I'm a graphics designer by trade myself, but I think this box art design is a bit too "desperate" for my taste.
As the release date is a bit off in the future, let's hope this is just preliminary art and that something better will be along in the future.
Of course, if this does turn out to be the actual art, they could introduce a varnish coating to the gals' dresses to distinguish them from the background, which is something that wouldn't show up on the electronic version you see on your monitor.
It's really sending the wrong message about the show, though. Too much emphasis on "sex", although that could be what they're hoping will sell.
I'm really surprised. Is the show composed for widescreen? I know the first 10 episodes I got to watch were in HD, and looked pretty accurately framed for 1.78:1. Hopefully some light can be shed on this, especially since LOST is coming to us in widescreen...
I don't think it's too late to have this fixed, and you can bet I'll be making a number of calls today, starting with the production office. It's possible that Marc Cherry wants the show released in full frame, so I'll see if I can get him on the line (doubtful, but who knows).
Seriously, there's lots of time to have this fixed.
Remember, it's not about which has the "most" picture, it's not about whether the picture fills your screen, it's about the right picture and even for new TV shows, widescreen isn't always the "correct" ratio. If (and we don't know one way or the other at the moment) 4:3 is the aspect ratio the producers intended, then going and buying a widescreen version is taking us back to the bad old days when the video companies said "screw the aspect ration, let's fill up that there screen!" Only difference is we're filling a rectangle instead of a square.
Now, if widescreen is the intended ratio and the video company is screwing around with it, then we have the right to get mad, but until we hear any differently, I don't think it's time to complain.
Wasn't The O.C. DVD in full frame too? Presumably because they feel that the majority of the people that would buy that set wanted it without 'the bars'. The average person understands the concept of movies being widescreen (and may or may not care) but I don't think that they totally get the idea of TV shows being like that too. It fills their screen when they watch it on TV, why would the DVD be any different?
Maybe Touchstone thinks that the majority of people want Desperate Housewives like that. Hopefully, they will release it the way (whatever that may be) the creators want it.
It was released in full frame because the creators wanted it released that way, just like the people behind "Everwood" wanted the first and last episode of season 1 released in widescreen, while the rest of the episodes released in full frame.