Brothers & Sisters Review: "Faking It"

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It's not that Brothers & Sisters is no longer enjoyable, but there's been a void since the start of the season. Not Rob Lowe's physical absence, either. Something harder to pinpoint.

Perhaps this is what happens to most series over time. The spark just fades.

From the story lines set up at the onset, "Faking It" had the makings of vintage B&S, blending emotion, heart and humor. Instead, it just fizzled a bit. Some of the luster is gone.


It didn't help that we knew for a fact going in that Justin and Rebecca's relationship was not going to be salvaged, thanks to Emily VanCamp's announced departure from the show.

A hastily-written exit for Rebecca also cheapened the best moments she and Justin shared over the years, when we truly enjoyed their courtship. Last night just felt unnecessary.

Their big "talk" basically amounted to the age-old argument over whether she can trust Justin. Survey says? No! Don't even get us started on Holly's memory problems, either ...

Has there ever been a hokier gimmick than this? She remembers who David and Nora are, but has no clue Rebecca is? Sure, it's theoretically possible. But it's forced melodrama.

Of course, Rebecca flees to Justin after Holly forgets her, and while they are officially divorced, neither has told anyone. Just tell them and get it over with, guys. The time is now.

Meanwhile, Holly runs away (!), leading to a 911 call from David. We actually found Holly to be an interesting character, so this soapy turn for the worst has us rolling our eyes.

Kitty's story line at least isn't quite as ridiculous. It is, however, largely boilerplate stuff. After a pipe bursts at her rented house, she flirts with the hot plumber who checks it out.

After lying about her urbane roots to gain his acceptance, they go on a date, which is a predictable disaster, but then patch things up and decide to give it a second shot. Shucks.

Kevin W. Pic

Nora and Sarah may not be lying about who they are, but they're lying about how old they are. Sarah has a birthday, and it turns out has never told handsome Luc her real age.

Here's a prime example of the show losing its luster a bit. Kitty and Kevin call to needle her and find out about this lie, but it's just not as funny as we'd expect. Step it up, gang.

Nora has been recommended (gasp) to a plastic surgeon! OMG! No way would our Nora even think about it ... let alone take Sarah with her after the cat's out of the bag. Please.

Again, there was no real comedic payoff in this, which could have made it a little more bearable. It simply wasn't that compelling to watch, despite our love for Sally and Rachel.

Shockingly, Luc knew Sarah’s age all along (via her license) and Nora learns (via Saul) that she's perfect the way she is, just a little lonely at this point in her life. No surgeries.

Emboldened, she quits the floral shop, at which the boss had been making old jokes at her when Sally Field looks the same age as her, and you get the idea. Just not great TV.

Brothers & Sisters is all about 1) Wine. 2) Family. 3) More wine, please! 4) Sarcasm. 5) Overbearing parents and siblings who drive each other insane, but love each other dearly.

Somehow, this formula has given way to over-the-top and/or boring stories, with the humor quotient diminished as well. Hopefully this is just a blip ... but we have our doubts.


Editor Rating: 2.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


P.S. I also totally agree with Belinda. I just read your post right now and it's exactly how I feel. I miss Joe, I miss Tommy, Rebecca and my heart still is crying over Robert. Kitty kissing another man is way too soon. The show isn't what it used to be, unfortunately. The only thing I'm happy about, is the fact that they didn't turn Robert & Kitty's marriage and their amazing chemistry into the trash can by writing them off. Robert dying was awful, terrible, heart-breaking but a divorce would be worse. Now I can stop watching and leave it at that, which is hard enough... :-(


I agree, B&S has totally lost it's spark. The storylines got worse, then the few magic things they had turned for the worst: first Sarah's marriage fell apart (the guy was hot!), then Tommy left (AWFUL!), then Sarah hooked up with a hottie but switched him for totally-not-hot-or-good-looking-Luc, then the Rebecca/Justin marriage also fell apart, they throw in another silly story with Saul and finally they end it all with Robert dying, killing off the major draw they had in this show. Add odd stuff like Holly having amnesia, it all is too far fetched and not interesting to watch. I don't care about kevin/scotty or Luc or Sarah/Luc or Saul! The only characters I liked were Kitty & Robert, Tommy, Sarah (that all changed with Luc in the picture), Justin & Rebecca. All the good characters are gone or the good stories are gone! I can't bear to watch Kitty flirting with anyone else after Robert died, after all those beautiful love scenes they had together... and besides that, what is there left to watch?! So I stopped watching after E01. It's a shame that a one time good show turned this bad and lost their values so quickly...


I personally agree with the reviewer that the show has lost the spark, there's been a cloud hanging over this show and it's been slowly growing, and predictably the cast departures certainly aren't helping. It's bad enough that Rob Lowe and Balthazar Getty left the show, and now Emily VanCamp. What used to be about family, fun, and laughter has now become filled with melodrama and divorce and it just feels like the show is dragging itself along. The episodes are still well written and well acted, I don't doubt that, but what used to make me enjoy and laugh about this show has slowly been breaking up amidst all these cast departures that I just feel like this show is trying to get itself off life-support. First Joe and Sarah break up, then Tommy and Julia, and now Justin and Rebecca, if Robert hadn't died in a car wreck or that Rob Lowe wasn't that famous of an actor for them to let go, it would have been a matter of time before they decided to break up that couple too instead of Robert and Kitty working out their issues. It's amazing that Scotty and Kevin stayed together for so long. I love this show, I still do, but I feel tired now watching it when I used to feel joy, and yes part of it is because Robert is dead, I don't deny that, but I just feel what used to be about family is slowly fading. And personally, the Kitty romance thing is coming on way too fast for me. I mean, they're kissing next episode, it's just way too soon.


I agree that the show isn't as strong as it used to be. I still enjoy it but it should have ended when they found Narrow Lake. The whole show was based upon the dead husband's secrets and there aren't any more secrets.


LOL, I was going to write a whole reply to the review but Anthony summarized well what I wanted to say.
As one last addition, IMO it's not out of character for Nora to be remotely interested on plastic surgery. That's what women look for when they have confidence and self-esteem issues. And clearly Nora is still recovering from the traumatic crash, so it's really very understandable.


Wow this review was way too harsh, I am enjoying the fresh start to this season. Several of the storylines (especially Kitty and Sarah's) were definitely vintage B&S-like. Of course the show isn't going to feel the same as it did a year or two ago, that was the whole point of the time jump, so that in the new season the writers can begin to develop new relationships and dilemmas, similar to that of an entirely new series. Your critiques of this season have been unecessarily harsh, and while the same "spark" from the first and second seasons may not be evident right now, the show is still far better than you're making it out to sound.


What I do not understand is that Nora was working in the flower shop as she needed the money and then is shopping around for plastic surgery!! Sort it out people!!


this review sucks a trillion times worse than the show. i thought it was an average episode, but this reviewer is just doing sarcasm for kicks and needling the episode to death needlessly. it doesn't make you a (seemingly) intelligent critic, it just makes you annoying.

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