Brotherhood, as the name suggests, is the story of two brothers. One brother, Tommy Caffee, is a local government politician who lives a seemingly honest family life, is married, and has children. His brother, Michael Caffee, lives a completely different life, and upon his return to 'The Hill', the neighbourhood around which the show is concentrated, resumes his aim to reign over the streets.
The stories of Tommy and Michael are different, but are interwined through brotherhood and the solidarity of family. However, not all is well for the Caffee's. Michael's reputation as a criminal and his return to the neighbourhood puts a strain on the legit life Tommy has managed to build. The struggles of both characters vary, but circulate around similar values - loyalty, justice, trust, and even love.
Brotherhood presents the stories of the two brothers seperately, and perhaps intentionally, the story of Michael's life of street crime seems a lot more interesting than the life of political manipulation (at times, clearly illegal) led by Tommy. Moreover, to help widen the interest-gap between the two perspectives on the same life, the performance of Michael (Jason Isaacs) is considerably more refined and believable than that of his brother (Jason Clarke). So immediately, the balance of the stories is tipped, which takes away from the overall quality of the show.
Michael's struggles with regaining his spot in the neighbourhood after a lengthy absence, and the re-establishment of his place in the criminal hierarchy of the area is filled with action, violence, and illustrates the differing thinking that is the stimulus for Micheal's actions. Whereas the life of Tommy, a local politician, is bland to say the least - he manipulates local decisions in the local government, attends social events under symbolic guise, and comes home to his family. It is of course possible that this clear distinction between the approaches of both brothers to the same issues - namely, those pertaining to their neighbourhood - is meant to demonstrate the difference between the characters themselves. In other words, while both influence affairs in the same neighbourhood, one achieves it with political process, and the other with violence and intimidation.
Nevertheless, there's is an obvious polarization towards the story of Michael Caffee, which takes away from the message of apparent legality and influence through rhetoric shown in the life of Tommy Caffee. It would be good if the balance was adjusted, and the show would have a lot to gain from it.
Brotherhood has potential, but the limited breadth of small-town politics and crime restricts the reach of the show to its audience. The perspectives are not equally balanced, so the show fails to deliver hard hits of any sort. Moreover, the acting of several characters fails to convey their image properly, and takes away from the story by not compelling viewers enough, or at least this viewer.
With some work Brotherhood could be a good show.