“Brothers to Brutha”
Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m.
1 out of 5 stars
BET’s recent premiere spotlights the new and possibly soon to be famous R&B group “Brutha.” The new “family-friendly” (if you consider drinking, swearing and fighting to be family-friendly) reality show, “Brothers to Brutha,” follows the Harrell brothers — Grady, Anthony, Papa, Jared and Jacob — and their lives as a dysfunctional family. In the first episode, the five brothers share an inseparable bond, but are torn apart by their different ways and big egos.
The brothers live in a four-bedroom condominium in Los Angeles with their father, several mothers and eight other siblings. The show is about the process of building their group into a highly acclaimed, well-known singing act. The brothers all have the potential to be stars, but could Anthony really be the next Michael Jackson? Not quite. The first episode has way too many emotional ups and downs, and after too much bitching and fighting, the “bruthas” predictably work everything out, if only until the next episode begins.
The show starts off with the group signing with record label Def Jam, which represents true hip-hop artists like Ghostface Killah and Method Man. While celebrating their achievement, the brothers find 22-year-old Anthony acting like an 18-year-old freshman: attempting to get drunk off his ass. Fighting predictably begins as the brothers try to tell Anthony how much alcohol consumption is appropriate.
As the group starts to practice one of their songs, Anthony says he is incapable of participating and takes a seat to watch. Grady gets pissed at Anthony, which leads to another fight. Admittedly, it was amusing to watch all five grown brothers pile on top of each other.
The verbal and physical attacks on Anthony clearly make him a scapegoat. As each brother had their own “confessional” time to speak about what was going on, Anthony said, “Grady tries to hide his problems and put mine on blast.” The ridiculous performance and verbal bullying toward Anthony is the only real excitement throughout the entire half-hour episode.
Anthony’s alienation continues when he silently deserts the group to perform in a solo singing gig, leaving his four brothers to take the fall with Donny, their uncle and manager. The show starts to get repetitive, with each character once again screaming at each other for the same reasons. Maybe, instead of forgiving Anthony for each mistake he makes, they would be better off giving him the boot permanently. But Anthony finally realizes he hasn’t been contributing and cooperating like he should and unsurprisingly, all the “bruthas” hug and kiss, having worked out all their problems. Aw.
It looks like the entire season will be filled with drama and the various problems the five brothers will probably face. The previews for upcoming episodes contain more arguing, an arrest, additional crying and the suspense-filled entrance of their unknown father. “Brothers to Brutha” is in no way “family-friendly,” but if looked at as a not-so-serious show filled with swearing, struggle and intense aggression, the modern-day attempt at the Jackson 5 is entertaining — if only because it’s so laughable.