Wednesday, December 13, 2006

BROTHERS AND SISTERS "Little" Sister AND How We Are Accepted Inside Our Family

I lo-ove the TV show, Brothers and Sisters on ABC, that airs Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m.

This entry is my reaction to fans of the show over at abc.go.com since the episode of “Light the Lights”.


How We Are Accepted Inside Our Family

“Light the Lights” episode of Brothers and Sisters aired on Dec 10, 2006

Here is my response to the bloggers who felt the writing of Paige was too emotional, maudlin and where this takes my thinking.

How we respond to anything has as much to do with what WE bring to the “scene” as what the “scene” brings TO us. Children aren’t all the same, they are individuals, just like adolescents, young adults and the rest of us . . . children, in grown-up bodies. I disagree with objections by some bloggers’ claims. These include the criticism of maudlin and overly sweet scene writing with Paige, Paige’s acting and the too-much-time spent on a child within the context of Brothers and Sisters’ TV family. The Walker family obviously treat the Walker real-age children as equals in relation to the “importance” meter. My thinking is that children need to be allowed to be themselves . . . anything they feel is right . . . feelings can’t be wrong. At abc.go.com, Brothers and Sisters writers’ blog, a few fans have been outspoken with their dissatisfaction and here I would like to give my extended thoughts. Maybe, the criticisms might be valid if family could exist without children of children-age-children as a part of the whole family. But in truth, children and grandchildren are a part of this thing – family. And how we treat them inside the family says a lot about who we are. Are we, the viewers, so controlling and narcissistic that we demand a sterile portrayal of the Walker family of only adult Brothers and Sisters?

And creativity must be given room to be or it dies. The effect of fans picking apart bits and pieces of a creative production is more self-serving than positive. Do we really want the creators, writers and producers of this REALLY Good Show to have to second guess themselves as they work on these wonderful character developments and story lines? Not all fans agree with one another, so which ones are we asking “those in control” to take to heart? Creativity doesn’t do well while feeling controlled and stifled. You must feel free to be able to create. You can’t clip the metaphorical wings of a creative person and then ask them to soar. I’m thinking maybe, we the fans, could find a more realistic perspective on what we ask of this show to do for us.

Back to the Paige issues . . .

Children can be a diverse mix of characteristics and gifts. They can be precocious, wise be beyond their years, sophisticated or not and a host of other things that we all carry into our adult years. But one thing they are better at, than we are, is to be close to who they REALLY ARE, less pretentious and closer to the truth. Their truth. They are closer to their REAL feelings. And they can admit they don’t know something and pose questions openly IF they are lucky enough to have that welcomed within the context of family. That is where they learn that it is right and it is okay to be fully who they are. That is where we all learn that it is safe to be ourselves, OR NOT. Children will and do ask simple and to-the-point questions such as “Why am I a child who was given diabetes?” Didn’t any of us – adult children – ever ask these kinds of questions as we were developing our identity? If you are a child who knows you are gay, today, do you ever ask the question, “Why me?” Or do you go right to accepting it and being bold to put yourself out there? I doubt that happens a lot. I can only imagine, being that I am straight, but my intuition feels there probably is a lot of questioning,confusion and anxiety going on. Would anyone like to speak to this?

As a child, I had my own crosses to bear. And I had simple but heart-wrenching questions. I cried through them. I stuffed them. And I had no mother, father, grandmother, sister, brother, uncle or any other person who provided me with the safe place to pose these questions. It was painful. And it didn’t have to be so painful. But when we don’t have people in our lives who are at the ready to give us that wonderful place of comfort and space to breathe freely enough to have our concerns attended to – it can be lonely, empty, cold, painful and dangerously insular.

I would think that anyone who has to grow up feeling different in any way would have the capacity to understand and feel empathy for a child with questions, no matter how maudlin or flat it is to us – “the old children”.

I didn’t find Paige, anything, other than Paige. She is a sweet, thoughtful and a somewhat witty little girl. Personally, I think she holds her own quite well among the established and adult actors on Brothers and Sisters. She is a child. Are we asking her to be an adult in a child’s character? And the protectiveness and overreaction of Grandma Nora was okay for my believability range.

