Brotherhood (TV Series 2006–2008) Poster


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The "darkest" series on television
pymptype8 June 2007
Brotherhood is one of my new (and third) favorite television series. My other two favorites are Sopranos and The Wire. This series is similar in its genre to "Sopranos" and "The Wire" but it is MUCH DARKER. I highly recommend it to anybody who enjoys dark (in a violent, not funny, kind of way) films. In fact its one of the darkest depictions of the human condition I've ever seen on any screen. What separates this show from other gangster series (such as the Sopranos) is that it is almost impossible to find a character to like; unless of course you like bad guys (Michael is my favorite character). Rule #1 of Brotherhood is that there are NO GOOD GUYS; that is to say this series depicts the evil side of nearly every character in the series, including the women and children, hardly ever showing anyone in a positive light. The mothers are bad, the daughters are bad, the politicians are bad, and the gangsters are bad (but not much worse than the politicians by contrast; which I believe is one of the major themes of the show.) In Sopranos some of the gangsters are at least a slight bit likable but not in Brotherhood.

For those of you who don't already know, the story is based on the true life of James J. "Whitey" Bulger, the second longest running guy who is currently of the FBI's Top Ten Most Wanted List. You can read about on Wikipedia (WARNING: reading about Whitey might spoil some of the upcoming events in the series as many of them are similar to events in his real life.) A lot of the details are changed like the time frame (Bulger reigned during the 80s) and the location (Bulger was in Boston, Michael is in Rhode Island). And yes, Whitey Bulger did has a brother who was into politics, going from President of the State Senate in Massachusetts to the President of UMASS, where he was working until his brother was added to FBI's Top Ten.

Overall the writing, acting (especially Michael), and directing are fantastic. I would recommend this film to anyone who is interested in this genre, or in the Irish Mafia. I would not recommend it to children or sensitive adults simply because it's such a dark series, it is so well made it can even be depressing at times.
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A strong drama series with fascinating social commentary
dr_foreman19 May 2007
The setup of "Brotherhood" seems rather simple, but it works. The series is about two powerful and intelligent brothers, a gangster (Michael) and a politician (Tommy), who are always scheming to advance their respective agendas. Sometimes they work together, but more often they have serious personality clashes. In a nutshell, the series deals with the effects that their power games have on a lower-middle-class community in Providence, Rhode Island.

Part of me has a hard time believing the series' depiction of Providence as such a violent, chaotic town, but I suppose some suspension of disbelief is required for nearly all TV shows. But, for the most part, I find Brotherhood extremely realistic, especially in its depiction of the darker aspects of life - e.g. violence, domestic troubles, political backstabbing, and substance abuse.

A major theme of the series is that Providence is changing with the times. Michael in particular seems unable to accept that his old Irish neighborhood is becoming increasingly dominated by minorities, and that the family-owned businesses he loved as a kid are closing down and being replaced by corporations like Starbucks. I quite enjoyed the episodes which focused on this theme; the series, at times, is a pretty harsh condemnation of the corporatization of society and its effects on ordinary, working people in Michael's area.

Of course, the series isn't always so weighty, and it has other forms of appeal (namely sex, violence, and profanity, all of which feature in great abundance). If you're turned off by crassness and relentlessly vulgar people, "Brotherhood" probably isn't for you, though it does have some sensitive moments.

As much as I liked it, the first season did have a few weak points. Some of the political story-lines were repetitive, and occasionally I was put off by the dark tone. However, even during the weaker mid-season episodes, the actors consistently gave strong performances and held my attention. Jason Isaacs, who plays Michael, is incredibly charismatic, and manages to come across as both repugnant and sympathetic (a neat trick, huh?) The rest of the cast is great, too, but somehow Isaacs stands out.

