Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Brothers and Sisters The Complete Third Season|
Actors: Calisita Flockhart, Sally Fields, Rob Lowe, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin
Genres: Drama, Television
Brothers & Sisters returns for a third season following the California-based Walker family through the complicated maze of American life today. The compelling one hour drama series is about a collection of five enmeshed an... more »
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Oh, my! How the mighty of fallen...
Taylor Glissman | Lincoln, NE | 08/23/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"***** Warning! This review contains season three spoilers***************
When Brothers & Sisters first started, I absolutely loved the show. It was one of the TV shows that I looked forward to the most every week, but starting with season two and continuing with season three I feel like the overall quality of the show has been on the steady decline. I feel that this is for the most part due to the writing which at the beginning of the series had a very organic feel to it and the writing for all of the characters for the most part remained constant.
However, by the end of season two and especially all throughout season three, the writing has become more and more contrived and more like a soap opera, especially with the retcon of Rebecca and the introduction of Ryan. Initially, when they revealed that Rebecca wasn't really a Walker after all, I was willing to give the storyline as well as the Justin and Rebecca relationship and the introduction of Ryan a chance. However, I soon found Justin and Rebecca to be one of the most frustrating couples to ever watch on a TV show. Almost all of their storylines involve extremely juvenile fights and breakups followed by hasty reunions. To make matters worse, season three ended with Justin and Rebecca getting engaged after spending most of the season fighting and breaking up every other episode.
I feel like the writers of the show have become completely detached from their audience because it's clear that they no longer care about how the majority of the viewers feel about the storylines, they're just going to tell the storylines that they want to tell even if it causes them to alienate and lose viewers in the process. I know full well that this is the case with a lot of the viewer because I belong to a Brothers & Sisters forum and the majority of the members on the boards feel the same way about the show.
I feel like almost all of the members of the Walker family have become props for Holly, Rebecca and Robert's storylines. If you ask me, the producers might as well rename the show The Harpers & Robert McCallister because the show is supposed to be about the Walkers, but season three devoted a lot of screen time to Holly, Rebecca, Robert and David too when they aren't even Walkers.
I have to admit that when Luke Grimes first came on the show as Ryan, I really like Ryan and was fascinated by him, but Ryan soon became a very creepy person to watch with Rebecca obsession, his quest for revenge against the Walkers for the death of his mother and his stalkerish tendencies. Initially, I felt like Ryan was being portrayed as what the writers had originally planned on Rebecca being before they changed their minds, "the major troublemaker", but they very soon screwed that up because Ryan is now just too painfully creepy to watch. This whole situation with Ryan has recently been made worse with the announcement that Luke Grimes has been made a series regular.
Kevin and the Kevin & Scotty relationship have always been one of my favorite things about the show, but this season I felt like the Kevin & Scotty relationship weren't give an equal amount of screen time compared to all of the other couples on the show. They definitely had some great moments this season, but by the end of the season I was left wanting more and not in a good way. I also absolutely hated the whole thing with Kevin quitting his job as a lawyer and going to work for Robert because it made Kevin become a shell of his former self and led to many WTF moments with Kevin that made no sense at all. In theory, this storyline had a lot of potential to be really entertaining given the tension that's existed between Kevin and Robert in the past, but in the end the writing of the storyline was handled poorly and Kevin simply became a prop to be used in Robert's storylines. That being said, I still loved Kevin this season but only when his storylines for the episodes didn't involve Robert and he was interacting with the other characters, especially Scotty and Sarah. Also, I hate Robert. He's so self-righteous and the writers haven't ever made him flawed enough for my taste. Every time Robert makes a mistake, the consequences of his actions rarely stick or have any long-term impact on his relationships with the other characters and he always comes out smelling like a rose.
I also found myself loving Nora and Sarah's storylines this season. I've always loved the characters Nora, especially since Sally Field has been my favorite actress since I was about six years-old and her being in the cast was what made decide to watch the show when it started. I've always loved Sarah too, but I absolutely loved Sarah in season three. Nora, Sarah, Kevin and Scotty were definitely the few saving graces of season three for me.
All of this being said, I for the most part hated season three and I won't be buying the Brothers & Sisters season three DVD set. I plan on watching the season four premiere in its entirety, and if doesn't really wow me in any major way, I will just record the episodes on my DVR without watching it live and then just watch only the scenes with Kevin, Scotty, Nora and Sarah for every episode after that because they are the only reason that I'm still watching the show at this point. Brothers & Sisters has definitely lost the magic that it once had when the show first started and has almost completely lost me as a viewer.
