Tag Archives: Calista Flockhart

Brothers & Sisters: Robert wasn’t the only fatality in that car crash

Happier times... lovely clean shirts

It pains me to have to admit it, but I think Brothers & Sisters may have jumped the shark. Only a couple of weeks ago I was celebrating because the Walkers were back, but by the third episode into the series (I must have missed ep.2, because Rebecca was mysteriously back in Justin’s bed at the start of ep.3, and she certainly wasn’t there last time I looked) things are not looking good.

For a start, everyone was scattered all over the place, and we know that the Walkers work most entertainingly as a unit. And the things that they’re separately getting up to are just plain silly.

Kitty has, post switching off Robert’s life support, gone to “find herself” at a woodworking camp in the middle of a forest, run by a man who is so nice that everyone assumes he’s gay, but so un-gay that he’s, of course, irresistibly attracted to Kitty. I found myself quite reassured by this – in a changing world, it’s good to know that Kitty’s feminine allure is as deadly as ever.

There was some very stupid stuff about Sarah getting all competitive with some mummies-from-hell at Cooper’s school, which revolved around Cooper playing Romeo in the school play (yawn). Did it feature awkwardness at having to kiss Juliet? You betcha. Was this resolved by a pep talk from mum’s hunky French pants model boyfriend? Of course it was. And was scenery demolished during the play? Are you kidding me? Do you think they would pass up the chance to hilariously demolish scenery in a school-performance-of-Romeo & Juliet scene?

At least this provided an opportunity for Saul, Kevin and Saul’s boyfriend to gather round Sarah’s table for some needlework while making the costumes. How handy these gay male relatives are.

The Radiant Holly had a little blast of being radiant, but although she can remember Rebecca, she can’t quite remember how to love Rebecca, so she pretty soon stopped smiling. Justin can remember how to love Rebecca, but he may forget again as she is taking a job on a magazine in New York. You can’t blame her.

To be honest, I can’t really remember what Nora was up to, apart from trying to stop Holly “doing something silly.” But I’m not heartened to see on my Sky EPG that in this week’s episode, a radio show host is going to be so impressed by Nora’s mothering skills that he’ll offer her a phone-in show so she can share her wisdom. Oh my good lord.

Will I be watching to find out how this works out? Possibly, but with not a great deal of enthusiasm I think. It’s not just the loss of Robert, the nicest-smelling man on TV. It’s probably that you can only wring so much drama out of one family, and short of finding any other long-lost siblings, this family seems, dramatically, pretty much wrung dry.

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Brothers and Sisters: We haven’t had a Walker-fest for so long

(Series 5, Ep.1) We haven’t had a Walker fest for so long,”  says Sarah, echoing the thoughts of us all as we snuggle down for another dose of Californian fuzzy-focus hand-wringing.

This was a somewhat low-key episode, which is not surprising as it had to catch us up on what had happened to everyone during the year following the horrible car crash. This would be anguish enough for even the most stoical and stiff-upper-lipped of families, but this is the Walkers we’re talking about, the family who can’t even choose a new pair of shoes without a conference call followed by a family dinner followed by a family argument.

So first of all (because she’d sulk otherwise) – Kitty. Robert didn’t die in the car crash, but has been in a vegetative state (so vegetative that we didn’t get to see his face, presumably because it wasn’t worth paying Rob Lowe’s fee for thirty seconds of him lying with a tube in his mouth) for a year. Kitty won’t switch him off, because she can’t bear to say goodbye. And she blames Justin for leaving Robert while he looked after Holly at the crash site (though Robert and Justin both knew there was nothing Justin could have done, and Robert told him to go to Holly, but you’ve got to have someone to blame).

Justin, unable to cope with his feelings of guilt that, just maybe, he could have done something for Robert, has spent the intervening year in the army, where at least a lad knows what he’s supposed to be doing. But he returns to sensitively help Kitty make the decision to let Robert go.

While he’s been away Justin has acquired some distinguished grey hair about the temples, but he’s also apparently lost his wife, as he returned to the marital home to find Rebecca and her possessions had left the building.

I was pleased to see Rebecca’s father, the lovely David, is still around, but the radiant Holly is less radiant as she lost her memory in the crash and now can’t even remember that she’s meant to be Nora’s friend. Her mind has gone back to the days when she and Nora were sworn enemies which, let’s face it, was a far more fun time.

