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BROTHERS and SISTERS
Review

Brothers and Sisters Review
TV REVIEW
by Salome Bell
PREMIERED SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30th


ALSO ON SITE
"I don't want nice, I want my mother."

That line, from Calista Flockhart's character Kitty on Brothers and Sisters, kind of sums it up for me.

This is a show about not-nice people trying to be likeable, and about people demanding respect while doing very little to deserve it.

I tuned in a couple of times last year just to see if I could handle Flockhart in another role. I was never able to take Ally McBeal for more than a minute at a time, and assumed it was down to her frantic vibratory acting.

Strange thing is, I don't really dislike her. She doesn't make me want to rail against bad casting. But she does really make me want to change the channel.

I have a love/hate relationship with Sally Field too. When she's playing realistic, complex characters, I love her. But when, like here, she is supposed to be a shrewish, self-interested yet loving mother, I get the first two qualities and miss the last entirely.

I tuned in mostly for Rob Lowe, who is one of those rare actors who has really continued to grow. It was after his stint on The West Wing, that I realized he was someone I'd watch a show for.

The premiere was odd, only because it was not particularly odd. A big show like this usually throws something special into the first episode of a new season - a guest star, a big revelation.

Brothers and Sisters acted like it was all business as usual. The only shocker was Kitty using what amounted to emotional blackmail to get her fiance the senator to use his connections to find out if her enlisted brother was okay.

Only it wasn't portrayed as emotional blackmail. If someone did to me what Kitty did to Robert, I would run. Wedding off, get out of my life you manipulative narcissist.

And when it's revealed in the final moments of the show that her brother's unit has taken casualties, I felt a strong response of, "Do I care?"

And I can't take all the bitching.

Maybe it's because my own family life was rather placid, or maybe it's just my innate lack of respect for people who try to solve their problems by shouting profanities at each other, but it's hard to stomach this show's bad behavior.

Let's overlook for a moment that it's effectively a night-time soap opera, with not much more realism in the plotlines and not much more depth to either the emotions or the dialogue.

What it has going for it is a self-assurance that these are the kind of people we want to be, and if we can't, that we want to watch. They're rich, privileged, and good-looking.

And they scream like banshees, and bitch like a PMS-ing starlet.

Not my kind of family, and not something I'm going to return to often.

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