And Spencer mostly smiles a lot.
But all heck breaks loose around them. Next to the McCallister kids, that other Irish-Catholic brood, the one named Kennedy, is low-key and obedient.
There are five McCallister siblings of varying levels of stability, all painted as unsubtle Irish-Catholic cliches: Bobby (Justin Louis), a tightly wound rookie NYPD detective in a struggling marriage; Liam (Sam Trammell), a union organizer in a crooked racket; Kevin (Tate Donovan), a priest who struggles with his conscience; “good” sister Fiona (Charlotte Ross), a high-achieving bond trader attracted to all the wrong men; and “bad” sister Amanda (Bonnie Root), a frightened,tortured drug addict and alcoholic. A sixth sibling died long ago, and we’re not sure why.
So much happens during the opening hour that it would almost save time merely to list what doesn’t happen. A marriage grows rocky. There’s an unwanted pregnancy. Philandering. Oath-breaking. Violations of pretty much every stripe. All of them seem to eat guilt for breakfast, condemnation for lunch and bitterness for dinner. And it’s nearly impossible to keep track of it all before we have even the faintest clue of who these people are and why they’re so chronically erratic.
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Of the cast, Root shines brightest as a woman who wears her hopelessness on her sleeve. And things improve overall somewhat for everyone in a much calmer second seg that allows storylines to build rather than turning them loose aimlessly to flail like so many headless chickens.
If “Trinity” can continue to settle down and allow its intriguing cast to evolve naturally, Wells and NBC may have a shot, despite a thankless Friday timeslot opposite ABC’s T.G.I.F. lineup, Fox’s “Millennium” and the irresistible new “Buddy Faro” on CBS. The jury needs more time to reach its verdict, however. Tech credits are solid.