What About Brian
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I miss this show... sort of. Was it the best thing on TV? Far from it. But it was enjoyable, had a really good cast, and provided some decent "that's how life really is" laughs. As I said time and again when I reviewed it, What About Brian had a nice blend of the quirkiness seen on Ed coupled with the "everyone wants to get laid" mentality of Grey's Anatomy. In theory, that's a stupendous combination.
However, over the course of two seasons (I say that loosely because season one only had 5 installments and season two came back with a cut back order of 19), the show never really found its voice and as a result never really found enough viewers. I'm not so sure that saying "fans can rejoice now that the series is on DVD" is the right way to go. I was one of them, but I don't feel the need to re-watch it all again. A few episodes stuck in my mind and those were worth seeing again, but overall only the diehards (did What About Brian have any?) are going to want this set. Fortunately, it offers some great bonuses that will make it worth purchasing for the folks in that minority.
(S02E19) That wasn't much of a finale, was it? You can definitely tell that there were a couple more episodes that were meant to be and this one just got tweaked a little. I'm not sure how much else could have changed had we gotten a full 22 installments, but you never know.
As I expected, Dave and Deena's impromptu wedding become the focal point of the episode, while everyone else just ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. That's one of the things you still gotta love about this show. No matter what else is going on, it always boils down to who's sleeping with who.
(S02E18) What about Brian? Hell... I forgot about Brian. Didn't even realize there was a new episode last night until about an hour ago when I decided to clean out my TiVo list. I really do like this show, but apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't have it at the top of their list. Next week is the season finale, meaning the show order got cut by three episodes. First it got the 13 half order, then the full 22, and now it's been slashed to 19. What is it about the 10:00 PM time-slot on Mondays? Can anything stand up to CSI: Miami? It isn't being called the series finale next week, but with this news, it doesn't look likely that we'll see a third season.
(S02E17) Something about this show... it's reaching right now. It had its footing, lost it, found it, and now it's back in some sort of weird TV limbo. It just feels like there's nothing of importance going on. Which is weird because I still enjoy the show a lot. Something was different here though. We've always known that this was a show about young people with relatively large amounts of money. That's kind of standard for ABC right now from Grey's Anatomy, to Brothers and Sisters, to the brand-new October Road. However, this was the first episode of What About Brian that really screamed, "Look at us, we're rich!" I'm not sure how I feel about that.
A media group analyzed Nielsen ratings by income and determined that affluent American television viewers prefer to watch ABC and NBC. And they don't watch reality television. Instead, the highest-rated television shows among America's wealthier viewers are The Office, 30 Rock, What About Brian, Lost, Friday Night Lights, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and Studio 60. Besides DH and Grey's, those are all shows that receive mediocre ratings.
(S02E16) I have to admit, I keep flip-flopping on this topic. I'm for Marjorie. I'm against her. Back and forth. I think what I'm starting to realize is that I really didn't like her character at all, but rather what she brought to the table: something that tied the whole series together. Something that gave the show meaning.
After her departure, there were what, two really great episodes? And now this. I'm not saying I didn't like this episode, but it was a bit of a step down. There are just far too many little stories going on (most are great), but what's tying them all together? There's nothing that feels like it might turn into a big plot for the rest of the season. This show needs that right now.
(S02E15) People should really start watching this show, especially if you've never seen an episode before. In terms of the show and its characters, everything is re-starting and beginning again. So it's a prime time to get into it because at this juncture, everything that happened before is starting to reach the point of irrelevancy.
That being said, there's a lot going on now to make up for the fact that most of the original storylines and dilemmas are dying off. New characters are being introduced, new romances are popping up, and the same mentality that got me hooked on the show finally seems to be resurfacing: everyone just wants to get laid.
(S02E14) Well it took a little more than half the season for the new staff of producers and writers to turn around What About Brian, but it's finally reached that point. This is a whole new show now. The Marjorie story is done, and while I'm not discounting another potential return for Sarah Lancaster, I'm not sure what the point would be.
You have to look at this way. Would the series have really worked if Marjorie was just hanging around, constantly getting in the way of everyone's relationships? Don't forget -- I relentlessly lobbied for her return too. However, the more I think about, it would have gotten stale fast. Using Marjorie to help introduce everyone in the first season and help create the atmosphere was great. But if you look at the big picture, that was her only role. The characters, Adam and Brian especially, need to develop beyond that initial boundary.
(S02E13) This show is good again. It's been building and building with great episodes the past two weeks, and if it's possible after last week's stellar installment, this one was even better.
Way back last spring when I first reviewed the pilot episode, I had this to say about What About Brian:
"This show has got it. Whatever it is. It's got the quirkiness of Ed along with the "at the end of the day it seems like everyone just wants to get laid" mentality of Grey's. Plus it's funny. That sounds like something that should work... right?"
Well, the show lost "it" for a while and it wasn't working. Now, If you ask me, What About Brian is poised to be the hit that I always hoped it would become. Now if only ABC has the sense to move it out of the Mondays at 10:00 PM time-slot.
(S02E12) You'll have to forgive the lateness of this review folks. I've been on a business trip for the past week and the hours I worked were crazy. I missed pretty much every TV show I like. That being said, I finally got to see this episode (thank goodness for ABC's online video player) and all I have to say is wow. This is precisely the way this story needed to be told and it's exactly the type of episode that What About Brian needed for a recharge. Despite the recent string of decent episodes, this show is now officially back on track and I'm excited to see how it develops during the rest of the season.
(S02E11) Yes! Yes! Yes! This is the episode we've all been waiting for. We're at the midpoint of the season and everything that happened at the very beginning is finally coming full circle. Fans of the show - you know what I'm talking about. So bear with me as we go through everything else. You have to admit, the way this episode culminated, it was well done. It didn't feel canned... OK, I'm stopping. Plenty of other plot points to discuss before we get to the good stuff.
The good stuff being Marjorie's return.
I don't know if adding Thiessen is the best of decisions, but then, it really can't hurt. What About Brian is struggling to keep its head above water at this point. The last original episode finished last in the time slot with only 4.54 million viewers, and that was up against repeats of Studio 60 and CSI: Miami. To put that in perspective, the last episode of Six Degrees that aired before it was pulled had 7.59 million. And the last episode of Smith was good for 8.43 million. Total viewers isn't the be all end all of keeping a show on the air, but someone needs to ask, "What about those ratings, Brian?"
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