Sitcom ‘Brothers’ has heart

Posted Sept. 24, 2009, at 6:35 p.m.

It would be easy to dismiss “Brothers” as one of those many black comedies that propped up netlets The WB and UPN during their brief existences.

But that would be selling “Brothers,” which debuts at 8 tonight on Fox, short.

The family sitcom focuses on the Trainors. Big brother Mike (former N.Y. Giant Michael Strahan) is a former pro football player. He’s returning home to the mansion he bought, where his parents, Adele (CCH Pounder, “The Shield”) and Coach (Carl Weathers) and his brother Chill (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell) now live.

The two brothers don’t get along. Mike went off to fame and fortune, while Chill stayed home and has been trying to keep his sports-themed restaurant, Trainor’s, afloat. Chill blames Mike because of the car accident that has left Chill in a wheelchair.

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Adele wants Mike to help Chill with the restaurant. But she also knows that Mike is going to need help in his post-football life.

In addition to the two bickering brothers, Adele has another problem. Her virile football-coach husband is slowly losing his memory. At first, it seems like the show is playing the problem for laughs, but the condition truly becomes a family concern.

This is really Pounder’s show. Her Adele is a force of nature who has to ride herd on her three men as she works to keep her family together with guile and guilt.

“Brothers” isn’t offering anything that viewers haven’t seen before. But it has plenty of heart, which is more than many sitcoms can say today.

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