Calistaflockhart_brothersandsisters_240There’s been a pretty wide range of reaction to ABC’s new drama Brothers & Sisters, the official Troubled Show of fall 2006 on account of its various recastings and "creative differences."

The show finally arrived to us in early September, months behind the season’s other pilots. And I still don’t quite know what to think of it.

It may be that because of its big cast the multiple, intertwined stories of the well-to-do (but maybe not as well as everyone thinks) Walker family that the show just has too much expositional ground to cover in its premiere, which follows Desperate Housewives on Sunday. It may be that I have a bit of a hard time buying Calista Flockhart, Ally McBeal herself, as a conservative talk-radio host, or that differences in politics aren’t quite enough to cause the bitter estrangement between Flockhart’s Kitty Walker and her mom (Sally Field), even if Mom does believe Kitty’s views led the youngest Walker kid (Dave Annable) to join the Army and become traumatized by his service Afghanistan.

With all the tumult the show has gone through in its birth, it just doesn’t feel finished yet. I’m encouraged that Greg Berlanti, who showed an expert touch with family drama on Everwood, is now an exec producer, and with a cast that also includes Rachel Griffiths, Ron Rifkin and Balthazar Getty, I can’t just dismiss Brothers & Sisters. But I can’t fully endorse it either.

Posted by:Rick Porter