DVD Review: Desperate Housewives (The Complete Seventh Season)

Since the fast forward in time that occurred for the fifth season of Desperate Housewives, the show has been totally different but in a good way. Season five was just as good as the first few seasons. Season six was a slight step down, but the return of some familiar faces at the end was looked as a promising lead-in for season seven. With the final season around the corner and the seventh season arriving to DVD, let’s see if the return of some faces from the past and a main new addition to the cast make Housewives more or less desperate.

Set on the street of Wisteria Lane in the fictional American town of Fairview, Eagle State the series originally centered around a group of women and their respective loved ones, including Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), Bree Van de Kamp (Marcia Cross), Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria), and Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan). These women are housewives who seem to have a desperate need to either be nosey neighbors and get into other people’s business or hide their own business from each other. Revealing these truths is their deceased neighbor and narrator Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong).

Like previous seasons, there is a new mysterious family that moves into town to stir up things. But this new family isn’t entirely new to Wisteria Lane. This season, Mike (James Denton) and Susan Delfino face financial hardship and have to move away from Wisteria Lane. They rent it out to Paul Young (Mark Moses) and his new wife, Beth (Emily Beigl). The same Paul Young that is the widower of Mary Alice Young. The same Paul Young that killed a neighbor way back in the first season, but didn’t get caught. The same neighbor that eventually did get arrested, because he was falsely accused of murdering another neighbor, the sister of the woman he did murder. Now Paul has been released from jail and no one on Wisteria Lane is thrilled about it.

Meanwhile, Lynnette and Tom Scavo continue to grow apart even as their family continues to grow. Bree loses her business and decides to reveal a secret to Gaby that could ruin their friendship forever. That’s not the only secret that Gaby and Carlos have to deal with this season. They also discover another secret about their eldest daughter Juanita (Madison de la Garza) that change Gaby forever. Finally, a new neighbor does move to Wisteria Lane. Renee (Vanessa Williams) is an old friend of Lynnette’s, and of course, she also has a secret past that also involves Tom.

This season is mostly the same old thing that has been churned out the past few seasons. With season eight being the finale, the timing couldn’t better; it’s time for this show to end. There really isn’t much more than can do to keep things interesting. That said, even though this season features a lot of returning old faces, the storylines featuring them feel somewhat fresh. Paul Young has been the ultimate villain in the series thus far, so his return bumps its success up a few notches. But the addition of Vanessa Williams to the cast wasn’t exactly a home run. She tries too hard be the new Edie. It just doesn’t work most of the time. The rest of the cast is still great as usual, though.

This season of Desperate Housewives is definitely a step up from last season. Paul Young is the greatest villain in the history of the show, so having him back on the show is definitely a good thing. That certainly raises the level of greatness of this season to nearly the same level as the first couple of seasons. Now that we know that season 8 will be the last, we can expect the writers to throw everything at us and see if this show has any surprises left. Season 7 was certainly a perfect set up for what should be a great final season.


Disc One:

Episode 1 – Remember Paul?
The residents of Wisteria Lane are stunned to discover that Paul Young is out of prison and back in the neighborhood with seemingly dark motives.

Episode 2 – You Must Meet My Wife
Susan is wracked with guilt about lying to Mike regarding her new, risqué side job, and Gabrielle is forced to rush to the hospital after her daughter Juanita becomes the victim in an accident that also involves a fellow resident of Wisteria Lane.

Episode 3 – Truly Content
The women of Wisteria Lane invite Beth (guest star Emily Bergl) over for a poker game wanting to know more about her marriage to Paul.

Episode 4 – The Thing That Counts is What’s Inside
Susan is horrified when she discovers that she has become the face of the provocative internet company she’s been secretly working for, and is now the cover model for their outdoor billboard ads.

Disc Two:

Episode 5 – Let Me Entertain You
Susan’s days as a sexy internet sensation may be coming to an end after she angers an important client and incurs the wrath of her boss, Maxine (guest star Lainie Kazan).

Episode 6 – Excited and Scared
As Halloween approaches, Susan is forced to reveal her secret, sexy internet side job to a shocked Mike, and Juanita becomes suspicious of Gabrielle’s sudden interest in Grace.

Episode 7 – A Humiliating Business
Susan begrudgingly accepts Lynette’s offer to be baby Paige’s nanny, and Bree is too embarrassed to tell Keith (guest star Brian Austin Green) that she’s beginning to go through menopause.

Episode 8 – Sorry Grateful
Thanksgiving on Wisteria Lane finds Gabrielle and Carlos hosting Carmen, Hector and Grace to a bountiful feast. But the Solises discover some surprising news about the Sanchez family that could threaten their time with Grace.

