79 of 90 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2005
"Desperate Housewives" is an absolute phenomenon! I remember I saw an advert on Channel 4 over here in England advertising this new show and just from the advert I knew I'd love it. So did 5 million other Brits who tuned in when the first episode premiered on January 5th 2005. Since that first episode the nation has been hooked. This is easily the most popular US-import show in the country and literally everyone at my college talks about it on a Thursday morning after the previous night's episode. I must confess, I watch it religiously on my own in our conservatory every Wednesday night and if anyone dare disturb me I will be seriously p***ed off!
In a world saturated with reality TV and bad talk shows, Desperate Housewives is a breath of fresh air. Creator Marc Cherry is a Godsend to women all over the world, and it was clear from the beginning that this show was going to become totally global. I mean I've heard stories about this show getting upwards of 30 million viewers in America! That's absolutely incredible, and this DVD will sell millions upon its release, trust me.
So what makes Desperate Housewives so addictive? For me, there are a number of things. Firstly, the cast is impeccable. The four main stars of the show are Teri Hatcher (who plays Susan Mayer), Marcia Cross (who plays Bree Van De Kamp), Felicity Huffman (who plays Lynette Scarvo) and the sensational Eva Longoria (who plays Gabrielle Solis). My personal favourite is Marcia Cross, because she is just so amazing. She is a gorgeous, fabulous gay icon and she is a true star! Her character is so particular. To begin with, we hate her, but over time she grows on you.
Secondly, I would say the blend of genres make this show effortlessly appealing. The mix of comedy and drama is achieved within a degree of perfection, tossing the viewer from laugh-out-loud moments to those moments of tension. It is a credit to the writers that they have sustained this throughout the entire first season. If we are to look at other successful shows such as Buffy, The X-Files, Friends, Will & Grace and Sex And The City, the pinnacle of excellence usually peaks after the first season, so for Desperate Housewives to hit the mark straight away sets the bar very high. I'm confident that they can improve the formula in the second season.
The imagery of the first season is just beautiful, too. The white picket fences, show home houses and lush green lawns define the show, and Wisteria Lane in general. However, they also serve as a major juxtaposition to the sensational storylines that bubble away under the surface. The murders, the affairs, the breakdowns and the shameful secrets are what keep us hanging on like vultures indeed, desperate, for more. Speaking of the storylines, they may not be the most original or inventive, but its with the amazing cast of actors that these storylines become something on their own entirely. So much happens in one episode that you may totally forget about it in the next! There is a small army of co-stars who decorate the sidewalks of the show as the spotlight falls on our four main characters and the troubles that revolve around them.
The season's main draw is the death of Mary Alice Young, and why she chose to kill herself with a revolver. This question is carried throughout the whole season, from the very first few minutes of the pilot episode where we see her kill herself. Details are gradually revealed throughout the season as the plot thickens. I'm not going to go into much detail about this storyline, or indeed the many others that make this season so jam-packed, because I'm sure you know it all yourself, but what I will say is that I love the way the characters are portrayed. There's a sense of fantasy about the whole neighborhood, in that everyone is a nosey beggar and wants to know everyone else's business. One such example is Mrs. Huber. The way death doesn't seem to affect many of the show's characters is also part of its appeal, as the show adopts an almost retro look at classic comedies with nifty stories and camp backdrops.
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
After so many of my favourite TV shows ended in 2003 and 2004, I was looking for something new to watch, but I never thought I'd find something as brilliant as Desperate Housewives. I say find, when really I should say 'realise' because this show has hit like a tidal wave. I sure will be buying the first season on DVD when it is finally released over here in the UK, and I'm sure you need no motivation from me to buy it as well! This review merely serves as a culmination of TV's biggest phenomenon. Here's to many more great years to come!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2005
Now this is the true definition of intriguing drama, remarkable comedy, stimulating mystery and pure brilliance.
With many of the best television show exiting our screens, such as Friends, Sex And The City and Everybody Loves Raymond, the thought of TV started to look dull. Who would have thought that one of the most captivating shows to ever screen on our televisions could have been this amazing? It's stunning and impossible to fault! Everything from the casting to storylines are perfect.
Teri Hatcher is at her best in this, displaying not only her abilities as a dramatic actress but a comedian aswell. She plays Susan, the clumsy single mother, desperate for love and attention of the mysterious, new neighbour, Mike.
Marcia Cross splendidly plays the perfect Bree, who leads people to believe she lives the perfect life with the perfect family up until the revelation that her troubled husband wants a divorce.
Eva Longoria plays the shallow, self obsessed Gabrielle. Searching for meaning in her life, the materialistic Gabrielle finds satisfaction in having an affair with her seventeen year old gardener, John.
Felicity Huffman plays Lynette, the hectic mother of four whose husband is constantly busy at work. Endlessly running after her four children under the age of 6, Lynette tries her hardest to keep the spark in her marriage.
