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

"Desperate Housewives": The Complete Third Season:
The Dirty Laundry Edition DVD Review - Page 2

Buy Desperate Housewives: The Complete Third Season (The Dirty Laundry Edition) from Amazon.com Desperate Housewives: Season Three (2006-07)
Show & DVD Details

Regular Directors: Larry Shaw, David Grossman, Wendey Stanzier, David Warren

Regular Cast: Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer), Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo), Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp), Eva Longoria (Gabrielle Solis), Nicollette Sheridan (Edie Britt), Ricardo Antonio Chavira (Carlos Solis), Andrea Bowen (Julie Mayer), Doug Savant (Tom Scavo), Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge), Brenda Strong (Mary Alice Young), James Denton (Mike Delfino), Shawn Pyfrom (Andrew Van De Kamp), Joy Lauren (Danielle Van De Kamp), Brent Kinsman (Preston Scavo), Shane Kinsman (Porter Scavo), Zane Huett (Parker Scavo)

Recurring Characters: Laurie Metcalf (Carolyn Bigsby), Dixie Carter (Gloria Hodge), Valerie Mahaffey (Alma Hodge), Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey), Rachel Fox (Kayla), Kiersten Warren (Nora Huntington), Dougray Scott (Ian Hainsworth), Josh Henderson (Austin Britt), Pat Crawford Brown (Ida Greenberg), Kathleen York (Monique), Matt Roth (Arthur Shephard), Alec Mapa (Vern), Ian Abercrombie (Rupert), Jennifer Dundas (Rebecca Shephard), Mark Moses (Paul Young), Cody Kasch (Zach Young), John Slattery (Victor Lang), Jake Cherry (Travers), Jason Gedrick (Rick Coletti), Terry Bozeman (Dr. Lee Craig), Ernie Hudson (Detective Ridley), Christine Clayburg (TV Reporter)

Notable Guest Stars: Jesse Metcalfe (John Rowland), Gwendoline Yeo (Xiao Mei), Brian Kerwin (Harvey Bigsby), Steven Culp (Rex Van De Kamp), Peri Gilpin (Maggie Gilroy), Richard Burgi (Karl Mayer), Currie Graham (Ed Ferrara)

Running Time: 993 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 4, 2007
Season 2 Airdates: September 24, 2006 - May 20, 2007
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 1-3
Page 2: Discs 4-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

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

Bree doing what she does best: making a startling discovery that hints at something ominous. Carlos bonds with Edie's son, Travers (Jake Cherry).

DISC 4

13. Come Play Wiz Me (43:07) (Originally aired January 21, 2007)
Lynette lays her career on the line to help Tom with his while Orson confronts his ex-wife, Ian receives bad news, and Gaby finds herself dating young again.

14. I Remember That (43:05) (Originally aired February 11, 2007)
Orson begins to come clean to Bree while Mike confronts truths of his own. Elsewhere the peculiarity of Susan's relationship with Ian leads to public embarrassment.

15. The Little Things You Do Together (45:00) (Originally aired February 18, 2007)
While the entire neighborhood gathers at the Scavos' restaurant opening to celebrate several new beginnings, Orson's mother unfolds a sinister conspiracy on Wisteria Lane.

16. My Husband the Pig (43:04) (Originally aired March 4, 2007)
Fairview's suave mayoral candidate sets his sight on Gabrielle, Lynette is nonplussed by Toms' anniversary plans, Susan and Mike share an awkward exchange at the jewelry store that leads to heightened tension with Ian, and Edie takes a new interest in an old neighbor. A deceased resident from Wisteria Lane's past returns to take Mary Alice Young's role as narrator for the day.

Mrs. McCluskey happily gets her moment in the dramatic spotlight in Season 3 of "Desperate Housewives." "Frasier" star Peri Gilpin is as funny as ever in "God, That's Good."

DISC 5

17. Dress Big (43:06) (Originally aired April 8, 2007)
New clothes unite Wisteria Lane when Gabrielle acquires the wardrobe of her new boyfriends' ex-wife, Lynette is dismayed by the pizzeria's uniforms, Susan's clumsiness impacts Ian's parents' outfits, and Edie decides to try on her birthday suit.

18. Liaisons (42:58) (Originally aired April 15, 2007)
Antagonism takes many forms, as evidenced by Mike and Ian's competitive rivalry, Carlos and Edie's passionate anger, Lynette's willful assumption of out-of-the-house responsibility, and Gaby's public display of jealousy.

19. God, That's Good (43:00) (Originally aired April 22, 2007)
It wouldn't be "Desperate Housewives" without marriage on the table and in this episode, it's twofold. Both Susan and Gaby make life-long decisions. Meanwhile, Mrs. McCluskey finds herself in the midst of a Wisteria mystery when the contents of her basement are revealed. Peri Gilpin (of "Frasier" fame) gives an especially funny performance as Susan's cake decorator and Mike's blind date.