The season ended on a pretty good cliffhanger, though I was left wanting a little more. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if season two gives me what I want. For now, though, I'm confident in asserting that "Brotherhood" is one of the best new TV shows in years, and I've been recommending it like crazy to my friends. It's addictive for all the right reasons.
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The Greatest Show Never To Have Been Watched
charliebrownpnuts15 August 2011
This is probably going to be the only review I write on this site, it is not something that I normally do, but this show truly deserves it. It is not only the greatest show never to have been watched, but on of the best shows of all time. It really did not get the marketing and the advertising it deserved. I came across it by accident flicking through the channels, and I do not know of anybody here in the UK that actually sat down and watched it, reason being, they did not know it even existed, it really is a shame.

This is right up there with the Sopranos and the Wire, no question about it. Is it a Sopranos rip off, well it does focus on gangster life as part of its main theme, and it is pretty violent, but that in no way shape or form makes you think that you are watching the Sopranos. I'm truly baffled at how some can call this show a Sopranos rip off. Two Irish American brothers with a love hate relationship, one the black sheep of the family, violent, borderline psycho, a small time gangster with visions of making it big, the other the complete opposite, a family man and a small time politician, very smart, sly, with visions of moving up higher in the political ranks. He initially believes he can achieve this, without dirtying his hands or his conscience, or stooping any where near the level of his law breaking, violent, no good brother. As the series progresses Tommy realises to his disgust, that as much as he may well despise his brother for what he does and who he is, there are elements of Michael within himself that he must use, if he truly wants to succeed in his quest to reach the top of the political ladder. Does that sound anything like the Sopranos to you?.

As well as personal and family issues, this show focuses on how the Irish gangster are trying to compete and co exist with the Italian mobsters who are slowly trying to force them out. This is not a Sopranos copy or clone, in anyway whatsoever, I am only guessing that this is the view of a bitter obsessive fan. The political aspects of the show are as riveting as the the darker, more violent gangster side, and each have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. The political aspect is similar but not the same as the Wire, and the acting all round absolutely superb.There are some great characters, and also many great lines and many great moments, some very funny some very brutal, it is a show that you will never forget.

Shows like this are the reason I do not watch many so called serious dramas, there are very few that can reach this level of excellence. The third season is a bit rushed, and it feels this way when watching it. The reason for this apparently was because the writers were told that the third season was going to be the last, so they did the best they could, with the little time they had to end it. Anybody who likes gangster shows or even gritty well acted violent dramas should love this show, search it out, you will not be disappointed. Be prepared for that sick to the stomach feeling, you get when watching an excellent show that you are hooked on, that ends way before it should have. I also got that feeling with Rome, Deadwood, Intelligence (excellent Canadian drama) and also, although not in the same league as these shows, Line of Fire from 2003. I would have given it 10 out of 10, but did not because of the rushed feel of the third season, which was purely down to the writers being told they only had a short time in which to finish it.
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Truly interesting
peds125 January 2007
I do believe this is the best series I've ever watched. As far as its authenticities go concerning accents and mannerisms, I can not attest to this. I can say however that the casting job was wonderful. The way this show is written allows the series to make a statement about how politics and organized crime (even at a small level) are very similar. Michael Caffee shows up in town after several years away to find his family where he left them. His Brother tommy is a politician and though they have chosen completely different lives, they seem to have the kind of bond that is missing in America today. Right off the back we find in the series how connected the whole town is based on their roots and having grown up together. All the gangsters, politicians, and everyone else seem to be quite intertwined in the general plots in the first series, but the most impressive character to me is Michael Caffee. I don't think I've ever seen a better casting job, and the strength in his face when he looks at the camera is truly exactly what you see in a street guys face. But as I said they are all perfectly cast. I cant imagine how the show could be better except I think there could be a bit more about what michaels doing sometimes because some gaps need to be filled. On the other hand I cant say that the more political episodes weren't good as they lay the ground for much of the general plot lines in the series and would if this were real life affect their lives more than Michaels entanglements. In a way this kind of sums up the two brothers personalities where michael being more in charge of his own life stays in the shadows, while Tommy's public life forces him to be more slippery and therefore is harder to control. In summation It is the best gangster show I've seen and only hope that unlike the sopranos it doesn't drift off the main focus. The only way this could happen i think is if they loose the balance of showing all the characters which happened very much in the sopranos.
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This is serious t.v.
birkirAS8 December 2006
One of my favorites. A huge fan of The Sopranos as well, both shows have similarities, serious matters, crime, ethics, family etc. But Brotherhood is heavier, there are hardly any scenes written to make you laugh. But that don't makes this series sad. This is a fine show, great script, story with hooks and great acting. Don't miss out on this! After each episode I start thinking about the next, I contemplate what I would do if was in one of the characters situation. The day after me and my friends are talking about the same thing. This show demands a response from it's viewer and I'm a living proof.

