'Brothers & Sisters: Complete Fourth Season'
(Dave Annable, Balthazar Getty, Ron Rifkin, Sally Fields, Patricia Wettig, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / ABC Studios)
Overview: The Walkers are everything anyone could ask from a family—and a few things no one would
want. The sprawling clan sees each other through the best and worst of times, sometimes
simultaneously. Experience the emotion and drama, the celebrations and disagreements that
test the family bonds with your favorite family.
DVD Verdict: The first half of season four was moving in an interesting direction, with Kitty's battle with cancer taking centre stage and Sarah finally getting back into the dating game. The family business was seeing success after a series of pitfalls and things were looking up for the Walkers.
However, the latter half of the season became predictable and tedious as Ojai Foods was once again plagued with a series of roadblocks with a melodramatic blackmail plot that strangely disappeared as a result of even more secrets from William Walker's past being revealed. I think the viewers would prefer if the producers stopped using the same old tricks to build storylines based on William's dishonest past.
In addition, the number of story arcs floating around throughout the year was overwhelming (Kitty's cancer, Kitty's political career, Robert's new job, Sarah/ Luc drama, Kevin & Scotty having a baby, Scotty & Saul opening a restaurant, Saul's health concern, Nora & Saul's ailing mother, Justin/ Rebecca's marriage, Rebecca's miscarriage, Justin's medical career, Justin going to Haiti - not to mention all the Ojai drama, flashback stories, etc.) and it felt as if the writers were just testing various ideas on the audience with little understanding of where any of the characters were going.
Further, Balthazar Getty's role in this season is confusing and clumsy - the best part of having him on the show was Sarah Jane Morris so I think the writers should either bring them both back or forget his character.
Despite these drawbacks, kudos to the writers for getting rid of the Ryan Lafferty storyline - this was going nowhere and I'm glad they scrapped the idea. Another bright spot was Flockhart, who truly deserves an Emmy nom for her beautiful handling of Kitty's grapple with cancer. Let's hope that the fifth season's one year leap forward inspires a much-needed creative resurgence or else the Walkers will be another example of a TV family who stayed on the air past their prime. [CS] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
The Red Carpet - Join the cast and crew on the red carpet at their season 4 premiere party
Off The Clock - The actors and the crew are like family on and off the show. See how they play together at the show's softball game, their very own art opening, and the Malibu Triathlon