Ron Rifkin



The War At Home

Episode Recap Home FrontAs Brothers and Sisters jumps into its second season its nice to see that the neurotic and argumentative Walkers are still just that The little quirks that made us love them last year are all back in full force They talk over one another pick at each other hold mini-grudges against each other get drunk together and they worry about each other Tonight it was the worrying that was at the crux of the show Justin still on active duty in Iraq has not been in touch for 21 days Is he okay Is he injured or worse Starting the show off with Nora recording a video message to her son was an effective way of catching us up with the family and keeping Justins off-screen character as much a part of the show as the rest of the family One of my favorite moments was just after Nora signed off and her game face immediately reverted back to the mask of concern that we know shes been wearing since that tearful airport good-bye in last seasons finale T read more

Walker On By: Brothers & Sisters Season 2 Preview

Emily Van Camp, Matthew Rhys and Dave Annable, Brothers and Sisters

The Brothers & Sisters ensemble (sans the actors who play Nora, Robert, Kitty and Sarah) recently walked a red carpet outside the San Antonio Winery (where the show has filmed on occasion) in downtown Los Angeles to celebrate the release of the prime-time serial drama's Season 1 DVD release. was on the scene to get the scoop on that as well as Season 2, which debuts on Sunday, Sept. 30, at 10 pm/ET, on ABC. Arguably, the biggest shock twist at the end of the show's freshman year was Uncle Saul possibly being gay. (Those longing looks with guest star Michael Nouri sure implied it, didn't they?) Does Ron Rifkin (Saul) know anyone who dealt with their sexual preferences later in life? "Are you kidding?" he responds rhetorically to "All of us [know someone like Saul]." That is, if Nora's brother read more

May 20, 2007: Goodbye

After it was resolved that Justin's deployment to Iraq would be delayed to allow him to work on his recovery, much of his story line has centered on his struggle to shake his addiction. But Justin's fears about going back to war were always there in the background. And tonight those fears became a reality in the worst way, as Justin found out at the last minute that his departure date was earlier than planned. At first I liked the way Justin handled his goodbyes individually — until, like Nora, I realized that he was saying goodbye for real, in case he wouldn’t be coming back. Even though I can see, rationally, how it doesn’t matter whether or not the word “goodbye” is actually said, I can understand how Nora felt that avoiding a formal goodbye would bring Justin back to her, as if not saying goodbye would make it impossible for him to die. Justin’s early departure coincided, unfortunately, with Kitty’s engagement party. He’d already said his ... read more

Starbuck's Tailspin: More Shocks to Come

Although the February sweeps officially have been over for several days, Sunday night sure felt like a sweeps extravaganza, with game-changing episodes of two major series. Both pivotal hours, of Sci Fi’s Battlestar Galactica and ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, dealt with the fate of daughters whose respective departure and arrival is setting off shock waves for their unconventional families (the Galactica crew and the Walker clan).The episode that undoubtedly will cause the largest stir in TV fandom was Galactica’s riveting and ultimately devastating journey into the metaphysical, as Starbuck (a brooding, tormented Katee Sackhoff) finally faced and embraced her destiny. Which meant, in a series of visions and hallucinations guided by the specter of the not-quite-Leobon as if he were the Ghost of Psychodramas Past, that Kara had to confront the soul-crushing memories of her abusive mother, who instilled in the self-destructive Starbuck a belief that suffering was good f... read more

Mad in My Exile

Dateline: Venice, California. Some ruthless bug has totally sidelined me. Symptoms include fever and coughing, paranoia and lassitude. Not wishing to become the Typhoid Mary of Brothers & Sisters, I have banished myself to home, and I am going quietly mad in my exile. What is the evil genius, Dr. [Greg] Berlanti cooking up in my absence? Is Balthazar Getty running naked through the hallways? Is Ron Rifkin trying to seize control of the whole show? Will Touchstone fire me and have my house burned down? Has ABC kidnapped my dog Trip and put him on Dancing with the Stars? All these fears and I've only been out of the office for two days. The idle time has given me room, however, to daydream about where the show is headed, some of the issues we are exploring, and how we're doing it:1: Growing Up In America Now. What is it like? To go from the idyllic and safe American childhoods so many of us had to a vastly more dangerous world. Take Justin [Dave Annable], drug-addled, suffering fr... read more

October 22, 2006: Date Night

It was nice of Jonathan to give the brothers and sisters some friendly business advice, although I got the impression from his final conversation with Kitty that he might not be that optimistic about the future of the family business. I actually felt kind of bad for him when he and Kitty were breaking up, even though Jonathan often comes off as arrogant and I never really liked him for Kitty. He appeared to be genuinely sad, and he also apparently knew Kitty better than she thought, as he seemed aware that she hadn’t fully let him in.But tonight was really all about Nora and Kitty for me. Sally Field was great as usual, especially when Nora realized her “date” with David the contractor wasn’t really a date. How awful, and it only seemed worse when Nora tried to salvage it with jokes about her “comedic timing” being off. It was good to see Treat Williams (Everwood) back on TV again as David, even though things ended awkwardly between him and Nora. Kitty ... read more

Brothers & Sisters is getting ...

Question: Brothers & Sisters is getting better every week. The first episode I thought was so-so, the second I thought was good, but the third just blew me away. The final conversation between Ron Rifkin and Patricia Wettig broke my heart, and I thought that few series would do as skillful a job of showing how the dead father hurt both his wife and his mistress. Basically, this show has intelligent, deeply felt dialogue and one of the most talented casts on TV right now. It has only one problem, but it's a big one: Calista Flockhart. I don't know why, but her face doesn't move any more, and her character is shallow and off-putting compared to the others. And she's nominally the lead! Can an ensemble show (particularly one with an ensemble as talented as this) jettison its main character? Any chance this would happen? Answer: I agree that the third episode (in which Sally Field "outed" the mistress) was the best yet, and I also feel that Kitty (Flockhart) is the least realized of the ... read more

I just wanted to thank you ...

Question: I just wanted to thank you for the hard work you do giving us the chance to talk about television. The greatness of your columns is that you really discuss television, not spoilers. You present arguments, opinions and facts regarding every TV issue, and you let us be part of this debate. I look forward to your column every week. Though it is still very early to form a proper opinion on a lot of new fall series, what do you think about Brothers & Sisters? I have been reading that the show may be a little too depressing for Sunday night. My hope knows no limits regarding this show, since I think it has a flawless cast (especially now that Sally Field has joined it). Also, I would like to know your expectations for the new season of Desperate Housewives. It is true that in its sophomore year the show took a wrong turn, but I think that it can reach perfection once again. Answer: Gee, thanks for the testimonial. The main reason I can't discuss Brothers & Sisters with any ... read more

Evil Prez Explains Her Prison Break

Patricia Wettig on Prison Break

Patricia Wettig now has something in common with 24 alum Dennis Haysbert (currently on CBS' The Unit) — neither of them are any longer playing the president of the United States for Fox. While Wettig's Prison Break character, the crafty Caroline Reynolds, was set to play the leader of the free world in the show's sophomore season, the actress — who wasn't under contract to the Fox drama — opted instead to accept a role on B read more


Brokeback Mountain scribes Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana are developing Sheriff Luke, an ABC drama — likely for fall 2007 — about a widowed lawman in a small Midwestern town.... Jennifer Love Hewitt is teaming with Oxygen to exec-produce Angry Little Girls, an animated series based on the book and website of the same name, says Variety.... Ron Rifkin has joined the cast of ABC's family sudser Brothers & Sisters, per the Hollywood Reporter. read more

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