Welcome to the first of my television reviews on the blog! There is a handful of series which I follow regularly, and so after each episode I’ll post my thoughts. These will not be recaps. Recaps are boring, particularly for the people who have watched the program, and they take too long to write. These reviews will be just that: discussions on what worked and what didn’t. And word of warning, there will be spoilers aplenty. Let’s get started!
Last night was the start of a fresh week of TV, a perfect way to start the new year. Or so I thought. Let’s hope that last night’s Brothers & Sisters was a fluke; otherwise, we are in for a long second-half.
For a show that has prided itself in being firmly planted in the immediate here-and-now, the dream sequences of last night’s episode, “A Father Dreams”, were painfully out of place. Stylistically, they were an obvious mismatch; plot-wise, they were a gargantuan error. Had less time been spent inside Kevin’s post-op, drug-addled subconscious, maybe we could have spent more time on his relationship with Tommy, which had been so strained until the previous episode’s crisis necessitated a tenuous reconciliation. Never one to hold a grudge, Tommy decides to repay his brother’s sacrifice by handing him a genuine gag order, a legal document forbidding Kevin from ever telling toddler Elizabeth that he is her biological father. Apparently suffering not only fevers and nausea, but a serious misunderstanding of what gratitude is as well, Kevin signs it. This entire development transpired over the course of nine minutes, at most. This rapidity of forgiveness kind of makes you wonder why they’d been so busy hating each other for the first half of the season.
Speaking of wasted time, I think I would have rather seen Scotty do laundry than endure the completely unnecessary “I quit!”-“You’re hired!”-“I quit!” Robert and Kitty subplot. This was basically an excuse to get Rob Lowe and Calista Flockhart in the episode, and to give them some cutesy innuendo to toss around. Pointless. Not to be outdone, the writers also squandered Sally Field this episode by having her go all schoolgirl in the presence of a former associate of William’s who…well, I’m still not exactly sure what he did that made her so mad/embarrassed. And I’m not sure why the guy was such a dick to her now, thirty years later. I hope this doesn’t get spun into some awful “opposites attract” romance for Nora.
On the plus side, the attention given to Justin was surprisingly entertaining. It was interesting to see how much more enjoyable the character of Justin is when he doesn’t have Rebecca at his side. I’m not saying this should be a permanent change; I’m just making an observation. They have to keep Rebecca around, if only because her scenes with Holly are always some of the best.
Fingers crossed for an improvement–and some Patricia Wettig–next week.