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Desperate Housewives - The Complete Fifth Season - The Red Hot Edition



DVD Release Date: September 1, 2009 (ABC Studios)
MSRP: $59.99
Number of Discs: 7
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: approx. 1032 minutes
Total Running Time of Special Features: approx. 68 minutes (not counting audio commentaries)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English language; English, Spanish & French subtitles; Closed Captioned
Special Features:
• 2 Audio Commentaries
• “What More Do I Need? - A Very Good Read”
• “I Know Things Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100”
• “So Very Teri”
• Cherry-Picked: Creator Marc Cherry's favorite scenes (with optional commentary from Marc Cherry)
• Bloopers
• 8 Deleted Scenes


The women of Wisteria Lane are back for a fifth season on DVD from ABC Studios and it’s hotter, hipper and newer because we are in the future in this red hot fifth season! Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fifth Season fast forwards five years where new mysteries bind true friendships with a balance of humor and drama, twists and surprises. All 24 episodes from the red hot fifth season are here in a scintillating 7-disc set! As always with popular ABC Studios DVDs, it is blazing with many exclusive bonus features that will keep you watching for hours and more hours. Desperate Housewives burns even brighter on DVD so relive or catch up with season five just in time for the 6th season, premiering Sunday, September 27 at 9/8 central only on ABC!

Starring this season are of course the main ladies, Teri Hatcher as Susan, Felicity Huffman as Lynette, Marcia Cross as Bree, Eva Longoria-Parker as Gabrielle, Nicollette Sheridan as Edie, with Brenda Strong as Mary Alice and Dana Delany as Katherine. Then we have the men: James Denton as Mike, Ricardo Antonio Chavira as Carlos, Kyle MacLachlan as Orson, Doug Savant as Tom and joining the cast is Neal McDonough as Dave. And the kids (most are new due to the five year jump): Shawn Pyfrom as Andrew Van de Kamp, Charlie Carver as Porter Scavo, Max Carver as Preston Scavo, Joshua Logan Moore as Parker Scavo, Kendall Applegate as Penny Scavo.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Season five jumps five years but the quality of good episodes remains! Some of the most memorable episodes of the five-year jump season are the season premiere, “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow,” it’s five years later and Bree is extremely successful as she now is getting a cookbook of her own published, while Lynette is having trouble coping with her kids and Tom, who bought a car to help with his mid-life crisis...also Gabrielle has lost the riches and beauty of hers, and has two kids of her own and Edie arrives in town with new fashion and a new man, who she married, Dave. In “Mirror, Mirror,” before going to Mrs. McCluskey's seventieth birthday party, the wives remember what has happened in the past five years. In “There’s Always a Woman,” Porter is keeping a secret: he's sleeping with his friend, Kirby's mom, Anne. In the season’s disaster episode, “City on Fire,” everyone has gathered at a club to see the guys play in the annual "Battle of the Bands" when a fire erupts, threatening the lives of those in attendance. Then in the very next episode, “Me and My Town,” for Gaby and Carlos, injuries sustained in the fire lead to a fortunate discovery. In the 100th episode “The Best Thing That Ever Could Happen,” neighborhood handyman Eli Scruggs (Beau Bridges) passes away, the residents of Wisteria Lane come to realize just how much he affected their lives. In “A Spark, to Piece the Dark,” Katherine is caught in the most unexpected of circumstances and Edie's worst fears come true. And in the season finale, “If It’s Only In Your Head,” Lynette adapts to Tom's decision to go back to school, Orson takes a beating that Bree cannot comprehend, while Lynette finds out that she is pregnant...later Carlos's niece, Ana, moves into the Solis home, despite Gaby's objection, and finally Susan and M.J.'s lives are in grave danger at the hands of Dave. The last five minutes reveal some drastic changes in the lives of the housewives!

Recurring actors include Kevin Rahm as Lee McDermott, Tuc Watkins as Bob Hunter, Gale Harold as Jackson Braddock, Madison De La Garza as Juanita Solis, Mason Vale Cotton as MJ Delfino, Todd Grinnell as Dr. Alex Cominis, Daniella Baltodano as Celia Solis, Richard Burgi as Karl Mayer, Polly Bergen as Stella Wingfield, and Emmy award winning Kathryn Joosten as Mrs. McCluskey. Returning for one episode this season are previous series regulars Andrew Bowen as Julie Mayer, Steven Culp as Rex Van de Kamp, Christine Estabrook as Martha Huber, Joy Lauren as Danielle Van de Kamp, Lucille Soong as Yao Lin, and Brent & Shane Kinsman as Preston & Porter Scavo.

Other notable guest appearances include Frances Conroy as Virginia Hildebrand, Gail O'Grady as Anne Schilling, Peter Onorati as Warren Schilling, Lily Tomlin as Roberta Simmons, Stephen Spinella as Dr. Samuel Heller, David Starzyk as Bradley Scott, Ion Overman as Maria Scott, Charlie Babcock, Bruce Thomas, Steven Weber, Billy Mayo, David Fabrizo, Patrika Darbo, Lesley Boone, Swoosie Kurtz, Jeff Doucette, Liz Torres, Maiara Walsh, and Beau Bridges as Eli Scruggs.


