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April 24, 2014

Press Kits Unwrapped: Brothers

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 14th 2009 1:36PM
Poster for Fox's BrothersFOX's new family Friday night sitcom Brothers seems like a relatively (see what I did there?) low key and uninspiring bit of prime time. And that's coming from someone who hasn't seen it yet. Call it my "suck sense." (I see Cop Rock.)

It is nice, however, to see the multi-camera, live audience sitcom making a comeback to the big three networks (four if you count the CW). They almost feel like a warm hug from the past, reminding me that they haven't forgotten me or the shows I remembering watching instead of getting regular exercise or dating.

The same things can be said for the show's official press kit.

It's a mix of things that seem thrown together at the last minute and a couple of choice items that might get some mileage before they are given to Goodwill or lost in an unforeseen move, eviction or "accidental" fire.

Another poster for BrothersFirst off, the poster is really uninspiring. It's just a shot of the 50 yard line of a football field with the show's title, date and time underneath it. There's no explanation or attempt to connect the image to the show, no clever tagline like "Huddle up for funny this fall!" or "Go long for laughs" or "Calling an audible was never this hilarious."

At least something that drew a groan out of me would have made me believe someone took more than a few seconds to design and release the thing. The one taped to the front of the package would have made a better insert than this one. It doesn't make me want to watch the show. All it does is remind me that I have a lawn that desperately needs my attention.

It does get better from there. Much to the dismay of freelance journalists everywhere, press kit organizers seem to have cut back on apparel in the wake of the recession. Some of the better press kits used to include free T-shirts, socks and even the occasional pair of boxer shorts to fill the void our paychecks left in our dressers and give us at least another day to go without doing laundry.

Thankfully, Brothers has picked up the tradition by including a very simple but tasteful long sleeve football tee. It's dark gray with black and white stripes going around the shoulders and armpits with a big "09" on the Trainor family name on the back. The name makes the shirt even more useful since it will convince less intelligent members of the human race that I'm a professional personal "trainor."

A T-shirt for Brothers
And here's the best part: it's an extra large! They really must have had TV critics in mind when they designed this. It's nice and loose and billowy and looks good on even the fattest of the angriest of critics. This thing could probably make Tom Shales look like a young Chuck Norris.

Finally, the cherry on this mildly edible sundae is the little foam football buried at the very bottom of the box, making it the world's biggest and least edible Cracker Jack.

Brothers football
It's not NFL regulation size, of course, so using it in an actual pick-up game during halftime for my Saints' weekly guts stomping party is out of the question. But it reminds me of the little toy football I used to catch in Mardi Gras parades as a kid and its nice to keep on the desk as a stress toy.

Such an appropriate stress toy will really come in handy if Joel orders me to review the show's series premiere.

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