By John Stark
July 01, 1985 12:00 PM

Showtime (Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET)

Finally checked out the ongoing pay TV sitcom Brothers. Armed with a stack of tapes I spent the day in front of a VCR catching up on this innovative series about three blue-collar brothers—one of whom is openly gay. Robert (Lou Grant) Walden plays Joe, the divorced middle brother who runs the family bar and grill in South Philly, Brandon Maggart portrays Lou, the burly, insensitive older brother, and Paul Regina is Cliff, the youngest sibling who’s homosexual. The show goes overboard not to present Cliff as a swishy stereotype. By doing so it allows Cliff’s best friend, Donald (Phillip Charles MacKenzie), to camp it to the high heavens—he delivers the bitchiest lines since Sue Anne Nivens of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. As the series explores the brothers’ relationships, it avoids being preachy or maudlin, never forgetting this is after all a comedy. In fact a recent episode was a particular gem: Cliff’s ex-fiancée, a woman he once jilted at the altar, comes back for revenge. Having gotten a long-term renewal, Brothers has 42 episodes to air. This time I’ll be staying tuned.