Au Revoir, Life?


I have to stop falling in love with TV shows.  Especially clever, funny TV shows with fantastic music teams, because these always seem to be  the first for the chopping block.

I learned a few days ago that NBC is very likely giving the axe to Life, a show about an L.A. cop who has his badge returned to him after being released from a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit.  Sounds a little far-fetched?  Okay, sure, but who cares when you have classicly-trained (not to mention surprisingly, distractingly sexy) Damian Lewis trading quirky Zen wisdom tips with a no-nonsense (and c’mon, probably even sexier) Sarah Shahi?

The truth is, I’d gotten sick of crime shows.  I know I’m far, far from the average, but every Law and Order looks exactly the same to me, and the CSI’s tend to be just… well, icky.  I don’t care for gore, or grisly “plucked from the headlines” stuff.  After all, if I actually watch the news—which I do—why would I want to see some fictional copycat of the worst stories two weeks later?

The advertisements for Life caught my interest, though.  After all, I knew NBC could make a crime show that had something more to it than just being a crime show—I tune into Medium all the time, because besides giving the audience a good mystery to try to solve, we also get to see a nice, realistic family unit, with (mostly) everyday problems.  Joe Dubois is kind of my ideal husband.

Life has seen it’s share of some truly strange crimes.  Women left in boxes in the middle of highways, men buried to their necks and surrounded by flower petals.  But the main thing that works for it, really, is character.  It’s focused on a character, not just the newest twisted tale.  That’s what Life had going for it, too.  Charlie Crews is a man who has had everything taken away from him, so when he gets it back again he appreciates it that much more, but there’s still that knowledge that everything was taken away from him, and a darkness that’s just behind the ready smile.  And because of the time he’s spent in prison, the time he’s spent in solitary, stuck inside his own head, Charlie Crews knows people.  He sees things in people’s eyes that most people don’t look for, hears things in their voices that most wouldn’t listen for.

And…. I’ve used the word already, but the show is just full of quirk.  In the best way possible.  The humor is a little offbeat, a little silly, and very stick-in-your head, and the main cast, while fairly small, is fantastic all the way around.

I’m going to miss this one a lot.  It has easily been my favorite show on TV this season, and it’s hits like this that make me want to give up TV for good sometimes.

So, farewell, Life.  I will miss your always-perfect music and fascinating character depictions.  There are a scant four episodes left, most likely devoid of the pregnant Sarah Shahi, which is unfortunate.  If it has to die, at least you want it to die in tact, you know?

I’m hoping this is the only kick in the gut my inner TV-lover gets after this season is over, but I’m worried about The Sarah Conner Chronicles, too, another show that has really taken me by surprise in how much I enjoy it.  Trust me to fall for the underdog, always.

4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Ann said,

    FYI: NBC has not officially cancelled LIFE, not yet anyway, so there’s still a (tiny) chance it may be renewed (although that outcome isn’t very likely). … D*mn those NBC execs. And d*mn Jay Leno, too, for hogging primetime and putting hundreds of people out of work. He’s such a hypocrite. During the writers’ strike, he paid the members of his staff who couldn’t work. And now he takes jobs away from hundreds of people with his greed?! Disgusting. … Anyway, back to the subject of LIFE, in the absence of LIFE, I will be deleting NBC from my TV remote’s channel menu after April 8. If LIFE doesn’t return, neither will the NBC channel to my remote. Period.)

  2. 2

    You’re sure? You’re absolutely sure?? Well, I have nobody but myself to blame for feeling bad – I sent NBC (and the other two networks as well) a snarky email last fall saying how sick and tired I was of investing time and interest in good, clever shows that just get yanked after a season or even a few episodes, and that I just wasn’t going to be watching much of their new lineup, but then I had to go and catch an episode or two of Life, and like you, fell in love the the show, the cast, the music – all of it. You summed it up very well, so I’ll only add that Donal Logue’s Tidwell was terrific, and though some may not agree, I really liked his hook-up with Reese. Their mutual finish-each-others-sentences attraction was one of the unexpected gems of season two. I hope we see more of him on the small screen as well as the big.

  3. 3

    tiemeinwords said,

    Apologies to the Life fandom! I don’t have any official word on anything, this was only in reaction to Stephen Battaglio’s TV Guide article, so it may well be my jumping the gun. I really hope that the series somehow gets renewed, because it is the best thing on television right now.

    And Deborah, I absolutely agree about Tidwell. I too really enjoy his awkward/sexy relationship with Reese, and I think “unexpected gem” is a perfect description of it.

    Apologies, again. I hope I didn’t incite unnecessary panic. I’m just a fangirl who is used to this happening to her, so… 😦

  4. 4

    Thank you for clearing that up. I guess unless and until NBC officially declares Life DOA, we can have hope, however faint! And just a short while ago a friend of mine was in a chat with Donal Logue on FB, and he said that “we” (the cast and fans, I guess) would know in May…for what that may be worth.

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