The Telefile
8 Ways to Fix Brothers & Sisters This list ended up being pretty harsh, so I feel the need to preface it by saying that I really do enjoy this show. It's probably my biggest guilty pleasure -- it's a lot of fun at times (dinner parties! Conference calls! Kevin one-liners!), I think many of the performances are spectacular, and I do continue to root for it despite the many reasons any sane person would have stopped over a year ago. But I'm sorry, this show is a damn mess, and there a million things that need to be done to improve it. I'm not going to attempt to list every single one of them here, because no show can ever be perfect and a complete list would be about 20,000 words, but here are some major flaws that, if fixed, could make the show a lot less embarrassing for me to admit watching.

The characters need to be less horrible.
Especially the new ones. We finally meet Ryan and he turns out to be this weird little snot? Like this show needs more of that. The Walkers have always been self-centered, and sometimes that's hilarious, but this season has brought episodes like Kitty throwing a tantrum during her baby shower and insulting her mother for trying to do something nice for her, Sarah insulting Kitty for trying to help her out with a loan for Greenatopia and trying to do something nice for her, Nora insulting Kevin for buying a house for her non-profit and trying to do something nice for her; the list just goes on and on. Like I said, the Walkers have never been the model family -- and true, that is the entire premise of the show -- but it's just completely unrealistic that grown-ups would consistently behave this way, and it sure seems like I want to slap some maturity into them far more often than I ever did in Season 1. Dear show: we're supposed to like these people, and that's hard to do when they're the worst.

Stop asking us to impossibly suspend disbelief.
There's nothing wrong with bending reality in favor of advancing a character or story, but this season has been full of some seriously eye-rolling crap. Greenatopia has just magically taken off and saved Sarah from financial ruin? Nora has secured investors for this lavish non-profit simply by explaining that she's run a household for many years? And the development of this non-profit is going off remarkably with very few hitches, save her hookup with her married genius contractor who -- by they way -- is designing her facility pro bono? And c'mon -- Rebecca is a marketing genius? And Justin's going to go to med school? And Kitty, who is a political expert, married a senator who once ran for President and then feels betrayed when he has further ambitions? And she expects him to put his career on the back burner and put her and the baby first? Even though his first wife made it very clear that he's incapable of doing so? And most mysterious of all -- Saul's boyfriend would stay with him after experiencing Kitty's baby shower debacle?! Unbelievable. So many incredulous questions! And that's not even half the ridiculousness we've sat through this year, but I'm getting carpal goddamn tunnel, so moving on.

More Scotty!
This character was brought back to the show almost entirely due to popular demand from the fans, and besides the fact that he turns the world on with his smile, he just serves as such a wonderful contrast to the terrible people parade that is the Walkers. This show has one lone, stable, consistently likeable character in its huge cast and we don't see nearly enough of him.

Less Holly!
I'm one of the very, very few who actually likes Holly and thinks she's kind of a bad ass, but she's still a grade-A asshole amongst a sea of characters who need to be put in character jail. Not to mention the fact that the show's fanbase by and large cannot stand her. I don't think the show should get rid of her completely, but let's give her better scenes than weird, nonsensical ones where she gives Nora relationship advice, or promotes her daughter unnecessarily at Ojai, or any of her other largely pointless scenes this season since Rebecca was de-Walkered. I love that she's striking back at Tommy now (like her or not, that actually makes sense, character-wise, which is a step up for this show lately), but other than that, are we actually supposed to be interested in her rekindled relationship with David? Because I cannot express to you how much I am not. I hate that Holly was this manipulative devil-woman liarface at the beginning of the series, and now she's just this honest, hardworking businesswoman and sympathetic mom. This character makes no sense. And I want another Holly/Nora food fight.

Nobody cares about Robert's political career.
Look, we all love Rob Lowe. But I don't care about Robert's gubernatorial campaign, especially when we know it's going to go nowhere because ain't no way Kitty's moving to Sacramento. So either he's going to lose, or they're getting divorced, or he actually will die. Whichever one it is, can we move this along, please? I have neither the time nor the inclination (you can't handle the truth!) to suffer this storyline any longer.

Stop forgetting about major characters.
You guys remember Joe, right? Used to be married to Sarah, father of her two small children, previously beloved by all Walkers, and yet, inexplicably MIA forever. And how about Lafferty's dad? Great actor, sympathetic character, sparks with Nora, interesting storyline. Yeah, he's been gone for months, presumably so we can focus more on dead-end storylines like Justin's NA stalker. And those two guys who run Greenatopia with Sarah who were actually pretty funny and interesting haven't been around in four episodes either, not to mention Robert's two kids, who we haven't seen in I can't even remember how long, and who knows if any of them will ever be back. Stop taking away the good and/or inherently important characters for no reason. It's weird.

Let's get Kevin a new job.
I never thought Kevin going to work for The Senator was a good idea, but even in light of the other night's forced as all hell tears over his best friend The Senator's health, I'm still not buying it. That job is stifling for his character, and I'm not seeing what The Senator is even getting out of it, other than just not getting in trouble with his wife for firing her brother. That's not a good enough reason to keep him on board. Plus I miss his old boss, FBI Assistant Director Skinner.

This show used to be so much more fun.
When did everything get so damn serious all the time? Remember the old days when Sarah used to get buck wild in road trip bars, or when the Walker ladies used to crash weddings, or the time Scotty drunkenly called a male cop "Little Miss Officer"? Comic relief used to be much more balanced with the serious, life or death moments, but now we get either super silly episodes like the Greenatopia launch party, or we get last week's sobfest. Balance, show. Balance.




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The Telefile

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