I hope it runs for many more years.
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Showtime is the "new" HBO
james_likes_jazz16 August 2006
This is now my absolute favorite series on television. I don't watch much television so, for me, this is a big compliment to the writers and creators of this show. This show has all the right ingredients; great actors, writing, and plot lines. This is a great combination that is sure to please even the most demanding viewers. Highly Recommended.

I was a big fan of "The Soprano's", but last season kind of turned me off. I still mourn the loss of "Six Feet Under", perhaps the best series I have ever seen.

With "Weeds" and a few promising series coming up (i.e. "Dexter"), I do believe Showtime is the "new" HBO. Bravo Showtime!
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An exceptional series that will surpass "The Sopranos"
don_logan23 October 2006
After watching the series when it aired its Pilot episode i was completely taken by how different it is to other shows on prime time which lack as good of writing as Brotherhood.The acting is superb in the series most of all Jason Issacs who really was one reason I decided to tune in to the Pilot.However the show isn't just about the mob but how its main character Tommy Caffee runs The Hill a little town in Providence Rhode Island.Jason Clarke is incredible in the series who i see getting more work because if his great performance in the series.With Nip/Tuck going down the tubes as well as The Sopranos this show will receive the credit it deserves with its exceptional writing,gritty style and authentic dialogue it will only be a matter of time until Brotherhoo becomes the next best show on Television
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Definitely food for thought.
scrapmetal726 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Please note: The following comment refers to seasons 1 and 2 only.

BROTHERHOOD is a gangster drama, but it is much more than that. From almost the very beginning, this show turned the expected gangster show archetypes upside down, delivering a story far more substantive then other offerings of this type. All of the actors involved give noteworthy performances.

The engines that drive this story are loss and frustration, reflective of the conditions in today's America, where economic depression and disappointment in failing institutions has become common place. The show's fearful, desperate heart is well reflected by it's bleak, overcast, dusty setting. Although comparisons to HBO's THE SOPRANOS are inevitable, BROTHERHOOD faces a hopelessness and vulnerability that David Chase never reached. Tony Soprano may have had familiar anxieties and fears, but at the end of the day he was still rolling in money and beautiful women, always went home to his mansion, and always beat the feds at their own game. The characters of BROTHERHOOD are not nearly so well insulated. Every single character on the show has to fight for every inch of ground and they usually end up losing anyway.

The premise of the prodigal gangster returning to his east coast turf and reclaiming what's his, settling old scores and winning back his girlfriend has been done to death. In the BROTHERHOOD series season one premiere, it seems we are presented with exactly this story. Jason Isaac's Michael Caffee returns to his home neighborhood after seven years, and the whole town reacts as if the angel of death has come to smite them. The cops have an emergency meeting where they refer to him as "Three-Part Mike"(judge, jury, and executioner). Michael immediately springs into action, cutting off a rival's ear and reclaiming all of his criminal enterprises in one fell swoop.

By the second episode, however, it becomes clear that this is something different. Michael's money is all fake, and outdated. Clerks at the store can spot it as counterfeit. Instead of charging his way to the top and running the neighborhood, he has to sell his services to the current mob boss, the revolting and hideous Freddie Cork, who constantly threatens his life and undermines everything he tries to do. The girl he cut off Moe's ear to impress, rather than swoon for him in adoring devotion, derides him for being old and ridicules him for living with his mother. No one mentions the "Three-Part Mike" title again.

