As anyone who follows TV news knows, this show hit last season looking like a disaster in the making. Replaced actors, reshot pilots, replaced producers and just generally bad buzz. I tried anyway but found the first few episodes kind of boring and was pretty close to dropping it. Then Greg Berlanti took over and the show became the ultimate family drama. The characters became real people, the dialogue snappy, the storylines compelling, humourous, heart warming and heart breaking – sometimes all at the same time. Adding the great Rob Lowe didn’t hurt either.
So the show enters the second season with an Emmy for Sally Field and following one of the finest season finales of last season with reasonably high expectations from me and I’m happy to say the show exceeded them.
Lots has happened with the Walker family as the show opens exactly one year since William’s death. Justin is still in Iraq, Rebecca has moved into the Walker house, Kevin is dating Robert McAllister’s brother, Sarah and Joe are still separated, Kitty and Robert’s engagement is public, Tommy and his wife have brought their daughter home but Julia is having trouble getting over her son’s death and Nora is trying to deal with not hearing from Justin. Although it sounds like a lot going on for one episode it didn’t feel packed at all. The easy interaction between the characters just makes the show so simple and fun to watch.
Some of the great moments from the episode included:
- Nora’s opening video to Justin.
- The You Tubing of Nora and Kitty’s fight at the wedding store.
- Holly and Nora seeing the woman approaching William’s gravesite.
- Kitty taking the blame for Robert not finding out information about Justin.
- Saul telling Kevin to stop complaining and realize how lucky he is.
- The Walkers bickering at the restaurant.
- Kitty’s argument for tequila.
- The use of voiceovers at the beginning and ending without actually having voiceover.
- Sally Field in every scene she’s in.
A truly fantastic start to the season.
Avi’s Episode Rating: A