STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
MSRP: $38.99
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 721 minutes

• Audio Commentary on episode “Now I Know” by executive producer Marc Cherry and producers Bob Daily and Jeff Greenstein
• “Couples Commentary” by Teri Hatcher & James Denton, Marcia Cross & Kyle MacLachlan, Eva Longoria Parker & Ricardo Chavira, Felicity Huffman & Doug Savant and Dana Delaney and Nathan Fillion on selected episodes
• Getting Desperate: From Beginning to End
• Spare Time: Hanging With the Men of Wisteria Lane
• Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes
• Deleted scenes
• Alternate ending to season finale
• Bloopers


The Pitch

Basically, it’s Monday Night Football for women.

The Humans

Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Nicolette Sheridan, James Denton, Ricardo
Chavira, Doug Savant, Kyle MacLachlan, Dana Delaney, Nathan Fillion, John Slattery, Brenda Strong.

Interviewer: “Felicity, I have a TransAmerica question for you.”
Huffman: “Oh, by all means.”
Interviewer: “Did your husband [William H. Macy] ever ask you to wear the fake dick to bed?”
Huffman: “..and we’re done here…”

The Nutshell

The Teri Hatcher career resurrection device is still functioning in year four of a recently-revealed seven-year planned run.  Just as in the previous seasons, there are secrets, plots, schemes, in-fighting, humilations, instigations, perpetrations, manipulations, machinations and plenty of other kinds of -ations afoot. 

The Lowdown

Say what you want about Desperate Housewives – that it’s purely an est fest, that it’s testicle-shrinking melodrama of the highest order, that it’s
Sex and the City minus the Prada and Jimmy Choo – it’s still a complicated sudser with more plots than a cemetery.  In Season 4, it was no less labyrinthine as storylines that carried over from the first three years continued into this one and more secrets as startling as Clay Aiken driving stick were uncovered.  And just when you thought things couldn’t get any more asinine, silly or ridiculous than they have been previously on the show, DH proves you wrong.

Interviewer: “Marcia, I understand you were in an episode of M.A.N.T.I.S. once.”
Cross: “Oh my God!  Yes I was, a lifetime ago, early in my career.”
Interviewer: “You and Lumbly ever do it in costume?”
Cross: “Wha?!  I…How dare you!…Who have you been talking to…?”

Season 4 picked up a month after the finale of Season 3.  The main storylines are that Lynette (Huffman) is undergoing chemotherapy for her cancer; Susan and Mike (Hatcher, Denton) are settling into married life after a surprise wedding; Gabrielle (Longoria Parker) has likewise gotten married, to the Mayor of Fairview, Victor Lang, and Bree (Cross) has returned to town, “pregnant” with husband, Orson’s baby.  Season 4 also saw the return of Katherine Mayfair (Delaney) to Wisteria Lane after a dozen years away.  She has a new husband in Adam (Fillion, slumming), and a daughter, Dylan, who, although having spent her early childhood on Wisteria Lane, has no memory of living there.

Interviewer: “So Eva, I’ve been told that you’re the most difficult Housewife to work with because of your supposed diva mentality.”
Longoria Parker: “That is such bullshit!  Who keeps spreading these lies about me?  Now shut up and go get me a Perrier and make sure it’s from a Waterford Crystal decanter at 64 degrees Fahrenheit…”

Not only is Lynette going through a battle with cancer, but she also has to deal with her overbearing mother, who’s come to stay with her and Tom (Savant) to help out with the kids.  Later on, she has to deal with the reality that her stepdaughter, Kayla, from Tom’s previous relationship before he married Lynette, is as much a little psycho bitch as her late mother.  Kayla and Lynette have a battle of wits for control of Tom’s heart, and Kayla has no compunctions about getting Lynette arrested or injuring her brothers in order to get her way.

Meanwhile, Susan’s new marriage to Mike, the one that had been brewing for a couple of seasons at least, starts off well, until Mike finds himself getting hooked on painkillers.  In addition to that, Susan also becomes pregnant with their first child together.  Like Lynette, Susan also has to deal with Mike’s mother, who’s a mouthy Southern Belle overly critical of her parenting skills.  And after Mike and Susan deal with Mike’s addition and stint in rehab, Susan has a bigger concern when their son is born and Mike wants to name him (gasp) Maynard, after his grandfather who recently died. 