And, of course Michael is not the only one with problems. Tommy, his brother, the neighborhood's representative at city hall, works day and night trying to use his influence to help "The Hill", but more often than not finds every deal he makes broken in the service of greater interests, even as his wife is carrying on a ridiculous affair with a poor, lovestruck mope and the house he can barely pay for is falling apart. And it is not just the main characters who struggle in such futility; their trials are reflected in the city at large as unemployment grows and opportunities disappear, substance abuse spreads among the children, and city planning threatens to turn the neighborhood into parking lots and highway spurs.

The cast is excellent. Every review on this board makes special mention of Jason Isaacs as Michael, and deservedly so, but every single performance shines, so just read the cast list. Every character is equally interesting as they struggle to find one last shred of dignity or life affirming experience. A lot of the comments say that there are no likable characters; I feel that to be an over-simplified perspective. It is true that there are no saints or Mary Sues, but every character (except Freddie Cork and Moe Reilley) are a mix of good intentions and compromised values. While every character commits dishonorable acts, these acts rarely define them. Rather, they shed light on their motivations and goals, which we can normally empathize with.

Knowing that this story takes some inspiration from the Bulger Brothers and Boston's Winter Hill gang, one might expect to see Michael on a reign of terror with the city in his fist, and Tommy as a crusading politician with the state's fate in his hands. What we have here is the background of all of that, a slow-burning genesis chapter where we see how such men find their way from square one. This is a wrenching, heart breaking, and fascinating study of family ties, shattered hopes and diminishing returns.
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Much better than the Sopranos
jenton75-13 February 2007
I was a fan of the Sopranos when it first came out but grew disenchanted with it during last season...The Brotherhood is a first rate show with a fresh cast and decent writing..I like the complexity of the politics involved with the crime...very underrated show...I heard Showtime renewed it already..I have read The Westies by TJ English and am currently reading Paddy Whacked...good reads on Irish American immigrants and their roots, as well as organized crime...The Brotherhood show a different style mob (Irish) then the usual Italian stuff we always get....If you are a fan of Organized Crime dramas or mob stuff you will like this show...pretty violent as well...I enjoy a show where they are not afraid to be politically correct with everything. Keep it up Showtime.
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One of the Most Brilliant Yet Criminally Underrated Shows You Will Ever See....
bayardhiler17 October 2015
Strong words, I know, but they're true; "Brotherhood" is the one most brilliant, well-written, intelligent shows you will ever see in your entire life. Sadly, it is also one of the most underrated shows you will ever see, so much so you'll spend hours pondering why. It's a show that SHOULD have been as big as "The Sopranos", as talked about and raved as much as "Breaking Bad" was, and followed as closely as "Sons of Anarchy" and other anti-hero shows were. But alas, it was not. Was it due to poor marketing? Charges of being a Sopranos rip-off? Who knows, but what I do know is the show was nowhere near being a carbon copy of "The Sopranos".

"Brotherhood" is a match up of politics and crime, centering around two Irish-American brothers in a Providence, Rhode Island neighborhood called The Hill. We have Tommy Caffee (Jason Clarke), the young, handsome state Rep. from the Hill, and his older brother, Michael (Jason Isaacs), the charming but underneath brutal gangster, who's just returned from a seven year exile after a mobster he had a beef with is murdered. Surrounding them is a mix of family, friends, and associates: Rose Caffee (Fionnula Flanagan), the strong-willed matriarch of the family who is the one who really pulls the strings behind the scenes; Eileen Caffee (Annabeth Gish), Tom's seemly devoted wife who harbors forbidden desires of her own; Mary Kate Martinson, Tom's sister who must bear with the shenanigans of her family as well as the pain of not being able to have children; Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman), boss of the Irish Mob in Providence, who must balance his suspicion of Michael with Michael's ability to bring in a lot of money; Kath Perry (Tina Benko), Michael's old girlfriend and married mother; Declan "Decko" Griggs (Ethan Embry), a state police detective from the old neighborhood who finds that doing what is right and doing what is necessary isn't really the same thing, and a whole slew of gangsters, politicians, and characters who I don't have the space for.

