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4.6 out of 5 stars
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES: COMPLETE FIRST SEASON
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2006
Desperate Housewives was a huge hit and rightly so. It is the story of several housewives living in Wisteria Lane, an expensive American suburban street. The main characters are Susan, Lynette, Gabrielle and Bree.
Susan (Teri Hatcher) is the ditsy divorced mother with one daughter and a fancy for her hunky new neighbour. Lynette was a high flying career woman but is now tied to the home and her unruly brood of 4 children. She could cope with anything at work but has problems coping with domesticity. Gabrielle is the Latin beauty, married to Carlos who is rich enough to provide everything she could want. However it’s not enough and she is having an affair with her very young gardener. Bree is perfection personified, immaculately turned out and with a house like something from ideal homes. However her husband and children cannot live up to her ideals or live with this perfection. The narrator of the whole series is Mary Alice, a friend of all the women who, in the first episode, commits suicide. The central thread of the tale is why she was driven to this and what dark secrets are hidden in the lives of the characters.
Although there is a central theme, each episode does have a ‘stand alone’ story for the occasional viewer, but to really enjoy it at its best the series should be watched in its entirety and from the beginning. Twists and turns, murder and mayhem, love and friendship are all to be found in a series that is by turn both wickedly funny and poignant. This is TV at its best; not to be missed.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 13 January 2006
Desperate Housewives was without doubt one of the best new shows of 2005, rivalled only by Lost, which has an equal sharing of gorgeous actors and actresses, sharp dialogue and absorbing, if at times incredibly far-fetched storylines.
In Desperate Housewives every actress and actor is amazing, being funny, believable and sympathetic, although the underrated Eva Longoria (Gabrielle), James Denton (Mike Delfino), and Jesse Metcalfe (John the gardener) are definite highlights on the eye-candy front!
The DVD extras are also excellent, there are a huge amount of bonus features compared to the normal Dawson's Creek/Roswell/Buffy/Angel/Will & Grace/Friends boxsets. You get the normal deleted scenes and commentaries, but also features on the costumes, characters, storylines, plots for season 2, actors and actresses, etc, and they are of a decent length rather than the annoying 3-minute 'featurettes' that often abound on boxsets. I was, however, unable to figure out why some episodes can be viewed as 'extended episodes' with one extra scene, whereas some episodes simply had deleted scenes accompanying them.
A word of warning though - many of the special features include spoilers for both season 1 and season 2, so it would have been better to put them all on the final disc rather than spreading them out on the different discs. My advice would be to watch all the episodes, then go back and watch the features.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2005
A smash hit, if a risky step by ABC to produce the programme, 'Desperate Housewives' takes all the stereotypes (or should that be male fantasies and nightmares) of picket-fenced US suburbia - the man-eater, the dizzy single parent, the career woman making a job of bringing up her kids, the unfaithful trophy, and the Stepford wife with attitude. Oh yes, and then there's the dead narrator? This is a harder spin on 'American Beauty', an ironic, not to mention cynical glimpse behind the Martha Stewart façades of post-yuppie domesticity. It's funny, it's dark, it's electrifying.
Each episode provides a stand-alone drama, beating out a theme, pulsing to the rhythm of some moral … stated at the outset, restated at the conclusion, but with a sharp twist of irony. This is not the neighbourliness of Capra, George Bailey, and "Wonderful Life". There are good neighbours. And there are bad. It's a competitive world living in the suburbs - whatever else happens, you have to maintain the façade, you have to appear to be perfect, or at least have a credible explanation if you're not.
This is a wonderful series. It carries along the mystery of its narrator's death. Others will die. Murder can be brutal. It can also be quite functional. It can have charm. And one by one each perfect household comes unpicked, exposes a flaw like a run in a pair of stockings - once you've noticed it, you can't take your eyes of it. And while you're distracted with one plot strand, writer Marc Cherry works his sleight of hand and conjures up another twist.
The cast is wonderful. With perhaps only Teri Hatcher as a 'star' name, albeit she'd dropped out of sight for a few years, Cherry assembled an ensemble cast who generate some great chemistry onscreen and who amplify one another's talents and energies. There's scarcely a weak performance in sight. Direction and editing are excellent - the juxtaposition of scenes and shots, the ironic counterpoint of humour and mystery, the rapid cutting from one household to the next, and the overall quality of the production keeps your attention rapt.
But the script's the thing. It is beautifully crafted. The DVD extras accompanying season one give you some excellent insights into the writing process. You get a look at the making of the series, you get brief interviews with actors. You get some very interesting commentaries. And much more. It's a fascinating series. The DVD's, like the writing and the concept, are beautifully packaged. Excellent value, a series you can watch again and again. And again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 8 January 2009
Having only caught the odd episode of Desperate Housewives when it aired on Channel 4, I remember enjoying it and decided to buy the first series on DVD - and its even better then I remembered.

