Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Move over, Harold and Maude. The Walker family just came to town.

Well, folks, we've got a week of rain here in the Big Apple which means it's bloggin' weather.  I've got a James-Taylor-inspired Pandora station happening as I write this, so I'm ready to make up for lost time.  I have to start off with a shout out to Nathan in Ireland, my blog's first follower other than, well, myself.  You've officially doubled my readership and the number of continents I'm reaching so 'tanks a bunch.

I've recently discovered that Brothers & Sisters is on instant play on Netflix which is a game changer in my mission to catch up on movies that I should have seen but haven't yet.  One of my brother's friends lent me Amelie and The Royal Tenenbaums because as I impressed him with my breadth of film knowledge (why yes, I can distinguish between the ginger child actor in Love Actually and Freddie Highmore), he told me about his 5 favorite talkies and these two were not yet crossed off my cinephile bucket list.  The verdict?  Loved Amelie, fell asleep for the third time during Royal Tenenbaums.  I've decided that like potato salad, no matter how many times I try Wes Anderson I'm just not going to like him.  I kind of liked Rushmore (well, mostly I liked the inclusion of "Ooh La La" by The Faces) so maybe there's still hope for Wes Anderson (and potato salad.. like one infused with bacon or something).

Anyway, my brother's friend's drunken enthusiasm for me to watch these movies inspired me to use my Netflix subscription to continue my film education, filling the void that has become more apparent as I reach my college graduation's one year anniversary.  Now, I'm limited to the instant watch because I keep forgetting to bring Casino home from work, so I've now saved up 49 critically-acclaimed flicks in the instant queue. Then lo and behold, what does Netflix recommend based on my interest in emotional, family-based, often-politically-themed, wine-fueled television dramas but my old friend, Brothers & Sisters.  How do they know?!  Sorry, Schindler, but you just got bumped from the top of my list.  Apocalypse Now?  Try Apocalypse later.  The 400 Blows?  You said it.  Make room for the Walker family.

Right now I'm on episode 6 which begins with Nora (the Walker family matriarch, played by Sally Field) and Kitty (her emaciated youngest daughter, played by Calista Flockhart) waking up during the night to the sound of someone breaking into the house.  I know immediately that it isn't a stranger but someone who knows them because if you knew the Walkers, you would stop at nothing to get inside that house and be part of their family.  Believe me, if I were a fictional character, I would tunnel my way into the wine cellar with a spork, hide in one of their 13 spare bedrooms (Nora Walker makes bin Laden's digs look like a suite at the Dogpatch, U.S.A. Super 8), and then during the night hypnotize one of them into marrying me (which I'm pretty sure is exactly what Rebecca did once Justin found out she wasn't actually his half-sister... draaaa-muh).  Turns out, the supposed intruder was Tommy Walker, the eldest of Nora's sons who ran away to Mexico after embezzling funds from their family produce business, Ojai Foods.  Tommy's character is a grade-A douche bag.  The only thing I hate more than Tommy is the name of the actor who plays his character: Balthazar Getty.  And the only thing I hate more than that is the scar on his eyebrow.  Fuck you, Balthazar.

Here are the reasons why the Walkers rule:

1.  They have the most intense family dinner parties at least once-a-week, to my knowledge (I'm not sure what their schedules are like during the summer hiatus).  About 45 minutes into the episode, they've all gathered at Nora's house for a beautifully prepared dinner that won't be eaten because Rebecca thinks Justin is too distracted by med school to focus on their wedding (seriously, where are his priorities?  maybe he's distracted by the fact that for six months he thought you were his sister), Scotty thinks Kevin is pressuring him to adopt a baby, oh and Kitty has cancer.  Sarah is just awesome all the time.  Even though she kind of looks like a duck, she still scored this hot French guy, and you know why?  Because she's a Walker.  Anyway, at this point about half the table throws down their napkins and storms off, and the other half...
2.  ... grabs another bottle of wine.  Which leads me to reason #2 why the Walkers dominate: they are drunk all the time (yes, Calista Flockhart, "sips" will get you shitfaced if your diet consists of apple skins and chewing on a rawhide bone).  The Walker family expanded Ojai Foods with a new business: Walker Landing, a winery using Ojai's grapes.  Their family alone could make the new venture profitable with a Mother's Day brunch.  How do you think everyone gets the nerve to speak their minds at the dinner party after a 45-minute (excluding commercials) lead-up?  Wine.  How do they calm their nerves after storming away from the table/waiting awkwardly for someone to pass the garlic knots?  Wine.  And how do they get their children to eat their vegetables?  Wine.
Did I mention her dinner parties
are the BEST?!
3.  Rob Lowe.
4.  Besides my own mom (who never lets me step foot on a plane without a couple of mini Tanquerrays in tow), Nora Walker is the best mom ever.  Sally Field positively steals the show.  She gets arrested for smoking a doobie.  She tells her kids when she gets laid.  Her love interests include both Danny Glover and Chevy Chase.  And she throws the booziest, scariest dinner parties ever.  She is a domestic primetime powerhouse.  Besides being a badass, though, (like my own mom) she is totally nurturing and adorable.  I cried the first two episodes of season 4, then almost made it through the third without shedding a tear, and then Sally Field steps in for 2 minutes with her gardening gloves and turkey meatloaf telling Uncle Saul about how Kitty has cancer and forget it, it's over.  Waterworks.
5.  They will kick your family's ass at game night:

Tommy, of course, embarrasses the family name.  
But I would watch a Jurassic Park re-make with Kevin Walker playing every character.

Now I just found out this week that B&S has not been picked up for another season, so if my readership expands beyond Nathan and myself to the higher-ups at ABC, consider this my plea to keep this deliciously guilty pleasure on air.  And if not, then I raise my glass to the Walkers and say farewell.  I'll see you in syndication.

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