Kevin hasn’t taken the loss of Robert well, either, but he always did have a bit of a bromance going with his former boss and brother-in-law. He’s squabbling with Scotty (adorable as ever) and they can’t decide whether to go ahead with their plans to have a baby with a surrogate or not. Perhaps in this regard it was significant that a boy Kevin was defending in a trial (he’s a trial lawyer now) ended up on their doorstep. Have they done got themselves a baby after all, or just a whole heap of trouble?

Scotty’s restaurant is now quite successful, and his front-of-house manager is none other than Uncle Saul, whom we learned at the car crash is HIV positive.

Sarah, meanwhile, is poised to make a lot of money selling the underground lake that the Walkers own. Then she’d like to move to Paris, France, with French boyfriend Luc, where they will eat croissants. Even after more than a year with Luc, this seems to be as much as Sarah knows about France, but she thinks it sounds fabulous anyway. Luc isn’t so sure, what with scoring a gig as LA’s premier underwear model and everything.

So what of Nora? Well, she’s been working in a flower shop, but has been a shadow of her former self and can’t even be bothered to keep much wine in the house. However, after Kitty “forgave” Justin for abandoning Robert then abandoning the family to go to Iraq, Justin paid the love forward and gave Nora a pep talk.  “We need the most overbearing, in your face, nosy, hovering…” (he did say hovering and not hoovering – I’ve never seen Nora push the Dyson around, although the house always looks spotless even when there isn’t any wine)  “… in other words,” continued Justin, “the greatest mother in the entire world.” He meant Nora. “We need you come home.”

Oh my dizzy lord. Let’s just hope they’re back bitchin’ next week.

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Brothers & Sisters: Crash!

I’d been getting a bit jaded with the Walkers of late. They are, each and every one of them, completely self-absorbed and selfish, and mainly self-pitying.

At the head of the table is Nora, the matriarch from hell. She’s all lovely fuzzy-focus smiles and rosy-apple cheeks – until you dare to suggest that, since you’re well over 30 and have been married for some time, you may want to spend a birthday/Thanksgiving/Sunday/meal in your own home rather than at hers. Then she lays on emotional blackmail in mom-sized dollops and starts ringing your siblings and making a fuss.

Since the siblings comprise the eternally miserable and self-loathing Sarah, the egomaniac Kitty, the wet-as-the-wettest-Wednesday Justin, waste of space Tommy and “if I wasn’t gay I’d be pathetic” Kevin, why do I enjoy watching this show?

Mainly, it’s the non-Walkers I like. Incredibly each of the Walker children (apart from, currently, Tommy) has managed to snare an adorable partner. Kitty is married to Robert, who I’m willing to bet any money is the most beautiful-smelling man on TV (have you seen his lovely white shirts? He looks like he smells of the cleanest clean cotton and a splash of something very expensive and subtle around his firm jawline). Kevin is married to Scotty, and if there’s a more adorable human being than Scotty in the whole of California I’d be very surprised. Justin has the radiant Rebecca, which means he is also lucky enough to have Holly and David as in-laws. Even Sarah has managed to bag herself a lovely Frenchman.

And there’s Saul. I do like Saul.

Anyways, over the past few weeks I got a bit behind with my B&S episodes, but I’m all caught up now and have just watched the season 4 finale. And what a lot has been going on. The Walkers have managed to lose Ojai foods. It’s taken them 4 seasons, but they’ve finally run William Walker’s business into the ground.

All isn’t lost, however… Continue reading

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Brothers and Sisters: Don’t marry her, have me

(Season 4, ep 16) Luc is back in Sarah’s life, and all should be fine, dandy and fuzzy-focus sunflower fields. But there’s a problem. Luc has almost outstayed his legal welcome, and faces deportation back to France in only four weeks.

Luckily his art dealer has offered to marry him. For reasons best known to Sarah, she thinks this is a better plan than marrying him herself. Until she changes her mind, which is the cue for Nora, Kitty and Sarah to rush off and stop the wedding before Luc can say “Je do.”

Of course this means that he’s still due to be deported in four weeks. Still, this gives Kitty ample time to be elected President of the United States and change all the immigration laws. Stranger things have happened on Brothers & Sisters.

