Monday, May 05, 2008

All In The Family - Brothers & Sisters, Desperate Housewives

Brothers & Sisters - Moral Hazard - Ep. 215
Desperate Housewives - Hello, Little Girl - Ep.413, Opening Doors - Ep. 414

Considering how much I've been hating the direction Brothers & Sisters has been taking with the whole Rebecca-is-not-a-Walker thing so that they could flirt with the idea of Justin and Rebecca flirting, the episode where Rebecca finally reveals herself to be actually available to Justin's hormonal reaction to a possible non-incestuous relationship with the girl formerly known as his sister (got all that?), was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. Not as cringeworthy as I thought it could have been and pretty dramatically delicious and surprsingly humour at times. You know, considering it's still kind of a storyline about possible incest and is totally ew.

I mean, Brothers & Sisters was always a trashy good show (as I noted before, it's basically an A list cast performing a trashy soap opera) but at least they always seemed to teeter on the respectable, but the incest thing was leading to a new low, plus it makes the whole Rebecca storyline since the first season seem a bit of a cheat (thanks for the perfect word, Esther).

I've been also finding the series as a whole was starting to drag again as they started letting all the brothers & sisters go in different directions, but I thought they did a nice job reigning in everyone back together, finally setting those separate storylines to slowly collide together. I'm not sure it was worth all that tedious travel time to get to this point but at least they are heading in the right direction again.

Ojai's business troubles are finally revealed to Nora who asks Tommy and his business partner/other woman Holly to come save Sarah and Saul's troubles, coming in with a solution to partner up, making Sarah and Tommy running the new joint company together with Holly as the tie breaker. How convenient. I tuned out through most of the hedge fund talks in every episode but this was a nice twist, although the fact that Holly keeps butting in probably annoys me as much as it does the Walkers. On the other hand, it's a perfect way to keep Patricia Wettig in the show.

Meanwhile, Sarah gets blamed for the whole affair (the bad business and with Graham), but Nora finds out Saul made the deciding mistake in what is to become a series of breakdowns that lead Saul to get arrested for driving drunk. Kevin comes to pick him up where Saul finally has his tearful breakdown while coming out to Kevin and asking him how to be a gay man. It was a longtime coming but it was a nice poignant moment (though maybe it hit me harder than most viewers) but it was also nice to see Ron Rifkin get some soft dramatic moments again. I almost forgot how scary he was as Sloan (on Alias).

I liked the breakdown which led Kevin into thinking about his own life. So while he proposed to Scotty already before, being turned down because it was a practical offer and not a romantic one, Kevin proposes again because in the end, he loves Scotty and loves being with him and all that other romantic schtuff. If I wasn't so jealous, I'd be crying.

Then more man on man kiss as Scotty joins the Walker family! I hope you can hold your drinks! If you want a couple of spoiler pics from the next episode, check the bottom of the post.

Meanwhile, on Desperate Housewives:

After last weeks blowup between Tom and Rick (Jason Gedrick, his characters name is Rick? Everytime I see him I just yell out Jason Gedrick in my head) after the fire that destroys Rick's competing pizza parlour, the twins (who seem to be growing up cuter and not as awkward as I anticipated) are in trouble, but I love the sneaky twist that the demented Nora's lovechild with Tom, Kayla, may not have fallen far from the apple tree (Lynette's words, not mine).

On another terrifically creepy side of Wisteria lane, Gary Cole's Wayne Davis tracks down Dylan (Lyndsy Fonseca) and befriends his own daughter, much to Katherine's horror. The calm and eerie showdown between Katherine and Wayne gives Desperate Housewives the darkness it needs again for its black comedy. Though how did two 80's tv stars end up taking over the evil spice on this show? DH has always been the ultimate comeback vehicle (Hatcher, Cross, Savant, Sheridan, MacLachlin etc. etc) but that's a great rivalry! Gary Cole is always just a bit creepy for his good looks (used to perfection in Office Space) but the former wife beater and his newfound relationship with Dylan keeps the questions coming and we actually are interested in the answers this time.

KArl (Richard Burgi) shows up again with his new perfect and pregnant wife and I like that Susan actually gives up in the war of forming the perfect family. We forget that Teri Hatcher can actually be sympathetic and not just neurotically spastic.

Finally, while I'm still not sure how far they could take Gabrielle's life with a blind Carlos, this week, they take in a Bateman as a new boarder. Too bad it wasn't Jason, because then we could put Jason Bateman and Nathan Fillion together in one scene and play mirror mime (seriously, don't they kinda look similar?). Justine Bateman leaves Elmo (Men In Trees) for Wisteria Lane where she hosts men in her room several times a night.

Love that Carlos just blatantly calls out that there are now two ho's in the house. Love tha Gabrielle notes that only one is being paid.

So Gabrielle gets the help of the gay neighbours Bob and Lee to out Justine's Ellie by having Lee (Kevin Rahm) straight it up to "buy" Ellie. It was stereotypical and cliched and hilarious, with Lee trying to butch it up in a leather coat. Ellie is horrified by Lee's proposition, and Bob makes Gabrielle confess to her scheme, but alas, Ellie lets her secret out that she's actually a tattoo artist looking to break free from where she usually works.

So Gabrielle is happy that Ellie's is now part of her household, and is able to look past Ellie's extra-curricular work. Too bad "tattoo" really means heroin (or crack or whatever that powder stuff is... I don't really know actually... I'm not that street enough to tell the difference) and Ellie actually help feeds guys desires. Drug desires, not the sexual ones Gaby thought at first.

So, Desperate Housewives came back from the strike getting darker and darker between the hilarious bits and lighter fare that the balance of the black and the comedy seem to be in the correct ratio again!

Thanks to towleroad for the B&S screencap. All other photos from

Here are spoiler pictures from Brothers & Sisters next episode (Ep. 215 Prior Commitments):

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