What Would Jackie Watch: Brothers & Sisters

Wednesday, 27 January, 2010 / Published in Blog

Hey everyone,

I am writing an occasional article online for TV Guide on my fave shows. So please enjoy my comments on “Brothers & Sisters.”

TV Guide Magazine guest columnist Jackie Collins is the author of more than two dozen New York Times bestsellers that have sold 400 million copies, including Hollywood Wives and Lady Boss, which have been turned into successful TV mini-series. Her latest novel, Poor Little Bitch Girl. comes out Feb. 9. For more information on Jackie and her new book, go to http://jackiecollins.com.

No car chases, no murders, no crime scene analysis, no unknown wannabes getting punched in the face, no bad singers auditioning – just pure unadulterated first class entertainment. Brothers & Sisters is a classy drama with a classy and extraordinarily talented cast, headed by the award-winning Sally Field. As matriarch of the fictional Walker family, she rules supreme. However, as brilliant as she is, Field faces strong competition from the finely-tuned performances of Calista Flockhart and Rachel Griffiths, who play her daughters. Not to mention the three actors who portray Sally’s sons with such verve – one neurotic, one gay, one on the missing list. Yeah! But I warn you, Brothers & Sisters is no soap opera. It’s a penetrating look at the workings of a full-ledged large family, with all the dramas and intricacies of real life.

I love this show because it never disappoints. There’s always something new going on, like Rachel Griffiths’ steamy affair with the ultra sexy Gilles Marini (the French naked guy from Sex and The City movie) playing an even sexier version of himself with great gusto and great lips! Flockhart is battling a rare form of cancer, and triumphing thanks to a bone marrow transplant from her deceased father’s illegitimate son. Meanwhile, Kevin, the gay lawyer son (played by Matthew Rhys, touching all the right notes) and his partner, Scotty (Luke MacFarlane), are trying to conceive a child with a somewhat flakey female friend of Scotty’s.

Okay, yes, so maybe it is a touch soapy, but then again so is life. I have always stated that real life is way crazier than fiction. In my books, I am inclined to tone things down because otherwise, it doesn’t seem believable.

Sally Field holds the show together whether dealing with ex-mistresses or suspect boyfriends who are out to steal her money. She rules. A woman of a certain age, she can look major attractive or filled with sorrow and despair. Her face – ever in action – tells the story. Hard to remember she was once The Flying Nun.

Calista Flockhart deserves special mention too. As a cancer victim, she played the role to perfection – never begging for sympathy but relaying the total pain and fear of suffering from a serious illness.

I also have to make special mention of Rob Lowe, who plays Flockhart’s politician husband. When you can divorce yourself from his incredible good looks, you discover a real actor who brings so much to his role. Between them, Calista and Rob really sizzle.

Several episodes of this riveting drama have been directed by Ken Olin (remember him from 30 Something?). He also occasionally stars as the estranged husband of the Walkers father’s ex-mistress, Polly (played brilliantly by Patricia Wettig – his wife in real life). Yes! It’s getting complicated!

In the midst of all this – there is a very sweet romance between Nora’s son, Justin (Dave Annable), and Polly’s daughter, Rebecca (Emily VanCamp).

Even though I’m usually into edgier shows such as Nip/Tuck, Dexter and Rescue Me, I love Brothers & Sisters. It’s delightfully old fashioned, covering subjects that everyone has to deal with at sometime or other. I hope it goes on for many more seasons because the Walkers are a fascinating family.

Oh yes, and note to the producers – bring back Gillis Marini, he raises the heat factor!

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