The packaging is very good and similar to the previous seasons, except we have an outer box this time instead of a slip sleeve. I think the box is better. On the front of the box it has the Desperate Housewives logo along with The Complete Fifth Season wording below that. Underneath that is a nice photo of the main women (Edie, Bree, Susan, Lynette, and Gabrielle) in red dresses coming out of a fire. It is very hot that is. We get the wording of The Red Hot Edition below that. The background of the box is white. The back of the box has info on the series and this season followed by headshots of all the women (Lynette, Edie, Bree, Susan, Gabrielle, and Katherine). Then we have a list of bonus features and technical specs. Inside the box is the digipak case. The cover of the case is similar to the box cover, except we see the back sides of the women this time each holding something in their hands, such as a knife and gun. The back of the case has three episodic screenshots and a red background.

When we open the case once, on the left side we see a holder for inserts/booklets and a disc-by-disc breakdown with episode titles per disc. We don’t get an episode booklet this time, which is a disappointment. The inserts we get are for other ABC Studios products like Lost Season 5 DVD and how to save $10 on the Aug/Sept. ABC TV DVDs. The final insert is a Blu-ray catalog.

On the ride side of the case, we see the start of nice color photos of Bree, Susan and Edie in those red hot dresses in a red background. When we open the case once more, we see discs one and two in the middle, with a continuation of that color photo on the right this time with Katherine, Gabrielle & Lynette in those red hot dresses. Opening one more, we now see discs three & four and then three episodic screenshots on the right in a red background. Finally, we open once more and we get discs five & six and disc seven is on the right panel itself. The panels holding the discs have red backgrounds and three screenshots that you can see when you remove the discs.

The discs are overlapped with two other discs again like the previous sets (except for disc 7). I hate that. I would have preferred like three slim cases instead but at least they are point in changing it now, so I should stop saying this. All the discs have red backgrounds and the DH logo in red & grey. Disc one has artwork of Susan and episodes 1-4, disc two has artwork of Bree and episodes 5-8, disc three has artwork of Gabrielle and holds episodes 9-12, disc four has artwork of Lynette and holds episodes 13-16, disc five has artwork of Edie and holds episodes 17-20, disc six has artwork of Katherine and holds episodes 21-24, while disc seven has artwork of Edie, Bree, Susan, Lynette, and Gabrielle in those red dresses (same as cover art) and has all those red hot bonus materials. Each housewife on each disc is of course wearing a red dress! That is red hot!

Menu Design and Navigation:

The menu screen is similar in style to the season four set. We get some nice sounding background music and sound effects. It starts off with an apple falling off a tree then we zoom out and see the full tree with apples. It is a nice blue sky background setting that looks cartoonish and then we see all six housewives, with the housewife that is on the disc cover centered. For example, Susan is on the cover of disc one, so she is featured and zoomed in on for the main menu. Each sub-menu is also different, so it is very well designed. The options for the main menu screens are: Play All, Episode Selection, Audio Commentary, Set Up, Sneak Peeks, and Bonus Features. Audio Commentary option is on disc one & four only, while Bonus Features and Sneak Peeks are on disc seven only. Each sub-menu also has different background music playing in the background. Set Up basically is to turn on captions (English, Spanish or French) and to register your DVD. When we select Episode Selections, we get an episode number, title and different sizes & styles portraits screenshots from the episode. Sneak Peeks we get trailers for DVDs of Life on Mars, Ugly Betty, Brothers & Sisters, and Castle. In addition, disc one has an auto-preview playing before the menu of new DVDs of ABC TV on DVD, Brothers & Sisters S3, Grey’s Anatomy S5, The Proposal, and Blu-ray DVDs.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video again is in widescreen of course and the audio again is in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound...both as it should be. I have HD and watch the show on ABC HD, so the DVD is on par with that but it would look better on Blu-ray of course. There are chapter stops for each episode, about 9 per episode. Each episode is of course unedited and runs about 42-43 minutes, give or take a few seconds (see runtimes below). Also of note, like always on DVD, we get to watch the actual closing credits again, like on the previous sets! On the network airings, they are in split screen form with promos on the right side. The closing credits are about 34-35 seconds and have a nice touch to it. The season finale this season aired as a two-hour episode again, but they really were separate episodes, and they are presented that way on this DVD.

