Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life—Find Your Happy Place

At long last a new episode of Life on NBC aired. Despite having seen a preview online, it was good to see it on the TV from the comfort of the couch.

FanBoyWonder is doing this review from the shotgun formation so here are our quickie impressions:

The Upshot from NBC: In the season two premiere, detectives Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) and Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi) are on the hunt for a serial killer when three numbered trunks containing suffocated bodies are found scattered across Los Angeles. With their new boss New York transfer Captain Kevin Tidwell (Donal Logue) pressuring them to get answers, Crews and Reese race to find a connection between the murders before the killer strikes again. Meanwhile, Ted (Adam Arkin) and Crews attempt to track down the daughter, the lone survivor, of the family Crews was wrongly convicted of killing. Brent Sexton also stars.

This was a non-pilot pilot as it was very much accessible for newcomers but those fans who have been there from the start—like FanBoyWonder—got something out of it too.

The serial killer A-plot was well done as it held a surprise that was hidden in plain sight. We sort of knew the “Lee-Harvey” type at the box store was the killer but his motivations and the seriousness of his bent-ness still came as a shock.

Crews and Reese have grown into a comfortable groove together—they respect each other but are still wary of each other—at least Reese is wary of Crews….Charlie doesn’t give away much for all of his Zen platitudes even as he at times goes out of his way to annoy her with said platitudes.

It was interesting to see Kyle Hollis (Titus Welliver) again…in a prison jumpsuit no less—making up for Charlie’s time lost in prison. Jack Reese has gotten to Kyle and prompting him to deny ever knowing Jack, much less killing for him.

In that faux-documentary that they do each week, Kyle drops a seed of doubt with viewers noting that if they locked Charlie up, he must have done something. Hmmmm.

We’re not crazy about the new boss played by Donal Logue but it’s early yet even as we really miss Robin Weigart. Weigart’s Lt. Davis was said to have been demoted (perhaps due to Crews being allowed to bring Hollis to justice and clear his name????) so we are looking forward to seeing that aspect of the story play on.

Yet we can’t help but think that they bumped out a strong woman in favor of a slacker white guy.

Speaking of strong women, Reese has let her hair down this season but is still a hard ass, even as she is overtly less hostile—the aforementioned grudging respect developed between her and Crews.

As I noted in my reply to comments to my previous Life posting, FBW is very much a Reese fan. Damien Lewis is the star of the show yes but his character benefits with a strong counterweight, which comes ironically in the form of the petite Sarah Shahi.

Perhaps having Brianna the Girl Wonder around makes us that much more sensitive regarding female role models. Reese, if not positive model, is at least an example of a strong/tough woman—despite her demons.

What makes Shahi so good as Reese is that the actress is a stunningly beautiful woman (something quite rare in Hollywood I’m sure :) but by force of sheer will and acting the viewer totally buys her as a buttoned down, straight laced cop….instead of her small stature being a minus, it’s a plus. Reese is one tough broad.

After some 10 months of nary a word about Life from the Network, we’re pleased they are giving it some push with four episodes in 2 weeks. Catch the next episode this Friday at 10 p.m., followed by Monday again at 10 p.m. after Heroes and back to its permanent Friday, 10 p.m. slot on Oct. 10.

It really is a wonderful “Life”—don’t believe us—see for yourself www.nbc.com/Life.


Blogger monic said...

Lovely review! And like before I agree with all your points!

10:50 AM, October 03, 2008  

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