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Gaywatch: Things To Miss About Brothers & Sisters

Gaywatch: Things To Miss About Brothers & Sisters
By Tim Parks

Well, looks like ole ABC did it to me again, and I didn’t even get the luxury of being taken out to a free dinner prior to them… you get my drift and you may want to stand downwind! First, they axed one of their most inventive shows ever when Pushing Daisies was cancelled in 2009, and then, to add a little more salt to this TV junkie’s wounds, they unceremoniously dumped poor Ugly Betty last year.

Now add another R.I.P. to one of  its flagship shows, as Brothers & Sisters has officially bitten the proverbial dust after five seasons on the air, and months being “on the bubble” of cancellation. Oh, that bubble has now been popped, like Avril Lavigne standing in front in a mirror when she loses her Proactiv endorsement.

The very first thing that my mind screams are pieces of Walker family matriarch Sally Field’s graveside soliloquy from her other recognizable mom role in Steel Magnolias, as “Oh God, I wanna know whyyyyyy. I want to hit somebody ’til they feel as bad as I do!” You’d better duck Shirley MacLaine, especially in light of the fact that they aren’t even going to have the common decency to give them a proper send-off with a series finale! Rude much, ABC?

What show is next, Desperate Housewives? Um, yeah, it’s time to put those ladies out to pasture, but that will be mourned in a future column, ok?

Anyhoo, I am sure that some of you are thinking, “It’s just a TV show, and here’s my ladder to help you get over it,” but as I want to illustrate, Brothers & Sisters, despite its sometimes sappy sentiment, was another televised example of the importance of being in a we are family mode, and I’ve got all of my Brothers & Sisters with me as we take a looksie at what will be missed about this ensemble dramedy.

Miss You Much

The Walker clan was made up of a variance of personalities, and some siblings stuck out more than others, especially when Kitty (Calista Flockhart) turned sideways, I am surprised her TV mom Nora (Field) didn’t hook her up to a ham sandwich I.V. It’s only carbs; they won’t kill ya, Kitten!

At the top of the list of most missed offspring will be Rachel Griffiths as the tenacious eldest daughter, Sarah, who it turned out was fathered by Nora’s former flame Brody (Beau Bridges). Ooh, I am gonna tell Mother Superior on you, Sister Bertrille! Not only was Griffiths Muriel’s best friend in Muriel’s Wedding, but she was also a strong-willed individual, who often went toe-to-toe with the family’s Ojai Foods nemesis Holly Harper (Patricia Wettig) and seemed to knock her dentures loose! Clack clack clack went the Holly before they shipped her off the show earlier this year. And now it’s time for the rest of the cast to follow suit, although it’s more than likely others, like Griffiths, Field and Flockhart, won’t be heading for a show called Career Obscurity.

Another great part of the Brothers & Sisters experience was that you instinctively knew that if the family was primed for a get together that there would be some kind of revelation coming, as the family had more skeletons in their closets than Barry Manilow has, uh, wardrobe changes in his (nudge wink). And I am still curious as to who their cell phone provider was, as they had unlimited minutes to do their fair share of gossiping and meddling during peak minutes.

On a serious note (no, really!), the demise of the show also signals the death knell of three gay TV characters in Kevin Walker (Matthew Rhys), his life partner/hubby Scotty Wandell (Luke Macfarlane) and Uncle Saul (Ron Rifkin).

Personally, I will never forget the time I attempted to get an interview with Macfarlane, (who had just come out) for a U.K. magazine called reFRESH, and his PR person thought it was a cooking magazine; she assumed I would be asking him what his favorite salad was. I suppose tossed would have been the answer to that, mmmkay. But, as for the landscape of pop culture, the inclusion of Uncle Saul being a card carrying ’mo was one of the few times that TV explored the older gay set on primetime, and for that the show should be applauded.

And, if you couldn’t gather that the numero uno reason that Brothers & Sisters absence from my DVR will be mourned (yes, I have a black armband on) is for my weekly fix of Field, then you better not try to help Angela Lansbury solve any mysteries, as that fact should have been clearer than the nose of Babs Streisand’s face! There could have been a fun drinking game made up of which role she was embodying at times on B & S, but then again, it was on Sunday nights, you lushes! You could truly see her running the gamut and pulling Sybil (paper is precious!), M’Lynn Eatenton (Steel Magnolias) and even Celeste Talbert (Soapdish) out of her acting bag. Sigh, at least there are still Gidget and The Flying Nun reruns to be had on Antenna TV on Saturdays (Channel 127, and, uh, you’re welcome!), and she’s still hocking Boniva! Two out of three ain’t bad, indeed.

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

Damn, I forgot to include Tommy’s (Balthazar Getty) jacked up eyebrow! Oh well, I still feel better hashing over the show’s strong points, don’t you? Oh really! Who asked you? Oh wait, I did, my bad. But I have a feeling that ABC hasn’t learned their lesson from a decades-long mistake they made by cutting off their Brady Bunch appendage, only to have it flourish like a severed lizard’s tail (gross!) throughout the years by surviving cancellation with resurrections on their network, NBC and CBS.

I think it’s a safe bet to assume that they won’t be doing The Brothers & Sisters Variety Hour, however, the show could be spun off very nicely into a Very Brothers & Sisters Christmas, which could focus on Kevin being stuck in a men’s room and Nora has to sing her little heart out to help him find his way home. Hey! Why was Kevin stuck in a men’s room? Hmm, that’s queer! Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print!

About timparksmediaho

I am a self professed Media Ho, which is the nicer version of being a Media Whore. My mother actually inspired me to come up with the term

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