As we follow the two brothers in the respective world, we begin to ask ourselves some troubling questions, such as who is more ruthless, the gangster in the street or the guy in elected office? Is there really much of a difference between the world of crime and politics or between the world of politics and crime? All of this is established through strong acting on the part of Jason Clarke and Jason Isaacs. Jason Clarke is masterful of playing Tommy Caffee, a man who seems to really want to help his district but also desires more power in the world of state politics. How much of his soul is willing to sacrifice to make that a reality and is there anyone or anything he won't sacrifice to make it happen? Then there's Jason Isaacs's portrayal of Michael, the gangster who's returned from exile who must deal with a changing neighborhood while trying to re-establish his power in the rackets. With his steel eyes and cold demeanor, Isaacs more than easily plays the gangster role to the hilt. Of course, none of this would be possible without the intelligent writing of show creator Blake Masters and his crew, who masterfully blend two seemly different worlds until we realize the awful truth; there are no differences between the two, with the final moments of the series finale showing more about the reality of politics than anything else I have ever seen. Despite its short life and somewhat rushed ending, "Brotherhood" is a must see show for those looking for good story-telling and intelligent writing. Whatever you do, don't let this gem of a show pass you by.
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Enjoyed every minute
stiffjabrightcross9 March 2009
Excellent show, "Brotherhood" explores complicated themes (perhaps even more complicated than "the Sopranos"). The writing is stellar and the plot line weaves subtle and interesting turns into an ever expanding story. The writing team of Bromwell and Masters deserve a lot of credit here. Similarly, the show is supported by an excellent cast with acting of Isaacs and Clarke providing a great take on the complicated relationship that the Caffey brothers maintain. The political element makes the show more than just another gangster drama, providing added material and a thicker storyline. While the show has not got the fan base to date, I haven't met anyone who hasn't enjoyed it and word seems to be spreading. I highly recommend it.
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In-comparable to any other show.
oxinate2 January 2009
I've seen bits and bobs of great shows. Ultimately this show stands out as probably the best mixture of characters in a TV show. The directing is spot on and never near over the top. Hardly any scenes feature the modern 'shaky camera.' The acting is very realistic and in my opinion cringe worthy... for the situations these characters handle compared to real life situation's are remarkable. None of this over-dramatic family arguments of daughters not listening to mothers etc etc. Like real life, arguments end and never last in/out of the family, situations are dealt with so this show will not stretch most stories like most shows do. It's the only TV show that makes my day end well after I've watched it. Believe me don't let this refreshing show slip by.
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The Best Series Ever!
zpaps30 March 2007
This is one of the best series ever made!! The only one comparable is the Shield. The Brotherhood makes the Sopranos look like something written by 4th graders... and the product placement has gone too far!! I have been ranting about Bro-hood to everyone I know. Weird thing is- NONE of these people have even heard of it!! They are all Sopranos faithfuls, and once they checked this out- addicted for life!! Wish they were marketing it a bit heavier so's to get the following it rightly deserves... And thanks for actually having integrity (to the writers/producers) to NOT sell out a good script to market this to the masses of as$e$!! Hope there will be a LOT more seasons of this!!! (And when is the second season starting?? I am going crazy with anticipation!!)
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Such a great show
almeda2522 August 2013
I highly enjoyed this show and loved the characters and acting. I was hooked after the first episode, I watched all 3 seasons within a weeks span. I think it ended properly as well, this was like reading a great book with a great ending. The characters seemed some real and authentic. I love crime family shows and this was up there with the sopranos. At times I liked is better than the sopranos since not much time was wasted with those introspective moments or inner conflicts/ dream sequences. This was raw and gritty and the pace was fast moving. I truly felt for the key players by the end of it all, and wish they could all succeed in their own way. You know it's a great show when the lines are blurred as to who is really the main character .
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Don't miss it, some of the best stuff on TV
earl6877 April 2012
TV simply doesn't get much better than this. The writing is superb, and the actors are all spot on. I feel the lighting/cinematography could be better, but i'm sure they had budget issues. They have gone for a realistic feel in the show, and have executed it superbly. All aspects of the show from the political arenas to the gangster scenes, feel as if you are really there. It does such an effective job of really pulling you into these worlds they have brilliantly created.

