Sunday, February 11, 2007

Brothers & Sisters

I really like the show Brothers & Sisters on ABC, largely because Kitty Walker, Calista Flockhart's character, is a Republican as well as being intelligent and lucid (unlike Boston Legal's Denny Crane, but that show is good enough I can forgive them).

The show is a drama so Kitty is not played for laughs, nor is she a bigoted reactionary a la Archie Bunker. The show has at times used her character to touch on certain issues, for instance the War in Iraq and the Federal Marriage Amendment, but not in a "we have to teach this unenlightened philistine about these issues" way. The show sometimes explores the sometimes rocky relationship Kitty has with her family, and especially her mother, who is an unabashed liberal. Although politics is not the primary source of tension that occasionally arises between them, it often serves as a detonator. Nonetheless, Kitty's positions are usually well reasoned, even if they are delivered in soundbites (for this she can be forgiven, as her occupation on the show was conservative talk show host, and now she is the public relations manager for a Republican senator).

Another big reason I like the show is because, in the broadest sense, it is about acceptance of the ones we love. The show began with the family having to deal with the death of William Walker, who it was then revealed was not exactly the man they thought he was. He had taken $15 Million from his company's pension fund, and he carried on a long term extra-marital affair. Nora, the mother, is well-meaning but very meddlesome. Justin, the youngest son, has a substance abuse problem stemming from his time in Afghanistan. Tommy was not made president of his father's company after the death of William, and recently learned he is sterile. Kevin who is gay has trouble maintaining a stable relationship, which he desperately wants. Sarah is trying to keep the business afloat and deal with her own family, which includes a diabetic daughter and a rebellious stepson. No matter how their problems interact and whatever tensions arise, each of them must learn that no one, especially our family, is perfect, but we can still love them. I like that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am reading your blog in reverse, and just posted a little while earlier. I am a regular watcher of Brothers and Sisters, for many of the same reasons as you. It'd be nice if we could start a correspondence and discuss compassionate conservatism.Do drop me a line at