions with Bree. Lynette installs a nanny cam to spy on the new help, but it only depresses her more.

11. Move On (43:19) (Originally aired January 9, 2005)
Mrs. Huber is still missing so Edie organizes a neighborhood search and invites Martha's sister, Felicia to help. Mike fears that Susan is still in love with her ex-husband, Karl, while Lynette is afraid her husband is attracted to the new nanny (Marla Sokoloff). As for unforeseen twists, Bree asks the local pharmacist out on a date and Gabby actually gets a job.

12. Every Day A Little Death (43:19; extended: 44:53) (Originally aired January 16, 2005)
Martha Huber's body is discovered, and the news travels fast on Wisteria Lane. Bree's new man, George (Roger Bart), gives her a gun and much more. Lynette allows a snooty receptionist to believe that Parker is terminally ill so she can attend a high profile Pilates class. Carlos is under house arrest, which drives the newly working Gabby crazy. Susan learns Mrs. Huber left behind a journal and now must grovel at Edie 's feet before confessing that she burned down her house.

On an awkward boat ride, Susan struggles to confess her big slip-up to nemesis Edie Britt. Gabrielle lies down on the job, but that's kind of what she's being paid for. Lynette stands up to a rumor-spreading mom.

DISC 4

13. Your Fault (43:19) (Originally aired January 23, 2005)
As if life couldn't get any worse for Gabrielle, John Rowland's parents surprise her by asking for a very odd favor. Tom's father comes to town for a visit and when Lynette catches her father-in-law cheating on his wife, Tom doesn't seem the least bit surprised, which makes Lynette even angrier. Rex tries to make amends with Bree, while the lawyers sort out their possessions, but Bree takes he bait this time. Meanwhile, Susan is upset about the new relationship between Zach and Julie. When she approaches Paul about the budding romance, he tells her information she never imagined.

14. Love is in The Air (43:19) (Originally aired February 13, 2005)
The men of Wisteria Lane are on edge because the dreaded Valentine's Day has arrived. Susan fantasizes about the perfect date with Mike, but he's hiding a couple secrets, he wants kids and...he's been shot. After serious attempts to patch up their marriage, Rex reveals to Bree something new concerning his needs. Gabby's new line of work leads her to the world of mattresses and make-up. Lynette learns that instead of being sweet little angels, her boys are actually crooked little thieves.

15. Impossible (43:14; extended: 46:06) (Originally aired February 20, 2005)
Gabrielle is blackmailed, once again, but this time it's by one of John's friends. Mike Delfino is arrested after police question him about the death of Mrs. Huber and Susan faces the hardest night of her life. Lynette is afraid that Tom may get a promotion, leaving her at home with the kids even more than she already is, so she tries her best to talk him out of it. Bree finds a condom and is shocked to find out who it belongs to. Zach throws a raging pool party, where things get a little carried away and someone comes out of the closet.

16. The Ladies Who Lunch (43:19) (Originally aired March 27, 2005)
Maisy Gibbons finally gets her just desserts. Unfortunately, her terrible affairs become public, making big problems for Rex and Bree. Carlos and Gabrielle find themselves in a "dirty" situation when the sewer backs up. Susan has a hard time dealing with her split from Mike and seeks solace in a surprising person. The Scavo twins stir up trouble once again, this time with head lice.

Bree admires her unusual new present from prescriptionist friend (and more) George (Roger Bart). Lynette reluctantly allows a misunderstanding about her son's post-gum shaved head to gain her access to a quick-to-fill Pilates class.

Continue to Page 2 >>

Buy Desperate Housewives: Season 1 from Amazon.com

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Disney / Buena Vista TV Shows Page | Search This Site

Desperate Housewives on DVD: Season 1 • Season 2 • Season 3 • Season 4 • Season 5

Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-4
Page 2: Discs 5-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

Reviewed September 25, 2005.

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