While the vast majority of new television shows this fall have been lackluster at best, returning series have been making up the difference with astonishingly good season premieres. Add “Brothers and Sisters” to that second category.

As one of the most critically acclaimed shows of last season, “Brothers and Sisters” returns with a newfound confidence — and an acting Emmy for star Sally Field to boot.

The series’ sophomore season opens with Kitty (Calista Flockhart) trying to balance her roles as fiance-slash-campaign official for Senator Robert McCallister (Rob Lowe, now a permanent cast member), while McCallister tries to keep his obligations as a federal official in mind as Kitty requests favors regarding her younger brother Justin (Dave Annable), who is stationed in Iraq.

As matriarch Nora Walker, Field once again proves why her Emmy win was deserved as she frets about not hearing from youngest son Justin. Distracted by war coverage throughout the episode, an unexpected doorbell chime is all it takes to send Nora’s mind reeling, and Field owns her role.

Flockhart and Field are thankfully no longer engaging in acting competitions in every scene that they share, as the pair did during some early episodes last season (the more seasoned actress takes that cake every time). Rather, the two elevate touching mother-daughter scenes by feeding off of, instead of trying to one-up, each other.

The premiere also offered promising hints of what’s to come later in the season, as Sarah (the fragile, endearing Rachel Griffiths) and Joe (John Pyper-Ferguson) try to work out their marital problems and Kevin (Matthew Rhys) learns his boyfriend is being sent on a religious mission to Malaysia.

It appears Sarah Jane Morris will be given a larger role this season as sister-in-law Julia, who is suffering from postpartum depression and taking it out on husband Tommy (Balthazar Getty). Holly’s (Patricia Wettig) ominous insistence at the end of last season that the family shouldn’t welcome Rebecca into their home has yet to be explained. Could the writers be saving something for sweeps week?

As those issues and others play themselves out over the course of the season, it’s understandable that fans will be watching with baited breath. It’s the stellar cast that elevates “Brothers and Sisters” from a show that could have easily become burdened by too many characters to one of the best dramas on primetime, that perfectly blends the dysfunction and loyalty of family ties.

About The Author

Elizabeth Raftery is senior editor of Blast. Follow her on Twitter.

One Response

  1. karin ralph

    we would like the show a lot better if getty the selfish arrogant dirtbag got axed, no morals and no class, give us matthew rhys any time.


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