For all its flaws, BROTHERS & SISTERS knows how to play the emotional beats of a story. When Kevin walked into the living room to see that his mom had not only ignored his “no flowers” edict but transformed the room into a virtual greenhouse, it was both predictable and charming. “Tonight, Kevin, you don’t get to be guarded or cynical,” she told him, barely holding back her tears. And it was interesting to get the perspective of older, newly-out Saul, who called his nephew’s commitment ceremony “one of the bravest things” he’d ever seen. It’s an interesting commentary on how far network television has come in a relatively short period of time that Kevin’s big day was not given the sort of “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” treatment that it might have received only a decade or two again. (Think DYNASTY’s sexually confused Steven or MELROSE PLACE’s perpetual also-ran, Matt). Frankly, it’s kinda surprising to me that this show got “the gay story” so right and yet completely blew the Justin/Rebecca situation. I can’t help thinking that the ickiness of their relationship might not have been so jarring had they show done what I’ve been begging them to do for ages and slowed down. Not every story has to unfold in two episodes. that episode-ending kiss may have been a little easier to accept had viewers had the summer hiatus to adjust to the idea. Instead, it was too much, too soon. Meanwhile, did anyone else half expect Robert and Kitty to announce they’d be adopting Rebecca? And I’ll make an early prediction right now: Next season, the Walker clan will discover that their mysterious new sibling is… Ryan Atwood, a troubled kid from the O.C.! Oh, and a note to the ABC promo department: A new family member and a kiss everyone saw coming a mile away do not constitute “the jaw-dropping cliffhanger of the year.”
I have to admit that I skipped out on the first two hours of last night’s SURVIVOR fest. As exciting as this season has been, I found that I didn’t really care which of the four gals walked away a winner. I did, however, tune in for the reunion special, which is always a blast. Did someone forget to tell Jeff Probst when it was going to be? Is that why he showed up looking as if he hadn’t washed his hair for a week? That said, he’s such a pro and always knows exactly what questions to ask. He talks about the things we the viewers want to dish about, unlike a certain Chenbot whose BIG BROTHER interviews are just notoriously awful.
Right there at the top of my “things I love” list are classic bitch walks. You know, when you get all your main female characters lined up in a row, walking, usually in slow motion and often to music. And in the case of last night’s DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, it was doubly sweet to see Bree, Lynette, Susan and Gaby strutting down the street (toward a confrontation with Edie) because it was a reminder that when this show started, these gals were a united front. When the show loses that focus, things get wonky. That said, the show missed a major opportunity where the truth about Bree’s grandchild’s paternity was concerned. Any soap fan knows that when you have a secret that big, it needs to be revealed in a huge fashion… preferably at a very big social occasion like a party or a wedding. So it felt like something of a rip-off for Bree to basically tell her gal pals quietly… and off camera! In other developments, I’m not a big fan of plots that revolve around characters doing stupid things, and this episode was chock full of them. Gaby’s drug-dealing roomie leaving both incense burning and evidence of her crimes just kinda shoved under the bed; Lynette not even lowering her voice when she trash-talked Kayla to the shrink not two seconds after the girl suposedly went upstairs (if I think a child is evil, I might assume they’d be listening in); Mike supposedly telling his southern-fried mom that Susan sleeps in the nude. That’s a whole lotta stupid. But at least they gave us a great twist in the Mayfair saga (although, again, they need to be careful… this is starting to feel as isolated as those dang Applewhites) and a few solid laughs. Sometimes, that’s all you can ask of network television. (Sad as that is.)