Siblings & Suds

by Beal

I’ve racked up about a third of a season of Brothers & Sisters on my DVR, and although I gave it my best effort yesterday, I barely put a dent in it. I feel like this program is of a bygone era. The super “serious” melodrama is reminiscent of powerhouses like Dallas, Dynasty or Knots Landing. However, there is something lacking, and I think it’s a grain of salt.

Initially, I believe that this was one of the best written AND acted shows of this genre. However, upon viewing multiple episodes in a row, including the 2-hour Brothers & Sisters Movie Event (like what? since when can shows just break into a movie just because the episode is longer, i.e. two episodes? Is this a DVD sales stunt? Ugh.) I have altered my opinion.

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First of all, the writing is only good to a point. Characters interact appropriately and story lines move along without glitches, but that’s only because they recycle the same half a dozen story lines throughout this shows three seasons. In a nutshell: constant confrontations between Nora the widow and her late husbands mistresses and possible illegitimate children/siblings from different political parties battle it out/family is wealthy so they drink a lot of wine and then argue/and my personal favorite: SALLY FIELD CRIES.

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Seriously, how many times per episode can this “strong, independent woman” break into tears? I’d love to say I could laugh when this goes down (eight times an hour), but I tell you what, these moments are generally heartfelt and admittedly, I have been known to shed a tear (or thousand) at this program. I justified this emotional outpouring because I told myself that these were great actors on a great show. And then I began to hate myself.

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I’ll give you Sally Field, she’s a national fucking treasure, but since when do I consider Calista Flockhart  (whom I legitimately almost ran over in a parking garage in Westwood) or Rob Lowe “great actors?” She’s more famous for never having eaten more than 60 calories in a day and his most noticed role was a cameo in Wayne’s World. Or maybe on that that show about politics in Washington D.C., I don’t know I never really watched it. Didn’t he get caught with a hooker once?  Either way, the point is, I recently had to come to terms with the fact that this program is in fact, exactly what I pretend I don’t love. A sudsy, sudsy bubbled up, prime time soap opera rife with corporate intrigue, criminal investigation, national politics, family business and drug abuse. Now, if only I had the time/emotional stability to view the final SEVEN episodes of this season. . .

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