God Help The Mister Who's Come Between Us And Our Sisters
Why isn't the long-running drama available to the public?!
The Show: Sisters (1991-96)
The Concept: Primetime’s first drama to revolve entirely around women (quick, name another!), Sisters found sisters Alex, Teddy, Georgie, and Frankie -- given androgynous nicknames by their son-hungry father -- engaging in both the humdrum drama of life for a woman in the early 1990s and the melodrama that would keep viewers tuning in.
Opening Credits Cast: Patricia Kalember as level-headed Georgie; Swoosie Kurtz as flighty, wealthy Alex; Julianne Phillips as the sweet-natured Frankie; and, towering above them all, Sela Ward as “Hurricane Teddy,” the recovering alcoholic fashion designer who walked the line between camp and sincerity.
Notable Guest Stars: The most famous guest star is, of course, a pre-ER George Clooney as Teddy’s cop boyfriend. But there was also Ashley Judd, one of three actresses to play Alex’s daughter Reed; Paul Rudd as Reed’s husband; Stephen Collins as a surgeon love interest; and Nora Dunn as the producer of Alex’s talk show, Norma Lear.
Why It's In TV Jail: There is literally no available explanation.
Why It Deserves Parole: For every over-the-top storyline -- Frankie creating children's character Cowlotta; Teddy and her boyfriend getting married on a plane during a storm -- there was something that no other shows were touching at the time. Georgie’s most memorable arc came when she was manipulated by her therapist into an affair that wrecked her marriage; after bringing up AIDS on air, Alex was fired from the talk show she landed after performing standup about having breast cancer (pre Tig Notaro!); and Teddy’s daughter was raped while at college. Now, most of those plotlines would be sleazy thrills on an installment of Law & Order, but Sisters and that dream team cast always managed to tweak the stories just enough so that nothing ever felt sensationalized.
Recommendation: Old-school viewers would probably snatch up DVDs if there were any (there aren't), but throwing the entire series up on Netflix streaming is probably the fastest way to earn the show new fans. Generations of TV watchers cannot continue to know Sela Ward only as that woman on that CSI that got canceled.