The web continues to tangle with no end in sight
Alexander M. Walker | Chicago, IL USA | 09/15/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Brothers and Sisters feels like an amalgamation of numerous television shows all blended up and mixed into one huge hodgepodge story. With some parts Army Wives, West Wing, Arrested Development and many others, Brothers and Sisters captures a lot of their elements but rarely ever delivers the part that made them worthwhile. The show may fail in the ingenuity of its story and how it tells it, but in terms of casts few shows on right now can match its star power. It may not be the best thing you've ever watched, but it has crafted a deeply tangled mess for itself that the writers are clearly enjoying detangling and retangling (which isn't even a word) all over again.
It's not that the life of any one person in the Walker family is all that complicated, but just that there are so many people involved that even if they all led lives of simplicity, the sheer volume would be bound to create some conflict either way. So when you toss in Justin, a drug-addicted veteran (Dave Annable), and his new romantic interest (Emily VanCamp), who was until last season presumed to be the lovechild of his father by another woman (Patricia Wettig), things are bound to get interesting. Or maybe you'd prefer the addition of Kitty (Calista Flockheart) and her ex-presidential nominee husband (Rob Lowe) fighting hard for the Republican conservative agenda even after hiring Kitty's [...] brother (Matthew Rhys) whose dreams of partnership at his firm fell through, perhaps due to his relationship with his life partner (Luke Macfarlane)? You don't think the show's plot is burdened enough? Then let's add some conflict in the family business as Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) resigns after firing her brother (Balthazar Getty) from his position as the company's lead counsel. All of this happens as the matriarch Nora (Sally Field) struggles to find her calling after leaving the family business with the encouragement of the family's last remaining sage Saul (Ron Rifkin), whose coming out of the closet hasn't affected him professionally but rather personally in his family. The big seldom-happy family discover a few new surprises in the third season, but none so important as the identity of a new potential member of the Walker family.
The cast is simply a powerhouse. You have stars here who have headlined past programs and still others who lead healthy careers on the silver screen. Seeing them congregated in one place leads you to believe that they all saw something in Brothers and Sisters upon first reading the script - and they were right. For all its twists and turns there is a stark feeling of family pervading it all. Their conflicts and celebrations feel appropriately weighted with everything that's come in seasons before and yet petty disputes can still occur unfettered. It isn't bloated, but there is still a sense that the writers are grasping at too much and consequently some of the show's story is being underdeveloped. With that said, for having so much going on at once, never does it feel like any one character is taking the spotlight or that any are being left out; everyone's presence is felt, it's just that none are really allowed to gain the momentum needed to become dramatic bulwarks to pad the series' vitality.
DVD Extra Features:
You'll find audio commentaries on a few episodes as well as deleted scenes, but neither is all that illuminating. As if to research the season's new direction for the Ojai business, the cast takes a trip to a family-run vineyard for the grand tour. They laugh, they drink, they make merry - and you can live it vicariously through your TV set. There's an introspective piece by the matrons of Brothers and Sisters (Field and Wettig) wherein they discuss their roles and how their characters have developed over the seasonal arcs. Finally, there's a bit of dual-action blooper reel business going on: there's the official gag reel for outtakes and then a second little featurette about the cast and the pranks they pull on the set.
The show has only gotten better by twisting itself into loops, but in doing so it sacrificed depth for content. For some the trade-off was a good one, for others not so much. Where do you fall?"
Calista Flockhart is Emmy worthy
Dove Plan | New York, NY | 07/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The accolades might always go to Sally Field and Rachel Griffiths (both terrific).
But in the third season of the series, Calista Flockhart goes deep and gives the most nuanced performance of the year. She deserved an Emmy for this season (and they snubbed her). The third season had it's share of mistakes, but Flockhart was a joy to watch. It's so good to have her back on television."
More Ojai Walker family goodness (and drama) and an interest
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 09/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Brothers and Sisters" is a show created back in 2006 by Jon Robin Baitz (a writer who worked on "Alias" and "West Wing"). The series revolves around the Walker family, an upperclass family that owns business known as Ojai foods.
During the first season of the series, the family is rocked by the death of the father and business owner, William Walker. But even more shocking to the family is that their father had a mistress and an illegitimate daughter but that William had embezzled money from the company. So, the family focuses on the lives of the Walker family and how the brothers and sisters must move on with the family business and make sure it is not run into the ground and try to keep it afloat.
There are a total of 24 episodes in season 3 (Episodes 40-63).
