Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sophomore season headache

When Showtime's Brotherhood premiere's this Sunday, it's got some serious obstacles to overcome. First and foremost is ratings, or lack thereof. This grisly drama has a nearly perfect lead-in with the genuine pay cable hit Dexter (more on that show to come,) yet it hasn't been able to take advantage of it's fortunate placement. Now that The Sopranos are done (and The Black Donnelys never were,) Brotherhood has center stage for mob dramas, and I for one am pulling for it.

For those not familiar, it's the story of two 2nd gen Irish brothers with seemingly disparate career paths making their way in Providence, Rhode Island. Michael Caffey (played with icy cool by Jason Isaacs, aka Lucious Malfoy,) is the older brother who works in the mob. Meanwhile, younger brother Tommy (played by Jason Clarke,) is a up-and-coming Congressman (in the most corrupt state in the union) who's rise or fall is tied in double-knots to his brother's standing. As such they share more then just blood and Sunday dinners. These two worlds contrasted show that often the mobster can be more moral then the politician. But it's still difficult to empathize with a criminal like Michael... cue the head trauma.

Last season's ending left us believing Michael was dead, with his head getting bashed in by the (quickly falling from grace) Detective Declan Giggs (Ethan Embry). It's a dangerous proposition, threatening to kill off a character who's essential to the title of the series (see Grey's Anatomy last year,) one that can ruin the trust of the viewer, and had me in serious doubts. It's no spoiler to tell you that Michael's back, and he looks good (aside from the subtle scar on his head.) But the icy confidence in his blue eyes is gone and in it's place is confusion, as he's battling brain damage from the savage beating. It's six months later and he doesn't know who hurt him, and he's vulnerable in a world that preys on weakness -- a character to sympathize with. The second season starts out a lot quicker then the (sometimes maddeningly) slow pace of last season, which gives me hope.

The best development this season is Declan's alcoholism, and the turn of events that has him using his marital fallout to become a dirty cop that infultrates Mike's gang. As far as new characters go, there's a long lost cousin (played by Tony winner Brian F. O'Byrne) that returns from Ireland to shake things up and The West Wing's Janel Moloney guests for a four-episode story arc.

Of course, I can't help but bring up the music. After teasing us with a stellar music lineup last season (see playlist below,) this year they've finally added a theme song and it's as powerful as the drama. The Constantines' pounding "Draw Us Lines" makes for a nice choice, sounding at once both Irish and mysterious at the same time..

You can catch it and the whole first episode online right here... password is Killer Shows.

Playlist: Brotherhood - Season 1
1. "El Diablo En El Ojo" Tindersticks Ep 101 (Pilot) - Mark: 8:36, and Ep 109 - Ecclesiastes 7:2
2. "Waka Nusa" Kinski Ep 101 (Pilot) - Mark: 8:36
3. "Once In A Lifetime" Talking Heads Ep 102 - Genesis 27:29
4. "Everything In Its Right Place" Radiohead Ep 102 - Genesis 27:29
5. "With Teeth" Nine Inch Nails Ep 103 - Matthew 13:57
6. "Selfish Man" Flogging Molly Ep 104 - Matthew 5:6
7. "Heroin" The Velvet Underground Ep 105 - Matthew 12:25 >
8. "Things Have Changed" Bob Dylan Ep 105 - Matthew 12:25
9. "Fortress" Pinback Ep 106 - Samyutta Nikaya
10. "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart" Aimee Mann Ep 106 - Samyutta Nikaya
11. "Let The Bad Times Roll" Paul Westerberg Ep 107 - Genesis 27:39
12. "I Want To Be Loved" Dinah Washington Ep 110 - Vivekchaudamani: 51
13. "The Diving Bell" Joe Henry Ep 111 - Matthew 22:10
14. "I Fought The Law" The Clash Ep 111 - Matthew 22:10

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting me know that Micheal did not die...t