May 11th, 2008
Based on spoilers, we’ve known for weeks that the truncated second season of ABC’s Brothers & Sisters would include a wedding between Kevin and Scotty. In the end, you knew that these two would have to have a happy ending – their journey, and Kevin’s journey, would be tarnished beyond repair if something went wrong at the last moment, so we knew that the drama was to be found less in their love and more in the circumstances surrounding the whole event.
Smartly, this drama was subtle as opposed to broad: Nora’s reaction to the news of Rebecca not being a Walker was understanding, Rebecca and Justin’s eventual spiral into love was slowly paced, and the end of episode revelation is naturally set up by a series of flashbacks with the return of William Walker. I still have issues with the whole Rebecca/Justin scenario, and I think that the added drama could drag down parts of this story, but the finale was well-paced enough that I am still on board.
May 4th, 2008
There is no storyline in television more hazardous at the moment than the fatal attraction of Justin Walker and Rebecca Not-Walker. It is an incredibly dangerous storyline for the series to engage at this point in time, but the real hazard is very simple: it’s actually really entertaining to watch.
Way too entertaining, too – Dave Annable and Emily VanCamp are both fantastic, and the scenes in the episode that deal with this issue fly around in a way that is humorous enough to make me forget the huge psychological ramifications at play. Based on these scenes, the show clearly understands the dangers they face and are willing to take the right steps to make it work.
That’s not to say it’s not still frakkin’ creepy, but it’s not quite as reprehensible as it could have been.
April 27th, 2008
I have absolutely nothing against Justin Walker and Rebecca Harper. I have nothing against Dave Annable or Emily VanCamp, two attractive and charistmatic young actors who in real life make a charming couple. I don’t have anything against romance, having myself been a shipper in a past life (Oh, who am I kidding, a present life).
And yet, I have all sorts of issues with the forbidden, quasi-incestual love affair between these two characters, characters I like stuck in a storyline that just feels wrong. I know it’s been inevitable, with rumors and storylines leading us to this point, but the way it has been handled has made its problems even more apparent. These two actors have chemistry, but the writers are forcing their characters to overcome a fairly substantial hurdle (You know, being related) through a series of contrived hoops and over-exaggerated characterizations.
If this reveal had been done a few months into their friendship, I might buy it – as it stands, it’s just a bit too awkward and forced for me to accept being slapped in the face with it over and over again. “Double Negative” has all sorts of other storylines, so let’s talk about those before my rant drivels on any further.
April 20th, 2008
In my own anxiety of trying to figure out how to spend my time when I will have no consistent employment hours and no homework all summer, I apparently completely forgot that the ABC drama that I haven’t given up on is returning from its strike hiatus for a short few episodes. Brothers & Sisters has been fairly good this season, if a bit predictable at parts, but I’m glad to see it returning if only so we can get back more serial television.
This is one of the few shows that can’t act as if no time has passed, as it was embroiled in the Republican primary system when we last left it. Before we hit the title, McAllister is bowing out of the race and we’re flashing forward three months to a world where presidency is replaced with pregnancy in the grand scheme of things.
It’s a smart decision because it allows for a partial reset of some storylines, particularly the dramatic tension in Tommy’s life. Instead, we get to return to Walkers being Walkers as the family faces a crisis and a celebration: Rebecca’s birthday and Isaac (Danny Glover) inviting Nora to live with him in Washington. Needless to say, this creates plenty of drama for the episode to draw from.
“The Feast of Epiphany”
January 13th, 2007
In my current insomnia, brought on by a mutating cold that just won’t go away without a fight, I figured I’d take the time to comment on last night’s episode of Brothers & Sisters. The danger of this January strike situation is that some shows are returning with almost no notice – in the case of this series, I had completely forgotten it was scheduled to return. The show’s general success in the ratings demonstrates that viewers certainly didn’t tune out, but the fact remains that this one flew a little under the radar.
The whole point of the episode, of course, was that things can only fly under the radar for so long before they will blow up in your face. The episode dealt with the aftermath of McAllister’s war heroism being called into question, and then the whole slew of other underlying secrets and lies floating around. It also opened the door for an incestual potential relationship to lose its taboo, while also giving me false hope that we’d be saying goodbye to one of our regular characters. It was a busy, and ultimately fulfilling, hour of television.
November 25th, 2007
Oh, irony of ironies: you see, tonight’s episode of Brothers & Sisters really didn’t live up to this particular wedding superstition. I don’t know about the blue side of the equation, but the old was certainly in full force in certain parts of this week’s developments. In fact, many characters are just falling right back into past pitfalls, just like any other soap opera out there.
However, let’s remember what sets this show apart from, say, Desperate Housewives: the assembled talent (Including, this week, the added talents of Chevy Chase) have a way of taking this material and turning it into something far more engaging. In the end, I’d say that the pitfalls were perhaps more apparent this week than in weeks previous.
“States of the Union”
October 21st, 2007
I really want to add an s to this title, because there’s a lot of unions flying around this series. And, well, their states are pretty well all entirely the same: “Crappy”. Tommy and Julia are on the rocks, Sarah and Joe are beyond the rocks, and Kitty is freaked out that McAllister is preparing for them to maybe be on the rocks in the future. Nora’s there to try to fix all of the problems, and the result is largely uneventful.
Brothers & Sisters is at its best when it is either embracing its humorous side or creating powerful drama. This episode represents neither, focusing instead on people in crisis and the way they cope with it. This could easily fall into comic or dramatic territory, but it seems to float in between resulting in a distinct lack of impact as far as the series’ past goes. The conclusion brought things to a head, but it didn’t quite hit the right note.
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