I simply don’t agree with the fuss over the treatment of Paige’s character, role and the amount of time spent on the window into her mind, her questioning and her spirit. As well, I don’t object to the attention given to Kevin’s situation, having to grow up and know he was gay as a child. I welcome thinking about how difficult it was for him. Being a child. Knowing he wasn’t the boy that fit the mold expected by the rest of the family, his world, as well as his broader world at school and all else. And in the same vein, I welcome the child of Paige and her search for her truth whether it be about her Jewish knowledge or her acceptance of a lifetime illness of diabetes. Children shouldn’t be required to be what we need them to be. They simply should be allowed to be. Who she or he is. Without imposing upon them our needs for what they should be.

For me, when I was a little girl, I was never encouraged to be me. . . with all of my colorful colors. I felt suffocated. When I told my brother that once, well into my adult years, he was surprised that I felt this and said that he had also felt suffocated. As a young child, adolescent and beyond, I was and have been told what to think, what to say, how to act toward others, what to believe, when I am wrong according to someone else’s belief standards – and very poignantly given the message that my role was to be invisible and be the source of happiness for ____________. This is quite a public forum. My name is not on this blog but is easily found out in webspace. So it takes a lot to open up like this. My intent is not to hurt my family members by opening up and being truthful in these blog entries. But I decided within this last year of my life to live fully in my truth. The mantra that I created for myself is:

Live in the light of truth

Truth is your strength

Living in your truth is your integrity

Anxiety can’t live where truth is your guide.

I love your strength

I love your truth

I love your integrity.

I got tired of being me without the total freedom to be all of me.

I found the only way to have peace and get rid of the anxiety created in me - from always waiting to be accepted by my family - was to be willing to live in my truth. . . Whether it lined up with my family members’ code of expectations of me or not. And I knew where this “living in my own truth” is – it is in the or not.

It isn’t easy being a kid. It gets harder every single year. Kids today have so much to deal with. Things that I didn’t have to deal with when I was a kid. This means they have more to handle and more pressures than my generation without the advantage of time-worn skills honed from years of the Education of Life. I just don’t get why a child’s confusion and questioning of what is eating them shouldn’t be given the level of importance that Paige’s was in the episode “Light the Lights”.

Having taught tens of thousands of kids from age 5 – 13 years old in the public schools, I had a variety of situations and personalities that crossed my path. Children from abusive homes, foster children who believed they were at fault for their parents’ failures to parent them and who parented their own parents out of necessity, children left alone for days, children who came to school every day after being molested by a brother, and then the children who were catered to and given way too much, as well as the emotionally healthy children AND all those children who tried to ACT like they were one of the emotionally healthy children, but they carried secrets in their hearts.

None of us should be required to carry secrets. It is carrying the secret that can kill us. And yet so many families require children to keep the family secrets. My family’s secret is that we can’t talk to one another about feelings, if they are feelings to do with one another. There it is. This is brave of me to say here. Because my family is supposed to look perfect. But it is broken. I made a conscious decision in August of this year to be honest. I felt it was time to step out of the shadow of my family’s secret. And it set me free. I love my life now because I live that decision out. I imagine it is, in a small way, like a gay person coming out of the closet. I am out of my closeted life. I had the talk with the-main-family-person that stood in my way of fully being me and though it was tough and raw and I received ugly words – I left free. I walked away believing I did the best I could expressing my feelings. I had my self-respect. I said my truth without meanness or malice and though it was not received in the way intended, I knew that I did the part that I had control over and the rest was not mine to own. It has liberated me like nothing else has ever done.

I hope you who read this have found or will find your way to your freedom. Having lived through dark periods in my personal life, I now walk with a light step, with a smile on my face all the time and when someone asks me that question that never really wants a truthful pouring-out-of-the-heart answer, the question of “How are you?” I quickly, impulsively, truthfully, answer, “I’m just great!” And I mean it. There was a period of time that I dreaded when people asked me that question. I have never been more at peace or happy or so “at home” in myself. Truthfulness and peacefulness come only with the other.

When you come to the end of all the light you know, and it’s time to step into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen:

Either you will be given something to stand on


You will be taught to fly.

Edward Teller

When you stand

Stand in your truth

And you will fly.

No blog entry of mine can go by without mentioning Matthew Rhys. I love every scene that he is in as Kevin Walker. And I do miss Luke MacFarlane as Scotty Wandell and Kevin’s lover.

