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April 20, 2014

Brotherhood

Brotherhood: Matthew 22:10 (season finale)

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 24th 2006 11:35PM
Brotherhood(S01E11) Matthew 22:10: The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.

A big Irish wedding, and Freddie Cork finally makes a move, ordering a hit on pain-in-the-ass Michael (Jason Isaacs), after going back and forth every other week over whether they are friends or enemies. The first surprise is Pete, who appears at the wedding all cleaned up -- this, after the last time we saw him, snorting coke outside an AA meeting with Eileen Caffee (Annabeth Gish). Judging from the selection played at the wedding, music stopped developing around 1983. (Spoiler -- a big one -- after the jump.)

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Showtime renews Brotherhood for second season

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 20th 2006 12:02PM
BrotherhoodIf you've been enjoying the series Brotherhood (and Mike C.'s reviews of the show), then Showtime gave you some good news the other day when it renewed the original series for a second season. The show is about two Irish-American brothers -- one is a local politician, and one is involved in their neighborhood's Irish mob, and he's back from being in hiding -- and it has been getting tons of great reviews from critics.

It looks like Showtime is finally starting to get a roster of original series that might start rivaling HBO's. Between this series and Weeds, the network is starting to generate buzzworthy shows that keep people tuning in week after week. The timing is good, since HBO's slate is at a bit of a weak point, with The Sopranos winding down and the failure of its first "traditional sitcom," Lucky Louie.

[via Cynopsis... look about a third of the way down this page.]

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Brotherhood: Vivekachudamani :51

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 17th 2006 11:32PM
BrotherhoodVivekachudamani :51: A father has got his sons and others to free him from his debts, but he has got none but himself to remove his bondage.

The long-lost father of the Caffee clan shows up to make his miserable family even more miserable.

Pete's still trying to help Eileen along with AA, even holding private sessions for her, since she won't go to a public one. Pete's a little too soft-hearted of late in his management of the teen street dealers for Michael's taste. After a lecture from the elder Caffee brother, Pete falls back off the wagon himself again. Hm, looks like this'll end badly for both Pete and Eileen.

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Brotherhood: Ecclesiastes 7:2

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 3rd 2006 11:48PM
Brotherhood(S01E9) Ecclesiastes 7:2: It is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting, For that is the end of every man, and the living should take it to heart.

Now that Tommy has worked his way into the second most-important position in the legislature, the Speaker orders him to get a crucial vote on passing the budget. Naturally Tommy's mob ties (by blood anyway, to brother Michael) come into play. And, just as naturally, the vote he needs this time comes from the one representative that last week called Tommy's installation as new party Whip what it was: ward politics at its worst.

This episode is frought with death and betrayal which should have made for some compelling television, but didn't work for me. The past couple episodes have been so good that I found myself expecting more. Well, we do get more, but it's just more of the same. Another dirty deal by Tommy, another attempt at reform and backslide by Eileen, another attempt (and success) by the mob characters to solve problems with violence or cash.

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Brotherhood: Job 31:5-6

by Michael Canfield, posted Aug 27th 2006 11:33PM
Brotherhood: Showtime(S01E08) Job 31:5-6: If I have walked in falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit; Let God weigh me in the scales of justice; thus will he know my innocence!

Eileen tries to tough it out alone and go cold turkey. Michael heads down to Jersey on a "milk run" with his old flame, while his mother Rose drives the rest of the family nuts planning a surprise birthday dinner for him. The House of Representatives gets a new Speaker after a scandal, and the power goes straight to his head. He immediately takes $100K away from Tommy's district to push to another. That's politics, but Tommy soon works through his anger to gain some new advantage, even though he has to throw someone under the bus to do it.

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Brotherhood: Genesis 27:39

by Michael Canfield, posted Aug 20th 2006 10:07PM
Brotherhood on Showtime(S01E07) Genesis 27:29: Finally Isaac spoke again and said to him: "Ah, far from the fertile earth shall be your dwelling; far from the dew of the heavens above!"

Last week Tommy (Jason Clarke) asked Eileen (Annabeth Gish) point blank if she was "on something." Well she is, but her husband isn't the one she admits it to. She turns to someone else instead, and gets dealt a pretty intense initial reaction -- even for this twisted family. Those Caffee's are one cold bunch, but then, that's how they'ved survived this long, and change is tough, this episode seems to say. The show gets better yet again this week, and way various characters are confronted this time with their own shattered illusions, is just one example of how really well-written this is.

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Brotherhood: Samyutta 11:10

by Michael Canfield, posted Aug 14th 2006 10:55AM
Cast of Brotherhood(S01E06) Samyutta 11:10* The line separating the bad guys and the worse guys gets further obliterated this week. Caffe brother Michael does a favor that taints those involved. Poor brother Tommy, meanwhile, already torn up inside after having to ask his father-in-law for help last week, now has his lovely mother Rose rub his nose in it at the weekly family dinner. Just when was almost beginning to sympathize with her. Never again, she's foul.

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Brotherhood: Matthew 12:25

by Michael Canfield, posted Aug 6th 2006 11:01PM
Showtime's Brotherhood(S01E05) Matthew 12:25: But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand."

