The women of Wisteria Lane are back, and it?s time to air some dirty laundry. In the Emmy AwardŽ-winning show?s sensational third season, the gossip is juicier, the secrets are more scandalous and the revenge is even swee... more »ter. "Desperate Housewives is back," raves The New York Daily News. Experience all 23 tantalizing episodes of Season Three, and get the dish on Susan?s new love, Bree?s unsettling marriage to Orson (Kyle MacLachlan) and a dangerous new presence living down the lane. Everything will come out in the wash in this spectacular six-disc set. Bubbling over with exclusive bonus features, including a behind-the-scenes look at the season finale and even more secrets straight from the show, this is the sudsiest season yet.« less
"After a good though not great second season, "Desperate Housewives" got back to full form for its third season. Even though season three wasn't as good as the first season, it was definitely better than the second season. Teri Hatcher (Susan), Felicity Huffman (Lynette), Marcia Cross (Bree), Eva Longoria (Gaby), and Nicollette Sheridan (Edie) all return for more hijinks on Wisteria Lane (located in the fictional town of Fairview), which saw plenty of the usual ingredients (romance, sex, murder, secrets, etc.) mixed in with its share of sharp comedy, serious drama, and intriguing mysteries that have been frequently featured in its first two seasons. Other series' regulars who came back for season three include James Denton (Mike), Ricardo Chivara (Carlos), Doug Savant (Tom), Andrea Bowen (Julie), and narrator Brenda Strong (Mary Alice).
After the disappointing storyline involving the Applewhites of season two, creator Marc Cherry and his staff of writers came up with a storyline for season three that was far more intriguing. This starts with a new character for the third season: Orson Hodge (well played by Kyle MacLachlan). As most fans of this show know, Orson was first introduced late in season two, and played a major role in the last episode of the second season, which led to a bigger role in season three. As we began to sense in the season two finale, Orson was someone with a troubled past. This led to him hitting Mike with his car (Mike was suspicious of Orson), and then in the final scene starts having a relationship with Bree (who met Orson at the psychiatric hospital that she checked herself into after thinking she was about to have a nervous breakdown after dumping her son Andrew (Shawn Pyfrom) along the side of a road in the middle of nowhere and daughter Danielle (Joy Lauren) running away from home). In the first episode of season three (which begins 6 months after the end of season two), we start to know some of Orson's past, and it's not pretty. But his relationship with Bree brings some joy into his life, and they marry in the second episode. But the journey into marriage turns incredibly bumpy when Bree starts to sense some of the things that have haunted Orson's past, and some of those elements come back, most notably in the form of his crazy mother, the return of a previous wife (who everyone thought was missing and presumed dead), and the mystery involving a dead woman who Orson had an affair with. All these situations are put to good use and in the end the payoff delivers. Though the end of this storyline comes sooner than anticipated, thanks in part to Marcia Cross' real-life pregnancy. Shortly after production began on the third season, Cross announced that she was pregnant, which kind of put a little bump in the road for what Cherry was planning for the season. He didn't want to make Bree pregnant, so he and his crew devised ways so that we don't notice Cross' pregnancy in the episodes by having constant close-up shots of her face or putting items in front of her in many scenes. If there was a scene where Bree had to perform a minor stunt, a body double was used (such as a moment where Bree walks up a ladder). And when Cross was ordered to stay on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy (with twins), she invited the crew to come to her home to shoot some scenes. As a result the storyline ended two-thirds of the way into the season, which allowed Cross to go on maternity leave from the show. But no need to fear, Bree makes a triumphant return in the final episode. Thank goodness, because of all these desperate housewives she has become my personal favorite. "Desperate Housewives" slightly lagged a bit without her perfectionist attitude.
Besides MacLachlan, there were other interesting new characters that get introduced. Dougray Scott was superb as Ian, an Englishman who strikes up a relationship with Susan; Josh Henderson is excellent as Edie's bad boy hunky nephew Austin, who starts a sweet romance with Susan's daughter Julie; Valerie Mahaffey is terrific as Orson's previous wife Alma, who appears in the first episode, then disappears for a while before reappearing at the mid-point of the season (much to Bree's shock); John Lafferty is very good as Gaby's new beau (and Fairview mayoral candidate) Victor Lang; Kiersten Warren is obnoxiously hilarious as Nora, (first introduced in the season two finale) an incredibly annoying woman who Tom had a one night stand with years ago and got pregnant with his child before he married Lynette, and tried to wreck havoc on the Scavo household by trying to get Tom back; Rachel Fox is cute as a button as Nora's daughter Kayla, who also happens to be Tom's daughter; Laurie Metcalf (from TV's "Roseanne") is memorably menacing as Carolyn, a friend of Alma's who suspects Orson murdered her; and the great Dixie Carter (from TV's "Designing Women") is a hoot as Orson's evil mother Gloria.
