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Brother's and Sisters

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Brothers & Sisters is an American television drama series, centered around the California-based Walker family and their lives. The show premiered on ABC on September 24, 2006 after Desperate Housewives and airs Sundays at 10 P.M. The acting ensemble includes Emmy and Oscar-winning actress Sally Field, Golden Globe-winning and Emmy Award-nominated actresses Calista Flockhart and Oscar-nominated actress Rachel Griffiths.

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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      19.05.2010 16:30

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      Popular American drama series with some great acting

      Brother's and Sisters is a popular American TV drama series that revolves around the Walker family and their lives in Pasadena, California. The show was first aired in 2006 and is still going strong now. It features amongst other stars, Sally Field, Calista Flockhart from Ally McBeal and Rob Lowe. Now, on the surface there might not be too much to it and I guess the plot is very simple, but it's one of those shows that once you get into it you want to keep watching and see what happens with the characters you have come to know and love.

      The Walker family are one of those families as with alot of these dramas that look from the outside to anyone passing by that they have everything they could want and the perfect life. They have a seemingly successful family business and a great home and the brothers and sisters all appear to get along. However, that would be a pretty boring series if that were the case. Scratch under the surface and you will find that not everything is as it seems.

      Like alot of families there are secrets and deception, however, of course as this an American drama everything is twice as bad and twice as deceitful. However, it is very entertaining viewing and I always enjoy it when I watch it. There are issues such as adultery and feuds as with any family.

      The thing that is great about it is the characters and the actors and actresses that play them as they are all very believable and make it seem pretty realistic. Add to that the storylines that move along at a nice pace and you never feel you are getting bored with any of it.

      If you've never seen this interesting drama then you should definately give it a shot as it's great.

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      14.02.2010 22:54
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      Fabulous cast and storylines

      Brothers and Sisters is another American television drama. The show began in 2006 and focuses on the Walker family. The show is now in its fourth series.

      The show started with the death of William Walker, the father. This brings his wife, Nora, and their children together as their lives change forever. While coping with the lose of William the family discovers that he had a mistress and a long standing one. Combined with this there were issues between siblings.

      Nora is a fiercely devoted to her family, a housewife who is shocked to the core that her husband has falsified her existance. Kitty is a political commentator who is soon to fall in love with a major political player (played by Rob Lowe). Justin is the baby and slightly irresponsible, former army and deeply troubled hiding behind his playful attitude. Tommy is a family man, working hard to prove himself equal to his sister and holding his family together. Sarah is the high flying sister, working hard in the family business while struggling to be a mother herself. Kevin is gay, struggling with the fact and hoping to be very successful. Thrown into the mix is Nora's brother Sal who knew of William's betrayal and William's mistress Holly.

      This show beautifully brings together a family which is disfunctional, close, loving, loathing an dstubborn. In short the family is normal if slightly exageratted.

      The cast of this show are stella - Sally Fields, Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths and more. Admittedly this was my main reason for watching the show. I was really interested in the cast. My view was that if so many big names were to sign up for the show it must be good and I wasn't disappointed. I really liked watching this show. It was nice to see a family portrayed as completely disfunctional but fiercely loyal. It felt real to me. Family dynamics are the most important thing in this drama and I feel that they are very well portrayed.

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      21.01.2010 13:01
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      A great American drama!

      Love, secrets, lies, betrayal... Brothers and Sisters has it all!

      This American drama is centred around the Walker family and the relationships they have with one another, as well as their spouses and their extended family.

      The Walker family consists of Mum Nora, deceased Dad William and their grown up children: Sarah, Kitty, Tommy, Kevin and Justin. Even though William died in the first ever episode, he has caused lots of drama, which has revolved around his former mistress Hollie, illegitimate daughter Rebecca (who, it turns out, wasn't William's child) and illegitimate son Ryan, who did turn out to be William's son.

      The first three series' are available on DVD and the fourth series premieres on More 4 tonight (Thursday 21 January), at 9pm. I can't wait to find out what this season will bring.

      Great family power struggles have centred on the family's business - Ojai Foods which is predominantly ran by Nora's bother Soul, William's ex-mistress Hollie and brother Tommy. However at the end of season three, Tommy ran away to Mexico after it was discovered that he was trying to defraud Hollie and push her out of the business, so his sister Sarah returned to run the company.

