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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Brothers and Sisters - The Complete First Season'
(Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, Patricia Wettig, et al / 6-Disc DVD / NR / (2006) 2007 / BVHE)

Overview: Enter the complex world of the Walkers, and explore what it means to be an American family in the 21st century. Though they live very different and conflicting lives, the Walkers find unity under the family roof. Relationships bend but never break as they strive to find their own identities and embrace each otherís differences. It's "an encounter to look forward to," says The Wall Street Journal. Get caught up in one of televisionís most reflective and sophisticated dramas. Calista Flockhart, Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin, Balthazar Getty and Patricia Wettig lead a stellar cast in ABCís critically acclaimed hit Brothers & Sisters. Experience every episode of Season One, including exclusive, in-depth bonus material, in this six-disc DVD set.

DVD Verdict: Somehow over the last couple of seasons ABC has climbs its way up the network latter from the #5 position right to # 1 thanks in part of hits such as "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy," and "Lost." Trying desperately to cash in on their success, ABC greenlite over 12 pilots last year including "Ugly Betty" and yes, "Brothers and Sisters." I initially tuned into B&S because it aired directly after "Desperate Housewives" and starred Rachel Griffiths (of "Six Feet Under" fame), but something very interesting happened. Over the course of several weeks I found myself not watching "Desperate Housewives" but never missing a single episode of B&S.

The show (kinda like "Six Feet Under" in some fashions) follows a very weathly/affluent Southern California family as they deal with the death of their patriarch. Over the last decade as the siblings in the family aged from their late teens, to early thirties (and further apart with each year) and thus are almost strangers to one another. But as fate would have it, tragedy strikes and they are forced to bond together, for the first time in decades. Sarah, the oldest, is in charge of continuing the family business despite her brother Tommy working for their father for the better part of a decade. Kitty, forshaking her family for a political career as a democrat after 9/11 (her entire family is republican) comes home in an attempt to smooth-over familial problems, despite not speaking to her mother, Nora, in over 5 years, after she convinced the youngest family member, Justin to join the army in response to the 9/11 attacks; her only alley being the middle brother, Kevin.

The entire first season basically follows the Walker family as they try to move-on with life after the death of their father/husband and the repercussions of the life he lived. Several mysteries are presented surrounding his death including millions missing from corporate accounts, old lovers coming back, and potential bankruptcy for the family. But the family powers through these dramas, and many bonding, bonding themselves back to being as tight-knit (if not more) as they were growing up.

Personally I find this series engaging because while its dramatic, it never takes itself too seriously and allows for several very hilarious episodes to be introduced into the mix of drama. Additionally it takes the series no time at all to get going. While many new shows take 13, sometimes 25 episodes to get their feet wet, `Brothers and Sisters' is off and running almost from the pilot. This is a Widesreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Bonus Episode
Walker Family Tree
Behind The Scenes with The Brothers
The Family Business
Bloopers, Deleted Scenes and Audio Commentaries!