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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Brothers and Sisters: The Complete Third Season'
(Calisita Flockhart, Sally Fields, Rob Lowe, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / BVHE)

Overview: Brothers & Sisters returns for a third season following the California-based Walker family through the complicated maze of American life today. The compelling one hour drama series is about a collection of five enmeshed and somewhat damaged adult siblings and their strong but passionately devoted mother. Brothers & Sisters The Complete Third Season is the drama that every family can relate to, the truth of family, they are real, warm and dysfunctional.

DVD Verdict: The show is basically centered around the Walker family with Sally Field playing the matriarch Nora Walker. Then you have her two daughters, Kitty (Flockhart) and Sarah (Griffiths) and her three sons, Tommy (Balthazar Getty), Kevin (Matthew Rhys) and Justin (Dave Annable). Of course, each family member has his or her share of problems, just like any family. Patricia Wettig is also a part of the ensemble, portraying Holly Harper the woman who probably has the biggest secret of all...and she isn't even related to the family...not biologically anyway!

I have to confess that this is a show that I've often been conflicted over. On the one hand, it is a character-based serial drama, which is far and away my favorite kind of TV series. So, in theory BROTHERS AND SISTERS should be my kind of show. Furthermore, the show has an excellent cast. Many cite Sally Field as a favorite, though I have to say that her character quickly gets on my nerves. In fact, this is the case with many of the characters on the show. I love Rachel Griffiths, but I'm not terribly attached to her character Sarah.

Ditto Matthew Rhys, who is a very fine actor, but whose character Kevin has always struck me as far too gruff to be especially likable. (On the other hand, in debates on boards about which actors on TV from England or Australia or similar countries have the best American accents, I often argue that Griffiths and Rhys have the best adopted accents on TV.) If Kevin is too gruff, I find Balthazar Getty's Tommy to be too grumpy. And Dave Annable's Justin is too sensitive. And Calista Flockhart's Kitty is just too spineless. And so on and so forth.

And Patricia Wettig's Holly Harper is one of my least favorite characters on TV. In short, I just dislike many of the characters. So while the show is a character-based serial, I find that I just don't care about the development of the characters. I do like Emily VanCamp's Rebecca (and I hope that she remains the good person that she has been shown to be in the first three seasons - I like putting characters through the wringer, but not by crushing their moral backbone) and love Ron Rifkin's Saul, who has always to my mind been an underutilized character.

I vaguely enjoy each episode of the show, though at the same time I'm aware that I don't much care what happens to any of the character (except Rebecca and Saul).

I'll probably continue to watch BROTHERS AND SISTERS in Season Four. But it definitely is not must-see TV for me and if the time came when I felt that I had to give up a show or two in order to find time for other things, it would be one of the first shows I would think about sacrificing.[RM] This is a Widescreen presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Deleted Scenes
The Mothers of Brothers & Sisters — The cast of Brothers & Sisters discuss the amazing role mothers play in their lives.
The Ojai Experience — This intriguing featurette takes viewers on a tour of a real-life family winery in Ojai, California with members of the Brothers & Sisters cast and offers a taste of the truth and the fiction behind running a family wine business.
In-Between Scenes — A behind-the-scenes look at the on-set high jinks that kept the Brothers & Sisters ensemble on their toes—and laughing—during the shooting of Season Three.