20. Gossip (42:45) (Originally aired April 29, 2007)
Susan's relationship anxieties take a toll on her public demeanor. Meanwhile, neighborhood gossip rears its ugly head at Mrs. McCluskey.

Gabby has an audience for her big smooch with Fairview mayoral candidate, Victor Lang (John Slattery). Susan in the wilderness... who is she kidding?

DISC 6

21. Into the Woods (43:02) (Originally aired May 6, 2007)
The Scavos' pizzeria is burgled, leading Tom to discover more about Lynette's friendship with their new head chef than he cared to. Gaby enjoys life as the wife of Fairview's mayor but takes her power too far. Edie seeks custody of her son while Susan seeks Mike in the woods.

22. What Would We Do Without You? (43:05) (Originally aired May 13, 2007)
After a session of incognito counseling, a fight between the Scavos leads to unexpected medical news for Lynette. Meanwhile, Edie acts in desperation to secure Carlos' affection and Susan is miffed when she learns of the resources Gaby has employed for her wedding.

23. Getting Married Today (42:36) (Originally aired May 20, 2007)
The season finale begins with the return of Bree and yet another expansion in the Scavo household and ends with matrimony, revelations, and a gasp-inducing cliff-hanger.

Apple iTunes

Mike spends much of his Season 3 time confined to a hospital bed. Three housewives, desperate for a different dress.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Video quality is, as expected, excellent.
Each episode is presented in its original 1.78:1 widescreen and enhance for 16x9 displays. Very careful observation can reveal the slightest of visual flaws, but any viewer would be hard-pressed to muster reasonable complaints about the presentation. Simply put, the show looks fantastic.

The audio presentation is similarly pleasing. The episodes are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and make wonderful use of that set-up. The dialogue, of course, stems primarily from the front channels, but the supporting speakers are filled with ambient sounds and rich score. Bass levels are just right, providing a surprising supply of boom where appropriate. In both audio and video, you can't ask for much more from a TV series on DVD.

Eva Longoria strolls down Wisteria Lane in "On the Set with Eva." America, meet the Spanish version of Edie Britt. Kyle MacLachlan (Orson Hodge) discusses his favorite moments from "Desperate Housewives": Season Three.

BONUS FEATURES

The bonus features are found entirely on the sixth disc, beginning with "On Set with Eva" (5:36). Eva Longoria, the beautiful star who brings Gabrielle to life each week, allows the cameras to follow her around backstage to reveal the off-stage hijinks that serve as recreation for the "Housewives" cast and crew.
Longoria's co-stars talk briefly about her contributions to the show and real-life personality. This featurette is particularly fun and a behind-the-scenes treat.

"Here Comes the Bride" (7:40) spends time with Marc Cherry, some of the cast, and the show's costume and production designers to talk about the multiple weddings in Season 3 and the demands they put on those responsible for the show. As the season is bookended by marriage, this is an especially appropriate inclusion.

"Amas de Casa Desesperadas" (6:19) finds Marc Cherry watching the Spanish adaptation of "Desperate Housewives" for the first time. The series creator gives live feedback as the screen and audio toggles from the American version to the Spanish. Though it doesn't go into great depth, it's always nice to see the way a familiar property is presented in a different cultural context.

"Desperate Moments" (7:57) provides the main cast's input, as they choose their favorite moments from the third season and present them alongside their reflections. Seeing the stars' favorite moments and comparing them to one's own is neat in and of itself, but they're made even more valuable by the anecdotes and analysis (however brief they may be) that the cast provides.

Marc Cherry runs down his favorite scenes from the third season of "Desperate Housewives." Susan and Julie share a mother-daughter moment in one of The Dirty Laundry Edition's deleted scenes. Dougray Scott (Ian Hainsworth) goofs off on the set of "Desperate Housewives", seen here in the Season Three blooper reel.

The counterpart to "Desperate Moments" is the returning featurette, "Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry's Favorite Scenes" (7:52). Once again, Marc Cherry assembles his favorite moments from the third season and accompanies them with his commentary. It's no substitute for full-length commentaries, but it is a real asset to the DVD set.

There are eight deleted scenes, all of which can be viewed with optional audio commentary by Marc Cherry and either one at a time or all together via "Play All". More "Desperate Housewives" is always a good thing and so even though they run only 6:09 in total, these omissions from the final product are great to seen. They are: "We're Just Coma Buddies", "Ground Rules", "This Is My Job Now", "Two Forks in the Road", "Spilt Milk", "Behind the Curtain", "See You in the Morning", and "Edie's Priorities".

Finally, there is a bloopers reel (2:33). Anyone with an ounce of affection for the series will find these at least amusing and perhaps a good deal funnier than that. If the show itself doesn't make you want to live on Wisteria Lane, this real-life glimpse certainly will.

