Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

My photo
Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Please Tell Me You’re Watching: Life Unexpected

“Pilot” “Home Inspected” “Rent Uncollected” “Bong Intercepted” “Turtle Undefeated”

Because I am slowly but surely falling in love with this show.

First of all, do you see how pretty my city is? If I wasn’t actually living in Portland at the moment I would be so homesick seeing all the shots of the bridges and downtown and the tree-lined streets. How can you not be jealous?

Hometown pride bragging aside, Life Unexpected seems to be on its way towards becoming a delightful and heartwarming family-drama. 15-year-old Lux (Brittany Robertson) is placed in the custody of her birth parents Cate (Shiri Appleby), a radio personality, and Baze (Kristoffer Polaha), a bar owner, after the court rejects her petition to become an emancipated minor. In the first five episodes we have met the extended family: Lux’s boyfriend Bug and best friend Natasha; Cate’s radio co-host and secret/not-so-secret fiancé Ryan (Kerr Smith), her many-times married mother, and her ego-maniacal sister; Baze’s long-time friend Math, who teaches at Lux’s school, his employee/friend Jamie, and his affluent parents with whom he has a bit of a strained relationship.

One of the best aspects of this show is that all of the characters are flawed but not in the aren’t-we-so-quirky way. As much as Lux wants the parents she suddenly has in her life, she is understandably hesitant to trust the people who gave her up at birth, and she is only just becoming aware that the defense tactics she employed to keep herself safe and sane in the foster-care system have consequences when applied to people who care about her and are trying to do what is best for her. Cate often blunders into upsetting Lux, her insecurity and long-term habit of avoiding personal attachment spurring her into overcompensating behavior and artless choices. Baze is the maturity-deprived man-child that our society is breeding like rabbits, but the responsibility of sudden paternity has impressed upon him the need to grow up, which will probably be a long process. Lux is resourceful and independent, but she has as much growing to do as her parents, whom it would be easy to deride for their imperfection. On both sides of the familial equation is the most important attribute: effort. All of them want to be a family, so they try again after each setback. And effort is what real families need to survive.

Of course, Life Unexpected is young and new. There is always the possibility that these characters won’t grow, that repetitive storylines will sink the series into stagnation, and that everyone will be exposed as ultimately selfish and weak. But growing pains and fine-tuning notwithstanding, all indications are that this show can be enjoyable and interesting for the foreseeable future.

The TV Girl

No comments: