Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season – The Red Hot Edition (a J!-ENT DVD Review)
August 28, 2009 by Dennis Amith
“A much needed jumpstart brings new life to the popular drama series ‘Desperate Housewives’ with a storyline taking place five years in the future and the lives of the housewives in a much more different predicament than the way things were before. The fifth season captures the fun, the drama and also the dark storyline that we loved from the first season. Definitely a season of ‘Desperate Housewives’ worth recommending!”
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TITLE: Desperate Housewives – The Complete Fifth Edition – The Red Hot Edition
DURATION: (24 episodes) 1032 minutes
DVD INFORMATION: NTSC, Region 1, Widescreen (1:78:1), NTSC, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
RATED: TV 14 DLSV
COMPANY: abc studios
RELEASE DATE: Septembrer 1, 2009
Created by Marc Cherry
Directed by Larry Shaw, David Grossman, David Warren
Written by Marc Cherry, Alexndra Cunningham, Joey Murphy, John Pardee
Executive Produced by Marc Cherry, Geroge W. Perkins, John Pardee, Joey Murphy, Larry Shaw, David Grossman, Sabrina Wind, Bob Daily
Co-Executive Produced by David Flebotte
Produced by Charlas Skouras II
Associate Produced by Dana N. Wilson
Consulting Producer: Jeff Greenstein. Joe Keenan
Music by Steve Jablonsky
Cinematography by Lowell Peterson
Editing by Andrew Doerfer, Jonathan Posell
Casting by Scott Genkinger, Junie Lowry-Johnson
Production Design by Erik Carlson
Series Art Direction by Brian Jewell
Series Set Decoration by Eric Rogalia
Series Costume Design by Catherine Adair
Terri Hacher as Susan Mayer
Felicity Huffman as Lynette Scavo
Marcia Cross as Bree Hodge
Eva Longoria Parker as Gabrielle Solis
Ricardo Chavira as Carlos Solis
Brenda Strong as Mary Alice Young
Nicolette Sheridan as Edie Britt
Doug Savant as Tom Scavo
James Denton as Mike Delfino
Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van De Kamp
Andrea Bowen as Julie Mayer
Kyle MacLachlan as Orson Hodge
Kathryn Joosen as Karen McCluskey
Dana Delany as Katherine Mayfair
Richard Burgi as Karl Mayer
Neal McDonough as Dave Williams
The ladies of Wisteria Lane have still more scandalous secrets to unveil in their fifth season, as Susan (Teri Hatcher), Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Bree (Marcia Cross), Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker), Katherine (Dana Delaney) and Edie (Nicollette Sheridan) give the residents of Fairview plenty to talk about. The show’s subversively funny take on suburban life reveals all the juicy secrets lurking behind closed doors in this seemingly perfect community.
“Desperate Housewives”, the popular ABC drama series (created by Marc Cherry, “The Golden Girls”, “The Golden Palace”, “Amas de casa despesperadas”) which started back in 2004 definitely has gone through some major ups and downs with its dark comedy storylines to its complex marriage or relationship problems but if there is one thing definite about the series… its that the the fans love it and to keep the fans interested, the series went through a significant change for its fifth season.
“Desperate Housewives” is a series that had so many complex storylines that to even explain what has happened in the last four seasons would be difficult but if there is one thing that remains the same, it’s our housewives.
The premise of the first season was based around the death of fellow housewife Mary Alice Young (played by Brenda Strong, “Everwood”, “The Help”, “A Plumm Summer”). Mary Alice Young is the narrator of the series and every episode, she has setup the sequences of what is going on in the life of her friends. And its the housewives of Wisteria Lane who have lived complex lives full of love, betrayal, pain and sadness but with this fifth season, hopefully life will be much more happier for the housewives… probably not. Expect more drama, backstabbing and excitement with the fifth season of “Desperate Housewives”.
The main characters of “Desperate Housewives” Season 5 are:
- Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher, “Seinfeld”, “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) – One of the lead characters who was married to Karl and had a daughter named Julie. They divorced and Susan married Mike Delfino. Five years later in the fifth season, viewers are left to wondering why Susan is no longer with Mike. And why is she with another man named Jason Braddock. Her rival is Edie Britt.
- Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman, “Frasier”, “Sports Night”, “Raising Helen”) – Lynnette was a former advertising executive who is married to Tom Scavo (Doug Savant, “Melrose Place) and has four children: her teenage twins (and often in trouble) Preston and Porter, Parker is the youngest son and the well-behaved youngest daughter Penny. In season 4, Lynette discovers that she has a stepdaughter named Kayla through her husband Tom’s former girlfriend Nora Huntington. Currently pregnant with twins. In the fifth season, she has to put up with Tom’s mid-life crisis.
- Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross, “Everwood”, “Melrose Place”) – Bree is a woman who tries to have the perfect family but unfortunately, her family is quite dysfunctional. She has two children Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) and Danielle (Joy Lauren) with her now deceased husband Dr. Rex Van de Kamp. She is now married to Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan, “Twin Peaks”), who went to prison and also was responsible for the hit-and-run accident putting Mike Delfino in a coma. In season 5, Bree is now a successful publisher (and a Martha Stewart type of person) and her husband Orson feels under appreciated. So, Bree gives Orson a job to work alongside with her.
- Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria Parker, “Dragnet”, “The Hearbreak Kid”, “Young and the Restless”) – The youngest housewife who enjoys money. She was married to Carlos Solis (Ricardo Chavira, “Six Feet Under”) and has had this off and on fling with him. She was also the wife who had affairs with her gardener John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe) and eventually married politician Victor Lang. Who was killed during the tornado that hit Wisteria Lane. Five years later, Gabrielle is back with Carlos and has children (despite being told that they couldn’t have children). She no longer lives the extravagant life that she once had and must deal with being a mother. She has a daughter named Juanita (Madison De La Garza) who is a bit overweight and has issues because of that. Also, the neighborhood bully. And her youngest daughter Celia (Daniella Baltodano).
- Edie Britt (Nicolette Sheridan, “The Legend of Tarzan”, “Knots Landing”, “Paper Dolls”) – The adulterous housewife and rival to Susan. Has had a love/hate relationship with the other housewives due to her lies. But in the fifth season, she comes back to Wisteria Lane as a changed woman and is now married to Dave Williams (Neal McDonough).
- Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany, “China Beach”) - The new housewife and at times a rival to Bree but in season five becomes a good friend to Bree and a business partner. She becomes a major rival to a housewife towards the end of Season 5.
“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season – The Red Hot Edition” on DVD features the following episodes 88-111 (the following are spoiler-less summaries):
- EPISODE 88 – Youre’e Gonna Love Tomorrow - Five years later and the housewives of Wisteria Lane have different lives. Susan is no longer married to Mike, Bree is a successful business woman, Gabrielle has children, Lynette has to deal with her teenage kids and husband that is having a midlife crisis and Edie is married to a guy named Dave.
- EPISODE 89 – We’re So Happy, You’re So Happy - Lynette is concerned about Porter, Susan is not exactly enjoying that her ex-husband and her new boyfriend are becoming close. Meanwhile, Mrs. McCluskey suspects something about Edie’s husband Dave.
- EPISODE 90 – Kids Ain’t Like Everybody Else – Susan and Gabrielle realize their kids don’t like each other. Meanwhile, Danielle and her husband pay a visit to her mother Bree.
- EPISODE 91 – Back in Business – With the success of Bree’s cookbook, Lynette who knows she should be a successful businesswoman is jealous and gets drunk at Bree’s luncheon.
- EPISODE 92 – Mirror, Mirror - The housewives look back at what happened to their lives in the last five years.
- EPISODE 93 – There’s Always a Woman - Tom confronts his son Porter’s affair with his best friend’s mom but Lynette thinks its Tom that is having an affair.
- EPISODE 94 – What More Do I Need? – Tom and Lynette discover Porter’s secret and Susan and Jackson are back on again.
- EPISODE 95 – Only On Fire - The men of Wisteria Lane take part in the “Battle of the Bands”. Meanwhile, Julie visits her mom, Susan and surprises her by introducing her 40-year-old boyfriend.
- EPISODE 96 – Me and My Town - Major changes in Gaby and Carlos’s life, meanwhile Susan must make a big decision in regards to Jackson.
- EPISODE 97 – A Vision’s Just a Vision - Carlos now realizes how much Gabrielle has contributed to the family. Meanwhile, Bree allows her son and his boyfriend to come to dinner.
- EPISODE 98 – Home is the Place – Carlos is offered a major position, that can change their lives. Meanwhile, Edie is having problems in her marriage.
- EPISODE 99 – Connect! Connect! – Susan and Edie are locked in the basement together.
- EPISODE 100 – The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened – The housewives think about how their deceased handyman Eli Scruggs played an important part in their lives.
- EPISODE 101 – Mama Spent Money When She Had None – Susan becomes jealous when Mike buys Katherine a present. Meanwhile, things between Tom and David get worst.
- EPISODE 102 – In a World Where the Kings are Employers – Susan gets a new job but is upset that Mike leaves their son with his girlfriend Katherine. Meanwhile, David feels his neighbors are on to him.
- EPISODE 103 – Crime Doesn’t Pay - Carlos’s new boss takes advantage of Gabrielle and Edie digs into her husband’s past.
- EPISODE 104 – The Story of Lucy and Jesse – Orson and Bree visit a marriage therapist, while Susan seems to have hooked up with another.
- EPISODE 105 – A Spark, To Pierce the Dark - Bree must make a decision… keep her marriage and end her business or continue with her business and end her marriage. Meanwhile, Edie discovers something terrible about her husband.
- EPISODE 106 – Look Into Their Eyes And You See What They Know – The housewives reminisce about Edie, meanwhile they are asked by David to break the news to her son Travers. Bree’s marriage hits its problematic peak.
- EPISODE 107 – Rose’s Turn – Orson’s problems continue to get worse and Susan is caught by the police when her picnic basket is discovered to have weapons.
- EPISODE 108 – Bargaining – Gabrielle becomes concerned when her daughter Juanita starts wearing makeup. Meanwhile, things start to look good between Lynette and Tom.
- EPISODE 109 – Marry Me A Little – Gabrielle wants to teach Juanita a lesson. Meanwhile, Jackson’s planned marriage to Susan may be derailed.
- EPISODE 110 – Everybody Says Don’t – Orson blackmails Bree and Gabrielle is stunned when Carlos’s family asks them to take in his niece.
- EPISODE 111 – If It’s Only In Your Head – Major changes are in store for the housewives.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
Video is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. “Desperate Housewives” looks very good on DVD. Outdoor scenes are nice and vibrant, blacks and low-light scenes do not have the excessive noise problems that some series tend to exhibit on a DVD release. For the most part, cinematography for “Desperate Housewives” has been excellent and the editing top notch. The series looks great and I can only imagine how beautiful this series would look on High Definition (via Blu-ray).
Audio is featured in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and pretty much, “Desperate Housewives” has always been a dialogue-driven television show and is primarily front and center channel driven. For the most part, dialogue is clear and understandable. The show uses minimal music and nor is it the kind of series that utilizes a lot of sound effects (the final episode has a little). For the most part, the setting I preferred to watch the series was to set my receiver setting and have stereo on all channels.
The series includes subtitles in English SDH, Spanish and in French.
“Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season – The Red Hot Edition” comes with the following special features:
- ABC Starter Kit – If you hit play all on disc 1, you will get the ABC Starter Kit which briefly explains about what happened in the previous seasons of “Desperate Housewives”.
- Audio Commentary for “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow” – Audio commentary with commentary by Larry Shaw, Doug Savant, Kyle Maclachlan and James Denton. An interesting commentary especially for the male perspective of the series.
- Audio Commentary for “The Best Thing That Ever Could Have Happened” – Audio commentary by Creator Marc Cherry and actress Brenda Strong. A very entertaining featurette and some interesting insight to the 100th episode. For those who watched the Bravo reality TV show “Work Out”, Marc Cherry was inspired by his friend and “Work Out” trainer Doug Blasdell who passed away. How the show was conceived in a short amount of time but how he wanted a show that celebrated one’s life.