It was actually a rather odd episode. What was going on with Kevin and Robert? Robert has a new job but won’t say what it is. Kevin won’t work for a man who won’t say what his new job is, so resigned. Robert threw him a leaving party at which he, Kevin and a handful of non-speaking extras got all tearful about how much Robert and Kevin love each other (in a brotherly sense).  Frankly I was confused.

There’s also a mystery involving Nasty Man Dennis. It looks like Nora knows more about Nasty Man Dennis than we previously thought, but she’s keeping quiet about it.

And Rebecca is dealing with her grief over her miscarriage by throwing herself into ballet. She told Justin that she felt this was a reasonable response. She didn’t grow up with hundreds of brothers and sisters, she explained, and therefore isn’t used to endlessly discussing every problem. This was an entirely new concept to Justin, but he’s embraced it enthusiastically and has taken to turning up at her ballet lessons and gazing supportively at her through the window. Whether Rebecca finds this therapeutic or not, we’ll have to wait and see.

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Brothers and Sisters: Say hello to Luc, wave goodbye to Roy

What to get your newish girlfriend for Valentine’s Day? How about a rubbish painting she’s been hankering after? Roy (the love child of Zach Braff and Gary Lineker) felt that this would be an adorable gift for Sarah, but at the same time he couldn’t help feeling that Sarah wasn’t quite as adorable as he’d thought. Meanwhile Sarah had been thinking much the same about Roy – at roughly the same time as she started receiving texts from her ex, hunky Frenchman Luc.

You remember Luc – the one who was good at everything? Swimming, cooking, art… Wait a minute! That painting… surely not? Yes! It turned out that the ugly painting had been done by the lovely Luc, and when Sarah went back to the gallery to return Roy’s gift, there was her ex, all ready to rush into her arms. Sarah’s man magnetism is clearly in full working order.

Kitty did a bit of magnetising a while back, when she almost had an affair with The Man in the Park. Now she’s running for public office and has employed a southern belle called Buffy to do her PR. Buffy may be fluffy, but she knows her stuff and wasted no time in rooting The Man in the Park out of the woodwork. His hair has grown a bit (so has Kitty’s) but he told Robert that he never had sex with that woman. Robert believed him, and they are now on a manly handshake footing with each other.

The sad news of the week is that Rebecca has lost the baby. This was more or less an excuse for a Nora/Holly bonding session, which led to Holly cancelling the deal whereby she would sell all her shares in Ojai to The Nasty Man (Dennis).

Kevin has been at the hair straighteners and was sporting a bit of a spiky ‘do, which rather suited him. Still not as good looking as Scotty, though.

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Brothers and Sisters: You can’t resist Sarah, you can’t vote “no” to Kitty

It’s about time someone set up some kind of counselling programme for the Walkers. All soap characters are, by plot necessity, unnaturally intermingled and co-dependent, but none of the Walkers can breathe without okaying it with the rest of the family first.

And when there’s a disagreement in the ranks, they sulk like crazy. This week, Kitty had decided to run for political office (filling the void briefly  left by Robert, who moments earlier had decided to retire from the cut and thrust of political life). The family, for reasons best known to themselves, held a secret ballot to see who was behind Kitty’s plan. There was one lone “no” vote, which Kitty took to be from Nora, and an almighty bout of sulking ensued.

It turned out to be Kevin. It wasn’t that he didn’t think Kitty was up to the task of being a senator, it was more that he didn’t want to be dumped with the task of being her press person, but couldn’t face the task of telling her directly.

Despite being the Walker with the successful career and the happiest personal life (who wouldn’t love being married to Scotty? The man is just perfect), Kevin is a bundle of insecurity, apparently. This all came out at a school reunion, as these things tend to do. Kevin couldn’t help but exaggerate  how marvellous his life was – he was being congratulated about imminently becoming a father even as he was getting news from Scotty that their surrogate hadn’t managed to get pregnant yet.

At the end of the episode the family had another vote about whether they backed Kitty’s campaign or not, and this time she got the unanimous vote she wanted. What a heart-warming moment.

Sarah’s heart was warmed when boyfriend Roy finally found her irresistible (it had to happen – this is Sarah we’re talking about)  and they checked into a motel room. Then, wouldn’t you know, she got a text from recent flame Luc, who wishes to fan that flame into a raging fire once again. I don’t mean he wants to burn down the motel, but once he finds out about Roy, who knows? These Frenchmen can be very passionate.

