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Friday, September 07, 2007

Fall TV Preview - Life - Pilot Training

Life - Original Pilot - directed by David Semel, written by Rand Ravich
Premieres Wednesday, September 26th, 10pm on NBC/Global

Life starts with the exoneration of cop Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis, Band of Brothers), who was sentenced to life in prison and then finally released after 12 years when DNA evidence doesn't link him to the original murder. 4 months later, Crews is back on the force as a detective and partnered with Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi, The L Word), who is given the unlikable task by Lt. Davis (Robin Weigert, Deadwood) to watch him because she's a recovering alcoholic. Crews is a bit strange, loopy you can say after having endured 12 years of prison (as a former cop no less), cut off from the outside world where skinny cell phones and IM'ing are all new to him. He's become a bit Zen and philosophical and uses it to his advantage (or disadvantage) as a detective, something he stipulated in his settlement for being falsely jailed all those years. His friend/fellow former inmate Ted Early (Adam Arkin, Chicago Hope) helps him with his finances and lives above Charlie's garage.

Charlie, learning to deal with life outside the clink, can be fascinating stuff, especially the psychological aspect and the drama between everyone around his former life, and while the pilot ends at the hint of Charlie's larger goal to catch the people who framed him for the murder, so far it looks more like another procedural cop show with an odd couple cops partnership.

Damian Lewis is interesting as the damaged cop on the mend but sometimes I found his American accent a little distracting (he's British in real life) sometimes. It's a bit of a Zen version of House but as a cop show. Which may not be a good selling point since the best part of House is Laurie acting like an asshole and not being very Zen. The pilot was fine but I'm not sure it will make me want to return enough to find out what happens to the larger arching storyline, especially if we have to endure small mysteries of the week/cop drama in between. Seriously, enough with the cop dramas already. It was a better pilot than Bionic Woman or Big Shots, but I feel less compelled to watch it week after week, not when there are already tons of great shows on.

2.5 stars (**1/2) for Life and I like that Robin Weigert is in it but not enough to make me return weekly. I would maybe tune in occasionally but I guess we will see how the first few weeks turn out. If they play up the emotional drama, there might actually be something interesting and slightly new here, but so far, all I see is a cop show with baggage.

Here is the promo video clip for Life:

Life , NBC

The Cast of Life

Damian Lewis

Sarah Shahi

Adam Arkin

Robin Weigert
Video uploaded by SeriesBlog

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