Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth and Final Season Review
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When ABC’s Desperate Housewives premiered in 2004, it was unlike anything else on TV. It was gossipy and mischievous, but it was also good-natured and often downright funny. Throughout the show’s eight seasons, though, it sometimes lost its way, forgetting the things that made it such an overwhelming success. The women of Wisteria Lane have definitely had their ups and downs—concluding with a final season that ends on a surprisingly bleak note.

As the show’s eighth and final season begins, the girls are reeling from the latest death on Wisteria Lane. After Carlos (Ricardo Chavira) protects Gaby (Eva Longoria) by killing her violent ex-stepdad, Susan (Teri Hatcher), Bree (Marcia Cross), and Lynette (Felicity Huffman) do what any good friends would do: they help bury the body. The problem, however, is that Bree is dating Detective Chuck Vance (Jonathan Cake), and her friends are worried that he’ll uncover the truth. When Bree ends it with Chuck, though, their problems become even greater.

Each person spends the season dealing with the guilt of covered-up crime in his or her own way. Susan turns to art, while Carlos and Bree turn to booze. Lynette, meanwhile, is too busy trying to deal with her separation from Tom (Doug Savant) to worry too much about it.

There are a few other stories woven throughout the season—like Susan’s daughter, Julie (Andrea Bowen), dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and Renee’s (Vanessa Williams) budding relationship with new neighbor Ben (Charles Mesure). But most of the season revolves around the characters’ shared guilt—and that makes for a pretty grim (and often frustrating) season. It’s even more maddening when you realize that the situation could have been avoided if the others had taken level-headed Lynette’s advice and called the police. After all, Gaby’s stepdad broke into the house and threatened her—so Carlos was justified in the actions that led to the man’s death. A call to the police probably would have cleared things up and prevented a season of guilt and shame and anxiety.

Instead, season eight is one of alcoholism, marital strife, suicide attempts, murder, and terminal illness. The only character who manages to separate herself from the rest of the season’s doom and gloom is Gaby, who ends up battling the PTA and taking a new job in fashion. Though her silly, shallow storylines often feel completely out of place, they offer some much-needed touches of comic relief.

Really, though, it isn’t until about halfway through the season that things really start to get interesting, showing hints of the cleverness that made fans fall in love with the show all those years ago. And everything eventually comes together in one emotional moment after another, as fans are forced to say goodbye to the characters they’ve come to know and love over the last eight seasons.

Desperate Housewives may have had its highs and lows through the years (and even through the show’s final season), but even the most frustrated fans will find themselves getting a little choked up during the show’s moving final episodes. And it all comes to an end in a delectably fitting way: suggesting that, while the story may have ended for Susan, Lynette, Gaby, and Bree, life on Wisteria Lane—complete with its secrets, lies, and intrigue—will go on.

DVD Review:
The five-disc DVD release of the final season of Desperate Housewives comes with just a handful of extras. The special features include a blooper reel, deleted scenes, and series creator Marc Cherry’s audio commentary of the series finale. And, in the joyful and emotional I Guess This Is Goodbye, the members of the cast and crew discuss the characters as well as the show, its impact, and how it changed their lives forever.

After eight seasons, fans might expect more series-ending features—and, in that way, the DVD release is a bit of a disappointment. But while I Guess… isn’t an hour-long tribute, it’s still a fitting farewell.

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