Joe Waters is an ex-place kicker for the Philadelphia Eagles. Now retired, he's opened up a restaurant. Lou is his older brother, a gruff construction worker. Both Joe and Lou receive the shock of their lives when their kid brother Cliff reveals that he's gay. Humorous situations follow as Joe and Lou alternately try to accept Cliff's homosexuality or cure him of it. Written by
Showtime planned to air the series in syndication during the second season. But this plan received criticism from HBO who felt that airing a pay-cable show on broadcast TV would diminish subscription rates. Showtime canceled the plan but later allowed It's Garry Shandling's Show. (1986) to air on Fox. Reruns of "Brothers" began airing in syndication in 1989. It is the first pay-cable series to air in broadcast TV reruns. See more »
Today this show would probably make it onto network TV, and would be considered far too "tame" for a cable series. Yet I believe that this Showtime series was the first to not only contain openly gay characters, but deal with homosexuality in an even-handed non-sensational manner. The Donald Maltbie character, labeled "too flamboyant" in those semi-Neanderthal days of early cable, was a successful businessman and a decorated Air Force veteran - a far cry from Jack McFarland on "Will and Grace," who has almost no redeeming characteristics whatsoever, and feeds right into negative Right Wing stereotypes. If Showtime were to re-broadcast this series today it would be a smash hit, what with such a larger percentage of the viewing audience willing to watch "gay comedy." But it WOULDN'T be considered "sexy." Just funny as hell.
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