Finally, Nicollette Sheridan plays the serial divorcee Edit, always on the prowl for men, including Susans love interest, Mike.
These five women are incredible together as they unravel the mysterious suicide of the neighbour and best friend, Mary Alice Young (played by Brenda Strong) who narrates from the grave.
Marc Cherry has created, what can only be described as one of the most brilliant series to ever grace our screens. The writing is absorbing and constantly keeps you guessing what will happen next from the unusual opening scene to the astonishing final cliff hanger of the first season.
Overall, this DVD set is satisfying, engaging and packaged in this exquisite 6 disc box set. No disappiontment here.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2005
I have to admit that this is one of the best shows that I've ever seen in my life. I really felt in love with the girls of "SEX AND THE CITY" and although lots of people compare "DH" with "SATC". I believe that they're very different. "SATC" was fun, crazy and with some touching moments but this one has mistery mixed with drama and comedy.
The story from this show, starts with the suicide of Mary Alice a woman who lives in a nice and quiet place called Wisteria Lane. This woman was married and had a teenage boy, from this point on starts the mistery of why she killed herself. Her four best friends; Susan (Teri Hatcher), Lynette (Felicity Huffman), Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) and Bree (Marcia Cross) start to put things togetehr about her suicide but nothing matches. While they start getting information you have the change to know them very well...
Susan (Teri Hatcher) is divorced, has a teenage daughter and is the kind of woman that everything happends to her and is always between embarrassing moments. She lives kinda depressed until one day she meets a new neighbor who she happends to like very much. Then there's Lynette (Felicity Huffman), who has 3 little boys and a baby girl. She used to be a successful executive but after her marriage she became a housewive. Her kids drive her crazy and her husband is always travelling.
Bree (Marcia Cross) is an obsessed woman who likes to have everything perfect in her life and happeneds to be so cold with her husband sometimes that that got her to the edge of a divorce. Her two teenagers also have a bit acid reltionship with her. Finally there's Gabrielle (Eva Longoria) who seems to have the prefect life. She's married and her husband instead of giving her his full attention, he simply buys her whatever she wants. Diamonds, cars, etc. She feels empty and she has an affair with her gardener.
The husbands also happend to have desperated lifes also.
Many things happend during this first season. The production is very good, the cast is flawless and the episodes get better and better.
This package is loaded with lots of bonus features including deleted scenes, secrets of Wisteria Lane, Oprah Winfrey as a neighbor, behind the scenes and much more.
Touchstone is really breaking all the records with this successful series and "LOST" another series that I really recommend, it's different but very good also.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2005
I only started watching this show at episode 18, but DH has quickly beome my favorite series. I absolutely love the storylines and the way each of the characters interacts.
For anyone who's never seen it, here's a quick run-down of the show:
In the first episode, the narrator of the series, Mary Alice Young, kills herself. It's later discovered by her neighbors that she was being blackmailed, and committed suicide to hide her secrets. The four wives of Wisteria Lane spend the rest of the season searching for clues that might help solve the mystery behind Mary Alice's past. The clues pile up; from a tape stolen from a marriage counselor, to a baby blanket embroidered with the name "Dana".
Bree Van De Kamp is the epitome of the Stepford Wife - perky, resourceful, and perfect in almost every way. Except for one thing: her family thinks she's psychotic. Her husband wants a divorce, and is later caught up in a sex scandel when another wife's little black book surfaces. Bree and Rex have an on-again-off-again relationship, and two children, Andrew and Danielle. Andrew is a seemingly-average kid, except that he runs over a helpless older woman, gets caught smoking weed, confesses an affinity for homosexuality to Bree and Rex, and confesses to a local priest of his plans to make his mother's life a living Hell. Danielle, the 4th, seldom-seen Van De Kamp, is probably the most normal of the group. Further complicating their lives is George, a local pharmacist. Attempting to get back at Rex, Bree starts seeing George, but breaks it off when a reconciliation seems possible. However, George hasn't gotten over his feelings for Bree, and has a tricks up his sleeves.
Next is Gabrielle Solis. A once-famous runway model, she married Carlos for his money, not realizing that he was marrying her as a trophy wife. Unsatisfied with how things have gone in their marriage, Gabrielle seeks fulfilment in their gardener, 17-year-old John. Their affair is nearly discovered by Juanita, Carlos' mother, but she is run down by Andrew Van De Kamp, and later dies, before passing on her discovery. Carlos, desperate for children, starts tampering with Gabrielle's birth control pills, much to Gabrielle's dismay when she finds out.
Then there is Lynnette Scavo. Once a top-notch ad-exec, Lynnette has since traded in her PowerPoint presentations for diapers and parent-teacher conferences. The mother of 4 (a baby girl and 3 boys, two of whom are twins), she spends each day trying not to rip her hair out dealing with the boys. Tom Scavo, Lynnette's husband, is a busy advertiser, and spends most of his time on business trips. Lynnette becomes suspicious of Tom, and also deals with a drug dependency at one point.