      The show also has interesting political themes, Robert McCallister, who is Kitty's husband, is a Republican senator for California; Kitty works with Robert and has been involved in American politics for a long time. However Nora is a liberal, so she has always clashed with her daughter politically and there have been many interesting political debates between the Walker family, on issues such as Iraq and gay marriage.

      I have been a fan of this show and the reason I love it so much is because both the writers and actors are exceptional. The dynamics of the Walker family are explored really well and you genuinely believe and care about this family.

      I do think it might take your a few episodes to get into this programme, but it's well worth persevering with. I highly recommend it...

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        15.09.2009 14:33
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        An amazing ensemble cast, headed up by the fantastic Sally Field, make this addictive viewing.

        This is yet another really enjoyable drama series to come out of the USA in the last decade. The series focuses on the Walker family, which is pretty large so there are plenty of characters to get involved with. The first series centres on the fallout following the revelation that the head of the Walker family, who has just died, was having a lengthy affair. It seems as though each new episode has a major revelation to deal with and that is what makes the episodes so hard to stay away from; you always want to know how it's going to play out.

        The characters' personalities are all really different from each other (with the one common theme running throughout being that they all like to gossip about one another and can't keep a secret) and there are plenty of individual storylines going on that mean you don't get bogged down in boredom with just one of two characters.

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        09.09.2009 20:58

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        Brothers & Sisters

        I watch a lot of series, as episodes are great to plug in and play while exercising or painting. The adverts on tv never really endeared me to this one, and watching the first episode I thought the series was quite dull and dark. However watching it as the series progress I have really started to get involved with the characters.

        What does suprise me is how many variations can emerge on the theme of 'family drama'. The plots are always suprising and refreshing. The one thing I feel the series does lack is a stable central couple. Everyone in the family seems to be constantly running from crisis to crisis, and I do feel they could have 'sacrificed' the drama of one couple to create a new slant, looking at the issues a traditional neuclear family face.

        I have watched up to season 2 so far, and I can't wait to see where the next season takes the show.

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        20.07.2009 23:18

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        There is nothing bad that I can say about this show, and that's rare nowadays!

        This American TV series caught my attention from series one. It's based around the Walker Family, a Californian family who from the outside look like they have everything. A family business, a lovely home, lots of loving brothers and sisters.

        However, when you look more closely you discover the truth. The Father of the family, William, dies in the first episode and over the coming shows it's discovered that he had been cheatin on his wife for years. This throws the family into turmoil, what are they supposed to do now. They can't confront him, but can they be mad at him either, he's dead after all.

        The following shows, currently at 3 series, centre around the walker family, with peripheral characters becoming more and more involved throughout the series. Nora, the mother of the family is played by Sally Field, who is outstanding. She plays her part so well and deserved the awards for her role that she recently won. She struggles at every turn to keep the family together and as a unit, with new problems arising all of the time. These include Justins alchohol dependency, Kitty's political career, Sarah's divorce, and that's just the beginning.

        The storylines flow really well and you don't get any of that sense of jumping from one plot to the next as you can with some shows. The characters have been well thought out and stay true to the personalities and trait displayed in episode one.

        I'm so excited that series 4 has been commissioned, I can't wait!

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        03.05.2009 22:24
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        An outstanding drama series focusing on the lives of a family prone to crisis.

        'Brothers and Sisters' is an American television drama series. Originally aired in 2006, the show took America by storm, and after three series a fourth was commissioned in April 2009. The show has been nominated for many awards over the past three years, and Actress Sally Field won an award in 2008 for her outstanding role within the series.

        SYNOPSIS

        The television series centers around the dramatic lives of the Walker family. It seems this family are prone to hectic lives filled with disaster, it just comes with the Walker name. When father Walker dies, the family do what they do best and pull together, but it seems his death has repercussions none of them could have every predicted. Not only will they face shocking discovery's, but all their lives will be turned upside down as we follow them in their daily lives... if you wanted drama, he is the definition of the word.

