Brotherhood -- An early look
by Annie Wu, posted Jul 7th 2006 10:07AM
The premise: In Showtime's new drama, Tommy Caffee (Jason Clarke) is a dedicated politician residing in Providence, Rhode Island. His brother, Michael Caffee (Jason Isaacs), is a gangster who returns to the neighborhood to regain control of the area's shady activities. Tension rises in the neighborhood as the two worlds (and brothers) collide.
My thoughts: First off, allow me to applaud both Clarke and Isaacs for doing such fantastic jobs with their accents. I always knew Isaacs was English (heh, he plays Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter films), but I was surprised to learn that Clarke isn't American, but Australian. Excellent work. They're close to giving Hugh Laurie (House) a run for his money.
Some aspects of the show are interesting. For example, just about every character is leading a life of dual nature. The good guys do really rotten things (Tommy's wife isn't as pure as she seems), the bad guys reveal their sensitive sides (Michael's a really screwed up version of Robin Hood). Even the cop, Declan Giggs (Ethan Embry), is torn between duty and friendship because he used to be very close with the Caffees.
That said, I don't think I've witnessed anything particularly stunning. I wasn't struck with the need to know more about their world, I didn't feel any connection with the political or underground side of their lives. Hell, it took me a few episodes before I even felt the need to care about any of the characters. When I watch a drama, I really need to have it hold my attention and never let go. Unfortunately, in Brotherhood, I found there were too many opportunities for me to slip away.
I'm sure viewers that are madly in love with the mystery and darkness of mob life will jump head first, as they should. It's almost a sure-fire hit for that niche. But for someone looking for a little bit more, I think it's either a hit or miss, with no in-between. For me, it was a miss. Sorry, Jason Isaacs.
Brotherhood premieres July 9.