Finally, there is Susan Mayer. A single mother, she has a funny way of making a mess out of every situation. From burning AND under-cooking macaroni and cheese to burning down her neighbor's house, her clumsyness has no limits. Her 14-year-old daughter, Julie, seems more mature than her, and ends up doing the recon work when Susan gets a crush on new neighbor, the mysterious Mike Delfino.
Secrets abound on Wisteria Lane. The only way to see them all is to get this DVD set and watch the series. You're never going to find another series as complex and complicated as Desperate Housewives.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2005
This is one of the best written shows on TV. As sad as it may be for a certain few of you, this is actualy what "goes on" in the day to day life of a housewife with privileges. (Finally a show that keeps us on our toes with honest to goodness daily goings on instead of fantasy crap that does not and will never happen.) My hats off to the writer, you have hit on something wonderful.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2005
The best thing about third-place networks is that in their desperation for a hit, they are willing to take risks that pay off for the viewers. This happened in 2000 when third-rank CBS took risks with reality shows "Survivor" and "Big Brother" along with heavily advertised "CSI". Those three shows helped CBS vault its way to the top. Interesting that not only did the other networks pass on "Desperate Housewives", but so did a few of the cable channels. Whoever at ABC greenlighted this show deserves a huge promotion, as this show represents one of the freshest, cleverest shows on TV right now. I'm glad they are releasing season 1 on DVD, as the shows are already certain to become classics. A few memorable scenes include Lynette getting into the swimming pool with her fancy dress to retrieve her rambunctious boys at a wake for neighber Mary Alice, who opened the show with a suicide; Teri Hatcher accidentally burning down her rival's house; Bree Van De Kamp insulting her husband at the dinner table by telling her friends what he does after they make love; Lynette deciding to teach her boys a lesson by leaving them stranded for a few minutes until they are taken in by a "mean" lady, and my personal favorite: watching Edie wash her car in a scene reminiscent of the car washing scene in "Cool Hand Luke". Very sexy!!!
The actresses are the reason to watch this show, as "Desperate Housewives" picks up where "Knots Landing" left off. Even Nicolette Sheridan of "Knots Landing" fame shows up on Wisteria Lane to play the vixen role that gets under Teri Hatcher's skin as they compete for the single stud of the hood, Mike Delfino (played by James Denton). This show plays up the mystery and twists and turns all season long, yet never straying far from the original mystery: why did Mary Alice kill herself? What secret is she hoping to take to her grave? By the season finale, everything is tied up in a brilliant, surprising way. Unlike "Twin Peaks", which stretched the original mystery far beyond the patience of viewers, this show satisfies as it adds layers of nuance in between its cutting humor and satire.
My favorite character by far is Lynette (played by Felicity Huffman) as the former corporate climber who decides to become a full-time mother when she has five children under 8 years old (including three rambunctious boys). She is often frazzled as her husband is clueless. Season 2 is set-up nicely with a role reversal between Lynette and Tom, as Tom will take on the stay-at-home dad and we'll see if he manages any better. Every episode, Lynette shines as a person trying to make family life work, though she's in way over her head. She's smart, tough, and one gets the feeling that her husband Tom doesn't fully appreciate all she does for their family. So that is a story line I'm most interested in watching develop in season 2.
In the looks department, Eva Longoria is the hottest of the Desperate Housewives and she uses it to full advantage. Her husband is always suspicious of her every intention, but comes across as dumb if he isn't able to figure out that the young gardener is the one who tends more than their yard. I love the interplay between Eva's character and her husband's. They are a couple who should never have married. Both are selfish in their own right, she for material goods, he for bragging rights. Their games of one-upmanship does get intense at times, but I always end up rooting for Eva. She's a master manipulator, and it doesn't hurt that she's so easy to stare at!
Ultimately though, this show has been a great boon to Teri Hatcher, who I thought was the best and only reason to watch "Lois and Clark" a decade ago. She needed to find the right role and this show is it. I'm glad her career has rebounded because of this hit and I'm equally glad that someone at ABC was desperate enough to take the kind of risk most networks are afraid to take. There is no other show on the air like this one and that's a good thing. We certainly don't need anymore "Law and Order" and "CSI" spinoffs, sitcoms, cop shows, medical shows, or reality shows. A good satire about the way we live, with its undercurrents of mystery mixed with clever humor, is all too rare on TV. For those who don't get this show, well, maybe the satire is over your head. The point of the show is to poke a little fun at the way we live our lives...that constant need to keep up with the Joneses at the expense of truly knowing what our own hearts desire. That's what makes us desperate in the end.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2005
From the moment it first aired, DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES proved to be a ratings phenomenon for its network, ABC. Its pilot was the highest-rated show of that week, and the audience kept growing throughout its first season. The reason for its immediate appeal and success, moreso than anything, was that the show was wickedly twisted, often unpredictable and funny. Though creator Marc Cherry refers to it as a satire of upper-middle-class suburban life, "Desperate Housewives" functions as a mix of great comedy and pure soap opera. It has mystery and romance, twists and cliffhangers. And it's often very funny.