Disc one
1 - You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow 43:03
2 - We’re So Happy You’re Happy 43:02
3 - Kids Ain’t Like Everybody Else 42:51
4 - Back in Business 42:49

Disc two
5 - Mirror, Mirror 43:13
6 - There’s Always a Woman 43:12
7 - What More Do I Need? 41:59
8 - City on Fire 42:59

Disc three
9 - Me and My Town 42:15
10 - A Vision’s Just a Vision 43:00
11 - Home is the Place 42:57
12 - Connect! Connect! 43:42

Disc four
13 - The Best Thing That Could Ever Happen 43:07
14 - Mama Spent Money When She Had None 42:59
15 - In a World Where The Kings Are Employers 42:56
16 - Crime Doesn’t Pay 42:58

Disc five
17 - The Story of Lucy and Jessie 43:00
18 - A Spark. To Piece the Dark. 43:02
19 - Look Into Their Eyes and You See What You Know 42:58
20 - Rose’s Turn 43:03

Disc six
21 - Bargaining 43:03
22 - Marry Me a Little 42:34
23 - Everybody Says Don’t 43:03
24 - If It’s Only In Your Head 42:59

Special Features:

Now let’s move on to the special features! This set has audio commentaries on two episodes. On disc one, we have an audio commentary track for the season premiere “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow,” from Larry Shaw (executive producer) and some of the men from Wisteria Lane--Doug Savant, Kyle MacLachlan, and James Denton. Then on disc four we have an audio commentary for the 100th episode “The Best Thing That Ever Could Happen,” with creator Marc Cherry and narrator Brenda Strong. Did you know Marc Cherry’s first choice for Eli Scruggs was Beau Bridges and he got him! We don’t get couples commentary this time. That was so fun on the previous DVD. We get the rest of the extras are all on one disc--disc seven.

The first extra on disc seven is called “What More Do I Need? - A Very Good Read.” It runs 11:14 and we see the cast and crew at a table read for episode 95 (“City on Fire). Usually one-hour shows don’t do table reads, but this show is an exception because of the comedy. The cast seems to enjoy the table reads and it is fun to see them read the script for the first time. Seen and interviewed for this are Marc Cherry, Dana Delaney, Felicity Huffman, Brenda Strong, Matt Berry & Bob Daily (exec producers), Eva Longoria-Parker, Marcia Cross, Neal McDonough, Doug Savant, Charles Carver, Max Carver, and Teri Hatcher. Then we have another featurette called “I Know Things Now: Desperate Housewives Celebrates 100.” It runs 20:48 and this one is very fun and shows us behind the scenes of the 100th episode and looks back on the series. We have interviews from Brenda Strong, James Denton, Dana Delaney, Neal McDonough, Richard Burgi, Andrea Bowen, Teri Hatcher, Eva Longoria-Parker, Stephanie Hagen (producer), Felicity Huffman, Doug Savant, Christine Estabrook, Kyle MacLachlan, Marcia Cross, Marc Cherry, Lilly Tomlin, Kathryn Joosten, Ricardo Antonio Chavira, Shawn Pyfrom, Matt Berry & Bob Daily, Beau Bridges, and Larry Shaw. This is a good featurette and you get to see the cake fight between Eva and Nicolette during the 100th episode party. The final featurette is called “So Very Teri” that runs 8:03. This focuses on Teri Hatcher and her comedic timing. She also does her own stunts and everything. Interviewed are Larry Shaw, Teri Hatcher, Stephanie Hagen, Marc Cherry, Andrea Bowen, Dana Delaney, Matt Berry & Bob Daily, Beau Bridges, Kyle MacLachan, and James Denton.

Then Marc Cherry has "Cherry-Picked" his favorite scenes from the season. He shares his 7 favorite scenes, which include the hilarious scene with Gaby in her car and daughter Juanita trying to run behind her. Gabby is so bad but it is funny! You can watch the scenes with optional audio commentary, which I really recommend you do, since you’ll see the scenes on the actual episodes anyway. Marc is very detailed as always! The seven favorite scenes each run 1:36, 0:56, 1:45, 2:12, 1:51, 2:33, and 3:27.

Up next we have some Bloopers. It runs 6:23 and is longer than last time once again, so a plus! Then finally we have eight “Deleted Scenes” from the season but this time Marc Cherry doesn’t give optional commentary on each. That is not good because I liked when he gave reasons why he had to be cut these scenes. Among the deleted scenes is an alternate opening for the episode “What More Do I Need?” The eight deleted scenes run 0:32, 0:38, 1:37, 1:30, 1:41, 0:22, 1:07 and 1:03.

Final Comments:

The fifth season is very fun to watch. The five-year jump was a good way to shake things up. Not many shows could pull it off, but this show did. The storylines were just as good as previous seasons. Nothing suffered. And we got seven more episodes than last season when there was the writers’ strike. This is a must buy, especially if you have the first four seasons on DVD! I wish we had more than two audio commentary tracks and also wished Cherry gave commentary on deleted scenes. Those are my only gripes. Having an episode booklet would have been nice, too. But even so this set is red hot and excellent. All the extras were all so good as well. I suggest you buy this DVD because it is so red hot. Join in before the Housewives return for season six and tune in for the sixth season on ABC starting Sunday, Sept. 27 at 9/8 central! It’s going to be the best year of your ‘wife’.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 08/29/09

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