        CHARACTERS: THE WALKER FAMILY

        Meet Nora Walker; the mother of the family, the worrier, and the one who has the answer to everything. She's had her fair share of problems, and is left lost when her husband dies in the family pool. Nora is the character who may come across as the strongest, but inside is falling apart, and her family is what she needs in a crisis. The character of Nora makes you feel like everything in your life is just going swimmingly. You can't help but sympathise with her and your heart goes out to her when everything is falling to pieces. Nora Walker is portrayed by Sally Field, her acting is flawless, so dramatic, yet realistic and true to this diverse yet complex character. I have no doubt that she deserved the award she won, anyone would think she's had an experience like Nora in her life, to be able to act as well as she does.

        Sarah Walker is the oldest of the Walker children, but she's taking on everything; while trying to support the family business after her father dies, she's got a family and husband to contend with. She's being stretched as a person, enough to cause anyone to break down, and it's a wonder how she manages to cope, maybe it's got something to do with the bonds she has with her family; she's definitely a big family person, and thinks the world of her children. Rachel Griffiths does a fantastic job at portraying a mother that is on her way to breaking point, but some how manages to keep everything held together. She's outstanding, and although acting out sad scenes is never a nice thing to do, you can't help but glue your eyes to the screen when it's her moment; she's incredible!

        Second sibling Kitty Walker is portrayed by a favourite actress of mine; Calista Flockhart. Kitty is the individualist, having moved away early on with her fiance, she's back to give her mother a helping hand after the family crisis. Kitty isn't afraid to speak her mind, she's a political figure, speaking out on a fabulous talk show. But her life is about to change, when she meets Senator McCallister, a handsome chap, to whom she falls in love with. Calista is a feisty actress, that knows how to do it best. She's quirky, yet serious and knows how to create a fantastic atmosphere on scene when times are tough. She's the reason why I first started watching the series, and have never looked back. Kitty adds that special sparkle to the show, and I can't wait to she how her life will be dramastised in future episodes.

        The oldest brother Kevin Walker is a tough individual, he's had a lot to come to terms with in his life, most notably his sexuality. With a family so supportive, it has never been a problem. Kevin is a successful lawyer, and its through his career that he meets love interest Scotty. Kevin isn't afraid to voice he opinions, and it doesn't always get him a next date, the Senators brother knows this all too well. Kevin will try to do anything for his family and is the family's lawyer, he works hard to save the family business when a crises is thrust upon them. Matthew Rhys portrays Kevin Walker, and does an excellent job at making a gay man an integrated part of the series, he's not just 'the token gay character'. Matthew knows how to act it big, and work his sweet side on the viewers and potential lovers. I can't wait to see how Kevin's life develops in the series.

        Tommy Walker is the brother who's been in the shadow of his successful older sister Sarah, but when his father dies, and secrets emerge, he might just be able to break the mold and prove to his family once and for all that he has what it takes to be a success. Newly wed, Tommy and Julia hope to make a baby, but when things don't turn out quite how they planned, Tommy must call upon his family for help. He's like the lost child, the one who didn't quite make a great success of himself at school, but is trying his best to make up for it. Balthazar Getty plays the brother and his acting is fantastic, he portrays a character in need of attention which he grasps and makes so believable on screen. His acting is emotional, but hard nosed, and it he adds something extra to the show.

        Little Justin Walker is the baby of the pack, yet he's had a lot to deal with. When Kitty was caught up in the terrorist activities of 9/11, he enlists in the army. Whether his family likes it or not, Justin is going to fight for his country, he couldn't bare to loose a family member to a terrible incident. Justin Walker thinks of everyone before himself and it sometimes doesn't work in his favour, though he cares too much. Portrayed by Dave Annable, Justin is your typical high school jock, he's got the looks, and he's a great surfer. Dave is a fantastic actor, he knows how to play up to the camera's, giving the audience his fiery side, and yet also adding is vulnerable side when he gets drafted again later in the first series. With Justin's character having a few major love interests, he knows how to work the ladies, and he's the smooth guy every male watching the show wants to be.

        SCRIPT WRITING

        The writers behind this series really know how to create a powerful drama series. Each episode never fails to wow audiences, bringing shocks and secrets to life, week on week. The focus on each character is brilliant, with each getting enough screen time so you begin to relate to the whole family rather than just a few. It's the idea that they are such a close family that comes across in the script writing, and also the acting. Well written scripts are the basis for a grand series and the starting point for the actors to make the series successful. Each actor knows exactly what they are being asked to do, which is because of these writers. The stories rarely have unrealistic tendencies which just goes to show how they have gone through with a fine tooth comb to ensure that they produce a series that viewers will believe and really get to grips with. Personally I can't fault the writers, they have done a fantastic job, though of course I'd always love a little more screen time on Matthew Rhys.

        ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

        The show is intended for a teen - adult audience, there is little by way of drug use or sex, the main themes of the show revolve around family disputes, secrets and lies, and break ups and make ups. The character of Justin has been a drug addict, so of course there is mention of this in the series, though what he takes, how he takes it and the depth of his addiction isn't such a large story, we more importantly see him going through his rehabilitation period. Actually sex scenes are very rare, it's not something that this show needs. Don't expect any sassy love games, it's all about the family.

        IN SUMMARY

        This is quickly becoming one of my favourite television drama series in recent years. I can't think of a series more explosive than this one, that has me eagerly anticipating the next episode when the credits roll at the end of another. It's fiery nature keeps you coming back for more. Character stories are never left unfinished which keeps you involved and ways waiting to see how things will turn out. I can't think of a better cast that the one on this show. The chemistry between them is outstanding. If I didn't no any different, I could easily say they were real life brothers and sisters, the acting is just that good! Whoever cast the actors for the show picked well. Where will the series go? I just don't know, which is exciting. It seems the Walkers are ready for anything, but I'm sure one day there might be that one crisis where everything falls apart and breaks, leaving irreparable pieces.

        DVD

        The first and second season are available to buy on DVD from most online retailers. The third season is set for a US release in the autumn, and judging on previous release dates, you can expect to see the Region 2 copy out around March 2010. With the forth season now commissioned, I wouldn't be surprised to be waiting until around this time next year before it gets it's UK release. The box set DVD's are around £20, though some deals I've seen them at £15. If you fancy a high tension drama series, this is the one for you. grab yourself a copy of the DVD and enjoy!

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          17.03.2009 10:17
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          A phenominal and addictive show - not to be missed.

          This wonderful and poignant drama series centres around the Walker family of California, dealing with a varied number of serious, comical and heart warming, and often breaking issues.

          A shock ending to the first episode starts a chain reaction that leads to many of the problems and incidents the family face in the first season; the most prominent of which are infidelity, family division, substance abuse and deception - all of which nearly tear the family apart.

          Brothers & Sisters is a show with an excellent ensemble cast, enjoying many big names in both leading and supporting roles - Balthazar Getty, Matthew Rhys and Calista Flockhart all star. However, in my opinion, the greatest performances in the show come from the legendary Sally Field.

          Field plays Nora, the matriarchal figurehead, mother and housewife to the family. Field's performances are both brilliantly funny, heartwarming, and at times heartwrenching; it's hard to see anyone else playing this marvelous character. In each episode she delivers truly great performances, which are more than worth watching the series for alone.

          The show is also brilliantly written - the banter between the characters is often either side splittingly funny, or incredibley moving and emotional. The storylines are never unexciting, and with such a large ensemble cast there is always something going on - usually more than one disaster at a time!

          Brothers & Sisters is for those television viewers who enjoy a family dynamic in their shows, and all the madness and mayhem that comes with it - and believe me, there is no family more susceptible to mayhem than the Walker clan.

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            25.11.2008 11:34
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            a great show worth watching

            I am absolutly hooked on this show, me and Mum always record the show with sky +, and watch as the Walker family seems to fall apart then reunite again. It is the story of a mother and her 5 children, 2 daughters and 3 sons. Kitty the youngest daughter is enaged to the Replican candidate for the presidency of the united states. The other daughter is currently going through a messy divorce where her husdand has claimed custody of the children, and things look rosy with a new work colleague. The sons are also in turmoil, the eldest has had an affiar at work after his wife moved back home as she blamed him for the death of their daughters twin sister in order to save her, however gis wife also cheated with an old school heart throb. The oungest son has returned form Iraq qith a wounded leg, but is now going through rehab for drug abuse of his painkillers, and the other son who is gay is split between the brother of the presidential candidate, or his soon to be brother in law, and a trainee chef. So all fine and dandy in their house!!!!

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              23.11.2008 16:16
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              Entertaining family drama, definitely one to watch!

