'Brothers & Sisters': Someone please fix this show!

Brothersandsisters_lI’m getting a little concerned about my beloved Brothers & Sisters. Last night’s episode (the sixth of season 3) was quite possibly the least funny and least emotionally engaging of the entire series run, and no single moment rang less true than the scene ABC has been teasing for several weeks: Nora leaping out of her car, running to the edge of the road, and screaming at her late husband into a bucolic valley — "I hate you William Walker! All you care about is yourself and your stupid penis!" For me, the shout-out to William’s errant member felt like a desperate attempt by the show’s writers to score the kind of laughter-through-tears moment that’s made B&S such an addictive treat, but it played more like a bit of sophomoric frat humor: "Let’s make the gray-haired lady say ‘penis.’" I’m sorry, but Brothers & Sisters fans expect more, and Sally Field certainly deserves better. (That said, as petty and preposterous as Nora looked with her accusation about Robert turning Kitty against her family, it somehow felt genuine. Whose mom hasn’t hung onto old, unresolved arguments, and dredged them up amplified at the most inopportune moments?)

addCredit(“Scott Garfield/ABC”)

Also working my nerves last night was the fist fight between Tommy andKevin. I know Kevin can be a petty jerk, and I know Tommy is the leastlikeable character on the show, but seriously? We’re supposed tobelieve these two grown men, who only a year ago locked Justin in abedroom and forced him to detox, would sully their little brother’sone-year sobriety ceremony with such a grotesque, immature display?Again, I’m a fan of the way B&S isn’t afraid to present itscharacters’ flaws, but the melee was a failure both in terms of laughgeneration and character development.

At least the writers gave Rachel Griffiths an interesting story arcthis week. I was perturbed that Sarah seemed unprepared forher interview (!), but her horrified reaction to seeing the "Greenotopiaoffices" (including top executive in a towel, drinking a beer) was theepisode’s best moment, and her comment about having "siblings who don’thave boundaries and a mother who treats me like I’m sixteen" was handsdown the night’s best line. I’m also happy to see Sarah tackling afresh career challenge and taking a little time away from the datingscene after a crumbled marriage and a disastrous workplace affair. It’s the right thing to do for this single mother of two.

Asfor Kitty’s possible upcoming adoption and theJustin-and-Rebecca-in-bed marathon, I leave it for you to discussB&S fans. In the meantime, are the rest of you concerned about what I’m perceivingas a dip in the show’s writing quality, or am I just being a PickyMcCrankypants? Who’s liking Sarah’s new career move? And "yeah" or"nay" on Justin wearing Rebecca’s silk robe?

Comments (103 total) Add your comment
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  • Green Gummi Bear

    First thing we thought after Sarah’s interview was 1 – She’s going to sleep with the blonde guy, a Demi Moore kind of thing that will be all drama, and 2 – Is that other guy THAT much of a P to hold FDR against her? Come on, don’t go over the top Oberman on us…

  • Jelana

    Hey, Green, I agree with you. I had the same thought about Sara and the blonde guy. I am hopeful for the Ryan stuff. I’m also wondering about a possibility of Nora and Mr. Lafferty.

  • Lene

    Yeah, a bit picky. You’re right – the show hasn’t had its usual oomph for a few episodes (but still better than most of what’s on TV), but I think last night moved things along. It’s still in transition to somewhere but I’m having fun along the way.
    The fistfight was ridiculous and felt forced, but Nora screaming at a field rang true – when the arse isn’t there to be yelled at, sometimes, you have to go scream at the cows. Not that I’ve ever done that. A-hem.
    p.s. yea on the robe.

  • Anonymous

    Michael you’re being a McCranky pants.
    The show was great last night. It’s good picture on Nora especially…she’s mad that she has to go through this after he’d dead. William doing 2 women and having such serious repercussions even after his death – it’s got to be exhausting.

  • Anonymous

    I’ll take Justin without the robe.

  • 2cents

    It would have been cool to see a race between Nora and Holly – trying to get to the Laffertys. If that is the reason Nora wanted to see him (to talk to him before Holly) – Holly should have been involved.
    Are the two guys that Sarah interviewed, lovers? I couldn’t figure out if the big shock was what their office was or that they were very “comfortable” together.
    And Justin…well…he should wear nothing. Nada. Not-a-stitch. Ever. Ratings will go up. And have him smile. Nude and Smile. Done deal.

  • Robdob

    Bravo, Slezak! I used to look forward to all of the stories, but now I find myself tempted to fast forward on my DVR. I expect better from B&S.

  • QuestLuv

    If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, this show is too old now to not know where it’s going and to keep shifting radically in character tone and development. If the show is going to continue the same episodic formula then it needs to amp it up somehow and fast. How many shows get this long to find it’s groove. Brothers & Sisters groove, when they do hit it, is all over the place. I like the show, but it is quickly wearing my patience. Who knew Desperate Housewives would be a better and more consistent show then B&S.

  • Jon

    “Hi, my name’s Kevin, and I’m a b*tch.” –Justin
    Best line of the night, by far.

  • Jon

    One thing that bothered me the entire ep. I understand this is a show, but should we really believe that Nora would willingly ruin another family’s life by telling them the dirty secret about Ryan? How can her and Kitty be so dumb that they would actually try and sully a dead woman’s legacy just for their own personal satisfaction. That REALLY bothered me.

  • SerenityBlue

    I agree with Jon on the best line. That was great!!! However, I don’t think Nora was thinking so much about personal gain, as she was, Holly’s threat. I think, Nora felt like if this family was going to have to hear the ugly truth she’d rather it come from her as William’s wife (and the other victim of his affairs) than another mistress looking to do as much damage as possible. No there’s no easy way to hear such news, but I think were it me, I’d rather hear it Nora’s way.

  • junior

    I’m just glad someone else thought his was the worst “B&S” episode ever, even worse than last week’s which I then considered to be the worst ever. I know their busy but can someone call Jon Robin Baitz and Greg Berlanti and tell him to hammer a few scripts out over the weekend. Anything would be better than this focus-less drivel they have now…

  • graeme

    Fix the show? Huh? There’s nothing wrong with it. It’s been very strong this season.

  • Heather

    I really like this show and it is great that they show the characters flaws, but I have never seen such self centered bunch of people in my life, that Kevin and Tommy couldn’t hold their tongues for an hour to be there for Justin… Same with the dinner party for Kitty a few weeks ago.

  • JEAN

    I’m with you. This show needs to be fixed ASAP. I used to love it now I find myself struggling to stay awake. (which I didn’t last night)

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