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"Desperate Housewives: The Complete Season Three"
Wayne Klein
Studio: Buena Vista Home Video
Genre: TV-Series
Special Features: Desperate Moments, Cherry Picked, On Set with Eva, "Amas de Casa Desperadas", Here Comes the Brides, gag reel, previews Rating: TV-M

Desperate would describe the third season of "Desperate Housewives". The show began to sink in the ratings after a glorious first season and while the second season had its moments, the direction the show took was decidedly NOT what the fans wanted. The larger than life elements of satire and comedy took center stage over the soap opera elements (although both are present in abundance). ***

This satire of suburbia and the secrets within an American neighborhood got the mix right again with the third season. I'd suggest checking out the first two seasons or seeking out the first two season reviews of the series prior to digging in with season three otherwise you might be a bit lost. I'm going to avoid a recap plot line for the sake of those who have followed the series and just dig into what matters-should you buy the DVD? Yep. My evidence follows- ---

Image & Sound:

Overall "Desperate Housewives" looks quite good in its DVD presentation. The first two seasons had some minor issues with edge enhancement and other compression artifacts but these were minor distractions. The same is true here. The series has bold, eye popping detail and a sharp transfer with solid colors as well as inky blacks. Audio sounds fine with dialogue front and center as it should be in a show of this sort but the 5.1 mix is utilized surprisingly well given that this isn't an action orientated series. ---

Special Features:

This is where TV shows either demonstrate that they could use a good shine from a live-in maid or if the room sparkles as soon as you walk in the front door. I have to say that the third season of "Desperate Housewives" while it doesn't stun with its brilliant shiny floors and well dusted furniture looks like it has been well maintained. ***

We get five featurettes. The most interesting to me was "Amas de Casa Desperadas" where creator/writer/producer Marc Cherry discusses how he adapted the show for a Latino audience at the behest of the studio. It's an interesting comparison between the two (and its refreshing to see the U.S. export a show and culturally alter it vs. us doing the opposite a la "Ugly Betty"). ***

"Here Comes The Bride" focuses on the trio of weddings that dominate season three. The actors, writers and producer Cherry discuss the differences between their approach for each one based on the characters from the show and where the wedding fit in terms of the ongoing stories. ***

"Desperate Moments" features a montage of clips from the third season with comments by the cast on the development of the show. ***

"Cherry Picked" features Marc Cherry's favorite scenes discussing his favorite scenes from the show and what appealed to him about the best scenes from season three. ***

"On Set with Eva" has the cast and crew discussing their co-star/co-worker Eva Longoria. They wisely avoid to criticizing her over-the-top real life relationship and obscenely expensive wedding (hey, there are starving people out there who could use a good wedding dress that cost under $45,000). Hopefully she and her wealthy sports star husband will do some charity work. I personally think that Eva's just a little bit like her character in real life. ***

We also get a very short blooper reel and previews to wind things up. There aren't any commentary tracks which given the high profile of the show is surprising and disappointing. ---

Final Words:

I personally felt that this set (like the previous one) is a bit short on extras and disappointing in that regard. I'd love to hear some good commentary tracks in addition to the featurettes. The quality of the show improved with season three after the show derailed briefly during season two.


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