While new characters popped up in season three, there were some old characters from the previous two seasons that turned up as well. Mark Moses and Cody Kasch returned for a couple of episodes as Paul Young and his troubled son Zack (who actually was Mike's son); Jesse Metcalfe shows up in an early episode as Gaby's former gardener (and lover) John; Richard Burgi turns up briefly as Susan's ex-husband Karl; and Steven Culp returns to narrate an episode as Bree's late husband Rex (Mary Alice got the day off on that episode).
While there have been so many memorable characters on "Desperate Housewives", there is a reoccurring character who's so funny on the show that it would be a shame if I did not mention her. And that character is the old cranky Wisteria Lane neighbor Mrs. McClusky, played to the hilt by Kathryn Joosten. First introduced back in season one, Mrs. McClusky was at complete odds with just about everyone, especially Lynette. But since then she has started to show a softer side that is wonderfully touching. She's now good friends with Lynette, and helps out the Scavo family by babysitting their kids while Lynette and Tom are at work. The character even had a minor storyline late in season three that involved her late husband. This character has become one of the best things on "Desperate Housewives", and Joosten is perfect in the role. She's already won an Emmy for the role (as Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for season one). This character doesn't appear in every episode of the show, but for the episodes that she does turn up in (whether its one scene or five scenes) brings a smile to my face, which is usually followed by laughter. This character provides some of the biggest laughs on the show.
During its first three seasons, there have been many great episodes of "Desperate Housewives". But the very best episode of the show so far (in my opinion) comes in season three. Episode 7, titled "Bang", is the bone-chilling, on-the-edge-of-your-seat episode about that supermarket hostage crisis that affects the residents of Wisteria Lane. This episode has all the elements: some big laughs, high drama, and suspenseful thrills. Plus, Laurie Metcalf gives a great performance in this episode as Carolyn, the crazed woman who literally snaps after hearing some very disturbing news and proceeds to go off the deep end by taking some residents of Wisteria Lane hostage at the supermarket. This episode is an absolute must-see.
"Desperate Housewives" - The Complete Third Season should be out on DVD before the start of the fourth season, and I encourage anyone who bailed out on the show after season two to go out and get it the moment it becomes available. Until then, you'll have to catch reruns of season three throughout the summer. Or you can view seasons one and two, already out on DVD as well as reruns airing on Lifetime. But one way or another, the third season of "Desperate Housewives" is a winner. And the season ends with another stunning cliffhanger, which will lead into season four.
*** ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ***
Since this review I watched these episodes again on DVD, and I need to bump my original rating of 5 stars down to 4 1/2 stars. Don't get me wrong, this is still an excellent season of "Desperate Housewives", but I had a few annoying quibbles about it while watching the episodes on DVD. And all of this takes place in the second half of the season. First off, the character of Ian started to get on my nerves in the later episodes. If you recall, Susan started dating Ian while Mike was in a coma from his accident at the end of season two. Susan fell in love with Ian, but not long after Mike woke up for his coma he wanted Susan back. And every time there was a scene where Mike and Susan shared a moment together and Ian either saw it or heard about it, Ian would constantly complain about it over and over again. I started to get really tired of hearing him complaining about Mike. It's like you just want to shout out at the character: "quit your whining!" Another setback was the behavior of Lynette's husband Tom. This (which also takes place during the last part of the season) deals with Tom's job as the owner of his new pizza parlor. After hiring wife Lynette to be the manager, they start disagreeing on certain things, but this storyline takes a slight detour when a new character is introduced. After Tom suffers a major back spasm that requires bed rest, Lynette hires Rick (played by Jason Gedrick), who's a master chef. During the course of these later episodes, it seems that Lynette and Rick are attrached to each other, and that drives Tom into a jealous rage. Plus while Tom is at home recuperating from his back problems, he starts having angry fits that I found to be kind of unpleasant. I only wish that the writers could have found a better way to handle these situations. But in the end all the resolutions turn out to be good, and the show moves on. But because these two storylines got a little irritating during the second half of season three, I now give "Desperate Housewives" 4 1/2 stars. "
Desperate Housewives Season 3 DVD The Dirty Laundry Edition
Porfie Medina | Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA | 05/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Desperate Housewives is one of the best TV shows (along with Lost and Greys Anatomy) to come out in a long time. In a world where silly reality TV seems to have taken over, it is refreshing to see a quality show out there like Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewives is one of the few shows that hooks you in, gets you addicted, and takes you on this emotional journey with the characters. It can be a bit far fetched at times, but it is meant to entertain and thats exactly what it does. With a great balance of comedy and suspense this show just makes you want to see whats going to happen next. I give Disney a lot of credit for putting so much in to there DVD sets. According to the press release from Buena Vista Desperate Housewives The Complete Third Season will be a six-disc set which includes all 23 episodes and will come be presented in widescreen format and 5.1 Surround Sound along with the bonus features below.