- Bloopers – (6:24) “Desperate Housewives” Season 5 Blooper Reel
- Deleted Scenes - Seven deleted scenes which include: “What More Do I Need” – Alternate Opening, Out in the Open, Memory Lane, Aversion Therapy, Last Call, Mike Takes the Blame, Goo Goo Eyes, The Right Choice. The deleted scenes come with the time stamps.
- Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes – Featuring optional commentary by Marc Cherry, viewers can watch seven of Marc’s favorite scenes from the fifth season which include “Gaby’s New Game”, “Croquembouche”, “Pot Roast”, “Fire!”, “Edie & Eli”, “Quite the Ad Wiz” and “Jackson?”.
- “What More Do I Need?” – A very good Read – A Behind-the-Scenes Look at How the Process Unfolds from Script to Screen – (11:15) Marc Cherry talks about the table readings and a shot of the table readings. Cherry talks about how he was in “The Golden Girls” that what seemed funny on script, may not seem funny on air. So, for an hour-long show, it was important for him to have the table readings to make sure the jokes come out right.
- I Know Things Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100 – A Look Back at 100 episodes of Comedy, Drama and Cake Fights – (20:49) The cast talks about celebrating a 100th episode. A look back at the episodes that touched the crew and the talent of the show. Also, discussing the worldwide appreciation for the show.
- So Very Teri – Wisteria Lane’s Favorite Girl next Door… Funny, Beautiful, And She Does Her Own Stunts – (8:04) Teri Hatcher’s ability to do physical comedy. Marc Cherry, the producers and talents talk about how Teri Hatcher’s ability to do comedy. How Hatcher does her homework with her lines, always writes notes and ideas and more.
- Sneak Peeks – Sneak peeks on ABC shows coming to DVD.
The fifth season of “Desperate Housewives” was the best reboot or kickoff of the series since its first season. There is only so much that these women could experience and with all said and done, it was time for major changes. And thus, the new season of “Desperate Housewives” which takes place five years into the future and has literally grabbed the attention of the viewers. Also, it helps with all the hype that built up around this time jump, the 100th episode and near the end of the series, the entertainment world went buzzing about a possible death of a major character.
As a fan of the series, I really felt the series needed to get some type of jumpstart. The tornado episodes of the fourth season was definitely significant but creator Marc Cherry and crew did a great job in setting the series up, five years into the future. And also knowing that he had to gingerly disrupt the union of the housewives in Wisteria Lane by bringing in a major death. But what I found quite enjoyable was to see Gabrielle in a position as a mother and to see this relationship between her and her child Juanita, definitely brings a different side of humor, than what we experienced with the other Housewives and their children.
Also, to see how the other characters have gone through significant changes and how it has affected their families was quite entertaining and the introduction of David (Neal McDonough), definitely capture that darkness that we saw in the first season, that things on Wisteria Lane are not always right. But who can’t love the continued drama of Susan’s lovelife, the family challenges on Lynette and Tom, Bree’s eventual success and how it is affecting her marriage and as mentioned, the hilarious family antics of Gabrielle’s family. Season five truly rocked!
Saying anything more will spoil the series but I feel that those who were attracted to the dark but yet enjoyable and fun storyline of the first season, can find enjoyment with the fifth season. I have to admit that watching the season finale definitely gave me the chills. But in the end, I was really content and satisfied with the fifth season.
As for “Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season – The Red Hot Edition”, the DVD set is a pretty solid release. Many special features but I was surprised that there was no commentaries by any of the main housewives and I was hoping there would be a commentary by Nicolette Sheridan for “Look Into Their Eyes And You See What They Know”. But for the most part, you do get a good number of special features included in this DVD season box set. I definitely hope ABC considers giving the series the High Definition treatment, for a DVD release, the picture quality on the DVD is quite clean and can only expect how beautiful this series would look on Blu-ray.
“Desperate Housewives” fans, this DVD release is highly recommended!
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