If you want to know more about my musings and affections for Matthew as Kevin and Luke as Scotty, go over to my blog at tvguide.com as ilovemylife.



At December 15, 2006 at 1:33:00 PM EST , Blogger Kong said...

Wow, I just discovered your blog, ilovemylife. :) Hi again! You do have a way with words :)

At December 15, 2006 at 4:59:00 PM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


Thanks for stopping by.

And even more, thanks for LETTING ME KNOW you came by.

At December 16, 2006 at 2:24:00 AM EST , Blogger Kong said...

How can I not come by when you talk about Luke MacFarlane? :) You know I'm a big Luke fan, so naturally I just go to sites that talk about Luke. LoL :)

At December 16, 2006 at 4:23:00 PM EST , Blogger Red7Eric said...

I liked "Light the Lights," so much in fact that I didn't blog about it. (While I love the show, I usually write about it in order to complain, and I had no real complaints about last week's show -- they should all be so good.)

In fact, it was interesting to hear a little bit about the Walkers' religious roots. I didn't know that Norah was Jewish, even tho' every time I looked at Uncle Saul, I thought, "how did he end up here with all these goys?" So that made sense -- and the writers gave Ron Rifkin a wonderful moment with Paige at the end.

So I guess Kitty will be working for Rob Lowe soon, and there will likely be canoodling, don't you think? Rob is a great actor; I wonder if he'll actually be a conservative. We'll see.

Oh, and Kevin needs a new boyfriend.

And that, as they say, is that.

Peace out.

At December 16, 2006 at 9:08:00 PM EST , Blogger Kong said...

Kevin & Scotty needs to be together forever. :)

At December 17, 2006 at 1:42:00 AM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


Well, I do want to see Kevin and Scotty try again. If you have been reading my entries at tvguide.com or abc.go.com at the bloggers and sisters, you know how I feel.

Scotty’s body language while cozy under the covers in bed and while Kevin was talking to his answer machine – revealed how touched he was with Kevin’s attempts to humble himself and be remorseful. There is such hope and potential for them to grow as men by sharing who they can become. None of us is perfect. They both have heart and great spirits.

Did I see YOU talking to Stevenscollege over at abc.go.com? Wasn’t it him who wants Scotty to find someone better than Kevin?


So, you liked “Light the Lights”. I feel better then.
Sometimes, I watch the show, then read people’s postings and it throws me.
I watch it for pure enjoyment, and less with a critical eye.
It DOES make me think. And I like that.
And I think the best intimate relationship so far was Kevin and Scotty. Although we didn’t really have much of a chance to see it go anywhere. I do hope that they eventually write Kevin a storyline that shows him in a committed relationship, so we can go along for the ride. This would be a novel tv offering – to show we uptight Americans that Gay is Okay and not some mystery of unknown humanity.
By the way, I am trying to get a picture on my profile, but haven’t succeeded. But you can see what I did succeed at tonight. Just took this picture tonight.

At December 19, 2006 at 6:17:00 PM EST , Blogger Kong said...

Hiya Ilovemylife!

I know your feelings about KevSco relationship, and I also feel the same way. I think the producers/creators originally intended for Scotty to have 7 episodes run and be done with it and let Kevin move on to greener pastures. I believe/think they didn't expect the fan reaction to Luke MacFarlane's performance as Scotty with such fervor and passion and such conviction in wanting Kevin & Scotty to be together in the long run. I think the campaigning and the constant writing on blogs and sending letters and what not has really made them re-decide KevSco's fate as final and basically allowed the ending scene in episode 8 to be open-ended. I hope, in all honesty, that the creators/producers will take their relationship to the next level after Kevin grows up a bit with his immaturity of his own sexuality, allowing him to be more comfortable in his own skin.

Yes, that's me talking to Stevenscollege. He's a pro-Scotty (Luke MacFarlane). He doesn't want them together only because he thinks Scotty can do better than Kevin.

But I think you need people who can compliment each other...a yin to a yang in a balance of harmony. And KevSco really balance each other out very well.

And I have to come back often to check your blog comments. I wish there was a way I can get notified if someone posted after me.

