Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

My photo
Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Brothers & Sisters (5): The Afterlife of TV Dads.

At the end of an uninspiring weekend (I really do not function well without a new Friday Night Lights) I tuned in for my weekly dose of hypocritical heavy-handed liberal propaganda, known to the rest of the world as the family drama Brothers & Sisters. I wonder that anyone who has actually seen this show could be surprised by Sally Field’s Emmy speech (“if mothers ran the world there would be no more war”); the overdone sincerity on this show borders on Alan Sorkin territory. But it is a compelling cast, including Rachel Griffiths (and despite the fact that I didn’t take to Six Feet Under, I think she is a talented actress), Ron Rifkin (whom I can’t help but look at and wonder why he isn’t evil yet), and the adorable Sarah Jane Morris (whom married Noel in the last episode of Felicity). Brothers & Sisters is a fairly innocuous way to end my weekend, as long as I remind myself to take everything in context and that political pretensions are not equal to political opinions.

I learned something interesting by tuning in last night. Apparently, after you have played the father to a teenage girl on a (popular or cult) hit TV show the next step in your career is to play a gay man helping another middle-aged man out of the closet. A while ago (maybe last season) Saul (Ron Rifkin)’s old friend Milo came a calling to tell Saul that he was divorcing his long-time wife because he is gay, and that maybe it was time for Saul to admit his own homosexuality as well. I don’t feel that I could view this storyline with the respect the show obviously desired because the actor who plays Milo is Michael Nouri, and to another generation he is that dude from Flashdance, but to me he is Summer’s dad from The O.C. I was unattached to the pathos of the storyline because in my head it seemed so obvious that you would switch teams after being engaged to Julie Cooper. Last night what could have been considered an isolated casting incident turned into a pattern. What name should cross the screen during the opening credits but Enrico Colantoni. My heart skipped a beat to see the wonderful Mr. Keith Mars in my living room again. Upon seeing his name I mentally flipped through the “previously on” scenes to predict where Enrico would be appearing in this intricate web of Walkers. I congratulated myself on a prediction well made when he opened the door of Milo’s apartment for Saul (Milo is in Europe and Evan is staying at his apartment because he just broke up with his boyfriend). There is an apparent love-thang with Saul and Evan, and I hate to admit that I am so attached to a character an actor previously played that I will watch that actor in just about anything, but I am that person, so I am happy to watch Mr. Colantoni in any incarnation. I just doubt my ability to take the plot seriously. Can there really be a lasting relationship between Mr. Mars and Sloane?

What I am taking immensely seriously is the uncontrollably stupid behavior of Kevin (Matthew Rhys). I wasn’t watching this show when he and Scotty (Luke MacFarlane) were together the first time. When I started watching Scotty was already an ex, Kevin was in a secret relationship with Chad (Jason Lewis, and funny enough I had no problem believing he was a gay man), and was about to go on his disastrous set-up with Jason McCallister (Eric Winter). And just like in real life, if you become friends with someone just after they end a relationship, but then they get back together with that person, you never really warm to the former ex. I am just unable to warm to Scotty. And therefore I (unfairly) blame Scotty for Kevin breaking up with Jason while the latter was overseas. It doesn’t help that Jason is so obviously the right guy for Kevin. Kevin is neurotic enough for a dozen people, so I was particularly unimpressed with Scotty’s jealous display two episodes ago. Jason is calm, fair, and forgiving, which is exactly what Kevin needs, and Jason never asked Kevin to change who he is. I have a severe aversion to relationships where one person asks the other to change personality accidents (different from character essentials). Granted, Scotty didn’t ask Kevin to be more fun to impress his friends, but Kevin felt like that was what he had to do for Scotty; not a healthy situation. Jason on the other hand addresses a seriously hurtful issue, allows himself to be angry about it, and then not only forgives his brother, but also provides him with the support he needs. Love is supposed to encourage us to become better people, and based on that criteria Kevin is a total moron for not seeing that Jason is the better man for him.

I am so worked up over Kevin being a freetard that I do not even know how to address the issue that Rob Lowe may be elected president.

The TV Girl


Orla said...

Seriously, I could not agree with you more.
I have watched B&S from the first episode, so I have experienced the Kevin/Scotty relationship before. I disliked Scotty from the getgo. He was condescending and a walking stereotype.Gayer than thou, insecure, demanding, childish, petulant etc..

Then there was Chad. Closeted Chad who Kevin would never have to have a real relationship with and who was a selfish ass for most of their time together. Then Scotty popped back in the middle of that mess to annoy me once again. Kevin is my favourite character, but I kept wondering how much more I could stand if he kept hooking up with these whiny screw ups who amplify his annoying qualities with their own. Like a Power Ranger combo of dickishness.

Enter Jason. Smart, kind, calm, gorgeous, sarcastic, grounded, sweet Jason. Doesn't take any of Kevin's shit, doesn't whine on at him. Challenges him in a positive way at every turn. Chemistry galore. I was so freaking excited. Kevin gets a boyfriend whom I actually love. Who fits him.
Then we get the first episode of the season and find Kevin the human being. Not Kevin the dateless gay brother. Kevin in an actual adult relationship where he's comfortable, settled and happy and most importantly, he's still Kevin. He and Jason fight and Jason doesn't take it lying down. He argues back. Gives Kevin time to cool off, then approaches him again. It's obvious why they work so well. Kevin loves him. He tells him so. He's never come remotely close to telling Scotty or Chad that he loved them. It's huge. And then bam. Casting circumstance takes Jason away for a while. I rationalize that it's ok because Viva Laughlin doesn't stand a chance. Scotty appears back. I cringe inwardly a little but tell myself Viva will fail. Lo and behold, Viva fails miserably. I can barely contain my excitement. Jason is coming back. But what happens in the meantime? Scotty. Freaking Scotty who I already disliked. Now? I hate him. And he's making me hate Kevin because he comes attached to him.
Yes Jason didn't call and was wrong etc.. but it's not like they got the opportunity to talk it over because Scotty gatecrashed their coffee date.
All I'm left with is this annoyance that Scotty is where Jason should be. We were denied seeing the Kevin/Jason relationship develop and now we're denied the emotional reunion because of Scotty. Scotty who we've had to suffer through twice before. If the last four episodes of the season don't bring Jason and Kevin into each others orbit again, I think i'm done with this show.

Sorry for the rant. It's just that when you've been looking forward to something for so long and have it taken away, it grates.

The TV Girl said...

I couldn't say it better.