Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Siblings: Rivalry, Revelry, Bonds & Banes

We see it in every season of Supernatural, even moreso in that powerful finale a few weeks ago, but the heart of the show we all know and love is brotherhood. Sure, I like the humor (when it's there) and the classic rock underscoring the stories (when such songs are in the budget) and obviously, Jensen and Jared are extremely easy on the eyes. But there are lots of shows starring pretty people that I don't watch, much less DVR and obsess over. Not every episode is deeply complex (although many are) and not every episode is horrifically gory (thank God) but each one since the pilot has something to say about the bond between brothers, whether it's love so deep that one would literally sacrifice himself for the other, rivalry and resentment so deep it borders on the knife's edge of hate, or a much lighter middle ground such as the pranks family members pull on each other.

As we all know, Supernatural won't be back for months. So I've put together a list of sibling or family-themed books, shows and movies to take along on vacation or Netflix over the summer. (Disclaimer: These don't necessarily match Supernatural in tone and may not all be as good as the best SPN episode, but if you've worn out your DVD collection, they're a place to start.)

Books with a strong "sibling" connection

1. JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series
2. Philippa Gregory's Other Boleyn Girl
3. Julia Quinn's historical and humorous Bridgerton series
4. Anna DeStefano's Dark Legacy

TV Shows

1. Firefly a--even though it's a futuristic western set in space, watching a brother sacrifice in order to care for his younger sister is relatable and poignant.

2. Brothers & Sisters (family drama)

3. Prison Break (action/drama)


Serial: Godfather trilogy (not for the squeamish)

Drama: Brothers

Comedy: Blues Brothers

Chick Flick: In Her Shoes

Runners up (because the characters aren't technically siblings) in sci-fi:
X-Men (2000) I always felt like Magento and Xavier were brothers who landed on different sides of the same war.

Revenge of the Sith - Although it makes sense to watch these Star Wars prequels in order if you want to see the full scope of Anakin's transformation into Lord Vader, I feel that this one (#3 in the first trilogy) is the strongest and marks the shift in Anakin and Obi-Wan's relationship, from mentor/student to Jedi brothers who share both love and rivalry.

So there's my brief list to kick things off. What movies/shows/books featuring siblings would you recommend for a long, Winchesterless summer?


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Excellent topic, Tanya!

I started watching SPN around the same time as Prison Break. I've always been drawn to the brother-brother or brother-sister (but not really sister-sister, oddly) relationships, and these two took that to extremes of intensity.

Jessica Andersen's Nightkeeper series has some of that, though the brotherhood is symbolic rather than actual. I don't usually like crime dramas, but Numb3rs drew me because of the brotherly relationship.