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

"Desperate Housewives": The Complete Fourth Season:
Sizzling Secrets Edition DVD Review - Page 1

Buy Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fourth Season (Sizzling Secrets Edition) from Amazon.com Desperate Housewives: Season Four (2007-08)
Show & DVD Details

Regular Directors: Larry Shaw, David Grossman, David Warren, Bethany Rooney

Regular Cast: Teri Hatcher (Susan Mayer), Felicity Huffman (Lynette Scavo), Marcia Cross (Bree Van De Kamp), Eva Longoria Parker (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), Rachel Fox (Kayla), Dana Delany (Katherine Mayfair), Lyndsy Fonseca (Dylan Mayfair)

Recurring Characters: Nathan Fillion (Adam Mayfair), Kathryn Joosten (Karen McCluskey), Polly Bergen (Stella Wingfield), John Slattery (Victor Lang), Pat Crawford Brown (Ida Greenberg), Hailee Denham (Young Dylan Mayfair), Ellen Geer (Lillian Simms), Kevin Rahm (Lee McDermott), Tuc Watkins (Bob Hunter), Shirley Knight (Phyllis Van De Kamp), Mike Farrell (Milton Lang), Melora Walters (Sylvia Greene), Gary Cole (Wayne Davis), Jason Gedrick (Rick Coletti), Justine Bateman (Ellie Franks)

Notable Guest Stars: Julia Campbell (Muriel), Darien Pinkerton (Penny Scavo), Tahj Mowry (Matt), Jesse Metcalfe (John Rowland), Michelle Pierce (Tammy Rowland), George Wyner (Dr. Rushton), Robert Forster (Nick Delfino), Sarah Paulson (Lydia Lindquist), Carrie Preston (Lucy), Bob Glouberman (Mohel), Richard Chamberlain (Glen Wingfield), J.C. Mackenzie (Walter Bierlich), Dakin Matthews (Reverend Sikes), Jeff Doucette (Father Crowley), Celia Weston (Adele Delfino), Bill Smitrovich (Rev. Green), Gale Harold (Jackson Braddock), Kali Say (Juanita Solis), Daniella Baltodano (Celia Solis)

Running Time: 728 Minutes (17 episodes) / Rating: TV-14
1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen / Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Subtitles: English; Closed Captioned / DVD Release Date: September 2, 2008
Season 4 Airdates: September 30, 2007 - May 18, 2008
Five single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $59.99
Eight-sided fold-out Digipak with clear slipcover

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By Aaron Wallace

Like almost every other show on television last season, "Desperate Housewives" took a hit during the infamous writers' strike that halted production for more than three months. But while some experienced a fatal dive in the ratings, "Desperate"'s reduced episode run and four-month gap (broken only by one new episode in early January) yielded the happy surprise of delightfully excruciating cliffhangers
and compacted, high-concentrate drama. The thrilling results make it hard to care about the slight viewership dip the series took upon its delayed spring return.

Each fall, "Desperate Housewives" begins a new season-long mystery arc, heralded by the arrival of a new resident to Wisteria Lane. Sure, a pattern inherently emerges from that concept but reliably enthralling intrigue has kept the whole procedure feeling fresh. In fact, the incoming neighbor that will be met in the season premiere and their shady backstory that will all come together in the season finale are something to look forward to in spite of their familiarity.

In The Complete Fourth Season, it's Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) who crashes Wisteria Lane. Unlike the intruding outsiders of previous seasons, Katherine turns out to be a relic from the past for these characters -- she lived in the neighborhood long before any of us knew of it. Her warm welcome is immediately accompanied by big questions, namely: why she left, where she's been, and why her teenaged daughter doesn't remind anyone of the girl they used to know.

The housewives (Gabrielle, Susan, Bree, and Lynette) take a defiant stroll toward Edie's house. Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany) shakes things up with her return to Wisteria Lane in Season Four.