This is great talking to you, btw, Ilovemylife! :)

Are you coming to watch Luke MacFarlane in his upcoming reprisal of his off-broadway play in Los Angeles? I'll be the one drooling when Luke appears on stage. :)

At December 20, 2006 at 2:57:00 AM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


What is the play that Luke is in?

I would love to see it, but I live on the east coast, so you'll have to be impassioned for both of us.

I left a lo-ong blog over at abc.go.com tonight (Gladys'). Hopefully it will be up Wednesday, Dec 20.

It is nice, really nice to have people talking to me.

It is a little frustrating with my blog at tvguide.com. I have counts of 888 and 954 coming by, but very rare comments - but the comments that I HAVE had are really warm and fuzzy. Maybe, everyone dropping in are not actually reading all those words.

Why do you think Jon Robin Baitz hasn't posted on his blog at tvguide.com for a month?

Do you have your own blog?

Yes, I appreciate all of your thoughts about Luke, aka Scotty.

You and Will feel like friends at this point.

Are you able to go to the People's Choice Awards?

I'm going to see Blood Diamonds tomorrow.

Keep in touch.

At December 21, 2006 at 12:46:00 PM EST , Blogger Kong said...

Hi ilovemylife!

Luke MacFarlane will be reprising his role of Thomas in the play, The Busy World is Hushed, which was already staged on Off-Broadway in May-July of this year (2006). The role of Thomas is also gay, but the play centers around the mother who is very religious. You can read up on it more on the internet via google searching.

The reprise role is done for a future radio broadcast, as well as to be placed on CDs to be purchased. So the reprise play won't have the set decorations or the set costumes, but the acting should be the same (I hope).

But yeah, I hope it'll end up being fun. I have bought two tickets for two different days, since the show will only cover 5 days worth. Two days of 5 should be enough to get my Luke fix for 2007. LoL. :P

Oh, speaking of comments, I know what you mean! I mean, I operate a mailing list fansite for Luke and I'm the only one talking for about 98% of all the posts, it's just me...more me...more me and me. Rarely do people post. It's quite frustrating. I really don't like lurkers. I like people to be actively involved. So far, it makes me feel like I'm talking to myself on the mailing list for the most part. Luckily girl fans are better. At least they enjoy talking. :)

Robbie Baitz must be really busy with coming up with storylines for the show. Now that they got a 2 eps extension, they have to elongate their ending (unless they were the ones who proposed to ABC for a 2 eps extension). But yeah, I really miss reading Baitz' blog. I mean, reading just the crew people is hilarious (especially when Cliff and Peter write). And it's great fun to read what goes on behind the scenes, but it's the creator, Baitz, who created B&S, that I kinda wanna know his thoughts and feelings. Don't know why he has disappeared out of the blue...

I don't have my own blog. :( I suck at blogging. I do comment on other people's blogs though. Does that count?

Oh speaking of Luke, if you ever get a chance, watch his last year (2005) series which he was second billing lead actor. The series is called Over There and it was a series on FX Networks about the war in Iraq. But the show is not a pro or con war, but it is more about the inter-personal relationships between soldiers, families and those affected. It's quite a great series. And Luke is quite different in that show than in his portrayal as Scotty Wandell. Plus, the cast commentary for episode 9, Luke is hilarious in that, and he's very cute in the documentary on Disc 4 of the DVD. You should hear what his favorite war movie is...you'll get a good laugh from it. :P

As for the People's Choice Awards, I'll be watching from home as always. I don't know if Luke will be there. If he does, then darn-it, I'll miss my chance. :( Oh well, February will come soon enough.

At December 22, 2006 at 12:52:00 AM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


Let me know how "The Busy World is Hushed" is. Is it in February?

As I said I would, I saw "Blood Diamond" yesterday. It is REALLY worth seeing. I had to look away from the screen some, but the acting was outstanding. Especially, Djimon Housou . . . and the young boy who played his son. Leonardo DiCaprio was also very good.

Thank you for standing up for me at the Three Sacred Texts. I meant no stereotyping offense, but I can see that it came out that way. I was trying to be light. But I must have failed.

No harm in dreaming that Kevin and Scotty might have another try.

I must be the first poster to have a posting pulled. It makes me feel badly. You - and the blogging BROTHERS AND SISTERS world – know how much I love this show.

