So I’m doing something new with this edition of my TV column. I am actually going to discuss a show that is currently on television, ABC’s Brothers & Sisters. The reason I picked this show as opposed to one of my usual choices from the 70’s or 80’s is because I don’t think a lot of college students watch it and I really think that you all are missing out. I hear a lot of you talking about Glee, The Office, or Modern Family (all of which are shows I enjoy as well). However I think that Brothers & Sisters is truly one of the best shows on television and many people our age are missing out, so I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t.
Brothers & Sisters premiered in 2006 and since then has followed Desperate Housewives at 10 p.m. on Sunday nights. The show revolves around the life of Nora Walker, played by Sally Field, and her six grown children. During the series’ pilot episode Nora’s husband William dies of a heart attack. This launches the primary storyline of the show which follows the Walkers as they discover more and more of William’s hidden secrets that cover everything from adultery to embezzling. It also deals with the day to day work and relationships of her children not to mention her brother, dead husband’s mistress, and several possible illegitimate children by her husband. Sounds like there’s a lot going on doesn’t there? Well, that’s because there is and every moment is compelling and often humorous.
As the show is in its fifth year it would be impossible for me to even make a dent in filling you in on everything that’s happened and honestly I don’t have to. Sitting down for any given episode of Brothers & Sisters is like sitting down with family. All of their struggles are real and they cover everything from homosexuality, to drug abuse, to cancer. There’s really nothing that Brothers & Sisters hasn’t touched on in its five year run and nothing that it hasn’t displayed honestly and compassionately.
The reason I love Brothers & Sisters so much is because it’s so real. You feel for every character, even the dead husband’s mistress, they are spectacularly developed characters who you can’t help but be compelled to watch week after week. Not to mention the writing is absolutely spectacular. At points the show can be absolutely hilarious. The dialogue between characters is very sharp and witty, the likes of which haven’t been seen since Gilmore Girls went off the air (coincidentally the same year Brothers & Sisters premiered). The writing can also be absolutely heartbreaking when it comes to moments like when Kitty Walker (played by Calista Flockhart) has to decide whether or not to take her husband off of life support.
However serious the plot lines get though, it never takes away from the show’s heart. I’m a pretty cynical guy which is why I love the old shows like All in the Family where characters are constantly battling each other with hilarious insults. While there are plenty, and I mean plenty, of Walker family battles. They always end up coming back to the importance of family and that is something that you don’t see a lot on television anymore. I’m not talking about a Leave it to Beaver type deal, I mean a real family that screams and fights and deals with life. It’s hilarious and heartwarming and I think the best program out today.
If you want to give Brothers & Sisters a try, new episodes air Sunday at 10 p.m. Also the first four seasons are all on DVD and re-runs can be seen every now and then on ABC. Episodes that I would recommend are the first seasons “Game Night” and “Matriarchy,” Season 2’s “Prior Commitments,” Season 3’s “Troubled Waters Parts 1 + 2,” and Season 5’s “The One That Got Away” which is currently on Hulu. Take a night out with the Walkers, you won’t regret it.
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