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'Brotherhood: The Final Season'
(Jason Isaacs, Jason Clarke, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / Showtime - Paramount)

Overview: A working-class Irish family is torn between right and wrong when two brothers live out their destinies on opposite side of the law. Brotherhood tells the story of two brothers who sometimes share a twisted sense of moral compromise - each with his own skewed, idealistic vision of what makes the American dream.

DVD Verdict: There are obvious similarities to another great crime-based drama of the decade, HBO's The Wire. However, 'Brotherhood' focuses more on the political side of crime/corruption, whereas The Wire spends more time on the street. If either of these shows were available on broadcast TV, they would captivate large and dedicated audiences and be phenomenally successful. When one reads reviews for both of these shows on any reputable website, they're gushing with acclaim. These shows have gained a cult-like following. It's a shame that HBO and Showtime instead choose to promote series like Californication and Big Love at the expense of these masterpieces.

The series examines much more than political corruption - the changing demographics and redevelopment of Providence juxtaposed with the longtime situation and residents of "The Hill" are continuous themes which are portrayed in a subtle, yet nuanced manner.

In terms of the actors, there really are no weak links. However, Kerry O'Malley portrays an incredibly sympathetic and complex character in Mary-Kate (Tommy and Michael's only sister). Her role and performance is supremely underrated. Although I personally have absolutley nothing in common with her role, she is probably my "favorite" character from an incredibly diverse palette that the series provides.

I mean, what really amazes me is how the camera will linger on what would normally be considered a mundane scene, allowing you to soak up all of the nuances of the characters lives. This is not something you will find on any other TV show and indeed most movies, as they are so bereft of character development and their plots are so contrived that they must resort to constantly moving the camera around and fast cuts to try to keep you from becoming bored with their vacuity. Brotherhood is a great, great series. I just cannot say enough to properly praise it. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, but does not come with any Special Features.

www.paramount.com/homeentertainment





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