The first season is just absolutely unmissable. I rank this slightly below the best stuff on TV, like Boardwalk Empire and Dexter, yet it outdoes even those shows in certain respects. Don't miss it, and enjoy!
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Brotherhood is a bit too late on the scene
cafesmitty14 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished watching the first 2 episodes of Brotherhood. First, let me say their is some fine acting and some pretty decent script writing but if you can't get me within the first episode and not even the first 2 episodes then their is something just a bit off and that is what I get from Brotherhoood. Something that is a bit off. After giving it some thought, I realize what it is. Politics. I find stories about underhanded politicians uninteresting in a season. It its what we image real politics are like. The back alley deals, everyone seemingly owing everyone and in the end the family suffers as well as the public.

In the first episode, the prodigy brother returns and he is an old school Irish mafia type of guy. The crook with a heart of gold (of sorts). He is brutal but honest. He answers to no one and lives his life accordingly. Then you have his brother, the state representative who, on the outside, looks like the family guy. He means well, he is trying to do good, but he has to make these deals in order to get what he wants and not all are good. Its kinda like the road to hell is paved with good intentions sort of thing.

Other characters of note is Annabelle Gish, the politician's wife. Who is bored with her life, cheats and smoke pots while putting on the front of a loyal wife. (Thats really all the spoiler you are going to get). Annabelle Gish's character seems like a total waste and its a cookie cutter character meaning its been done a thousand time before. Then you got the mother, who clearly favors one son (the thug) over the other (the politician).

But in the end, this show seems like it arrived to late to the party. The Sopranos, the Wire, even the Corner had already covered this stuff. NBC tried it with the Black Donnelly's and it didn't find an audience either. I don't understand why Showtime is trying to do a cheap version of the Sopranos, when they already have excellent original programs like Weeds, Californication and my favorite, Dexter. Brotherhood just doesn't offer anything new or different in the whole Irish mob/politician thing. All this show really is doing is showing how the Irish are set in their ways and do we really need that stereotype? I give it a 6 out of 10 for the fine acting, the good writing and directing, but it missing out getting a higher mark because the subject matter have been done to death.
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Brotherhood Soars!!!
thejerzeymick20 November 2007
Guns. Knives. Bullets. Drug use. Sex. Graphic Violence. Profanity.

This is what you get in "Brotherhood", Showtime's original series focusing on Irish and Italian organized crime and politics in Providence, RI. The acting is incredible, all the way down to the minor cast members. Fine directors as well, including Nick Gomez - who has made several films (including "New Jersey Drive" and the excellent "Laws of Gravity") and directed episodes of HBO's "Oz" and "The Sopranos" as well.

I think what makes the show work is it's heart the creators put into it. Being from an Irish father and an Italian mother from Jersey City, I see a lot of authenticity in what's left of these two ethnic groups in America's ghettos portrayed. Perfect examples of this would be: Freddie Cork (Kevin Chapman), an Irish-American crime boss who is sober and committed to his wife and children; Declan Giggs, (played brilliantly by Ethan Embry) as a cop who just can't seem to decide which side of the law he's truly on; Alphonse Nazzoli (John Fiore), a hotheaded Italian mob capo who should have had a role on "The Sopranos".

No, it may not totally surpass "The Sopranos", but "Brotherhood" is nonetheless great for what it is, and has all of the gangster violence bloodhounds scream for. Highly recommended.
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Tough, gritty story
blanche-26 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Brotherhood" ran from 2006-2008 and is based on Massachusetts brothers Whitey Bulger and his prominent politician brother Billy.

Here the story has been moved to Rhode Island and "The Hill," inhabited by Irish Americans and represented in the state by Tom Caffee (Jason Clarke), an ambitious public servant being groomed for greatness by his mentor, Judd Fitzgerald (Len Cariou).