Mike Caffee (Jason Isaacs) appears at times a kind of off-kilter Robin Hood, but more and more it's clear he is really an evil Peter Pan. He won't, probably can't, grow-up, and that's one source of his misery. (Spoilers below the jump.)


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Brotherhood: Matthew 5:6

by Michael Canfield, posted Jul 30th 2006 11:30PM
The Caffee Brothers(S01E04) Matthew 5:6: "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied."

Family loyalty trumps all again this week. A combination of Mike's littering the neighborhood with counterfeit bills and his slicing off a fellow mob soldier's ear (in the pilot -- who then turned informant) gets the secret service to show up at mama Rose Caffee's Sunday dinner with a search warrent. They toss the house and come up empty. Almost empty anyway, as the particular timing of the search appears to be planned to embarrass state assemblyman Tommy Caffee as much as anything. Though I missed how this is supposed to help the secret service in their investigation of gangster brother Mike Caffee. Maybe the feds are merely headline hungry. Good episode.

Tom Caffee's "hunger and thirst for righteousness," don't seem to give the satisfaction promised in the title quote, and he hardly seems blessed, poor guy.

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Brotherhood: Matthew 13:57

by Michael Canfield, posted Jul 23rd 2006 10:25PM
The cast of (S01E03) Matthew 13:57: "And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.' "

But this one could have been: "What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul? "(Matthew 16:26) as Tommy slices off yet another piece of his integrity in order to address another political expediency -- this time a garbage strike, the full impact of which is well shown in an effective opening montage.

Series creator, Blake Masters, said (in his interview for the official show podcast) he finds the global politics of The West Wing boring and that the world of local politicians, say, working to get a new park put in their neighborhood, is the really interesting stuff. That's got to be a minority viewpoint.

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Brotherhood: Genesis 27:29

by Michael Canfield, posted Jul 16th 2006 11:01PM
Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke(S01E02) Genesis 27:29: "Let peoples serve you, and nations pay you homage; Be master of your brothers, and may your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be those who curse you, and blessed be those who bless you."

Series creator, Blake Masters, has spoken about the actors he cast as brothers Tom and Mike Caffee as carrying "the idea they're not boys anymore, that they should know better." This idea comes to the forefront tonight as Tommy and wife Eileen (Annabeth Gish) separately grapple with a couple of the more depressing aspects of adulthood: compromise and hypocrisy. Eileen thinks she might have an STD and gets to feel small and cheap at least three times this week: once as usual when she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror while rendezvousing with her f-buddy at the motel, once when her doctor tells her not to worry -- Tom "would never cheat on her," and once when she jambs a towel under the door of the bathroom, dorm-room style, so she can smoke weed while Tommy sleeps. Being a politician's wife sucks.

Now, I keep going back and forth over which Caffee brother behaved more despicably this week:

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Networks practice a little cross promotion

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 12th 2006 8:19AM
brotherhoodThis summer, NBC and CBS are working hard to drum up excitement for shows that air on cable channels owned by the networks. On Saturday, CBS will air the season premiere of Showtime's new drama, Brotherhood (read Annie's early review). And, for the next two Mondays, NBC will air the first two episodes of this season's Project Runway, which usually airs on Bravo. NBC has already done this with The 4400; airing a wrap-up of the program on its network in hopes of getting viewers excited enough that they'll switch on over to USA. Hopefully NBC will show a little love to Battlestar Galactica when it returns in October. And ABC has been playing episodes of ABC Family's new hit, Kyle XY, on Friday nights.

Whether this "cross-pollenation" works is anybody's guess. Except for Project Runway, these shows aren't exactly getting prime real estate when they do air on the major networks.

[Via TV Tattle]

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Brotherhood: Mark 8:36 (series premiere)

by Michael Canfield, posted Jul 10th 2006 10:01AM
The cast of Showtime's Brotherhood(S01E01) Mark 8:36: "What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"

Showtime's answer to The Sopranos and The Wire premiers, and it is all about family. Family Tawwwmmy! Family! "Everybody knows how important that is to you," a union rep and mob flunky tells nice-brother-with-a-dark-side Tom Caffee (Jason Clarke).  He is the slightly dough-faced one, an elected state-representative about to blackmailed by the mob boss Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman) into handing over some snowplow contracts in order to save his brother's life.

Or something like that.

I like Tom immediately, if only because I am slightly dough-faced myself.  Mike, the other Caffee brother, the chiseled, hunky one, is played by the another Jason (Jason Isaacs). He is the bad brother with a good side. They call him Three "Pawt" Mike, cause he plays three parts: judge, jury & executioner. Maybe Four-Parts Mike is more appropriate if you include surgeon: Quentin Tarantino would appreciate what Mikey can do with an ear. The lads are products of all-white, blue-collar neighborhood "The Hill," - that's the mean streets of Providence, Rhode Island to you and me, but I don't see Mike Farrell anywhere.

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Brotherhood -- An early look

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 7th 2006 10:07AM
Brotherhood
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.

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