VIDEO & AUDIO:
Video is featured in Widescreen (1:78:1), enhanced for 16×9 televisions. There are a lot of outdoor and indoor shots and "Brothers and Sisters" does have quite a bit of grain but nothing too distracting. But for the most part, picture quality is satisfactory.
Audio is featured in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound, the show is mostly dialogue-based but there are quite a bit of music featured in the episodes, but the audio is pretty much front and center channel driven and audio is clear. There are no really need for major sound effects for "Brothers and Sisters" but for the most part, dialogue and background music are heard quite clearly. My receiver setup preference was set as "Stereo on all Channels".
"Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Third Season" comes with the following special features:
* ABC Starter Kit - If you hit play all on disc 1, you will get the ABC Starter Kit which briefly explains about what happened in the previous seasons of "Brothers and Sisters".
* The Ojai Experience - (12:44) Co-producer Sparky Hawes talks about bringing the cast on a trip to a real family-owned winery in Ojai and how it works. The cast talks about their experiences at the winery and see the complexities of seeing a family running a winery and their daily challenges.
* Deleted Scenes - A total of three deleted scenes which include: You Hurt Your Sister (:55), Prospective Family (1:47) and You're Gonna Be Late (:29)
* In-Between Scenes - (6:35) How the talents are behind-the-scenes during filming such as a pull up contest, toy robot fighting game and other behind-the-scenes fun among a few of the cast members. How the set has a family atmosphere and the beautiful locations where the show is shot and also behind-the-scenes on some scenes especially the garage sale for the episode "Everything Must go".
* Deleted Scenes - A total of four deleted scenes which include: I Want to See You (:20), She Could Grow a Conscience (:36), The Walkers are Seductive (1:18) and The Dog House (:34).
* The Mothers of Brothers & Sisters - (10:18) The writers, producers and talent talk about the mothers on the show and how many talents see Sally Field's Nora similar to their own mother and Sally Field talks about how many people come up to her and tell her that her character is like their mother and more.
* Deleted Scenes - A total of two deleted scenes which include Robert Confronts his Past (2:14) and Behind Closed Doors (:14).
* Audio Commentary - Audio commentary for "Troubled Waters, Part 1 with Actors Rob Lowe and Matthew Rhys and Executive Producer Monica Owusu-Breen.
* Deleted Scenes - A total of three deleted scenes which include Hottest Woman On the Planet (:30), We Have Issues (2:06) and Thank You (:44).
* Audio Commentary - Audio commentary for "Troubled Waters, Part 2 with Actors Rob Lowe and Matthew Rhys and Executive Producer Monica Owusu-Breen.
* Deleted Scenes - A total of three deleted scenes which include This Is All Weird To Me (:59), Calm Down Mom (:23) and Robert's Discovery (2:05).
* Audio Commentary - Audio commentary for "Mexico" with Executive Producers Alison Schapker, Monica Owusu-Breen and Ken Olin.
* Bloopers & Outtakes - (5:03) "Brothers & Sisters" Season Three Blooper Reel.
* Deleted Scenes - A total of four deleted scenes which include News About Tommy (1:19), Good Night (:41), I Just Want To be With You (:29), and Knowing What You Do (:56).
"Brothers and Sisters" definitely had quite a bit of surprising moments for the third season. For the first half of the season, our attention was focused on the family dynamics with Kitty and Robert focusing on adoption, Saul's sexuality and wanting to come out, Justin and Rebecca's relationship and starting to feel disconnected with the military and of course, Sarah and Tommy trying to keep the business afloat. While Nora, was being a mother as usual and involved in her family's lives and trying to find out more about Williams other illegitimate child Ryan.
But I guess, what surprised me the most was seeing how Kitty and Robert's marriage had this major change during the second half was a bit of a surprise. As for the character of Tommy, with rumors on the entertainment gossip blogs that Balthazar Getty was leaving the show, now I'm not sure if Tommy is even going to be a factor in future episodes, let alone seasons. But the hype around something bad was going to happen with a character in the series definitely made things more exciting and seeing what was going to happen in the "Troubled Waters" episodes, but the episode did set the tone for the second half of the season.
As for the DVD, the DVD is a solid release but I did find it interesting that instead of putting the deleted scenes in one disc (since most of them are quite short), they spread them out on all discs. I wish there were more audio commentary with someone in the Walker family included on the disc but overall, the amount of special features should make fans content with the box set.
Overall, "Brothers and Sisters" had a solid third season and definitely it will be interesting to see where the writers take the series for it's fourth. If you have invested in the previous two seasons, "Brothers and Sisters - The Complete Third Season" is definitely worth recommending!"