Holly, meanwhile, was continuing with her plan to do the Walkers down. I’m enjoying this aspect of the plot, because it’s like Dynasty only with fruit instead of oil. Poor Holly wasn’t enjoying it though, because getting The Nasty Man (whose name I never catch) to co-operate involved bestowing her feminine favours on him. And, like I said, he is a Nasty Man, so we can assume it wasn’t at all enjoyable for Holly. Then she went back home to find that David, who had been leaving, was now staying. David is probably the cuddliest-looking man in the world, so at least she had a shoulder to cry on, but of course couldn’t say why.

And Robert once again wore some fabulous shirts. He really does have the nicest shirts on television. So beautifully ironed as well. And he looks like he smells gorgeous.

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Brothers & Sisters: Thank heavens William Walker had so many affairs

“But you mustn’t let Justin/Kitty/Mom/Kevin/Sarah/Tommy know,” is the classic Brothers & Sisters line. Someone says it, in some form, almost every week. And, a matter of minutes later, someone has let Justin/Kitty/Tommy etc know, and they’ve let everyone else know, and they all find out they all know usually in the middle of a family dinner.

Hardly an episode goes by without this happening. It’s the engine that runs the plot of the average B&S episode. Not this week. This week contained a mild form of “Don’t tell Kevin,” when Kitty revealed to Sarah that she’d once had an affair with someone so mega-famous his name couldn’t even be mentioned, but it wasn’t Bill Clinton. Sarah wasted no time in telling Kevin and Justin, obviously – you can’t keep juicy gossip like that to yourself, though unfortunately she whispered it so we never found out. Boo. I couldn’t help speculating. Someone mega-famous… Surely not George W Bush? Or… Michael Jackson?

The real centrepiece of the story is that we’re apparently all bored with the Kitty cancer plot now (or is that just me?), so she’s been cured by a bone marrow transplant. All the siblings were tested and found not to be a match. Nora, despite looking ever-youthful thanks to fuzzy focus was too old to donate. But thank the lord for William Walker scattering his seed far and wide. Ryan Lafferty was found to be a perfect match, and it worked out very well for him as Holly had just confronted him about sabotaging her award-winning wine. He’d been caught on CCTV at the time the wine vats were drained.

Kitty and Robert renewed their marriage vows and everyone cried a bit, including Rebecca who was probably wondering whether she’ll finally get to finish her wedding now.

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Brothers & Sisters: Kitty collapses at the wedding

I was tempted to say “typical Kitty,” for managing to make herself the centre of attention at Justin and Rebecca’s beach wedding. She crumpled to the sand while reading a poem by e.e. cummings, and as the episode ended Justin was frantically giving her mouth-to-mouth.

But that wouldn’t be fair to Kitty. Following tests, she’d been told that the cancer wasn’t responding to treatment and in fact was growing, but she chose not to tell anyone – she didn’t want to disrupt Robert’s political plans, and she didn’t want to spoil the wedding.

Mother Nature had had a go at spoiling the wedding, when a hurricane rendered the original wedding venue of Hawaii a no-go. Then Tommy had a go at ruining the wedding, by bringing his daughter Elizabeth to L.A. from Seattle without her mother’s permission. Kevin rang Julie to let her know, and she turned up at the Walker residence to whisk her curly-haired offspring away.

Then Justin had a go at spoiling the wedding by throwing a hissy fit about not being ready for husbandhood and fatherhood. As Jeremy Kyle would say, “You should have thought of that before you had unprotected sex!”

However, Justin had a change of heart when he chanced upon an accident and proved to be top banana at first aid. He realised he wasn’t such a rubbish medical student after all, and told Rebecca he would henceforth have confidence in himself. Just as well, as it turned out, what with his sister needing his help during his beachfront nuptials and all.

I’m no expert in Californian law, obviously, but I’m not certain how legal this marriage would have been, given that Saul was officiating. He was standing in for Robert, who’d scooted off to Washington. Would it even have been legal with Robert in charge?

Meanwhile, Nora is head over heels in love with the motorbiking oncologist, so much so that she goes into even fuzzier focus than usual so she looks radiant. But is she being scammed? He’s got her investing in some kind of philanthropic money-making scheme, and then mysteriously decided he couldn’t come to the wedding because he’s needed elsewhere. Brazil, perhaps.