Katherine's return also threatens Bree (Marcia Cross), whose domestic diva status is endangered by the equally domiciliary Katherine. Also troubling Bree is the effort to disguise her daughter's pregnancy as her own in an extended storyline that might be the series' most hysterical yet.
If there was any doubt that "Desperate" had lost its sardonic edge, an accidental stabbing of Bree's fake belly at a neighborhood barbeque pushes it aside -- the show is as juicy as ever.

Susan (Teri Hatcher) and Mike (James Denton) are finally a married couple in the fourth season, bringing a welcome end to the overlong "will they or won't they?" dynamic. That said, their marital exploits are still the least interesting part of the show and the truth is that neither of these characters have operated at full potential since their pivotal role in the debut season.

The more interesting romantic saga is the love rectangle (or something like that) formed between Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker), her ex-husband Carlos (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), her new husband Victor Lang (John Slattery, "Mad Men"), and Edie (Nicollette Sheridan), Carlos' current lover and mutual friend/neighbor of Gabrielle. Rapid-fire deception and back-stabbing keeps this tangled web sticky for a long time.

In sickness and in health, Gabby (Eva Longoria Parker) is the same spoiled wife she's always been -- seen here taking advantage of Carlos' newfound disability. A hurricane ravages Wisteria Lane in one of Desperate Housewives' most striking moments.

Holding up the obligatory bummer portion of the show, Lynette (Felicity Huffman) battles cancer this season, with Huffman bravely diving into a demanding (and hairless) role. Adding to Lynette's stresses is the increasingly malignant conniving of her newfound stepdaughter, Kayla (Rachel Fox) and the boarding of her estranged mother, Stella (Polly Bergen).

In addition to the writers' strike, the fourth season of "Desperate Housewives" will be remembered for three things. The first is a mid-season tornado that hits Wisteria Lane with all the terror and majesty of a perfect storm, making for one of the greatest stints in the show's history. The second is a season finale that takes its cue from "One Tree Hill" and leaps five years into the future, setting the stage for the rest of the series. The third is the introduction of Dana Delany, whose exquisite performance of Katherine Mayfair is the perfect compliment to the well-established personalities, leading to her crowning as the first seasonal resident to become a permanent member of the main cast. There's a new housewife in town and it plays out as more an act of brilliance than desperation.

The rock-solid acting that has characterized the show all along is aptly maintained by the returning cast, too, and what a cast it is. Working with maybe the strongest ensemble on television right now, creator Marc Cherry (who thankfully remains intimately involved with the show) has a nigh-holy union of ingenious writing and award-worthy performances on his hand each and every week. It's talent like this that almost makes the lengthy Hollywood strikes seem worth it.

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

Edie's (Nicolette Sheridan) hanging out for a summer-long cliffhanger before revealing her tricks in the Season Four premiere. The arrival of Katherine's aunt (Ellen Geer) reveals much about the sordid past that brought the Mayfairs back to Fairview.

DISC 1

1. Now You Know (43:07) (Originally aired September 30, 2007)
The premiere is one of revelations -- Edie's attempted suicide, Lynette's cancer diagnosis, and Susan's pregnancy all come to light. Meanwhile, Bree makes an uproarious effort to fake a pregnancy of her own, giving rise to one of the character's best scenes to date. The fourth season's mystery arc is introduced when Katherine Mayfair moves back to Wisteria Lane with her family.

2. Smiles of a Summer Night (42:33) (Originally aired October 7, 2007)
It doesn't take long for tensions to heat up with a new face on Wisteria Lane. Katherine's daughter, Dylan (Lyndsy Fonseca), does some snooping around in her mother's past. Threatened by Katherine's own domestic prowess,
Bree snoops around in her kitchen. Meanwhile, Susan and Mike disagree on whether Julie should attend a party, Edie seeks engagement-by-blackmail to Carlos, and Gabby has a hard time coping with Lynette's cancer treatment.

3. The Game (42:56) (Originally aired October 14, 2007)
The housewives throw a party in the hopes that high spirits of both kinds will coax some information out of Katherine about her time away from Wisteria Lane. For those housewives trying to keep secrets of their own, however, the plan backfires.