The four desperate housewives are the main protagonists in the series. Bree, who on the outside seems to be the perfect housewife with the perfect family, while actually her marriage is in trouble and her kids are rebelling against her. Gabby, the ex-model who married for money, not for love and has to resort to sleeping with her 17 year old gardener to find happiness. Susan, a single mother who gets along very well with her daughter but is constantly plagued by troubles with men as she tries to find love. And Lynette, the only happily married housewife, who has to deal with 4 troublesome sons.

Right from the very first scene of the first episode, the mystery and drama starts and it doesnt stop untill the end. I found the series very compulsive viewing and often ended up watching 3 or 4 episodes in a row because I just HAD 2 find out what happened next.

The show has mystery (a lot of it), drama, romance and is very funny in places, too.

An excellent series which I would deffinatly reccommened.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2005
First of all I have to say that I didn't give this show a chance when it first started, I just thought it would be like Sex And The City (which I did not like at all!) but how wrong I was, I got the boxset for Christmas and I cannot wait until I am off next week because I am going to watch as much as I can!, I have seen 3 epsiodes so far and they have been excellent, it's very addictive stuff, the show isn't just for women as I'm a 21 year old guy and I think it's great, and not only for the hot ladies! ha ha - the plot so far is wondering what is in THAT box, I've heard that the finale of this season is amazing and I cannot wait to get there!...
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2006
The series kicks off with Mary Alice Young commiting suicide. The series centers her looking down on her friends, family and neighbours. Looking down on them all, she soon realises that her friends aren't as happy as she thought they were. Susan, a divorced single woman is desperate to be loved and trys to find love throughout the series. Bree, the "perfect one". Her husband wants a divorce and her kids hate her. Lynettte, a woman that has to put up with her loud hyper kids as her husband sets out to work each day. Gabrielle, a woman who wants her husband for his money and her gardner for the bedroom activities. Finally Edie, who doesn't really have a big part but the idea of her character is she's a slut that has been married quite a few times.

The Dvd itself is great with some good special features (my advice though is that you watch them after as they have some spoilers that could wreck it for ya if you don't know what's going to happen).

I give this a five as it's brilliant and so much better than the overrated Lost.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2006
The first thing to say about this DVD boxed set is that it is beautifully packaged and presented. The special features are a notch above what's generally out there, being both extensive and interesting. I think my favourites are the audio commentaries on the scenes specially chosen by the actresses themselves and the blooper reels (Teri getting confused between best and breasts never fails to have me laughing and Eva definitely seems to be the 'corpser' of the set). And the audio commentaries by Marc Cherry on selected episodes are interesting and entertaining - which is a rarity among the AC genre.
If you were particularly churlish you could perhaps quibble with the fact that 'deleted scenes' invariably actually mean one scene and the 'extended episodes' are only extended by one scene (on rare occasion two) - but that would be extreme nitpicking I feel. Overall the features are impressive and certainly add to the enjoyment of the overall set.
I have two small grumbles. The first is the inconsistency of subtitling on the disks. Some disks have no subtitles. Some have English subtitles included. Some have subtitles in other languages, but not in English. This was a little frustrating at times.
Secondly, the somewhat long introduction to each disk - a parody of the opening credits, using the actresses. The first time it went past it seemed overlong. By the time I'd reached disk five it was tedious and frustrating to have to wait for it to end before getting to the episodes.
But those are very small annoyances. Generally the set has been put together with obvious care for detail and imagination. And that's greatly appreciated by this buyer.
When it comes right down to it though, the real stars of this set are the episodes themselves and with their superb performances, the sparkling scripts, wonderfully real characters you will care about and intriguing plotlines, you can't fail to consider this the star of your DVD collection and one that you'll revisit and enjoy time and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2014
I don't want to include too much in this review about the series as I don't want to spoil it but this series includes death, secrets, lies, betrayal, humour, love and friendship on a dramatic scale. It takes apart the seemingly perfect, stereotypical surburbian families and exposes what really goes on behind close doors. The four main housewives are each incredibly different and clash on certain ideas or opinions however they always main best friends no matter what is going on in their personal lives. While their lives are unravelling they always manage a smile for the neighbours or make sure that their rose bushes are trimmed to perfection which adds to the charm of the series.

