One of my favorite scenes from Brothers & Sisters. You know it’s good TV when a mere 120 seconds makes you want to jump through the screen and pull up a chair.
As I’ve mentioned, I’m still suffering through the 5 stages of binge-watching (think Kübler-Ross). This is totally a thing. When you gobble up an entire series in such a short amount of time, it messes with your emotions. You’ve become so engrossed in this world and the people that inhabit it that to not spend hours of every day with them feels like you’re doing something wrong. Watching anything else feels like cheating. This is the first time I’ve truly experienced this hell and I believe it’s because 1. I fell hard for this show and 2. I finished watching it at warp speed.
Brothers & Sisters was an ABC drama that aired Sunday nights from 2006-2011. Centered on the Walker family, it starred Sally Field as Nora, mother of five adult children (Rachel Griffiths, Calista Flockhart, Balthazar Getty, Matthew Rhys and Dave Annable) all living in or around Pasadena, CA. I started watching on June 13 and finished all 5 seasons by July 1. I love ensemble casts and I love family dramas, so I don’t know why I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Parenthood at times—which is another show you should be watching if you’re not already—the daughter who comes back to live with her parents, the adorable backyard dinner scenes, the cancer, the fighting, the love. Plus, hello, Sally Field. She’s brilliant. In anything. I was talking about the show at a BBQ a couple months ago and someone asked, “Who’s Sally Field?” Damn near broke my heart.
By episode 7, I was hooked. “Northern Exposure” was an episode where you could finally delve a little deeper into the characters’ personalities. After that, one or two episodes a night grew into at least half a dozen. I think part of it was big family envy; I’ve always wished I had been born into a big family and the actors portrayed these siblings in such a way that I wished they were mine.
There were definitely times when it struggled though. The constant paternity mysteries felt like something straight off of Maury. Rebecca would have been enough. I like Emily VanCamp, I liked the twist of there being a surprise sixth Walker and I liked her with Justin after it was revealed to be a fluke. Ryan was pushing it and to me, it just felt like they had to come up with a way for the chemistry between Emily and Justin to not be, again, something you’d see on Maury. Ryan was one of the worst storylines. No, wait, scratch that. Sarah?! Stop it.
The whole of season 5 was a complete disaster. As much I hated to know it would end more quickly than other shows, I can understand why it was canceled. After that horrible car crash cliffhanger, I thought, wow, that’s going to be one hell of a premiere! Where will it pick up? Oh yeah, ONE YEAR LATER. I hate time jumps. Hate. One Tree Hill completely ruined the concept for me. I felt gypped. Actors started leaving the show. New characters popped up to take their place. Just, ugh. The interesting thing about binging something years after its completion is you never really know anything about the ratings or what critics were saying around the time that it started to go downhill. It had been such a strong show, so was there really that little amount of faith that they could turn it around? Or did they have to make room for something new? Unless I Google old articles for hours, I’ll never know.
I really came away from Brothers & Sisters with one thing: My overwhelming affection for Kevin and Scotty. Up until now my OTP (ugh, blog speak) has been Klaine (ugh, couple names). Kurt and Blaine are adooorable and I was way too invested in their relationship for a while. I didn’t expect to find a gay couple I’d love even more than them. That was before I met Kevin Walker and Scotty Wandell. ❤ PSA forthcoming because I intend to dissect their relationship from beginning to end purely for my own enjoyment. You want the five stages? Brace yourselves.
Any Brothers & Sisters fans out there? Tell me your favorite moments!