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STUDIO: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
MSRP: $44.99
RATED: Not rated
RUNNING TIME: 1032 minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES:

- Bloopers
- Deleted Scenes
- Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes
- What More Do I need? A Very Good Read
- I know Things Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100
- So Very Teri
- Audio Commentaries

 

The Pitch

Cue male package shrinkage in 3…2…1…

The Humans

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

The Nutshell

Season 5 of the women of Wisteria Lane getting into mischief of the carnal, marital, family, business and criminal type.  Throw in the typical season-long mystery, an unexpected and major death and you have ABC’s Sunday-night juggernaut, chugging along at full steam.





The Lowdown

You’re reading this article because you’re either A) a regular viewer of Desperate Housewives or B) you’re thinking about becoming one, or, C) you’re at work and bored as shit.  If Item A is the case, then I’ll dispense with the introductions and show background and get to the Season 5 storylines and my take on them.  If Item B is the case, then stop reading because very little if anything will make much sense to you because this show is serialized out the ass.  Go back, start at the beginning and get back here when you’re caught up.  If C is your predicament, goddamn you must be thisclose to tossing pencils into the ceiling point first. 

Season 5 was creator Marc Cherry’s big “screw you” to soap conventions by advancing his show five years into the future.  Everything that occurred in Season 4 was half a decade prior and the ladies have all changed quite a bit.  In brief, Susan and Mike are divorced, and Susan has a new squeeze, Jackson.  MJ is now a five-year-old Village of the Damned-looking tyke.  Bree is now a successful caterer and author and is back with Orson after he spent three years in jail after turning himself in for his attempted murder of Mike.  Katherine, her former partner, is now her employee and her once-misbegotten son, Andrew, is now her star employee.  Tom and Lynette are still married and own the pizzeria and Lynette is cancer free.  Carlos is still blind and employed as a massage therapist, and Gaby is a mother of two fat little shits who has gone from glam former model to frumpy housewife.  Together they’ve struggled to stay afloat.  And finally, Edie, who was essentially banished from Wisteria Lane by the others, has returned after five years with a new husband: Dave.  Dave is the big mystery of the season.





Key storylines in Season 5 find Susan struggling with lingering feelings for Mike as he starts a relationship with Katherine, who is looking to land him for husband material.  Susan also takes a job at MJ’s school in order to afford his tuition.  She’s also dealing with how her relationship with Jackson is going.  He wants to get more serious and she’s not ready for that.  Now that Edie’s back, she’s trying to fit back into the social circles that were shut down by the other ladies when she had played dirty pool with some of them.  Her new husband, Dave, is an oddity.  He pushed for them to move back to Wisteria Lane and is looking to involve themselves heavily into the lives of Edie’s former friends.  But he’s also got a past, including a stint in a mental institution. 

The recession is a factor in many of the characters’ situations.  Tom and Lynette’s pizzeria is struggling and Tom is having a mid-life crisis.  What’s worse, their son, Preston, now a rambunctious teenager with his twin, Porter, is accused of murder and arson when a fire destroys a local club.  Furthermore, Preston had started a relationship with the wife of the club owner, which is why he became the main suspect in the arson.  He jumps bail, threatening Tom and Lynette’s financial survival.  Eventually, they have to sell the pizzeria and Lynette goes back to work yet again, this time for Carlos.  She discovers late in the season that she’s pregnant…again…with twins.





The biggest change of any of the housewives is Gaby, who has popped out two fat kids, Juanita and Celia, that each already weigh more than she did in her modeling days.  All of Gaby’s former glamour is gone and she struggles with that, even as she and Carlos struggle with money.  But when Carlos gets his sight back, he goes back to being the corporate bigwig he used to be and it’s not long before he and Gaby are back close to being their old selves.  Later in the season, they take in Carlos’ sexpot niece, Ana, who is a master of manipulation and tease in order to get what she wants.

As for Bree, her success as a caterer and author has come at the expense of her marriage to Orson.  Since he can’t practice dentistry anymore, he struggles with self identity and kleptomania just to piss Bree off when she marginalizes him.  Bree eventually plans to divorce him and ends up starting an affair with Susan’s first ex, Karl.  Orson gets some dirt on a false robbery and police report Bree files in order to hide her assets from him and uses that to stay in the marriage.





The major death this season is none other than Edie, after she finds out Dave’s deep dark secret.  Turns out Dave’s first wife and their child were killed in an auto accident with Mike and Susan.  This was the same accident from which Susan couldn’t escape guilt and that drove a wedge between her and Mike, leading to their divorce.  Dave went mental and had trouble dealing.  Yet when he got his marbles somewhat in order, he planned a labyrinthine scheme to befriend Mike and then kill MJ in retribution.  He also had to kill his psychiatrist who threatened to reveal his secret.   Dave is also the one who set the fire for which Preston was blamed. 

My take on Season 5 was that it was a fairly innovative way to freshen up the show and present new possibilities.  It’s also a good way to make available back stories on which the show has frequently relied.  As for the individual stories, they’re typically along the lines of what the show has presented before.  Although in the case of Tom and Lynette, it’s way too much of retread material.  This couple are the whipping posts of the show and it’s amazing they both haven’t committed suicide by now.  Generally though, if you’re a fan of the show, you weren’t disappointed this season.





The Package


The shows looks fine and the transfer is good.  Audio is available in English Dolby Digital only with English, French and Spanish subtitles.  There are a number of special features including commentaries by cast and Marc Cherry on a couple of episodes.  Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry’s Favorite Scenes is a spotlight by Cherry on some of his favorite scenes from the season.  There are seven in total with optional commentary.  What More Do I Need?  A Very Good Read is an 11-minute behind-the-scenes look at a typical table read for the actors and crew of an episode.  I Know More Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100 is another behind-the-scenes piece that runs about 20 minutes and takes a look at the history of the show via interviews and clips as it celebrates its 100th episode.  So Very Teri is an eight-minute look at the hijinks of Teri Hatcher as she portrays the bumbling Susan.  Mostly more clips and interviews here.  Finally, deleted scenes and bloopers wrap things up.  Another pretty good offering for fans of the show. 



7.7 out of 10