              An addictive family drama that centres around the chaotic Walker clan. Lies, infidelity, rivalry and business all control the unruly family.

              Following the death of husband William, Nora Walker (Sally Field) struggles to cope with the reactions of her five adult children; daughters Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) and Kitty (Calista Flockhart) and sons Tommy (Balthazar Getty), Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and Justin (David Annable), as well as her own mourning process and terrible discoveries regarding secrets William kept.

              As his mistress Holly (Patricia Wettig) emerges and the family are alerted of her former love affair with their father, the siblings must juggle their own chaotic lives as well as helping their mother and now dealing with the knowledge that their father was a cheat and may have very well fathered Holly's daughter Rebecca (Emily Van Camp).

              Join the trials and tribulations of this family as they wander through life, each equally as immature as each other and trying to be appropriate grown ups living with the consequences of each other's issues.

              The show is brilliantly written and I find it incredibly enjoyable, the characters are very entertaining and witty making them easy to empathasize with and like. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys drama and/or family oriented themes.

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                25.09.2008 18:28
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                Brothers and Sisters

                Families, drama, secrets and lies, what more could you want from a television show.!! Brothers and sisters is one of my favourite drama series out at the moment. It is shown in England on Channel 4 and more recently on E4. It first came out in September 2006 and as of September 2008 they are now in their third series. The DVD of the first series came out in February of this year.

                It is an American drama series featuring the Walker family of California. They are a fairly well to do family who live in Pasadena, California, just near Los Angeles. We are introduced to the family at a birthday party. The patriarch and much loved figure of William Walker dies in spectacular fashion and things are never quite the same again. What looked liked a charmed life from the outside soon begins to crack and the secrets come pouring out. Nora Walkers is William's wife. She has led what appears to be the perfect life, big house, five kids but after his death finds out the William had an affair with one lady, Holly, for just about the whole length of their marriage and probably had a daughter with her!

                Sally Field plays the art of Nora and in my opinion does it extremely well. She is a really caring, loving mother but can also be extremely nosy and meddles in her children's livers all the time, much to their exasperation. You actually believe she really cares about the kids and is very convincing as the typical Jewish mother. She won the Emmy in 2007 for Outstanding lead actress in a drama series.


                The rest of the cast feature some really good seasoned actors. Tom Skerritt plays the part of William. He is not featured often but sometimes they do flashbacks to add to the story which he partakes in. Calista Flockhart and Rachel Griffiths play the two daughters and the three brothers are played by Matthew Rhys, Balthazar Getty (of Sienna Miller fame) and Dave Annabel. I would say that each character is probably a bit predictable and what TV shows need to portray but nevertheless they are interesting characters. For example one of the brothers is gay and so a lot of his story lines dwell on this fact. Another brother has an affair; one of the sisters is a lonely housewife who then is unfortunately a single mum, etc,etc. Like I said predictable but good strong characters that they develop well and you do find yourself caring about their predicaments.

                The family home is the epicentre of most of the action. At some point in every show the house is almost a sanctuary for all the kids who come back with all their troubles and look for help from the family. This show really makes me wish for a big family with lots of brothers and sisters. They are all there for each other and even though they bicker and fall out most of the time they have such a deep love for each other that it is great to see.
                The show is serious and does cover some serious topics but I feel it is done in quite a lighthearted way most of the time. It is very funny in places too. Usually when one of them has some gossip they are straight on the phone to another sibling who then puts that person on hold as they have an incoming call from another sibling!!

                The family business features in the show quite a lot as well, Ojai foods, which distributes produce. Ojai is actually a place in California, up the coast, fairly near Santa Barbara and is beautiful. Lives become entwined when Holly ends up working for Ojai with Tommy, one of the sons.

                I am anxiously awaiting for the next season to start as the first was so good, as was the second and there are lots more secrets promised in the third.

                Like I said the DVD for the first series was released in February of this year. It includes 6 discs and has a complete running time of 949 minutes. Special features include the Walker family tree, the making of Brothers and Sisters, an exclusive set tour with Balthazar, Dave and Matthew and TV family bloopers. It is approximately £25 in DVD stores.

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                  14.08.2008 19:35
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                  Gripping American family drama, highly addictive, star studded cast, you won't be disappointed!

