Television

“Brothers & Sisters” The Complete Fourth Season

Warning: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW

Brothers & Sisters continues to be my guilty pleasure on television. This series blends comedy with drama so seamlessly that you forget that it is in fact overall a family drama. This season, however, the show took a huge leap with a major dramatic arc that changed the show forever. If you haven’t caught the whole season yet stop reading here as major spoilers are to quickly follow.

This season started when Kitty (Calista Flockhart) faced her biggest challenge of her life battling cancer as Robert (Rob Lowe) continued his trek to become the new Governor in California. Then Holly (Patricia Wettig) had to deal with Ojai shutting its doors with Sarah (Rachel Griffiths) and Saul (Ron Rifkin) in the turmoil as well. Other events included Justin and Rebecca (Dave Annable and Emily Vancamp) working through their engagement, a pregnancy, and the wedding.

In a season full of drama, there was also a lot of laughter. Nora (Sally Field) starts dating a younger man, as well as tries to keep the family together. Also, Kevin and Scotty (Matthew Rhys and Luke Macfarlane) try surrogacy with mixed results. Saul, Scotty and Kevin also retreat one weekend together with even more mixed results.

The season ends in probably the biggest shock in any drama in the past few years. I won’t spoil it for you, but as you know, season five starts with a one year time jump. After you watch the finale, you’ll realize the lives of the Walker family will never be the same again.

There are two things that I dislike about this set, however. First, is the packaging. The first three seasons came in a normal box set with a pullout with the discs. ABC Studios opted this year to do the slip cover route, with a regular sized DVD case. While a lot of people like the compact size, I think it lacks what most people love about box sets: episode guides. For those of us who missed an episode, there is no way to tell what the episode is about unless you sit through it.

The other thing that is lacking this year are the bonus features. The other sets have had nice behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews that are fun to watch. This year we get the standard (yet hilarious) blooper reel, deleted scenes, and two other extras. One is the interview from the red carpet from the season four premiere party which was fun. The other shows the cast and crew off the set and how they all get along. This was a nice feature, but only about five cast members were in it out of twelve…which makes me wonder how much they all really get along, especially since Balthazar Getty, Lowe, and Vancamp are all gone – or soon to be gone.

Overall, the series transfers nice onto DVD with a little grain in the picture here and there. The audio is beautiful, and should definitely be added to any collection.

Content: 9/10

Extras: 6/10

Audio/Visual: 8/10

Final Grade: 7.7/10

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