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Brothers & Sisters: At times like this, a girl needs all the support she can get

I’ve just realised that I forgot to blog about last week’s Brothers & Sisters. Apologies for the tardiness, then, and if I’ve forgotten anything in the meantime…

It was a really sad episode, that much I do remember. Kitty couldn’t face another round of chemo, and had decided to “think” herself well again. Stocking up on superfoods, vitamins and willpower, she informed everyone that they had to support her and stay positive.

Naturally Nora was worried, and despatched Sarah to persuade her sister to reconsider and go back to conventional treatments. Meanwhile, Nora met yet another man who found her irresistible (must be something to do with the fact that she’s always in slightly fuzzy focus). This one had the triple advantages of being younger, having a motorbike and being an oncologist. He advised her to try and relax around Kitty (hello! This is Nora you’re talking to! Oh well, he’ll soon learn that Nora doesn’t do relaxing), and that Kitty needed to find her own way through her treatment.

Kitty spent ages getting all dressed up for a party. She wanted to look pretty, she said. And it was in the middle of the party that her hair started to fall out. There was a really touching scene where her mother and sister sat with her, hugging her and rearranging her hair to cover the bits of bare scalp, so she could leave the party without anyone noticing. And Robert gave her one of his proper Robert hugs (looking ever so slightly Goth, he was – Rob Lowe has been at the Grecian 2000 I think).

As Kitty shaved off her remaining hair, Nora and Sarah sat outside the bathroom talking about Nora’s new man and playing with wigs. Then Kitty appeared. “You have such a lovely head!” Nora told her, and they all had a group hug. Sniff.

Meanwhile, Rebecca discovered she’s pregnant. Justin had wondered about that, but then apologised for making assumptions and said the timing was all wrong for having a baby anyway. Which irritatingly means that Rebecca will now probably go and do something she’ll later regret. Of course it wouldn’t be B&S if the path wasn’t littered with life-altering misunderstandings.

Scotty’s dad came to visit. I’m really enjoying the fact that Scotty is getting much more screen time this series, and getting his own storylines. His dad arrived dressed as a comic book hero. Scotty’s mother had left him, he said, and you could see why. I thought to myself, aha – Scotty’s dad is also gay! He’s come to LA to come out! But no. He is having an affair with another woman, though.

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Brothers & Sisters: Tommy’s back! And he can cook!

Tommy returned from Mexico. Did he walk up to the front door and knock like any normal person? Of course not. He let himself into the house, triggering a silent burglar alarm that scared the life out of Kitty and Nora. Luckily Luc was on hand to rugby tackle the intruder (who was in the kitchen helping himself to the contents of the fridge, the cad!) to the ground.  “Taaaaarmy!” cried Nora blissfully, but this was as blissful as it got, because pretty soon they were arguing again. Tommy, it transpires, may have discovered a winning way with Mexican cuisine while he’s been away, but he’s been neglecting his daughter Elizabeth and hasn’t even phoned her for weeks.

This prompted Nora to indulge in yet another bout of soul-searching – if anyone ever has a problem, Nora always has first dibs on suffering. Anyway, it all ended well enough with Tommy bound for a visit to his daughter in Seattle.

Parenthood was also on the agenda for Scotty and Kevin. Scotty and the surrogate mother they’ve chosen were irked by Kevin’s insistence on having everything legally sorted out and contracted, but when Kevin explained about his brother who never sees his daughter in Seattle (this is the daughter who is biologically Kevin’s, remember), the surrogate mum (I promise to try and catch her name next week) fully understood and was happy to sign any contract Kevin put in front of her.

There’s some shady character who is a former enemy of William Walker, who is plotting to get his hands on the Ojai empire. He’s got Vampire Ryan doing industrial espionage for him, from which he concluded that Holly is in such dire financial straits she’d be happy to sell her share of the company. Holly, however, told him where to stick his generous financial package.

On the subject of generous packages, Sarah has been trying to keep hunky Frenchman Luc under wraps as far as her kids are concerned, but the precocious Paige (I’m sure that girl is played by a 45 year old dwarf) spotted them kissing and has insisted that Luc leave Nora’s and take up residence in Sarah’s spare room. So near and yet so far…

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