The Caffee home consists of his wife (Annabeth Gish) and three daughters. His mother Rose (Finnoula Flanagan) lives nearby, as does his sister Kerry (Mary Kate Martinson) and her husband.

Their brother, Michael (Jason Isaacs), in the criminal element, disappeared some years earlier when a contract was put out on him but one day reappears and begins to take over all the underworld business - drugs, protection, anything he can get a piece of. This often sets his prominent brother up for criticism.

A cousin arrives from Ireland, Colin (Brian F. O'Byrne) who is the son of Rose's sister and works with Michael to collect money and shake people down.

Michael is unstable, and due to an injury, becomes even more unstable, gradually popping bennies like mints. He has always had an itchy trigger finger, but it gets worse. (The character reminded me a bit of the one Walt Goggins played so brilliantly on "The Shield.") His old girlfriend Kath (Tina Benko) is back on the scene, and when he picks up an attraction between her and his cousin Colin, he nearly goes insane.

The series highlights the similarity between the two brothers. They are both corrupt, Tommy in the political system, using blackmail and manipulation to get what he wants and stealing - when he's given $50,000 as a donation for a church, he gives the church $35,000. He puts his childhood friend Declan (Ethan Embry) in charge of a potential scandal involving payoffs for a waterfront development, not realizing that Declan, after making a mistake and pretty much ruining his career, is going to play by the book. So when it looks like he's going to be implicated in a huge scheme, he throws everybody else under the bus.

This series was highly acclaimed but did not attract much of an audience. The acting is simply superb, with a phenomenal performance by Jason Isaacs and a strong low-key, natural performance by Jason Clarke. I saw the man who played Colin, Brian O'Byrne, on Broadway in Doubt, and he is a terrific actor. The series hired the best for every role.

Someone pointed out that no one in the show is completely likable. I have to say that's true - if Rose were my mother-in-law I'd have thrown her out a window. I did like the Caffee sister and despite myself felt sorry for the way Declan's life was going. I believe he was a sympathetic character. But all of these characters are very human, well fleshed out, with good and bad qualities.

Everything, including the Providence locations are drop drawer.

However, this series, compelling as it is, is not for everyone. The violence is graphic and brutal, there is torture, also graphic, there is nudity, graphic sex, and every other word is the f-bomb. Realistic, maybe, but not to everyone's taste.

I admit I couldn't stop watching it. I gave it a 7 because watching it over a few days as I did, the blood and guts was a little too much.
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great show
VictoriousDeCosta19 February 2015
I am late here, but I just started using my Amazon Prime account as Netflix and Hulu aren't currently doing it for me. This show was great. I have no idea why people keep comparing it to the Sopranos. The Sopranos dealt wit the family of a crime boss. that saw a shrink.

I loved every character and felt sorry for them all. they all seemed so trapped and tormented. I will never look at Providence, Rhode Island the same.

There was over the top violence, sure - but those things do happen. The only thing Im mad about is that this is a show no one knew about - and so it was canceled. However, the ending was wrapped up pretty neatly. Cool that it ended the way it did..At one point it did remind me of the godfather (1)...but in no way like the Sopranos.

Sopranos had humor. Brotherhood? anything you laughed at made you check yourself for being so enveloped in the darkness that you thought it was funny.. great show.
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Irish mob mentality
The Couchpotatoes16 February 2015
A story about two brothers in an Irish neighborhood, one that tries to make it as a politician and the other as a mobster. It's the perfect cocktail to make a great show. And a great show it became. Unlike The Soprano's that by the way I liked very much also this series is much harder and darker. Jason Isaac and Jason Clarke, as the two brothers, are very good in their roles. One as the politician and the other as an Irish gangster, they both make it feel real and it's like you are participating in their day-to-day life. You will enjoy every second of every episode. To me this series could have gone on a little bit longer then three seasons. Certainly a must watch!
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I really miss this show
michael harrison6 February 2011
As some of the other reviewers have said "this is one of the best series I have ever seen." It's an honest view of the closeness of politics and organized crime, how in the end these two brothers one a smalltime politician and the other an out of control street thug put there differences aside and take care of one another The only problem is as the story progressed the writers kind of backed themselves into a corner so that the story of the Brothers had to come to an end The acting was superb at every level especially the two Jasons,Issacs and Clark as the brothers raised in an Irish community in Providece RI

