Brotherhood: A Showtime TV Series (2006-2008)

Brotherhood was a Showtime TV series that ran for just three seasons. When Brotherhood began it was a summer series running from July into late September in 2006.

But for Brotherhood’s second season, Showtime moved the show to its Fall Schedule which was sort of a promotion for the show.

The show was about the mix of Irish gangsters, Italian mobsters, and the inner workings of the Rhode Island State government and the Providence city government. As IMDB described the show: Set in an Irish neighbourhood in Providence, the series reflects around two brothers on opposite sides of the law: one a gangster and the other a politician.

Now those might be called broad strokes, so to give you a better idea – think of Brother as being located somewhere at the nexus of where The Sopranos, The Wire, and the more recent Show Me a Hero might intersect.

The story begins and ends with two brothers: Michael Caffee, a hoodlum in the best sense of the word, and his younger brother Tommy Caffee, a rising star in the Rhode Island state government.

Michael is played by Jason Isaacs who we all hated in The Patriot. He played the murderous Colonel Tavington.

Tommy is played by Jason Clark (Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

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The key female roles are handled by Annabeth Gish as Tommy’s wife Eileen. Gish will soon be seen in the upcoming return of the X-Files to television. Fionnula Flanagan as the family matriarch Rose, Tina Benko as Kathy Parry who is Michael Caffee’s girlfriend, and Janel Moloney, a long time favorite from The West Wing where she played Donna Moss. Here she appears as a love interest for Tommy Caffee.

Pros: Very violent, explicit sex, and frank language make this show carry a label stating that it is intended for mature viewers.  There’s nothing timid about this show – from the ‘full monties’, to the corruption implicit in every vote, contract, appointment, or bids for jobs made within Providence City Hall, or the in the corridors of power within the State Capitol Building – everything seemingly straddles the lines dividing good taste from bad taste. Only that the line is blurred most of the time.

Then there’s a good amount of sex and drugs, as well as infidelity in every home. Tie this to the two lead characters – the politician and the gangster, and every thing ratchets itself up exponentially. Neither Tommy nor Michael are inherently bad people – but their drives for money and power can be overpowering. Michael will break any law, criminal or otherwise, to accomplish his goals. Whereas Tommy will also cross the lines – but for him it is usually best described as bending the rules to accomplish his main goal which is to get his family out of the neighborhood called The Hill supposedly an Irish stronghold in central Providence.

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