Interviewer: “Have you been happy with the opportunities that Desperate Housewives has brought to your career?”
Sheridan: “Absolutely.  I mean, gigs like Code Name: The Cleaner
don’t just fall out of the sky…”

In the Hodge household, Bree and Orson are engaging in a Machiavellian scheme to preserve the virtue of Bree’s daughter, Danielle, who got pregnant by Edie’s nephew.  Bree has had Danielle “away at school” until the baby is born.  In the meantime, Bree has been pretending to be pregnant so that she’ll claim Danielle’s baby as her own.  Of course, Orson has his own issues with Mike, as Mike’s amnesia lifts and he realizes that it was Orson who tried to kill him by running him over and putting him into a coma the previous season. 

And Gaby, recently married to her new husband, is in turn having an affair, with her old husband, Carlos (Chavira).  This goes on for some time until Victor, by nature an extremely jealous and vindictive man, finds out about it.  From there it’s a cat and mouse game between the three of them that comes to a head when a tornado hits Wisteria Lane.  As Victor is about to kill Carlos, they both get caught in the storm and Victor is impaled by a fence post, but Carlos is hit on the head and is blinded.  Also, some critical papers giving access to $10 million that Carlos embezzled are lost in a scuffle between Edie and Gaby.  Gaby and Carlos soon remarry, and they have to deal with Carlos’ handicap.

Delany: “Yeah, I have to say that it’s different working on this show than previous projects.”
Interviewer: “Anything in particular?”
Delany: “Well, for instance, Tim Daly liked to show up to the voice sessions of Superman: the Animated Series in full costume.  I mean, really, what’s up with that…?”

Of course, the biggest secret of the season is the return of Katherine to the block.  She left suddenly under mysterious circumstances surrounding being a victim of abuse by her former husband, Wayne Davis (Gary Cole), who’s also a cop.  Katherine makes a big splash when she returns, being embraced by some of the housewives, and clashing with others, particularly Bree, who feels that Katherine is stealing her thunder.  Nevertheless, she’s eventually accepted back, although her big secret always looms over her, causing Adam to leave her and making her daughter, Dylan have questions.  When Wayne comes back into their lives, and picks up where he left off, the secret explodes and almost causes Katherine her life.

Finally, Edie, always the outcast, schemes her way to trying to hold on to Carlos, even after he rejects her to go back to Gaby.  This includes faking a pregnancy.  But when she finds out about Bree’s baby scheme, she tries to blackmail her.  But when Bree comes clean to the others, they come together and drive Edie away from Wisteria Lane.  Desperate Housewives is still in its stride as, like it or hate it, one can’t complain that there aren’t a plethora of stories going on in the show.  The wife loves it, which means that I like too…I guess… (don’t judge me, I’m married…)

“Really, I have no problem being a disembodied voice on one of the most successful shows on TV…working alone all the time in a stuffy voiceover booth…not getting recognized…sure, I’m perfectly fine with that…”

The Package

Well first off, the packaging itself is a snazzy little clear plastic pull out number with hidden fiery dresses for the ladies (God I’m becoming Cojocaru…) and five discs.  The show is in 1.78:1 widescreen, the transfer is pretty good, and the sound is Dolby 5.1 Surround.  There are also optional English, Spanish and French subtitles.  The special features include Audio Commentary by Executive Producer Marc Cherry, producers Bob Daily and Jeff Greenstein on the episode, “Now You Know.” There are also “Couples Commentaries” on “Now I Know, Don’t be Scared,” by Cross and MacLachlan, “Distant Past” by Delaney and Fillion, “Something’s Coming” by Longoria and Chavira, “Welcome to Kanagawa” by Huffman and Savant, and “Mother Said” by Hatcher and Denton. 

“No, really, the incident was blown way out of proportion.  Tony Parker caught me grabbing Eva’s funbags in the dressing room and I tried to explain that I was a method actor.  He didn’t seem to understand…”

Getting Desperate: From Beginning to End, is a pretty good 26-minute behind-the-scenes accounting of the production of the tornado episode.  Spare Time: Hanging With the Men of Wisteria Lane is an eight-minute rap session with the male stars of the show while they’re bowling.  Recaps and gag reels are included.  Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes are pretty much what the title denotes, clocking in about 15 minutes with optional commentary by Cherry.  Ten minutes of deleted scenes, an alternate ending to the season finale and bloopers round out the offerings.

7.9 out of 10