TV's Walker Family come to DVD this week with yesterday's release of Season 1 of BROTHERS AND SISTERS, a very enjoyable show which debuted last fall. I came in partway through last season so I'm looking forward to catching up with the series from start to finish via DVD. One of the great pleasures of DVDs is the ability to watch an entire series at one's own pace!
Sally Field won the Emmy last weekend for her portrayal of matriarch Nora Walker, and while her politics and acceptance speech were unfortunate, her performance in the show is excellent. (Speaking of Field's speech, I like past Emmy-winner Patricia Heaton's response. Heaton stars with Kelsey Grammer in the new sitcom BACK TO YOU which launches tonight.) BROTHERS AND SISTERS has a large, extremely deep cast, including Calista Flockhart, Rachel Griffiths (who starred in one of my favorite baseball movies, THE ROOKIE), Patricia Wettig, and Ron Rifkin.
The addition of Rob Lowe to the cast midway through the first season was an inspired choice that gave the show the extra bit of lightness and romance it was missing. The show doesn't work for me on all levels -- quite frankly, I fast-forward through any scenes depicting the homosexual brother's "relationships," as I'm just not interested -- but it's an engrossing, well-written program.
One of the added bonuses is that it's a show which positively depicts Republicans, in Lowe's Senator and Flockhart's pundit-turned-political aide. When Field's Nora rants against the Iraq war -- in which one of the Walker sons is serving -- the other side of that issue is also presented.
My favorite part of the show, though? Nora's kitchen! What fabulous set design...I enjoy trying to spot the titles of her cookbooks. :)
The extras are described at length in a review at DVD Talk. They include a very interesting 29-minute documentary on the creation of the series. Other extras include a featurette on Ken Olin and Patricia Wettig, who work on the series with their adult children -- the men behind the camera and the women in front of it. I was a fan of THIRTYSOMETHING so it's great to have part of that cast working on BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
As a postscript, DVD sets sold at Target this week contain a "Target exclusive" bonus disc with a panel discussion by the cast at a Museum of Broadcasting evening devoted to the show.