                  I was sure I'd hate this series but I'm hooked! Brothers and sisters follows the Walker family and the ups and downs of their family life. A star studded cast including Rob Lowe, Sally Fields and Calista Flockhart.

                  The father of the Walker family dies at the start of series 1 which breaks down the facade of this idyllic family revealing truths and long-hidden secrets. All the classic family themes are covered, often with a bit of a twist. New characters are cleverly and seemlessly introduced as the series progress, each one perfectly cast.

                  The story of each character is followed throughout the series, the tales are moving, funny and highly addictive! The depth of the character portrayals really makes this series.

                  Rent or buy the DVD if you can, you'll be hooked too! Each episode is around an hour. If you loved Thirty Something I guarantee you will love this show!

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                  15.04.2008 12:58

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                  Excellent drama chronicling the relationships in an American family

                  In all honesty, as a massive Ally McBeal fan, I watched this to begin with simply because I saw an advert with Calista Flockhart in, and was interested to see what she was up to. I didn't expect much, and I was pleasantly suprised. This drama is expertly written, with very realistic, entertaining characters. The main focus of the show is the relationships between the brothers, sisters, mothers, daughers, sons, husbands, wives etc. These are so well written and complex it is very enjoyable viewing. There are subplots and political undertones woven into these already complex relationships. The writers and actors have done a fantastic job of making very realistic relationships and circumstances immensely entertaining. This is quite heavy viewing, but still I found it enjoyable. I am currently halfway through the first series and cannot wait to watch the rest.
                  I am also pleasantly suprised to see how well Calista Flockhart does in this role which is a huge departure from Ally McBeal. Also Sally Field is excellent as the difficult but loving mother.

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                  06.04.2008 17:10
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                  A very entertaining program. Highly reccommended.

                  Brothers and Sisters is one of those unfortunate programs that was a massive success in the states, but failed to capture the attention of viewers at home, and I can't for the life of me figure out why not. This show definitely deserves more viewers, and its the people who are ignoring it that are missing out. Unfortunately, after the poor reception that the first season got on Channel Four, its now been moved into the somewhat hopeless slot of 11 o'clock on a Sunday night, on E4 only. Still, its never too late to catch up with a show this good.

                  Brothers and Sisters centers around the Walkers, an affluent family living in California who's money comes from their father's company, Ojai foods. The Walkers are all inherently flawed characters, but they presented so well within the program that it is in fact their flaws that make them so sympathetic and likeable.

                  Nora (Sally Field) has devoted her entire life to her five children and her family and as a result is fiercley over-protective, bossy, and just a little bit clingy. Justin, the youngest child, is struggling with drug problems and trying to get his life back on track after returning from Iraq. Despite his issues, he is undoubtedly the heart of the family, constantly working to hold them together and calm the incessant quarrelling. Kitty (played by Calista Flockhart) is the neurotic Republican political pundit living in New York. Kitty's relationship with her family, namely her mother, Nora, is very strained because, as well as having drastically different politics, Nora also resents Kitty for supporting Justin's decision to fight in Iraq. Sarah (brought to life exquisitely by Rachel Griffiths) gives a fresh take on the cliched harrowed mother who tries to balance work at her father's company. Kevin is the sarcastic gay lawyer with a passion for Wicked, and the family is rounded out by seeminglythe only two stable members, stoical Tommy; the protector, and Kitty's brother Saul, Ojai's accountant.

                  The storyline really begins when, at Kitty's birthday, Nora's husband, William, the family patriarch has a heart attack and dies. With his death, the family are left floundering to hold themselves - and the company - together. This is made worse as with William's death, secrets that had been hidden for years are brought to the surface.

                  Although the main plot line is extremely compelling, with twists and turns and cliffhangers that will keep you tuning in week after week, the real fun of Brothers and Sisters lies in the relationships between the Walkers. The reality of family life is captured perfectly here; the constant arguing and quick making up, the gossiping and the inability to be able to keep anything a secret from your family, and the way that now matter how old you get or how successful you get, you're still five years old when you're stood next to your brother or sister and it is a real pleasure to watch this translated into television.

