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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Desperate Housewives: The Complete Third Season - The Dirty Laundry Edition
Desperate Housewives: The Complete Third Season - The Dirty Laundry Edition
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // Unrated // September 4, 2007
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 15, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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P R I N T
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The Third Season

Desperate Housewives is a popular comedy/drama about the seedy underbelly of American suburbia. The basic premise is that underneath the happy suburban facade is a web of deceit and secrets, as well as unbounded lust and passion. The show first aired in 2004 and was very successful. Since its initial debut, the series has only grown in the number of viewers and has quickly become one of the most popular shows on television. The attraction of Desperate Housewives comes in multiple flavors, from strong writing to topnotch performances to witty comedy to eye-rolling melodrama. Desperate Housewives has a little bit of everything. It is the kind of show that is easy to get hooked on. For more details about the series, refer to DVD Talk's reviews of season one and season two.

The third season of Desperate Housewives, like earlier seasons, is jam-packed with eye-rolling drama. The girls of Wisteria Lane get involved with mystery, deceit, sex, love affairs, love triangles, murder, engagements, marriages, plots, schemes, new business adventures, and more. It is a highly active season that never fails to keep your attention. Life for Susan, Lynette, Bree, Gabby, and Edie is never ordinary. Who knew life in the suburbs could be so much fun?

As previously mentioned, drama continues to be the buzz word for Desperate Housewives' third season. Each plotline, whether major or minor, ties into the big picture and brings oodles of soap opera quality drama. The developments are outlandish, ridiculous, and over-the-top. The good thing is how well the writing handles each overly melodramatic situation. These unbelievable stories are presented and intermixed in such a manner that they are really enjoyable. There is a great balance of suspense at each corner, as you never know exactly how one situation will pan out. It leaves you wanting more.

One of the bigger plotlines throughout the season is about Bree and her new husband. In the season premiere she is engaged to Orson Hodge (Kyle MacLachlan). He has a past that does not bode well for his character. His ex-wife disappeared and now assumed dead. He is the prime suspect in her disappearance. Since nobody was found, he was never formally charged. Regardless, there is still something fishy about this character and the people connected in his past. Bree does not see it, but her girlfriends (especially Susan) make an effort to find fault in Orson. As the season progresses, this storyline takes several twists with new (crazy) characters, illicit love affairs, a reunion between Bree and Andrew, and the unexpected.

Another important storyline deals with the Susan-Mike relationship. In the end of season two, Mike fell into a comatose state. He was the victim of a hit-and-run. Susan stood by his side and prayed for him to get better; despite knowing that the chances were slim to none. While in the hospital, she met another man, Ian Hainsworth (Dougray Scott). Ian's fiancee is also in coma. For years he has been lonely and reserved from the world. When he met Susan, his outlook on life changed. Slowly, Susan and Ian fell in love. The situation is complicated enough, as they both have significant others in comas. Still, they proceed with their relationship. The only problem is that Mike broke out of the coma and Susan faces a huge dilemma, Mike or Ian. Matters are further complicated by Mike having massive amnesia and dating Edie.

Edie continues to play a somewhat minor role (as compared to the other four leading females) in the show. She does not have any huge secrets or big developments. However, she does play a stronger role in this season (albeit her character continues to be the weakest as a pretty single-sided character.) Her studly teenage nephew comes into town and heats things up for the daughters of Wisteria Lane. She also dates Mike (more or less to piss off Susan -- surprise?) and she falls in love with Carlos. This latter plot development is sort of sweet, but also sad as Carlos does not reciprocate the feeling. He still loves Gabby. Edie does something devious to try to keep him and even more shocking when it does not work.

Gabby gets involved in a lot of different things. The first major development is her divorce with Carlos. The divorce is pretty messy and also one of the most fun parts of the season. Carlos and Gabby have good chemistry together, especially when their tempers reach a boiling point. They do some silly things to get underneath each other's skin. There is also the birth of her baby, which plays a very minor part in comparison to last season's drama. But it is one of those moments that will leave you thinking "holy crap!". Gabby also finds herself briefly reunited with John Rowland and being stalked/courted by Zach Young. Then there is a serious and unexpected relationship with Victor Lang (John Slattery). Victor is a mayoral candidate who wants Gabby as his bride. They have an interesting relationship.

Lynette's life is not without drama. She faces many hardships and challenges. In the first half of the season, Tom's love child Kayla is a major thorn in her side. Or rather, Kayla's mother Nora. Nora works hard to integrate herself into the Scavo family and it leaves Lynette feeling like her family is not her own. Later in the season, Lynette encourages Tom to follow his dream and find a job that makes him happy. That job turns out to be opening a pizzeria and it threatens the Scavo family financially. Their marriage is also threatened when Lynette engages in a friendly (sex-free) affair with the attractive manager/chef Rick.

