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. TVGuide.com 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 TVGuide.com. "All of us [know someone like Saul]." That is, if Nora's brother turns out to be gay. "I still don't know [if that's where they're going]," he says. "But the possibilities are enormous."
Matthew Rhys (Kevin), dressed in a sports coat and jeans, couldn't help but taunt his TV brother Dave Annable (Justin), who was decked out in a dark DKNY suit (which he may have gotten free or borrowed from the show's wardrobe department). "How much did you pay for that, Dave?" Rhys teasingly asked. "I hate you," Annable playfully seethed in return. Do the Walker brothers mess with each other like this a lot? "Mercilessly," Rhys gleefully revealed. "It's gotten to a bit of a boiling point. They said to us at the show today, OK, stop it now, the three of you!'"
Rhys says one of his favorite scenes from Season 1 was Rachel Griffiths (Sarah) doing a dance at a roadside bar patronized by a group of hot army men. By the way, how realistic did Rhys think it was that Kevin chatted up a Vin Diesel-type enlisted man, who went ahead and offered to hook up with Kevin right within earshot of his fellow soldiers? "Yes, well, my thought is that it was something [irresistible] that [Kevin] was exuding," deadpans Rhys, adding, "in all good TV, there's a bit of dramatic license that we take — and I took it."
With Viva Laughlin's Eric Winter taking his character Jason (Robert McCallister's gay minister brother) off the canvas, Kevin will be a single man — unless that buzz about him reconnecting with Luke McFarlane's Scotty turns out to be true. "That's possible," hints Rhys. "The door's [also] open for [Jason] to return, too. The beauty of it is when a script is forced to go one way, the drama can benefit from Eric's prolific career."
Speaking of soldiers, while Justin left for the war in Iraq in the finale, viewers can expect to see him stateside very shortly. "I come back early on in the season, which is great for me," says a relieved Annable. "I hope to be here next season."
While Brothers & Sisters is a serialized drama, don't expect it to use a cliché like bringing Tom, the late Walker patriarch (Tom Skerritt) who died in the pilot, back from the dead. But that doesn't mean the Emmy-winning actor won't be making more appearances via flashback like he did last year.
Balthazar Getty's (Tommy) character could use a dad to talk to given the traumatic loss of his own newborn son last season. Will Tommy and Julia's marriage dissolve or will their surviving daughter be the glue that keeps them together? "They end up having a turbulent time," previews Getty. "We're excited about it. There are some bumps along the road. [Julia] goes into a depression and [Tommy] ends up making mistakes."
Also up for grabs in terms of survival is Joe and Sarah's union, which struck a sour note when Sarah's half sister Rebecca and Joe shared a smooch last season during a guitar lesson. Preview clips indicate that Joe and Sarah have some great makeup sex, but will it do the trick? "Makeup sex is always the best," chuckles John Pyper-Ferguson (Joe). "[But] I don't know that redemption is in the cards for Joe. He's got a big hill to climb. Forgiveness is a big thing. Betrayal is [also] a big thing."
Ferguson says a favorite scene of his on the DVD is when Joe and Sarah finally cleared the air over the unplanned peck. "It came out of passion, anger and love," says the actor. During the hiatus, Ferguson filmed an episode of The L Word. "It was a blast working with Jennifer Beals and Marlee Matlin," he enthuses. So what's next for the actor, who this year was bumped to recurring status on the ABC drama? "I'm looking," he says.
So just who was at fault in the whole Joe-Rebecca kiss? "It was 50/50," maintains Emily VanCamp, who plays Rebecca, the love child of the late Tom and his mistress Holly. "I think it came across that way. It was just a bad mistake that two adults made."
Are there any other Walker-sibling marriages that Rebecca plans on mangling this year? "Yes, I'll actually be having an affair with Rachel Griffith's character [Sarah] this season," VanCamp jokes. "Oh, wait. I forgot. This isn't HBO." On a more serious — and cryptic — note the actress says, "I know there's a love story that's going to be happening, but I can't say what it is and I'm not even sure it will [happen]. But there's a twist that could be happening." Hmm… could said twist be that Rebecca is not actually Tom's daughter? If so, Rebecca could be paired romantically with any of her TV "brothers."
Patricia Wettig's Holly might disagree that Rebecca could turn out to be a good girl — no matter who her dad is. She certainly gave Nora a strong warning last season that Rebecca was trouble with a capital "T." Was the admonition an overreaction, or is Rebecca really more like the spawn of Caroline Reynolds (Wettig's evil political character on Prison Break)? "What's interesting is that certain things are decided at [one] time… and then things end up happening [that contradict that]," Wettig says. "We'll see if that actually comes to be. I think things are changing with [Emily's] character."
If Wettig sounds protective of the show's creative team changing course, there's a good reason. Her husband, Ken Olin, is one of the show's executive producers and their son is one of the writers. (Daughter Roxy played a short-term role on the show, too.) The Olin-Wettig professional dynamic is explored in a DVD extra — "The Family Business," which shows the real clan behind the success of Brothers & Sisters. Does the feature detail how the brood manages to work together and remain sane? "Did I say we were sane?" jokes Wettig. "Watch the DVD and judge for yourself."
Brothers & Sisters: The Complete First Season, which also includes an exclusive unaired episode, a Walker family tree, bloopers, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes set tour by the Walker brothers, goes on sale Tuesday, Sept. 18.
Check out memorable Brothers & Sisters moments in our Online Video Guide.
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