The writing is generally excellent. You can guarantee at least one moment per episode where you'll laugh out loud, while the "Mary Alice Young" mystery that kicks off the first episode remains compelling throughout the season.
To sell it all, the cast of experienced actors is absolutely superb. Teri Hatcher - as the bumbling Susan Mayer - and Marcia Cross - as prim Bree Van De Kamp - give career-best performances. Cross is my personal favorite because she can shift tones from wrenching drama to mocking comedy in one scene, and her plotline thus far is the one with the most meat.
Felicity Huffman, who was wonderful in SPORTS NIGHT, plays harried Lynette Scavo with a tremendous amount of intelligence. Eva Longoria is fabulously silly as Gabrielle Solis, a self-involved former model who amuses herself by committing adultery with her teenage gardener.
The men in the show are great, as well, particularly Steven Culp as Bree's exasperated husband.
The plot keeps you guessing. You'll get sucked into the show almost immediately, and "Desperate Housewives" has kept up the momentum. It's fantastic.
185 of 244 people found the following review helpful
I am the perfect example that anyone can enjoy this show. With a title like "Depereate Housewives" it seems to put alot of people off, becasue they don't believe that they can enjoy this wondeful show. Well I am here to set the record striaght. I am a 17-year-old High school Senior Male (who just entered the UCSC) and Despereate Housewives has quickly become one of my top three favorite shows on the air (the other two being "Gilmore Girls" and "Veronica Mars").
The show is about four, sometimes five housewives and how there lives become meshed as they try to figureout the mystery behind why one of there fellow neighbors committed suicides. Beyond this mystery, each of the housewives have there own troubles at home to over come. Marcia Cross plays housewife one who has and off-again, on-again relations with her husband because he thinks she is too perfect, Felicity Huffman plays housewife two - a woman who has to deal with a husband who is never home and a home full of little monsters (also known as six and five year old boys), Eva Longoria plays housewife number three, a woman who isn't quit sure if her husband is the person she wants to spend her life with, and finally housewife number four player to perfect by Teri Hatcher is a 40-year-old woman who is recently divorced and has to take care of her 14-year-old daugter, but due to her neurotisisesy's it seems the daughter takes care of her.
I have just scratched the surface of what this show is about. During the first few episodes the show is trying to figure out what it wants to be (comedy or drama), yet it finally desided upon dramedy. The series won both the golden globe for best comedic series, but also for Teri Hatcher for best Actress (two additional actresses where nominated as well).
But what makes this series so special is the fact that it was a last chance at a career for most of the people involved. The creator was literally at the end of his ropes havn't to borrow money from his mother to write the script, and actresses Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher could no longer find work. This show is just a testiment that the old hollywood mantra "the younger, the better' does not apply anymore.
With "Unaireable / Uncencored episodes," Audio Commentary by the Cast and Crew, Bloopers, Behind-the-Scenes footage, and deleted scenes this is definately the DVD to own this september.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2005
I started watching this show thinking "this'll be cancelled," as most of my favorite shows do, (i.e "Pasadena.")
But fortunately, it had a wonderful reception and is so strong! Owing to many facors, including FABULOUS acting by the the 5 Housewives, especially Marcia Cross and Teri Hatcher (who won her first Golden Globe for her performance,) and genius writing! The show has elements of anything you can think of: romance, suspense, drama, comedy (sorry to whoever used this same thing before!)
And I'm overjoyed that 'Desperate Housewives' will get its DVD debut in August 2005! Thank goodness!
So, if you're looking for a laugh, a cry, or just a look at a wonderful show, tune into ABC for DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2005
"Desperate Housewives" is a witty and amusing look at the antics of four suburban women whose lives change dramatically after the suicide of a neighboring housewife. Much like "American Beauty" or "Six Feet Under", the show mixes humor, drama, and satire to explore the underbelly of contemporary American society. While the performances of the main cast members are all good, my favorite is Marcia Cross, who brings a touch of the bizarre and mysterious to her character of perfectionist Bree Van De Camp. Cross creates one of the most memorable characters of recent TV. Fans of Ms. Cross should also check her out in LIVING IN FEAR (2001) and the hard-to-find FEMALE PERVERSIONS (1996), which is sort of a percursor to "Desperate Housewives" in its portrait of female angst and also the only film in which Cross (who has a small role as Tilda Swinton's mom) appears topless.