Some Mistakes Were Made

Some, by Marilyn J. Rowland

Brothers and Sisters and a Cello

I just finished watching all five seasons of “Brothers and Sisters” on Netflix. I wish I had time to watch it again and note all the inconsistencies and oddities, but perhaps it is for the best that I don’t. I did enjoy the series–about a family of five adult children and their mother (Nora Walker, played by Sally Field), their grand array of lovers and mates, and their never-ending supply of crises and money.

But I do need to mention the cello. In the first episode, we see the patriarch of the family (William Walker, played by Tom Skerrit) making a phone call from his home office shortly before he has a heart attack and keels over into the family pool. There is a cello leaning against his book shelves. It is never mentioned, never, ever again. Even when Nora decides to clear out everything in William’s office and use it to run her cancer charity. She has a huge yard sale, but I did not see the cello there.

Later, when daughter Kitty (Calista Flockhart) gets married, wedding music is provided by a solo cello. Very unusual. As if she is somehow paying tribute to her deceased father’s virtuosity on the instrument.

I kept hoping that the cello mystery would be resolved or that one of the children or grandchildren, or even Nora herself, would take an interest in the cello, but it was not to be. One of the sons picked up his childhood trumpet in one episode–it had been decoratively gracing a nightstand. But he put it down again without playing a note. In the final episode, Saul, Nora’s brother (played by Ron Rifkin) suddenly displays his talent for singing and playing the piano. But no one admits to playing the cello.

Oh, it is probably just that one of the writers was a cellist, but, as a cellist, and a person who enjoys a logical plotline, even over five years, I would like these things explained. Some non-musical families like to have a grand piano in their living room as a decorative piece of furniture–maybe it was all just for show.

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This entry was posted on September 12, 2012 by in Cello, Television.
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