Desperate Housewives: Season 1 DVD Review
PicturePresented in an anamorphic widescreen image, we have a very nice transfer with one caveat, which is it occasionally (and I do mean occasionally) suffers from artefacts. I can't stress it enough that it was occasional - out of the first 4 episodes, I noticed it once only. Other than that, the colours are natural, vibrant and realistic with dark blacks and flesh tones being spot on. No grain was present, nor colour bleeding, even when on bright vivid reds, for example on the lingerie Bree wore in episode 6 and there were a couple of moments that I thought I saw edge enhancement (although it is possible that this was due to being against a bright white background, so could be shadowing). Other that that, it was a top notch transfer, especially for a TV show.
SoundAlthough it boasts a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, I found it far too often being front heavy. My sub hardly, if ever, made a sound and the surrounds only seemed to be noticed during certain musical cues. However, the dialogue is nice and natural sounding without any hiss, crackles or any other form of distraction. Front speakers work well for the music, with some nice bass and the only time the music gets loud is during the opening credits, which is fine as there's no dialogue to drown out, but it does make the rest of the soundtrack seem noticeably quieter in comparison. As a 5.1 soundtrack, this isn't anything to write home about, but as most comedic movies tend to be front heavy, this is on a par with them and is therefore perfectly functional.
ExtrasQuick nod to the packaging, which although it's just a digipack box in a slipcase, the slip is transparent with a nice “satin sheets” effect on the box set, giving it a glossy look and is better than your typical digi.
Disk 1 contains an extended version of the episode “Who's That Woman”, which is introduced by the shows creator, Marc Cherry (Dude, seriously, you're bald - lose the comb over!). He elaborates that one scene is added which gives an extra layer to the blackmail being attempted on Susan. We have a single deleted scene, which is an exchange between Gabby and John (with or without commentary) which is functional but not necessary to watch. We also have “A Walk down Wisteria Lane”, which is an 11 minute behind the scenes featurette. One huge word of warning - DON'T watch the extras until you've finished the show - it will totally, spoil the mystery-theme present. No, seriously, it gives away a lot of information that you won't want to hear. Disk 2 contains an extended version of the episode “Anything You Can Do”, which features a lengthened scene relating to the Van Der Camp household. We then have Desperate Housewives Around The World, which is a 10 minute featurette about how the shows phenomenon has apparently gripped the globe, although in fairness, it only focuses on the US and UK primarily. There is a lot of trumpet blowing with regards to how “good” it is, which is always up for debate. Personally, it's good, but it's not the best thing ever written, which is how it does come across from this featurette. Next up, 2 deleted scenes, one from “Guilty” and the other from “Running to Stand Still”, both of which feature commentary and while the first is short (17 seconds) the second is an extended scene and lasts a minute and a half, but neither add any depth to the episodes. Other than a commentary for the episodes “Anything You Can Do“ and “Guilty”, we have a multi language sequence, featuring Bree's dinner party. Dull is not strong enough a word.
Disk 3 contains an extended version of the episode “Every Day A Little Death” which again has a cut scene between Gabrielle and Carlos, yet again introduced by Cherry. We have one deleted scene, relating to Gabrielle's Fashion Show, nothing astounding and clearly cut for time. Dressing Wisteria Lane is a 12minute 30second documentary relating to the props, sets and general design of the show, in particular the look of each of the main characters. Again, functionary but not exactly exciting.Disk 4 contains an extended version of the episode “Impossible”, introduced by you-know-who again. 2 scenes are added/extended, one with Bree and her husband, the other with Susan and Julie. We also have 2 deleted scenes and a commentary track for “Impossible”
Disk 5 contains one deleted scene and an audio commentary track (well 5) of the Desperate Housewives cast picking their favourite scenes. For this feature we get 5 clips, one for the main 4 characters, the 5th being for Nicollette Sheridan, which are the stars favourite scenes in the season, with them giving a commentary for that scene or scenes. They last around 5-10 minutes each and are quite nice being short bites rather than being epic commentaries that are boring.
Disk 6 contains 2 extended episodes, “Sunday In The Park With George” and “Goodbye For Now” and yet again, the introduction to the episodes are presented by Cherry. The first has one extended scene between Bree and George, the pharmacist, while the second episode has an extra scene with Lynette and her husband. We then have “Oprah Winfrey is the New Neighbour”, an 8 minute, well, erm, yeah........ I guess it was something for her chat show; it being Oprah intermixed with footage from season 1 in an attempt to be humorous. It isn't. At all. Another audio commentary is present here for the finale “One Wonderful Day”, with Marc Cherry and the director Lavy Shaw. We have a 5 minute blooper reel, which is kinda so-so, although Hatcher's line of “Give my breast to Brandy” is kind of amusing in its own way, or as a bizarre nod to her role in an episode of Seinfeld. Secrets of Wisteria Lane, which lasts for 11 minutes and primarily focuses on brain-storming of what may happen in Season 2 as well as mentioning the new neighbour that appears in the penultimate episode. Again, if you've not seen the show, it does contain major spoilers. Finally, we have the actual Behind The Scenes which runs for 25 minutes, it is a little gushy but it is clearly a made-for-television behind the scenes featurette, which we've all seen before, oh so many times. It's ok, but it's getting a little tired, format wise.
VerdictWell coming in blind sometimes is a good thing and sometimes a bad one, in this case, it's a good one. This is certainly an interesting show, which panders to soap opera fans on one hand and people with a dark, almost macabre, sense of humour on the other. Yes, I didn't like the cliff-hanger, if you can actually call it that, but I'm going to be interested in how the next season pans out, mostly to see where they can take it from here. Other than that, while I'm not going to go say it's as good as 24 or Alias (in my eyes anyway), it's still solid viewing and you should enjoy this a lot.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £37.19
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