Brothers and Sisters is one of those shows that never
really took off, but maybe should have. It had a decent
time slot (Sunday nights at 10pm, right after Desperate
Housewives), an excellent cast, that included such stars
as Sally Field, Calista Flockheart, and Ron Rifkin, and
consistently good writing. The show was nominated for some
Emmy’s and was well regarded in the critical community.
But the show was canceled after five seasons, and wasn’t
particularly popular in any of them. ***
The fifth and final season is as good as any of the
others. The shows focuses on the struggles of widowed food
company tycoon Nora Walker (Fields), who must manage her
company and the lives of her five children Sarah Walker,
Kitty Walker-McCallister (Calista Flockheart), Tommy Walker
(Balthazar Gelty), Kevin Walker-Wandell (Matthew Rhys) and
Justin Walker (Dave Annable). ***
The fifth season relies on two frequently used soap
opera (or family drama, if you’re feeling charitable) clichés:
car accidents and weddings. Justin Walker and two of the
in-laws get into the car accident. One in-law suffers amnesia;
the other goes into a coma. Justin reenlists and prepares
to go off to Iraq. ***
On a more cheerful note, Sarah and her fiancée Luc
Laurent (Gilles Marini), are preparing for their wedding.
Kevin and his partner Scott (Luke McFarlane) are preparing
to adopt. And Tommy, the most troubled member of the family,
is back with a girlfriend who has an interest in genealogy,
whose discoveries will change the family’s lives. ***
Shows like Brothers and Sisters are often hit-and-miss—often
they loose their edge and sink to lazy, repetitive plots.
(see Desperate Housewives). But Brothers and Sisters was
clever and smart right to the end, and it avoided the weak
final season so many shows suffer. ***
Image and Sound: The focus on a show such as this is
not on arresting images, but the DVD transfer was done well.
The show looks good. The sound is very good as well.