Quite obviously you’ve probably read reviews of this show on other sites by now. It’s aired 4 episodes. But I held back my review based on my television review standards (read about them here). I liked the pilot a lot. But I’m skipping ahead of myself. Let’s start with what it’s about.
Life Unexpected is about an orphan named Lux (Brittany Robertson) who is trying to get emancipated on her 16th birthday because she hates life in foster care. To be able to do this she needs to get signatures of her birth parents. So she tracks them down. The first one she is able to find is her father, Nate Bazile (Kristoffer Polaha), better known as Base, pronounced basil without the il. He is running a local bar and had no idea he had a kid that was out there. When Lux asks about her mother she discovers that she is actually a well known local radio host, Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby). Base and Cate have not talked since High School and even then no one knew about the baby or the fact that Cate and Base even had sex. Apparently Cate had it secretly and gave it up for adoption but Lux had a heart condition and needed a lot of surgeries which is why she was never adopted. Anyway long story short both Cate and Base wind up with a bit of a connection to their spawn and also are both total opposites. When the day of Lux’s hearing comes up the judge declares she cannot be emancipated but since she has 2 birth parents who can care for her they will have to take care of her. So now Cate and her fiancee/co-host and Base must care for teenage Lux who they are just meeting.
I was drawn to this show for a few reasons. It looked like it could be interesting, I tend to watch everything at least once, and it starred Shiri Appleby. I have had a crush on Appleby since she was in Roswell. Actually since Roswell she hasn’t been in a hell of a lot of stuff. Mostly low budget movies and the occasional guest spot but nothing major. So I was glad to see her returning to a starring role in a series and hoped maybe that series would be good.
It actually started out rather promising. The first episode did what it was supposed to and set up the characters and main story of the show, but did little else to give a feel for the show. It however was pretty entertaining. Brittany Robertson, the 20 year old actress playing the 16 year old Lux seems to be a talent to look out for and when the show is at it’s best she shines. Shiri Appleby also does a good job as Cate. The first episode had a lot of comedic moments and was overall very entertaining.
But then we got to the second episode. Everything went downhill really fast. Now it was mainly focusing on drama and we got very few glimpses of the comedy seen previously. It seemed like Party of Five but bad overdramatic Party of Five. This dramatic version of the show was not good at all. The drama is just so sappy and doesn’t feel right. Whenever they’d let a comedic moment in the show would open up and catch my interest again though. I want this show to feel more like Gilmore Girls in that it has a dramatic part but it plays to comedy and lets the drama come out a little more naturally and more earned. All of these actors can play comedy well and it seems like the writers can write it.
The 3rd and 4th episodes were also mixed bags. They did lighten up a little bit, but usually just to get dark again. It pains me that this show actually has potential and it’s just throwing it away pretty blindly.
As of right now I cannot recommend Life Unexpected. Also little things but the title is horrible and so is the theme song (actually the theme is painfully horrible). I hope creator Liz Tigelaar gets her act together and turns this show into what it can be and not what it is.
You can currently view episodes of Life Unexpected on . Also the latest episode is gratis on The CW website.
Life Unexpected currently airs at 9pm EST on The CW in the US.