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Brothers - Review

Making no pretense of setting the comedic bar particularly high, " Brothers " is more notable for its cast than anything coming out of their mouths. The starting lineup includes former NFL star Michael Strahan and wheelchair-bound comic Daryl Chill Mitchell as the program's squabbling siblings, CCH Pounder as their imperious mother and the inspired choice of Carl Weathers as their slightly daft dad. There's actually a modicum of chemistry among that quartet. If only the laugh lines in the show's playbook yielded an actual laugh. Bringing only sportscasting experience from Fox's NFL pregame show to the party, Strahan stars capably enough as Mike Trainor, who is summoned home to Houston after a pro football career to again take up residence with his folks. They own a local bar, and Mike's celebrity will theoretically help generate traffic as the venture faces tough times. The prodigal son's return, however, doesn't sit well with brother Chill (Mitchell), who resents Mike -- a hostility he expresses, repeatedly, via a series of tired one-liners. Mitchell delivers them reasonably well, but other than the gag about his mom testing his paralysis by jabbing his thigh with a fork, most viewers will be able to intercept the jokes well before he delivers him. (The character was injured in a car accident; Mitchell -- whose sitcom credits include "Veronica's Closet" -- was paralyzed in a 2001 motorcycle crash.) Pounder keeps the peace as their mother Adele, and given her association with various dramas (most recently " The Shield "), dives right into this comedic part, putting that trademark glower to as much use as she can. Everything about "Brothers" speaks to its modest ambitions, including a second episode (the two will air back to back to create a one-hour launch) in which Mike's one-night stand yields a predictable tirade about violating "house rules" -- even though he purchased said house for the family with his football-gotten gains. It's been awhile since a comedy has made any headway on Friday night -- or for that matter, a live-action sitcom has gained any Nielsen yardage on Fox. From that perspective, this qualifies as a recession-era choice, driven as much by marketing as creative concerns: Fox clearly hopes that a modest urban audience might be available and looking for something undemanding heading into the weekend, while the football component offers obvious tie-ins and the potential for guest shots by other Fox Sports personalities. While the idea doubtless looked good on the chalkboard, "Brothers" turns out to be all game plan, and no game. Source Here

Fall TV Preview 2009: Brothers

Brothers (Fox) Premieres: Friday, Sept. 30, 8-8:30 p.m. Competition: Ghost Whisperer , Smallville , Law & Order , 'Til Death , Ugly Betty , Sanctuary Cast: Michael Strahan, Darryl Mitchell, CCH Pounder, Carl Weathers Status: We've seen the first two episodes. Should you watch Brothers? Read on... We should preface this preview by stating that Brothers really does mean well. The story follows retired superstar athlete Mike Trainor (Michael Strahan), who's come home to help his wheelchair-bound brother's (Darryl "Chill" Mitchell) floundering restaurant and his potentially memory-impaired father, Coach (Carl Weathers). Clearly pulling all the strings in the background is matriarch and Emmy winner CCH Pounder, but as much as we love her, this role leaves us missing her more dramatic endeavors, i.e. The Shield. However, what is intended to be a heartfelt sitcom that deals with serious issues, like physical and mental handicaps, falls flat and becomes nothing more than a half-hour comedy filled with weak jokes about Strahan's gap and "Chill" Mitchell's paraplegia (and their father's possible dementia). Our very own Kim Kardashian comes on to stir things up in October, so that could be fun, but overall Brothers just doesn't know what it is. Is it a comedy that focuses only on the defects of others, or is it a drama about the ties that bind a family together? Long story short, as much as we love Michael Strahan's charisma in real life, it unfortunately just doesn't transfer to scripted drama. Verdict: Pass. Source: E!Online - Fall TV Preview 2009: Brothers

SideReel's Fall TV Preview - FOX - Featured

The time has come, Reelers! The Summer TV Season is pretty much kaput. Weeds is concluding tonight; True Blood ends in 2 weeks. Luckily, as quickly as these summer shows finish up, the networks are already rolling out some of their Fall Premieres, as early as next week! Therefore, we decided it was high time for SideReel to talk about the various new series that the networks are offering up this Fall. What show will be the next big thing? What will be the first new series that is axed? Each day this week, we'll check out one network's new crop of shows, starting with Fox: Historically, FOX Fall has pretty much just been a waiting game for Spring. While they do launch a few new series each year (including mid-sized hit Fringe last year), everyone knows that FOX's year really starts in January with the American Idol premiere. However, it looks like this Fall FOX is making a more concerted effort to be a ratings-player before American Idol makes its monstrous yearly premiere come January. So, perhaps the biggest FOX change this Fall is not a new series, but that the network is releasing a Fall Cycle of Summer Hit So You Think You Can Dance , which thus consumes a considerable chunk of the weekly lineup (2 hours Tuesday, 1 hour Wednesday). Beyond this, there's only room for 3 new series, which we'll take a look at now: The Best Glee - We already know that we love Glee . This is because Fox showed a preview/pilot/sneak peak (their terminology is not always consistent, but it was the first episode of the series) in May following American Idol . From Ryan Murphy (the genius behind Nip/Tuck ), this show is unlike any other show on TV. It's part comedy, part drama, part musical; we described it back in May as "having tinges of Fame, Election and Freaks & Geeks" . The question therefore isn't whether or not Glee is good, but whether or not people will watch. When Glee debuted back in May (with the best possible lead-in on television...the American Idol finale), it premiered to an acceptable but not stellar 10 million viewers. Since the show's May debut, FOX has been promoting Glee ad nauseam. Let's hope that it has worked, because this is one that we desperately want to stick around! The Worst Brothers - This new series stars Michael Strahan (former NFL player) as - get this - a former NFL player - who is forced to return home and live with his family...and help care for his paralyzed brother. Though SideReel has not screened the pilot, everything we have read suggests that this one is a giant stinker. Acting: Bad. Jokes: Offensive (and not funny). Basically, don't bother watching; this one is a likely candidate for Fall's first cancellation, as it never should have gotten to air. The Wildcard The Cleveland Show - The Cleveland show has a lot going for it, as its from Seth MacFarlane and is a spinoff of none other than one of the most beloved cartoons to air on TV ever, Family Guy . FOX also has enough confidence in the show that they've already ordered a second season of it ! But...fans of Family Guy have questioned whether the character of Cleveland was the right one to give the "spin-off" to in the first place. Is he interesting enough to sustain an entire show? You guys will have to decide... Saved for Midseason Human Target , Past Life , Sons of Tucson Which new Fox shows will you be checking out? Check out the Fall 2009 TV Calendar here