Overall, Desperate Housewives' third season is another success. The show's strong qualities continue to rise to the surface with enticing storylines that are both dramatic and comical, characters who are likeable and despicable, and a general fun, yet dark tone. The third season is quality and much stronger than season two, albeit not as great as season one. Regardless, fans of the show will really have a lot of fun with this season. Newcomers should check out season one first.

Episode Guide

1. Listen to the Rain on the Roof: Mike is still in a coma after being run over by Orson--who proposes to Bree. Meanwhile, Susan, who has been lovingly caring for Mike, meets Ian (Dougray Scott), who has been lovingly caring for his comatose wife; the pregnant Xiao-Mei is very demanding of Gaby, who's divorcing Carlos; and Lynette tries to embrace stepmotherhood, but Nora (Kiersten Warren) isn't making it easy.
2. It Takes Two: Bree and Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) wed; Susan and Ian (Dougray Scott) go on a date; Edie has an unexpected visitor; and Xiao-Mei makes a delivery.
3. A Weekend in the Country: As Bree's honeymoon ends (with the reappearance of Andrew), Gaby encounters a new John Rowland (Jesse Metcalfe), and Susan and Ian (Dougray Scott) spend a weekend in the country. Meanwhile, Nora has something to tell Lynette about Tom.
4. Like It Was: Edie moves in on the suddenly sentient Mike while Ian (Dougray Scott) and Susan are off on a romantic getaway; and Lynette goes to bat for her son Parker, who's floundering in Little League. Meanwhile, Andrew Van De Kamp returns home with lurid stories of life on the street. Carlos returns home as well, not that Gaby is pleased to see him.
5. Nice She Ain't: Carlos and Gaby's divorce gets downright nasty, as does Susan's battle with Edie over Mike; Bree must deal with Danielle's affair with her history teacher (Anthony Azizi); and Lynette must deal with Tom's "dream."
6. Sweetheart, I Have to Confess: Carolyn Bigsby (Laurie Metcalf) confronts Bree with Orson's hidden past while Carolyn's husband, Harvey (Brian Kerwin), confides in Orson about his own; Susan professes her love for Ian while Nora professes her support for Tom; and Carlos and Gaby kiss and make up. Or do they?
7. Bang: A hostage crisis at a Fairview supermarket leads to tragedy.
8. Children and Art: Bree meets Orson's mother (Dixie Carter), although Orson doesn't like it. Meanwhile, Gaby decides to get back into modeling; Susan refuses to allow Julie to see Austin; and Lynette is suspicious of her new neighbor (Matt Roth).
9. Beautiful Girls: Lynette is growing more concerned about her mysterious new neighbor (Matt Roth); Susan and Ian take their relationship up a notch, but his butler (Ian Abercrombie) is not amused; Gaby trains young pageant hopefuls, but their mothers are not amused; and Orson's mother (Dixie Carter) has some things to say that are unsettling to Bree.
10. The Miracle Song: The residents of Wisteria Lane have a holiday block party; Gaby has a new love interest; and Susan's relationship with Ian kicks up a notch.
11. No Fits, No Fights, No Feuds: Gaby accuses Carlos of trying to sabotage her new relationship with Bill (Mark Deklin); Tom and Lynette try to make Kayla feel like she's part of the family; and Bree welcomes a surprise dinner guest.
12. Not While I'm Around: Gabrielle's secret admirer is revealed; Tom's pizzeria faces an uncertain future; and Wisteria Lane gets a new resident.