*Behind-the-scenes look at the season finale
*Spanish audio track
*Eva Longoria shares stories from some of her favorite bloopers
*Marc Cherry's favorite scenes
*Several unaired story lines
*Deleted scenes and outtakes.
Desperate Housewives Jump The Shark
O. Buxton | Highgate, UK | 04/05/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I am pinching myself: there is not a single 1 or 2 star review for this series out of 88. How can that be? What have I missed? I really couldn't stand this show (why did I watch it through, you ask? The furtherance of my own marital relations required it).
Seasons 1 and 2 had a real originality and freshness: an unusual combination of romantic farce and dark thriller which made them compulsive viewing. But the formula seems to have been changed for Season 3. In the intervening period I've been treated to some really outstanding television in the shape of Deadwood, The Sopranos and The Wire - so perhaps I'm now seeing all of Desperate Housewives for what it really is, but I don't think it's that. When it started, Desperate Housewives was on that level. This series really seems to be inferior to the first ones.
Firstly, the series-long continuity of plotlines which was a feature of the first two series is gone. As is the morbid undertone, and the genuinely fractious family relationships: now the guignol is played purely for (cheap) laughs. The real brutality is perpetrated by the scriptwriters who seem to have grown ever more panicked as the series progressed: developing characters and plot lines are hacked to death and their bodies carelessly jettisoned nearly every episode. At one point they resort to having almost all the characters assemble at a supermarket to be held up by a gun-wielding homicidal maniac, in so doing conveniently terminating about three (admittedly moribund) plot-lines with one tin of tomatoes.
Characters we know from previous series behave entirely contrary to their established type: hard-man Mike Delfino (admittedly with the excuse of a severe blow to the head) becomes a hopeless and gormless romantic; Edie Britt stops being a shrew; Lynette Sciavo starts being one, and becomes an hysterical witch-hunter, then a cocquette; Andrew Van der Kamp abandons almost his sociopathic tendencies; we are introduced to and then lose, without regard to story or character arc, a series of wooden characters such as Iain Hainsworth (who apparently really is a Brit, despite sounding like Mike Myers' impersonation of one), the wife-of-the-person-having-an-affair-with-the-former-mistress-of-Bree's-new-husband, Orson Hodge's "dead" wife; Orson's mother, Edie's nephew; Edie's estranged son; Tom Sciavo's ex girlfriend and their daughter; even creepy Zach makes a half-hearted return and disappears.
Not a hint of structure; not a hint of direction; just a ghastly assemblance of stupid and irritating plotlines which seem to have been harvested from the Dynasty and Falcon Crest reject bin. You shouldn't expect to get away with this simply by rebranding it as "comedy" - but judging by the average reaction on this site, they did!
It's just too ghastly to countenance. We have bodies in freezers, bodies buried in backyards, bodies in kitchens, bodies in gardens, bodies in supermarkets, bodies coming back from the dead, coming back from comas, going out from comas, at least seven or eight characters in hospital, we have characters falling out of carparks, falling out of windows, falling off ladders, falling off rooves, we have on-again-off-again allegations of insanity, pedophilia, infidelity, spousal homicide and an utter overdose of love triangles and other types of love geometry - tracking who is shagging whom is so hard that you are caused to doubt the very foundation of the space-time continuum of love itself.
And I haven't even got onto the truly exasperating Susan Myer. Perhaps best if I don't, come to think of it.
A return to form
kevin m antonio | rumford, ri United States | 09/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the hiccup known as season 2, I was worried about 3. No need. Except for the return of Zack (a horrendous blunder), it was perfect. Bree, Gaby, Susan, Lynette, and, yes, Edie weren't kept apart from each other the whole season (see what I mean about season 2?), there was a great mystery, and genius guest star casting (Ernie Hudson, Mike Farrell, Polly Bergen, Greg Evigan, and, above all, Laurie Metcalfe). After reading a lot of other reviews I'll spare regurgitating plot points. I will say Eva Longoria should have won an Emmy for this season. Yeah, Gaby tends to come off as spoiled, self-centered, etc. but she really was fleshed out with the divorce from Carlos. Ms. Longoria's (Mrs. Parker's?) non-verbal reactions to situations say more than any line of dialogue. I'm a HUGE Marcia Cross fan (where's her Emmy?!?), and god knows Bree's life is a ferocious mess (as she once said about the Alma situation it was something she could not bake her way out of), and she is my fave housewife, but I really found myself absorbed in Gaby's trials and tribulations. The only other thing to say is season 3 was so engrossing, I watched all 23 episodes over the space of 5 nights. DH 3 was so addictive, some nights I had to force myself to go to bed.
Great service, great series
Poppy Montgomery | Brisbane, Australia | 08/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My order was delivered very promptly, in perfect condition and I'm just about through a very enjoyable series of Desparate Housewives."