                  The show is both very poignant and very funny. The show is full of funny little quips and siblings teasing each other. Kevin provides a lot of the comedy with his witty one-liners and sarcastic asides. Nora is often played for comedic effect too, but I personally find her more irritating than anything else, although my own sister has pointed out to me that this could be more due to her resemblence to our own mother - overbearing, over-dramatic and just generally overwhelming - than poor writing on the program's part. Although the more dramatic storylines are generally handled very well and the emotional scenes are often touching and have me (embarrassingly) on the verge of tears, the writers do the have tendency to over do and the dialogue is somewhat overwrought and a bit ridiculous. However, the slightly hammy writing is saved by the superb delivery and acting of the actors.

                  Rachel Griffiths is particularly excellent as Sarah and Sally Field is, as always, very very good in her role. Although I was extremely wary of Calista Flockhart after hating her in Ally MacBeal, I was pleasantly surprised to find that she manages to make what I normally find a very unsympathetic character (conservative politics, annoyingly neurotic, constantly whining about all the gorgeous men who are in love with her) and turns her into a very likeable character indeed, although I am somewhat distracted during her performances by my urge to feed her up with some good old fashioned sandwiches. The rest of the cast hold their own remarkably well amongst these very talented, Dave Annable as Justin stands out, and Emily Van Kamp and Rob Lowe are very welcome mid-season additions.

                  A slight flaw in this otherwise stellar program is the political storylines are somewhat tedious, especially to a non-American audience. There are several debates about the war which become a bit tiresome and I can't say that I'm a fan of the ongoing Rob Lowe runs for President storyline. Similarly, I also feel as though Tommy is somewhat ignored by the writers and isn't given a lot to do, resulting in him fading to the background somewhat which is a bit of a waste of a talented actor. Although, admittedly he is given a meaty storyline at the very end of the first season carried throug to the beginning of the current season.

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                    27.01.2008 16:40
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                    A fantastic American drama series

                    One of my all time TV favourites is the american legal comedy Ally Mcbeal. I loved it and was devastated when it finished. So how pleased was I to discover a new american TV series starring Ally herself - Calista Flockhart - was to start on Channel 4. The first series has now finished and I for one cannot wait for the second. However due to the writers strike in the USA I may have to wait for a while yet.

                    - Whats it all about? -

                    Basically its the lives and loves of an all american family called the Walkers. Mum is Nora and is played by Sally Field. Dad is William (Tom Skerritt) and then there are 5 kids. The daughters are Kitty (Calista) and Sarah (Rachel Griffiths). The sons are Tommy (Balthazar Getty), Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and Justin (Dave Annable).

                    The 1st episode introduces us to the family, their other halves, their jobs and their problems! The family business is called Ojai Foods and Sarah & Tommy work there with their father. Kitty works in politics, Kevin is a lawyer and Justin a drug addicted ex soldier. The episode ends with Dad Williams death which is where the story really begins. As the episodes unfold the family discover they didnt really know their father very well. Discoveries include extortion and a mistress called Holly.

                    Kittys story includes her work and personal relationship with Senator Robert McAllister who is played by Rob Lowe. Kevin is gay and is struggling to find the right relationship. Sarah is married to Joe, has 2 kids and a stepson & they are having marital difficulties. Tommy is married to Julia and they are trying for a family unsuccessfully. Justin is trying to come to terms with life after war and then gets a callback to Iraq. Other stories involve Mum Nora, her brother Saul, mistress Holly and her daughter Rebecca. If I was to go into any more detail there would be no point watching it but basically each episode unfolds a little bit more of the story and leaves you waiting for the next episode. Each episode is one hour long and there are 23 in the first season.

                    - Overall -

                    I generally enjoy american drama series like these. I am a big fan of Lost and Desperate Housewives. Of the two I would compare this to Desperate Housewives but this is a more touchy feely drama. Brothers & Sisters combines an all star cast, with gripping storylines, plots, subplots, sentimentality and laughs. It is well written and the acting is believable and gripping. I for one feel great empathy for each of the characters. Just like any drama I have my favourites and I look forward to each episode.

                    If you haven't caught the first series I'm sure you will be able to find a re run somewhere on the many channels linked to Channel 4 nowadays. Channel 4 tend to re run a previous series just before the next is due to start to help you catch up. Otherwise theres always 4oD which is their on line TV.

                    Blurb..

                    ABC studios production
                    Executive Producers: Ken Olin, Jon Robin Baitz, Greg Berlanti and Mark B. Perry

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