DESCRIPTION: A truly contemporary take on happily ever after, Desperate Housewives takes a darkly comedic look at suburbia, where the secret lives of housewives aren t always what they seem. END
""Desperate Housewives" made its debut in 2004 to rave reviews and high Nielsen ratings. Season one of the show is considered a modern classic. For most people, the same couldn't be said for seasons two and three. Many people though the second and third seasons were disappointing. I thought the second season was good (though not great), and the third season was a slight improvement over season two (though it still didn't top the first season). But after watching the entire fourth season of "Desperate Housewives", the show is back on track. This is the best season since the first.
Season four of the show about those housewives from the fictional Wisteria Lane (located in the town of Fairview) was the most interesting, most intriguing, and most entertaining season since season one. Many of the same major characters are back: Susan, Lynette, Bree, Gabrielle, Edie, Mike, Carlos, Tom, Orson, and narrator Mary Alice. But what really makes the fourth season of "Desperate Housewives" so great is the addition of a new character: Katherine Mayfair. As season four begins, we find out that Katherine used to live on Wisteria Lane many years ago but has now moved back to the neighborhood with her much younger husband Adam and daughter Dylan. And yes, we can tell from the first episode that Katherine is hiding a deep dark secret that will eventually unfold as the season progresses. Some of the other major storylines throughout season four include: Lynette battling cancer (which she discovered late in season three); Susan (after marrying Mike at the end of season three) finds out that she's pregnant; Bree faking a pregnancy to protect daughter Danielle's real pregnancy; Mike developing a drug problem when he becomes addicted to pills; Gabrielle finding marriage to town mayor Victor Lang to be so dull that she starts having an affair with ex-husband Carlos; and probably the biggest story of the year, Wisteria Lane being destroyed by a tornado.
That tornado episode, titled "Something's Coming" (episode #9), was easily the best episode of the season and the second best episode overall (the very best episode of "Desperate Housewives" still remains that supermarket hostage crisis episode from season three). This was reportedly the most expensive episode of "Desperate Housewives" to date, obviously since special effects played a big part in it. But just like that supermarket hostage episode, it's a thrilling and entertaining episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wonder who will come out of it alive or dead.
The stars of this show once again do a great job just as they have in the previous three seasons. Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria Parker, and Nicolette Sheridan are fine as usual, but in season four they get upended by the newcomer to Wisteria Lane. Two-time Emmy winner Dana Delany ("China Beach") is an absolute standout as Katherine Mayfair. There's an interesting back-story involving Delany and "Desperate Housewives" when the show's creator Marc Cherry was casting the principal roles back in 2004. Cherry originally offered Delany the role of Bree, but turned it down since she claimed it was too similar to a role she had on a short-lived TV series she starred on a few years earlier (that show was called "Pasadena", which aired on FOX). But Cherry never gave up on her. After he created new character Katherine he wanted Delany for the part, and this time she accepted. It's interesting because Katherine is kind of like Bree, but only darker. And Delany stepped right into the role of Katherine and made it her own. I think this was similar to what Cherry and the rest of the "Desperate Housewives" writers were trying to do two years ago when they created the Betty Applewhite character for season two and failed miserably. This time they got it right, and the writers should be congratulated for not messing up the Katherine Mayfair storyline. This was an intriguing storyline throughout season four, and it ends perfectly in the final episode. And what makes it even better, Delany's Katherine will be back next season.
My only complaint about "Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fourth Season" is that the season was shorter than usual. You can blame that on all the writers from the small screen to the big screen for going on strike for three months, which ended shutting down the production on not only "Desperate Housewives", but all shows on television. And that was kind of a bummer, because a few more storylines had to be cut short. For example, there was a very funny storyline involving a gay male couple that moved to Wisteria Lane, and I think the writers originally had planned to expand this storyline throughout the season. But after the writer's strike ended and there was only room for seven episodes, the writers couldn't expand this storyline has they had planned. Whether or not this storyline will be expanded for season five remains to be seen.
And when season five debuts in the fall of 2008, it'll be interesting to see what will be going on. In the final moments of the last episode of season four, the action flash forwards to five years later, which I presume is where the show will pick up when season five starts. And it'll be interesting to see what's going on, because "Desperate Housewives" leaves us dangling with another bizarre cliffhanger: who's the man (and it's not Mike) that's kissing Susan in the final scene?
Back to the basics
C. Merced | Stamford, CT and sometimes in Puerto Rico | 07/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In season 4 of DH we see the show going back to the basics, to the thing that made fans love DH: the friendships. The friendships of Lynette, Susan, Bree and Gabrielle, as well as each individual character, were tested over and over again and they endured. It was this quality of enduring friendship amongst women that makes this show so good.
Season 3 dealt with each women independently, barely interacting with the other friends and thus we lost that which made the show worthwhile, their interactions. Season 4 takes another route and shows the women provide each other a strong support system. Lynette relies on her friends and family to go through cancer, Bree deals with faking a pregnancy, Susan must deal with her marriage with Mike and Gabrielle must decide between Carlos and Victor.
We also see the introduction of another character, Katherine Mayfair (and of course, her many secrets which deserve to be a character all of their own). She was such an excellent character that I instantly liked her, secrets and all. Katherine was a former resident of Wisteria Lane and a friend of Susan's. She has a ton of secrets and a way to challenge each and everyone of our Wisteria Lane ladies.
Tornadoes, blackmail (tons of blackmail), ex-husbands, drugs, maniacs, and tons of humor. This is one of the best DH seasons to date."
Terrific extras make an already good season a must-have set
Michael A. Weyer | 10/27/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's little else to add to what others have said of the season itself. Instead, I wanted to note the great extras that make this DVD set a nice buy. Several are of the same type as previous season sets:
There are audio commentaries for six episodes, the first by Marc Cherry and some writers with nice tidbits (season 3 was to end with the revelation of Bree faking her pregnancy but ABC didn't think that was dramatic enough so they came up with Edie's "Hanging"). The other five are "Couple commentaries" with nice banter between the actors and some fun stuff (like Marcia Cross marveling at how her cleveage was so big early in the season).
"Desperate From Beginning to End" looks at the creation of an episode, this one the tornado ep. It notes what a challenge it was with all the stunts and special effects work and how amazed they were ABC let them destory the set like that. It's a great insight to how they created the amazing story.
Hanging with the Men of Wisteria Lane" has the male actors bowling and sharing stories about the show.
"Cherry Picked" are Marc Cherry's half-dozen favorite scenes from the season.
There are also a dozen deleted scenes, many filler but some interesting and fun. This includes the alternate ending for the season finale and it's clear that Cherry made the right move changing it.
So overall, great extras flesh the season out and make this rebounding series back on its game."
M | I wait behind the wall, gnawing away at your reali | 12/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike Season 2, Season 4 was an awesome continuance of the Desperate Housewives series. With what happened in the third season, you know that some things just had to be really interesting. The parts with Lynette and her mom... wow, that was awesome. You could practically feel the tension, as well as the tension between other characters as the conflict keeps building... and building... Katherine Mayfair was also a great addition to the show, it's too bad what happened to her later. A solid season, 4.5/5 stars."
Penny Anderson-ortiz | Mound | 11/09/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fair price. Kids will be using this and will not be kind to this item. Got it very fast!"