BROTHERS AND SISTERS: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
Calista Flockhart as KITTY
Sally Field as NORA
Rachel Griffiths as SARAH
Ron Rifkin as SAUL
Balthazar Getty as TOMMY
Patricia Wettic as HOLLY
Matthew Rhys as KEVIN
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
There’s more drama for the Walker family as we move into the fourth season. Nora (Sally Field) is trying to make peace with William Walker’s other legitimate child, but this threatens to lead to a problem for the business. Holly (Patricia Wettic) is trying to make her own peace with the Walkers after forgiving Tommy (Balthazar Getty). Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) comes home from a European trip with a new boyfriend. Kitty (Calista Flockhart) and Robert (Rob Lowe) are dealing with a new political campaign. And while Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and his partner are trying to have a child, Justin (Dave Annable) and Rebecca (Emily Van Camp) discover that there are problems in every relationship.
WHAT I LIKED
The best proof I have that “Brothers and Sisters” is a quality show is the fact that I actually kind of enjoy it. I’ve said several times before that this type of show isn’t really my cup of tea, but I find myself remarkably intrigued by the familial politics.
The drama is wound even tighter in this season with the introduction of Ryan, William Walker’s illegitimate son. You know he’s going to be a problem from the moment he comes on the screen, and when he partners with a shady figure from William Walker’s past, you know things are going to get ugly.
As infuriating as the individuals of the Walker family can be, there’s a large enough cast in this show to make them still fun to return to. I swear, I would strangle Nora Walker were she my mother, but there is a level of likeability to her even in her most outrageous moments.
I do like the making of peace among the characters in this season, from Nora’s reaching out to Ryan (however dangerous that becomes) to Holly trying to become one with the family. In our daily lives, we may not be able to let go of grudges, but at least it’s nice to see some of our TV counterparts doing so.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
While the drama got tighter in this season, it did get a little out of control. There are several storylines, which are nice in that they give all the different characters something to do, but they do tend to heap a lot of issues into a single family. This is not uncommon with ABC series. If you don’t believe me, just watch “Private Practice.”
I liked seeing a little more of Saul (Ron Rifkin), but he deals with some pretty heavy stuff in this season in relation to coming out of the closet. On a similar front, Kevin’s character is examined deeper as to the challenges and decisions he made in the past when he came to terms with being gay. While these stories aren’t overdone, they just don’t seem to synch up with the almost too-lighthearted attitude that Kevin’s partner has to a potential surrogate.
I also can’t say I’m wild about the new character of Ryan because he just plain creeps me out. I suppose that’s kind of the point here, but I’ll be glad to see him exit stage left.
The complete fourth season continues to have some impressive special features, including deleted scenes and bloopers. Longer-form content includes the cast and crew on the red carpet at the season premiere party as well as “Off the Clock,” a featurette that examines the actors and their interaction with their television family off the set.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
People looking for a solid family drama on prime time television.