The Drama Club: February Sleeps

Sunday night's Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

Sunday night's Brothers & Sisters (ABC)

Drama Free February

It’s the end of February sweeps.  Normally, this would mean the biggest, most dramatic episodes of the most popular series.  Midseason usually means a lot of new series launch.  Instead, thanks to the Olympics, the networks basically took the month off.  Thursday night, ABC is airing reruns of both ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Private Practice,’ no doubt concluding that there is no way scripted medical dramas can compete with the women’s figure skating long program.  Given that the short program included athletes mourning their recently departed mothers and mysterious nosebleeds, it is possible that Shonda Rhimes is also scripting the games.

The few new series that have launched have not attracted much attention.  ‘The Deep End’ and ‘Past Life’ were DOA.  ‘Human Target’ is muddling along.  I am a ‘Life Unexpected’ fan girl, but unfortunately not that many people are watching, perhaps because most of the network’s teen dramas are on hiatus.   March and April will be filled with premieres including the heavily hyped ‘Parenthood,’ and the quirky soapy mystery ‘Happy Town.’  Spring will also mark the returns of all the buzzworthy Freshman series like ‘Glee,’ ‘FlashForward’ and ‘V.’  Thank God.  This February is killing the serialized drama blogging industry.

Can This Storyline be Filibustered?

‘Brothers & Sisters’ has never aimed for realism.  The show exists in a Los Angeles where everyone is white, executives and senators have copious free time, it takes no education or experience to run a multi-million dollar business, people without college degrees can get into medical school, and dead patriarch William Walker had more mistresses than Tiger Woods.   I am willing to go along with all of that.  I was disgusted by the way Rebecca went from sister to sister-in-law, but hey, it’s a soap.  I’m happy to suspend my disbelief and accept that an ultra-hot French artist would move halfway around the world in pursuit of a single Mom he barely knew.  The show is a wish-fulfillment fantasy, after all.  Who wouldn’t want to be best friends with their numerous successful, attractive siblings, have a Mom who dispensed wisdom and love along with gourmet meals, and have an unlimited supply of free wine thanks to the family vineyard.

What I cannot accept is Kitty running for Robert’s senate seat.  I laughed at Robert’s decision not to run for governor in large part because of the toll it was taking on his family.  The guy has enough free time to be a celebrity chef at Scotty’s restaurant on five minutes notice.  I guess health care reform really is stalled.  But, given that Robert has decided to abandon the campaign trail, there is no way that Kitty would be considered a viable candidate.  She is still undergoing cancer treatment.  A couple of episodes ago she was at death’s door.  Nobody’s going to vote for someone that might die midterm.  Nor would Kitty likely have the stamina to endure hundreds of rubber chicken fundraisers and campaign stops. Her compromised immune system would make kissing strangers’ babies inadvisable.  Though I realize that Kitty and Robert are supposed to be the GOP version of the Clintons, Bill did not decline to run for a second term then offer up Hilary as a replacement.

Both Kitty and Robert are TV Republicans.  Much like TV fat, they are much lighter than the real deal.  As has been often noted, most television writers are liberals.  So when they write conservative characters that are supposed to be likable, they end up making them liberal on every issue that matters to Hollywood.  So Robert and Kitty are both pro-gay rights.  They are conservative on things writers don’t really understand or care about like tax policy.  That keeps the Walkers arguments limited to important matters, like whether or not Holly is Satan.  Though Kitty’s diet Coke Republican values might give her a decent shot at succeeding in this very blue state’s general election, the odds of her making it through the primaries are slim.  California republicans tend  to nominate hardline conservatives who proceed to get trounced in the general election.  We got our governator via a special election that bypassed the primaries.  Though this is Imaginary California where equally moderate Robert was elected, so that may not be an issue.  I realize that Miss Kitty Goes To Washington may be a device to write Calista Flockhart out of the show, but surely there is a slightly more plausible way to do it.

Fortunately, this Sunday’s episode looks like it will focus on Sarah and Luc considering a Green Card marriage.  Sure, it’s trite and predictable, and a potential political scandal.  But I am amused by the entire Walker family’s collective crush on Luc.   Robert must be a terrible senator if he can’t get make a couple of phone calls and get the guy a visa.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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