Desperate Housewives: The Complete Fourth Season Review
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Every TV series—if it’s lucky enough to make it past the first few episodes—has its ups and downs. And that’s definitely true of ABC’s Desperate Housewives. After the show’s first award-winning season, things started to slow down a bit as the show hit its sophomore slump—but fans who stuck with it were happy to see the old Housewives back for season four.

After wandering off to focus on their own storylines in previous seasons, the women of Wisteria Lane join forces once again to fight their battles together. That’s not always easy, though—since many of the women are keeping their own dirty little secrets. Bree (Marcia Cross) is faking her pregnancy to cover up for her teen daughter’s unwed pregnancy. Lynette (Felicity Huffman) has been keeping her cancer from her friends. And unhappy newlywed Gabrielle (Eva Longoria Parker) is sneaking around with her ex, Carlos (Ricardo Chavira). Even the happiest newlywed (and mom-to-be) on the block, Susan (Teri Hatcher), has some troubling secrets. But when the secrets start coming out and the women find their friends in need, they come out from the safety of their kitchens and their flowerbeds to help each other out (or at least to sit around, drink Margaritas, and dish the dirt).

To add to the fun—and the mysteries—on Wisteria Lane, Susan’s old friend, Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany), returns to the Lane with a few secrets of her own. And another new couple, Bob (Tuc Watkins) and Lee (Kevin Rahm), stir things up a bit with their questionable decorating style.

Throughout the season, there are some hits and some misses. Some stories make for great episode-to-episode suspense, while others just seem to fade away (like Bob and Lee, who quickly take a back seat to the women’s drama). And it all ends with the bizarre (and disappointing) decision to skip five years into the future to spice up season five.

But if there’s one thing to be said for this 16-episode season, it’s that it definitely goes all out. There are catfights and affairs, murders and mysteries. There’s even a tornado, which all but destroys the picture-perfect neighborhood. This season is filled with comedy and drama—and even some action and suspense.

The five-disc collection also includes plenty of extras—including commentaries for various episodes, as well as the other old DVD standbys: the deleted scenes (with or without commentary) and the blooper reel. The show’s creator, Marc Cherry, shares some of his favorite episodes from the season, as well as an alternate (yet still disappointing) ending. But the two most fascinating features are the behind-the-scenes features. One, called Spare Time: Hanging with the Men of Wisteria Lane joins the show’s guys as they hang out and bowl together. Between frames, they talk about the show and their characters (and they compare Christopher Walken impersonations). The other, Getting Desperate from Beginning to End, is a making-of feature that focuses on the larger-than-life sweeps-week tornado episode.

If you gave up on Desperate Housewives after the first couple of seasons, give the dishy fourth season a try. And for those of you who have stuck with the show through its ups and downs, here’s your reward: an adventure-filled season filled with all kinds of suburban scandal. Pick up a copy and rewatch all of your favorite episodes before the next season begins. Just think of it as your last-minute refresher before the show makes its dubious five-year jump.

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