At December 22, 2006 at 2:35:00 PM EST , Blogger Pulcher said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At December 22, 2006 at 2:36:00 PM EST , Blogger Kong said...

Yup, the reprise play is in February, and it's taking place in Los Angeles, so it's just a hop, skip and a jump for me, since I live closeby (well, close enough to drive to).

Heh, I got a comment from Will. I think the guy is high on something because I don't think he understands anything about the world of fan fiction.

But good news as always, we get online episodes as well as encore presentations on Fridays. Two great news in this week! I can't believe ABC is finally giving the treatment this show deserves. :)

Oh wow, I didn't realize your post got pulled. :( That sux! I got one pulled too...well not really pulled as it wasn't posted. I wonder why they post it and then decided to pull it? There was nothing incriminatorily offensive about it. Or maybe, you predicted a storyline that they were planning on using? LoL. That could be another reason why they would have pulled it.

I don't see why they have pulled it. There was nothing really remotely unfriendly or rude. :(

At December 22, 2006 at 10:43:00 PM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


Yes, I saw that BROTHERS AND SISTERS gave the fans a present with the online viewing as of Dec 25. I kept reading that you could see the shows on YouTube, but I never figured out how to get to it. I am intimidated with this web and blog stuff. I get some of it to work for me and the rest leaves me in the dust.

There is a really good place that you may know about already, that gives better news than the tvguide.com regulars. This is the direct link to the most recent BROTHERS AND SISTERS news about the "Sexual Politics" episode with great pictures: http://televisionista.blogspot.com/2006/12/love-triangle-sizzles-on-brothers.html

I'll put it on one or two of my next postings, but I thought you might like to check it out now.

At tvguide.com I can send emails to people who post. I tried it once to another poster, but never received a reply. He/She probably never checked his/her tvguide.com inbox or ?

When anyone posts to me here or at tvguide.com I get an email telling me of his/her new posting.

I finally watched CRASH last night.

And I watched STAGE BEAUTY last night, finishing it today. Wow, I've got to watch it again - I missed some things I want to pick up second time around. Have you seen it? Actors are Billy Crudup, Claire Danes, Rupert Everett, Tom Wilkinson, Ben Chaplin. It's based on the play COMPLETE FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY. In case you haven't seen it, it's about when it was illegal in England to act if you were female, so female parts had to be played by males by law. The story shows what happened when the law was changed and how it had negative effects on the males playing female. It's VERY well done.

Sunday is a repeat of Bro & Sis right? Date Night?

At December 23, 2006 at 3:46:00 AM EST , Blogger Kong said...

December 24th showing is episode 5, "Date Night," the first real kiss between Kevin & Scotty (and one of my most favorite episodes!). :)

Yes, televisionista...I talk to Justin on a regular basis. If you ever check out the comments, I leave a crap load of comments. LoL. But we email/correspond often now. He's pretty nice and he even joined my Luke MacFarlane mailing list fansite! :) I gave him the info about the whole Chad thing, btw. :)

I also get an email on TVGuide.Com too for anything that responds to my response or in the same blog comments.

Crash should not have win "Best Picture" over Brokeback Mountain. I mean, it's a good pic, but not "Best Picture". Even the other 3 were better "Best Picture" than Crash is. It's a huge mistake on the part of the Academy. I'm so disappointed by them.

Yeah, I know about the rule of female actors on stage in old England. Even in China, men played females until the early 20th century in all stage works and operas. It's fun to hear about this because I find it interesting that females were played by men and it was normal back then to see two men kiss on stage, even though one was playing a female part. Funny how times have changed.

At January 1, 2007 at 7:05:00 AM EST , Blogger ilovemylife said...


I tried to find your Luke MacFarlane place, once but never got there. Can you give me the quickest way to get there? If you want I'll post it on My Blog at tvguide.com or you can, if you want, post it in a comment. I put up a new posting Jan 1, there. I was over at Justin’s Televisionista recently and caught your comment that sounded like you have already seen an upcoming episode. True?

At January 2, 2007 at 3:10:00 AM EST , Blogger Kong said...

I see you already found it. :)

Thank you for joining. :)

I have not seen an upcoming episode as I have read the sides for episode 12 for the part of Chad Berry. So, yes, there is a kissing scene in the first episode of Kevin's new love interest...kissing between Kevin & Chad.


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