Friday, April 02, 2010

Life Unexpected: a new kind of family

First off, Shiri Appleby, who plays Cate, the mom of a 16-year-old girl on this show, Life Unexpected, was Liz on Roswell back in 1999-2002, a character that was actually a year younger than me. This makes me feel really...old.

Anyway, I was really excited for this show because the promos made it seem like a throwback to the WB-era teen and family shows (yes, like Roswell) that I loved back in high school. The CW seemed like it was shifting more towards things like Gossip Girl and 90210 so I was happily surprised that they picked up something like this that was more heartfelt and less, well, OMG.

And the show has definitely been delivering in that respect, but I have to say that I have not been as in love with it as much as I thought I might be. I do like the characters quite a bit, who are all layered and complex and figuring things out about themselves, and there's usually at least one moment per episode that really tugs at my heartstrings, but the problem is that it's felt so repetitive.

It's not necessarily unrealistic, but for a stretch there, it seemed like every single week had Lux getting mad at either Cate or Baze for something and running away. It was sort of like, we get it! Lux is damaged and has abandonment issues! Baze was a jerk in high school but he's trying to change! Cate is really good at messing things up! Ryan is a saint!

Things have been better over the past two weeks, but there are only two more episodes left in the season. I really do hope that it gets renewed though. I think there's still plenty of interesting story to explore (though I really don't want them to go there with Cate and Baze...I like Ryan and he's already been put through enough) and despite the repetitiveness, I still find myself watching it live every week, which is impressive considering how many shows air on Monday!


burkie said...

mira told me about this show and i watched several episodes. i liked that it's set in portland, oregon! very engaging cast and people you root for. i stopped watching it, though, for the reasons that you mentioned, jen. lux has too much potential as a character to just run away every episode. maybe i should give it another chance, though, if you say things have gotten better. i don't like that much drama in my drama :)

Anonymous said...

AS much as I adore Shiri, watching this show week after week has been difficult. It has a good premise and heart and has the potential to be great. I hope it doesn't become like Roswell, a great pilot that didn't quite live up to its expectations. At least imho.