Monday, October 29, 2007

"Remind me to make a donation to Pro-Choice America.": Brothers and Sisters

After several weeks of fairly lackluster episodes, Brothers and Sisters stepped up in a big way this week with "Domestic Issues." Let's mix it up this time and start out with what didn't work. Todd is constantly telling me that typical married life does not make for interesting television and while I agree with him to a certain extent, the lengths to which some creators go to break up any and all marriages on their shows is a bit disturbing. While I can't say that Greg Berlanti (whom I love) has quite reached Shonda Rhimes levels yet, he sure is getting close. The seemingly inevitable dissolution of Tommy's marriage, though vaguely reasonable when considering the stressors the marriage faces, still seems forced, as does the mashing together of him and his office drone. As entertaining as it is having Holly get her hypocrite on, the whole thing is just messy and a real drag on the show.

Additionally, Justin's readdiction to the pain medication is a tired plot device that is wholly regrettable. It's just so lame: Justin doesn't want to take drugs, for fear of resparking his addiction; Justin is convinced to take drugs for own benefit; Justin is hiding addiction to drugs. We all know how this ends: Sally Field cries, everyone hugs. Don't get me wrong, I love it when the Field cries, it's just a little too much retread a little too soon.

Enough of that. Let's get to the good.

I feel like before I go too far I should tell you how much I disliked Rachel Griffiths on Six Feet Under. I imagine that my opinion was based mainly on her character, I just could not get past my loathing. To that end, I was actually a little put off when I originally learned that she was in this cast, but willing to overlook it in order to attempt and give the show a fair shake. And I'm so glad I did. She is a revelation in this role, able to take things that may be soapy and trite and give them a heart and a resonance that not just any actress could. Her versatility astounds and her performance in this week's episode was heartbreaking.

Paired with the Sarah's incredible shrinking family, I loved Kitty's ever expanding one. While some may see Kitty's sudden pregnancy as an easy out with regards to the McCallister campaign (after all, before this, who in his base WOULDN'T vote for the guy!?) I found it to be an accurate display of how occasionally the best things happen at the worst times. And while I find McCallister to often be orange, wooden and hyper-perfect, he and Kitty's fight this episode was pitch perfect, horrifying and hurtful, all the things real fights are, though we wish they weren't.

Obviously if you've read my reviews before, you know that I loved everything involving the full family. The fact that everyone knew Kitty was pregnant immediately was spot on, (No really, I knew my sister was pregnant with her last child approximately 36 hours after she conceived. Okay, maybe not. But close) as was the fact that truly, every mother has a "tell." I would tell you what my mother's is, but then she may find out and actively work against it. I just can't take that risk, people.

As for next week, Internet scouring has found me zilch when it comes to a "next week on" package, though I watched a full scene at and have pieced together the following tidbits about the upcoming episode: 1. Danny Glover. (wtf!?) 2. Nora and Kitty fast-talk. (woo!) 3. The episode looks as though it will feature a shotgun wedding. (yay!) Well, I'm sold. Go, go, November sweeps!

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