Episode 9 – Pleasant Little Kingdom
Gabrielle desperately tries to figure out a way to keep her biological daughter Grace (guest star Cecilia Balagot) in her life, and Keith (guest star Brian Austin Green) tries to get the most out of his intimate get-togethers with Bree, but his own father (guest star John Schneider) always finds a way to ruin such intimacy.

Disc Three:

Episode 10 – Down the Block There’s a Riot
Paul’s nefarious plan of opening a halfway house on Wisteria Lane is put into full effect, which sends the neighborhood into an out of control spiral of chaos.

Episode 11 – Assassins
The fate of Paul Young is revealed following the aftermath of the riot, but one important question remains: who shot him?

Episode 12 – Where Do I Belong?
While Susan continues to undergo dialysis, she is stunned when her flighty mother, Sophie (guest star Lesley Ann Warren), along with her aunt Claire (guest star Valerie Harper), pays a visit but won’t agree to get tested to see if she would be a potential kidney donor candidate.

Episode 13 – I’m Still Here
Lynette feels her mother (guest star Polly Bergen as Stella) is marrying Frank (guest star Larry Hagman), an abrasive and obnoxious man, for all the wrong reasons, and thus tries to talk her out of it.

Episode 14 – Flashback
Lynette fights back when her mother (guest star Polly Bergen as Stella) tries to force the Scavos to pose for a family portrait with her obnoxious new husband, Frank (guest star Larry Hagman).

Disc Four:

Episode 15 – Farewell Letter
Lynette and Tom feel that it’s time for twins Porter and Preston to move out on their own and learn how to become responsible adults… but the boys end up moving out to a pad that’s a little too close to home.

Episode 16 – Searching
Susan vows to get the most out of life when she learns that her dialysis isn’t working and that, unless she receives a kidney transplant soon, she will die.

Episode 17 – Everything’s Different, Nothing’s Changed
Paul Young stands in the way of Susan getting her much-needed kidney transplant.

Episode 18 – Moments in the Woods
Believing she’s on a winning streak after undergoing a successful kidney transplant, Susan begins to think she’s invincible and starts to gamble with the little money she and Mike have, convinced she can’t lose.

Episode 19 – The Lies Ill-Concealed
Gabrielle must meet Bree under a cloak of secrecy when Carlos forbids their friendship after learning the truth about his mother’s death.

Disc Five:

Episode 20 – I’ll Swallow Poison on Sunday
With Gabrielle and her girls temporarily staying at Bree’s house, Bree must lay down the law and demand discipline before Juanita and Celia destroy her home.

Episode 21 – Then I Really Got Scared
Paul begins to suspect that Susan is responsible for his rapidly declining health, and Lynette and Tom butt heads over where to go on their family vacation, as well as which one of them will set it up.

Episode 22 – And Lots of Security… (Part 1)
Gabrielle grows more and more concerned over the mysterious man (guest star Tony Plana) who has been keeping a close eye on her, and decides it is time to get a gun for protection.

Episode 23 – Come on Over for Dinner (Part 2)
Mike and Susan move back to the lane, and their friends and neighbors decide to host a progressive dinner party to celebrate their return, but things don’t go quite as planned.

The video is given in anamorphic widescreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is enhanced for 16×9 TVs. The transfer is great with colors generally looking bright and vivid details everywhere. No major or minor problems at all here, and on par with previous seasons.

The audio included is in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French as well. The dialogue and music come out loud and clear. No major problems here either, and the same good quality as previous seasons.

Looking at the extras, this season set comes with the standard bloopers and scenes, plus some trivia and a featurette.

Growing up on Wisteria Lane – The kids in the Desperate Housewives cast, Andrea Bowen, Mason Vale Cotton, Madison de la Garza, Danialla Boltodano, Darcy Rose Byrnes, Max & Charlie Carver, Joshua Logan Moore, Cody Kasch, Sean Pyfrom and Joy Lauren, talk about growing up on the show and the many lessons they have learned from their older cast mates.

Desperate for Trivia – This is an interesting question and answer session with the cast about which characters have done what throughout the run of the series. They all attempt to answer the questions until they get it right.

Deleted Scenes – There are 12 scenes that got cut from this season. All of them were cut for time reasons, but none of them are scenes that are “must-watch” or anything. Fans might want to check these out, though

Bloopers – Your standard set of screw ups and gags. The usual not really funny stuff.

Season seven returns the show to nearly great status. It’s a perfect setup for the final season. We have seen most of these storylines before. But there is enough juicy secrets and returning faces to make things interesting this season.

Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents Desperate Housewives: The Complete Seventh Season. Created by Marc Cherry. Starring Terri Hacher, Felicity Huffman, Marcia Cross, Eva Longoria, Vanessa Williams, Ricardo Chavira, Doug Savant, James Denton, Kyle MacLachlan, Dana Delany. Running time: 989 minutes. Rated: NOT RATED. Released on DVD: August 30, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.