13. Come Play Wiz Me: Lynette and Tom face challenges as Pizzeria Scavo prepares for its grand opening, and Gaby can't avoid her not-so-secret admirer, Zach. Meanwhile, Alma (Valerie Mahaffey) reveals a devious plan.
14. I Remember That: Orson opens up to Bree about his past, while Mike begins to remember his; Lynette and Tom's business relationship takes a turn for the worse after Tom hires Austin to work at the pizzeria; and Zach takes notice--and umbrage--when one of his lawyers dates Gaby.
15. The Little Things You Do Together: Amid a medical emergency and marriage proposals, Pizzeria Scavo opens for business.
16. My Husband the Pig: Edie gets an unexpected visit from her 8-year-old son; Gaby meets a very rich guy (John Slattery), but they don't exactly hit it off; Danielle's unexpected pregnancy affects not only her and Austin but Julie as well; Mike and Ian face off; and Tom and Lynette celebrate (if that's the word for it) their ninth anniversary. Rex Van De Kamp (Steven Culp) is the narrator.
17. Dress Big: Susan discovers a secret about her future in-laws (Lynn Redgrave and Paxton Whitehead) while Mike regains more of his memories of Susan; the Scavos squabble over restaurant uniforms; and a lovelorn (if that's the word for it) Edie eyes Carlos while Gaby finally finds something to like about Victor Lang (John Slattery). She also meets Victor's ex-wife (Challen Cates).
18. Liaisons: Once again, Mike comes between Susan and Ian; the Gaby-Victor (John Slattery) sparring match goes into the next round; and Edie's budding relationship with Carlos hits a snag. Meanwhile, Lynette is at her wit's end at the restaurant, and the ailing Tom (who's driving Mrs. McCluskey crazy at home) won't let her hire a highly qualified chef (Jason Gedrick) because of his checkered past.
19. God, That's Good: Susan calls off her wedding and realizes she must choose between Ian and Mike; Gaby decides it's time to stand by her man; and a blackout shuts down the pizza ovens at Scavo's, giving Rick (Jason Gedrick) an opportunity to shine. It also thaws out freezers on Wisteria Lane and lands Mrs. McCluskey in hot water.
20. Gossip: Gaby, annoyed that Carlos is dating Edie, does something about it; Kayla tells Tom she saw Lynette flirting with Rick (Jason Gedrick); Wisteria Lane is full of gossip about the dead body found in Mrs. McCluskey's freezer; and Susan decides between Ian and Mike.
21. Into the Woods: Susan gets lost in the woods while looking for Mike; Gaby goes to jail; and Lynette realizes she loves another man.
22. What Would We Do Without You? : While Wisteria Lane is abuzz with Gaby's wedding plans, Susan pops the question to Mike. Meanwhile, Edie schemes to get Carlos to move in with her, and Lynette has a health scare.
23. Getting Married Today: Bree and Orson return to Wisteria Lane for Gaby and Victor's fairy-tale wedding, and a surprise wedding takes place at an unexpected location. Meanwhile, Lynette's estranged mother (Polly Bergen) shows up on her doorstep.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are some occasional moments when the picture suffers compression artifacts. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen. Needless to say, the show should look good on bigger television sets.

Audio:
The audio in this release is given in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. There is also a dubbed track in Spanish 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. Overall, the sound quality is very good, providing an audible and clean audio track. The majority of activity is in the forward channels, but there is decent use of the surround sound capability. Music and sound effects sound very rich and vibrant.

There are subtitles in English, French, and Spanish. There is also support for closed captioning.

Extras:

  • On Set With Eva(5:36): is a featurette with cast and crew providing feedback and thoughts about Eva Longoria. There are brief interview clips and behind the scenes footage. It stars Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Teri Hatcher, Nicollette Sheridan, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, James Denton, Eva Longoria, and Marc Cherry.
  • Here Comes The Bride(7:40): stars Marc Cherry, Marcia Cross, Catherine Adair, Tom Walsh, Kyle Maclachlan, David Grossman, Eva Longoria, John Slattery, Teri Hatcher, James Denton, and Andrea Bowen. They discuss different aspects of the season three weddings (Bree, Gabby, Susan) from the dress to the setting to the plot to the characters.
  • Amas de Casa Desesperadas(6:19): is an interesting featurette that offers a comparison between Desperate Housewives and its Latino counterpart Amas de Casa Desesperadas. It begins with Marc Cherry saying that the studio approached him with an idea to port the show to a Latino venue under the name of Amas de Casa Desesperadas. The featurette proceeds to show comparisons between the two versions. Marc Cherry also provides commentary. It is pretty neat to see how similar the shows are, despite having different characters (and being in Spanish).
  • Desperate Moments(7:57): begins with a montage of clips from season three. Then various cast members offer insight to their favorite season three moments. Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Nicollette Sheridan, Kyle Maclachlan, Teri Hatcher, Andrea Bowen, Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, and James Denton.
  • Cherry Picked: Creator Mare Cherry's Favorite Scenes(7:52): is a similar featurette to "Desperate Moments", but with more detail. It features Marc Cherry, who provides detailed insight to his favorite season three moments.
  • Deleted Scenes(6:09): is a collection of deleted scenes. The scenes are entitled "We're Just Coma Buddies", "Ground Rules", "This Is My Job Now", "Two Forks In The Road", "Split Milk", "Behind The Curtain", "See You In The Morning", and "Edie's Priorities". The deleted scenes can be watched individually or in a sequence. There is also optional commentary with Marc Cherry.
  • Bloopers(2:33): is a really short bloopers reel. It is mostly the cast messing up their lines and laughing. It is not very funny.
  • Sneak Peaks: is a collection of trailers for Ratatouille, Wild Hogs, Grey's Anatomy: Third Season, Ugly Betty: Season One, Enchanted, Brothers and Sisters: The Complete First Season, Lost: The Complete Third Season, and Desperate Housewives: New Season Preview.

Final Thoughts:
The third season of Desperate Housewives is another fun and engaging collection of episodes. This season continues to have over-the-top drama with witty dialogue and comedy. It is a fun show that pulls you in with its eye-rolling drama. While watching it will not make your life complete, it will make it a little more exciting. Season three is one that should not be missed; there are plenty of secrets to yet be told in Wisteria Lane, from Orson's shady past to Susan's love triangle to Lynette's saucy affair. This season has a little bit for everyone.

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