Brothers and Sisters

Here’s how I was spending the past week – watching Abc’s Brothers and Sisters. I used to watch the first season when it was aired on tv some years ago, but I never watched the following seasons because of the writers’ strike.

The series is about a whole clan of brothers and sisters, all 5 of them. Leading the pack, or at least she likes to think she leads, is their mother Nora Walker. Their father, William, passes away at the start of the series (meaning we never get to see him alive save for flashbacks), but he leaves behind his legacy and *gasp* mistress(es?). The Walker clan are shocked by the revelation that their father had another lover, Holly, and that Holly also has a daughter, Rebecca.

So when I started watching the third season now (I’ve reached about mid-season by now), I find that the drama has extended to a whole new level. I don’t tend to think a lot when watching these sort of dramas because that completely defeats the purpose of watching it. A family drama is meant to be dramatic and sometimes in a silly and unjustified way. Especially when you’re as screwed up as the Walkers.

Rebecca, who used to be the illegitimate child of the Walker family, is suddenly just someone else’s daughter with Holly, and the real love child of William is actually a boy called Ryan. Yay! That opens a whole new line for Rebecca and Justin, who have gone from brother and sister to love interests. I honestly do not see the chemistry between these two; they’re rather bland as individuals, and when they’re together onscreen they’re doubly so.

Sarah has quit her job at Ojai, after the merger with Tommy and Holly’s company. I personally feel that she was just bitter that she couldn’t save the company herself and had to resort to letting Holly in. She is under financial stress now, being unemployed and having to take care of her two children and pay for her house and alimony (her ex-rocker ex-husband). She then joins two college boys to help them launch their new internet-based idea or something like that. It’s basically a gamble, but Sarah decides to take a plunge with the boys.

Kitty and her husband have decided to adopt a baby, and most of their drama revolves around things like Kitty scaring away a potential birth mother. Kitty also writes a book about politics, which forces her to quit her post at Robert’s office. Interestingly, Robert decides to hire Kevin to replace Kitty, which is odd because Kevin is openly a Democrat. I don’t really know much about politics but it seems very very weird to me.

I think Kevin has the most interesting stuff to deal with so far. I’ve always liked Kevin’s character even though he’s a big fat arrogant arse most of the time. He’s finally married Scotty and they begin their wedded life in this season. I kind of love the Kevin-Scotty moments in the show, even if most of the time I’d be wondering how Scotty can be so loving and tolerant towards Kevin, who can be such a jerk. Kevin has a bit of a grudge with Tommy because Tommy fires Kevin. Kevin also didn’t make it as a partner of his firm, despite his earlier hopes, so he leaves his job and takes a lower-paying job in Robert’s office. The drama doesn’t end there! Kevin is constantly torn between his loyalty to Kitty and his responsibility to protect Robert’s best interests. Gosh. So much drama!

Tommy’s drama is about the company, how after the merger both Sarah and Saul quit, and how Holly begins to override his decisions and bring in Rebecca. Also, Elizabeth needs a liver transplant, so somehow Tommy is forced to get both Justin and Kevin to do a paternity test to see which one of them can donate their liver to save Elizabeth. Yes, so basically all of Tommy’s issues has to do with him feeling demasculinised. Watching Tommy and his issues is really annoying. It’s not because I can’t identify with him, because I don’t identify with any of the characters in particular, but his issues are just so contradictory.

Before this, he was the one who insisted that he wanted his child/children to be Walkers, to have some ‘Walker’ genes in them, which was why he made both Justin and Kevin donate their sperm. Then now, he has issues with revealing who exactly the father is, because he doesn’t want to feel inferior or less than a father than he is to Elizabeth. Seriously, how can you put your big fat ego above the well being of your daughter? And after the biological father (well, either Kevin or Justin, I’m not telling) donates his liver to Elizabeth, Tommy makes him sign a paper to say that he was not disclose the truth of Elizabeth’s parentage to her. Seriously? Is this even necessary? The whole family knows as well, why didn’t Tommy make everyone else sign the paper? It’s really silly, plus Tommy should know better than anyone else that every single one of the Walkers have loose mouths, so it’s pretty pointless anyway. There’s no way we (or Tommy) would know how it would affect Elizabeth, but lying is his way out. Yay. They’re not really making Tommy out to be likable this season, and I don’t even need to put a lot of thought to notice the silliness of Tommy.

But all in all, it’s a family drama, and I do appreciate the spats and the arguments and the rage and the secrets that come with it. This series is perfect for empty watching, I guess, because it’s not too emotionally draining (not for me anyway, other people may be more emotionally invested), and there are enough warm and light hearted moments in there to give you a smile too. It was a pretty tiring week for me, so watching something light was really great for a change.

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