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Featured TV on DVD Review: Desperate Housewives: Season Six

September 16th, 2010

Desperate Housewives: Season Six - Buy from Amazon

For the past six years, Desperate Housewives has maintained a place in the top 10 in the ratings. It has also, for the most part, earned solid reviews and picked up countless nominations. That said, it has also seen its ratings slide 40% from season one, while it has gone from a major player on Emmy night to an also ran.

The Show

Because Desperate Housewives is a nighttime soap opera, it's really hard to keep track of all of the storylines floating around, especially since most of them are interconnected at some point. So in an attempt to make things as clear as possible, and to save my sanity, here are the main storylines for each of the Desperate Housewives, in Alphabetical order, mostly.

  • Susan Mayer
    During the five-year jump that happened between seasons four and five (I still can't believe the writers pull a stunt like that) we learn that Susan got into a car accident that resulted in the death of a mother and child. The husband comes to Wisteria Lane to get revenge. Mike, her ex-husband, learns of this just in time to save her life, thus rekindling their relationship. However, the joy of that is short-lived when in the season opener, her daughter is attacked and put into a coma.
  • Katherine Mayfair
    In season five, she was with Mike and were planning on getting married, but when he chooses Susan, his ex, over her, she takes it hard. Much of season six is her trying to recover from this emotional blow, but it is a recovery that is far from smooth. It starts with potential, then it goes on a little too long, then it hits "Why won't this end?" territory. By the time she starts a relationship with a lesbian stripper, it is clear the writers have no idea what they are doing.
  • Lynette Scavo
    After dealing with cancer, she learns of even worse medical news... she's pregnant, with twins. She tries to keep this a secret for as long as possible, because she wants to wait to make sure there's nothing wrong with the children. At least that's the excuse she gives. In reality, she's unsure she wants more kids. The situation is made more complex by financial woes, including her husband going back to school and the prospect of losing her job.
  • Gabrielle Solis
    At the end of season five, the Solis family takes in their Niece, Ana (Maiara Walsh) and there is a major personality conflict between Gaby and Ana for much of the early season. Also, Gaby's old flame, John returns. ... There feels like there should be more than that, but I can't remember.
  • Bree Van De Kamp
    Is Bree Van De Kamp alphabetized with V as in Van De Kamp or K as in Kamp? Moving on. At the end of season five, her marriage to Orson fell apart, but instead of letting her divorce him, he blackmails her. To get revenge on Orson, she begins an affair with Karl, her divorce attorney and Susan's ex-husband and Julie's father. But of course, Susan is dealing with Kathrine's obsesssive attempts at breaking up Susan and Mike, while Julie was attacked, so this is beyond complicated.
  • Angie Bolen
    The new family that moves to the neighborhood. Angie's the matriarch, who has a secret. She's married to Nick, who has a secret. And they have a son, who has a secret.
So that's what happens for most of the season, then partway through a plane crashes into a Christmas party. I wish I were joking.

I admit that I'm not part of the show's target demographic and I've never been a big fan of the show. That said, I'm not surprised that the show set records for lowest ratings in the series' six-year run. Characters that felt like such great additions just a couple years ago, Katherine, now feel lost. The new family never really took off creatively. And even the big season story, The Fairview Strangler, never was fully engaging. And don't get me started on that stupid midseason twist.

The Extras

Extras on the six-disc set are pretty weak for a concurrent show. There are deleted scenes and outtakes. The latest installment of Cherry Picked has the creator giving commentary on a quartet of his favorite scenes. There's a 13-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. The only extra that stands out is Miss Piggy Gets Desperate, which has the Muppet interviewing the cast with Pepe, acting as her producer.

The Verdict

Desperate Housewives is still a big hit with audiences constantly ranking in the top ten in the ratings. However, I thought Season Six felt strained at times, while the DVD is rather weak in terms of extras. That said, I've never been a fan of the show, so take that into consideration.

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