As sad as it may sound Desperate Housewives has completely overtaken my life. I bought series 1 as I was having some surgery and needed a lot of DVDs to occupy me during my time off work.

From the first episode I was hooked. The twists and the turns and the many different characters with their own stories and secrets astounded me. I have never watched a TV series which has so much depth and which can keep the suspense going. I found myself shell shocked at some of the twists that occurred and the secrets that were being kept on that infamous Lane.

The characters are obviously the highlight of the show and I can honestly that Marc Cherry is a genius at making his characters seem realistic and getting you to fall in love with them.

I am currently watching the final few episodes of series 8 and I am so sad that it is all over. I have never been disappointed with any of the 8 series and have continued to stay as hooked and as surprised as I was when I watched that first episode.

I would tell anybody to buy the first series and see whether you enjoy it then buy the rest. The series was a hit when it first aired and there is no question as to why. I wish they would make a new series as nothing compares to this anymore!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 October 2007
The women of Wisteria Lane drew enormous interest in the media since this adult rated TV show began airing on ABC. The story revolves around Martha Stewart-perfect Bree (Marcia Cross), who has it all, until she finds out her husband is cheating on her. Gaby (Eva Longoria) is a bored trophy wife whose addiction for shopping and clothes are the perfect decoy for her affair with the hunky teenage gardener (Jesse Metcalfe). Former career woman Lynette (Felicity Huffman) is the most stereotypical housewife raising four kids and frustrated, and Susan (Teri Hatcher), the divorcee looking for love sees her prospects brighten with the arrival of hunky plumber Mike (James Denton) who has some desperate secrets of his own.

It is a fast and wild mix of plot and characters that made this a hit show. There are 23 episodes on this DVD set, and six of the episodes can also be viewed in unrated extended versions. The DVD also includes five leading ladies' separate commentaries on few of their favorite scenes discussing the characters' clothes and homes, the show's appeal, casting decisions, the show's much-hyped secrets, and how naked Teri Hatcher had to be. There is also a segment in which talk show diva Oprah pays a visit to Wisteria Lane. If you are a fan of this soap opera your dreams are fulfilled; the DVD is out there for you to check it out.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 October 2005
When I first saw the trailers for this series, I wrongly thought it was a suburbia-based Sex And The City wannabe and decided not to watch. Then I began to hear about it and realised it's not what I expected. I tuned in to the repeats and was enthralled.
This is actually a mystery series with various soap-like subplots. It begins with the suicide of Mary Alice Young who narrates the subsequent episodes. The series follows the everyday lives of Mary Alice's friends as they mourn their loss and gradually piece together the reasons for her death. This is a story of secrets, murders and mistaken identities.
The main characters are Susan, Lynette, Gabrielle and Bree. Susan is the kind of person most of us can relate to. She always has the best intentions, but everything she does just goes wrong. Lynette was a successful businesswoman, but gave it all up to become a full-time mother and frequently finds herself out of her depth in her new role. Gabrielle is the irresponsible one, married to a rich man and sleeping with their young gardener. Bree, on the other hand, is old-fashioned and wholesome, but with strong political opinions. Whether or not you agree with her views, I dare you not to sympathise as her marriage falls apart and as she discovers the reasons for the break-up.
Once I started watching this, I was addicted and there are so many twists and turns that I need to watch it again to see with hindsight what was really going on in all these episodes. I can't wait for the next series.
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