For a TV series, that's a pretty healthy slate of bonus features. That said, the first season's DVD release included full-length episode audio commentaries which were absent on the second release and fail to turn up here as well. That's a disappointment, as is the disappearance of "Deleted Storylines". Additionally, the retrospective "episodes" that air on ABC throughout the show's run seem like an easy, inexpensive, and logical inclusion that fans would greatly appreciate. Though they aren't included in the official episode count, they are entertaining and very well-made. Alas, they are nowhere to be found. This caveat aside, however, the bonus features get a thumbs up on the whole.

Disc 1's animated main menu depicts the Mayer home in all its suburban glory. An example of the many unique Episode Selection menus found in the Season 3 package

MENUS, PACKAGING, and DESIGN

The "Dirty Laundry" motif is carried throughout the digipak, which places various stills from the third season inside washers and driers. Suds abound. There are six discs, five of them featuring one of the primary housewives and the sixth a Wisteria Lane home.




Browse through posters and photos from hundreds of TV shows
As has been the case the last two times, a clear, plastic slip-cover reveals slightly different front and rear cover art when removed (though the effect isn't nearly as creative as Season One's memorable design).

Inside the case, one can find an 8-page booklet containing episode descriptions and a guide to each disc's content. There are also ads for the "Desperate Housewives" cookbook and other ABC television properties on DVD and online. Additionally, there is an offer to save $10 on any two, $20 on any three, or $30 on any four of the Buena Vista's five major hour-long drama DVDs released this fall. Hurry - the offer expires on Halloween.

Each disc's main menu begins with an animated montage that simulates the show's opening theme, with the actors in place of works of art. This leads to an animated screen that varies in theme and design from disc to disc, always accompanied by a score selection. Some of the submenus are animated while others are stagnant, but all are accompanied by music. Though the laundry motif isn't preserved in the menu design, each pays appropriate montage to Wisteria Lane or some other relevant part of Fairview, CA. Whether it's a room in one of the housewives' homes or the Scavos' pizzeria, the unique menus invite exploration and appreciation.

The first disc launches with a single preview for several of ABC's most popular TV on DVD releases, as well as "Kyle XY". The sixth disc includes several additional previews for various Buena Vista properties (these do not play automatically). Most notable is a brief and uninformative promo for the fourth season of "Desperate Housewives" on ABC. The others are: Enchanted, "Brothers and Sisters": The Complete First Season, "Lost": The Complete Third Season", Wild Hogs on DVD and Blu-Ray, Ratatouille on DVD and Blu-Ray, "Ugly Betty": Season One, and "Grey's Anatomy": Third Season.

Misery loves company, and so does Ian Hainsworth (Dougray Scott). Gabby fuses the runway with the schoolhouse, teaching a group of homely young girls the secrets of sexiness.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

For a show that gets Emmy nominations in the comedy categories every year, "Desperate Housewives" is one heck of a drama. Excellent writing and acting, combined with astute technical sensibilities, produce a truly well-crafted series that has its viewers gasping one moment, laughing the next, and even occasionally on the verge of tears. The dynamism of its emotional connection with its audience makes categorization a challenge, but at the end of the day, it's the intense empathy for the fully realized characters, juxtaposed against their sensationally shock-ridden lives, that makes the show so compelling.

The third season fully meets the high standard of quality established by the pilot and maintained ever since, even managing to smooth out some of the foibles of the second year while still building on its storyline. Despite a silly title like "The Dirty Laundry Edition", the DVD is held in equally high regard. While audio commentaries and the season's highlights episodes should have been included, an otherwise robust bonus features package, first-rate audio/video treatment, and excellent menu design all earn this release an enthusiastic recommendation. I'll even make you an eponymous guarantee: try it once, and you'll be "Desperate" for more.

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Related Reviews:
Brothers & Sisters: The Complete First Season Ugly Betty: The Complete First Season - The Bettyfied Edition
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Second Season Desperate Housewives: The Complete First Season
Grey's Anatomy: Season One Grey's Anatomy: The Complete Second Season Grey's Anatomy: Season Three
Scrubs: The Complete Fifth Season The Golden Girls: The Complete Third Season Kyle XY: The Complete First Season
Ellen: The Complete Season Three Home Improvement: The Complete Third Season
Lost: The Complete First Season Dinosaurs: The Complete Third and Fourth Seasons

"Desperate Housewives" Season 3 Guest Stars:
Laurie Metcalf: Balloon Farm Toy Story: 10th Anniversary Edition | Valerie Mahaffey: Jungle 2 Jungle
Dougray Scott: Dark Water: Unrated | Josh Henderson: Step Up | Pat Crawford Brown: Norbit
Kathleen York: Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken | Jake Cherry: Night at the Museum

Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-3
Page 2: Discs 4-6, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

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

Reviewed September 29, 2007.

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