Hats off to Blake Masters and Showtime for bringing it to us I just wish there could be more
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Realistic and powerful, yet lacks something vital...
Angelus227 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Michael Caffee is a gangster who returns home following the death of the mob boss who put a hit on his head. Tommy Caffee, the younger brother of Michael is a high riser in the world of politics. They stay away from each other, yet their fates are intertwined as the authorities try to bring down Michael and the gangsters try to squeeze Tommy to do their bidding. This is were being brothers, helps.

I found this show quite exciting and the performances were riveting, the realism creates a great atmosphere, and here no one is 'Good'. Michael Caffee is the bad guy, while Tommy Caffee is on the path of corruption and even their mother is no good; to a point.

But it's Jason Isaacs who is the gem of this show, he takes on the role of an American gangster perfectly and oozes evil at times when punishing his victims.

The Sopranos was funny and colourful with great characters, but this show is much more gritty focusing on the darkest aspects of the human nature, which is a fascinating feature. But I felt there was something missing...Still a great show though.
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Kept waiting for anything to happen
eking-3423328 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I recently watched the series on Hulu because of an excess of free time and about the only thing I can say for the show is it did a good enough job of making it seem like the story was finally going to progress that I kept watching. I understand that it was Show times response to the sopranos and didn't have an HBO budget for things like cast but no character development happens, they just put these guys out there and they tread water the whole time. I also can't stand Michael. I read on Wikipedia that the actor who played him said something to the effect of "he has his own code, I dont think hes really a bad guy." He's totally a bad guy, he has no redeeming qualities or even charisma and he just does whatever he wants whether or not it makes any sense. He's a rat and the one thing he offers as an ideal, resisting gentrification in his neighborhood, he just drops as soon has he has an opportunity to make money. I dont see a code, I see a scowling guy who eventually starts wearing sweatsuits all the time
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Best Show On TV Or Cable
FSUKXAZ25 June 2009
This is without a doubt, the best show on TV or cable. It is about politics and the mafia in Rhode Island. It's been compared to an Irish version of the Sopranos. I love the Sopranos, but Brotherhood is really nothing like it. I love Brother hood even more than the Sopranos. The main character is a rising politician in Rhode Island. His brother who disappeared for a number of years is a mafiaso type. They have a love/hate relationship. Anyways, the writing for this show is excellent. Family is a big portion of the show and its characters are all strange and unique. Because it's on pay cable there is profanity and nudity which makes it all the more realistic. It's on Showtimw. I got Showtime for Brotherhood, Californication, & movies. Can you believe they may be canceling this show? I will cancel my Showtime subscription if this is so. I bought Season 1 & 2 on DVD and cannot wait for Season 3 to come out.
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Writing this bad is a crime!
filmfakefinder15 April 2007
The worst writing on TV - Wow! How bad can you get? If there was another cliché-laced plot line I'd throw up. Who is writing this stuff? Rival gangs fighting for "turf" on Federal Hill? Stealing my cigarette machine money? Irish and Italian gangs sharing a 1/4 mile of legitimate restaurants, pastry shops, and variety stores? Maybe in a misinformed and fantasy-filled little rich boy's world but not in Providence. This guy who created the show must have had a silver spoon in his mouth at an early age and was intrigued by bad men, and figured he'd write about them when he was handed his Hollywood job. He has no other credits???Only problem... he's clueless on how life works on the street. The other problem is the local Providence and Boston actors they pull from are as bad as the writing. I understand they are trying to keep the budget down, but please... some of these actors are shaking while stuttering out their bad lines. Showtime has always been a second tier cable network and with this show they're holding true.
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