4. If There's Anything I Can't Stand (43:01) (Originally aired October 21, 2007)
With only hours left in her life, Katherine's aunt (Ellen Geer) comes to make her death bed at Katherine's new house and make peace with the truth regarding Dylan. Meanwhile, the ladies of Wisteria Lane throw a most unwanted baby shower for Bree, including a most unwanted guest, and things get crabby in the Edie-Carlos-Gabby-Victor love affair.

Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) has an uncomfortable confrontation on Victor's boat. A street teeming with as much mysteria as Wisteria Lane is just begging for Halloween revelry, and in Season Four, fans finally get just that.

DISC 2

5. Art Isn't Easy (41:42) (Originally aired October 28, 2007)
When Katherine runs for the homeowner association's presidency, Lynette fears for her children's treehouse and a new gay couple on the Lane, Bob and Lee, defend an unattractive water fountain in their yard. Meanwhile, Bree's ex-mother-in-law interferes with the pregnancy cover-up and a private investigator interferes with Gabby and Carlos' affair.

6. Now I Know, Don't Be Scared (42:58) (Originally aired November 4, 2007)
It's Halloween on Wisteria Lane and Danielle has quite a treat for her mother, Bree: a baby! Those aren't the only surprises; Susan discovers that Mike's presumably dead father is still living and Gabby and Carlos tell Victor and Edie that they are leaving them, respectively. A few houses down, Lynette determinedly pursues a possum.

7. You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover (43:03) (Originally aired November 11, 2007)
Inter-familial strife looms large in this episode, as Bree and Orson quibble over whether to circumcise their new child, Susan discovers that Mike may have a pill addiction, Dylan pressures Karen for the truth about her father, and Gabby faces off against Victor aboard a boat when Victor confronts her about the affair with Carlos.

8. Distant Past (43:02) (Originally aired November 25, 2007)
When Victor goes missing, all suspicious eyes land on Gabby and Carlos, including Edie's. Meanwhile, Lynette's cynical perception of her mother changes with a major revelation and a mysterious woman claiming to know Karen's new husband shows up on Wisteria Lane.

Mrs. McCluskey (Kathryn Joosten) and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) pay their respects to an old friend... illegally. Bree (Marcia Cross) brings new meaning to "church lady" when the Scavos try different congregations on for size in "Sunday".

DISC 3

9. Something's Coming (42:59) (Originally aired December 2, 2007)
In one of the series' best and most memorable episodes, a tornado hits Wisteria Lane after Mary Alice Young warns that one
of the housewives will lose a husband and all of them will lose a friend. This haunting premonition generates instant suspense and the episode perfectly captures all the excitement and fear that accompany a residential tornado.

10. Welcome to Kanagawa (42:45) (Originally aired January 6, 2008)
After a month of holding bated breath, the world finally found out the fate of Wisteria Lane's residents in January, following the epic tornado in the previous installment.

11. Sunday (43:05) (Originally aired April 13, 2008)
Dylan enlists Julie for help in learning about her father, Susan's scandal-troubled cousin comes to town, Carlos is forced to reveal a lasting effect of the tornado to Gabby, and Bree guides Lynette to church in a surprisingly spiritual dialogue.

12. In Buddy's Eyes (42:59) (Originally aired April 20, 2008)
Rick makes an unexpected return to the Scavos' pizzeria, Katherine and Bree contentiously join forces to plan a local ball, and Orson begins sleepwalking... and tallking, not a good thing for someone with a shady past.

Danielle (Joy Lauren) spends much of Season Four in hiding, waiting to birth a baby that the rest of the world believes to be Bree's. Married life has its awkward moments for Mike (James Denton) and Susan, who clash over proper parenting for Julie (Andrea Bowen).

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Continue to Page 2 >>

Page 1: Show Discussion, Discs 1-3
Page 2: Discs 4-5, 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

Reviewed February 5, 2009.

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