Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Life's Been Good To Me...So Far

LIFE is HOUSE but set on the streets instead of a hospital...unusual Bones-like crimes instead of obscure medical mysteries...both a form of procedural with a quirky British actor playing the American lead. I mean, Damian Lewis (Detective Crews) could be Hugh Laurie's brother for crying out loud...


But I still like Life...a lot.

Last night was the season two premiere, and although it wasn't a standout episode (so many new and returning shows this fall seem hung up on revisiting all the 'setup elements' of the series as if viewers have been away for years!) it was still a solid effort that effectively drew me back in. Life continued its two parallel storylines: solving new crimes in the present while zen-spouting Crews tries to find out why he was framed back in 1995. A nifty spin on the cop detective genre, Life feels oh so 'been there done that', and yet...somethings different.

And that's all a TV show really needs to do to fit in yet stand out in today's crowded television major network landscape. So what's different?

The characters mostly...smartly drawn and armed with clever dialogue, especially the seemingly mismatched partners Crews (Damian Lewis) and Reese (Sarah Shahi).

Good cop.

Bad cop.

Okay she's not that bad, but still, mmmmmm....bad cop.

"They say I'm crazy but I have a good time
I'm just looking for clues at the scene of the crime
Life's been good to me so far."

Check this show out. Like the Joe Walsh song, once it gets in your head you'll be humming it all day. If you like 'familiar TV' which is also smart, funny, and original in its own unique way, that's Life.

One other thing to know about the series is it's wonky schedule over the next couple weeks. To try to capitalize on Heroes as a lead in it'll air a new episode on Mondays and another new episode on Fridays before settling into its regular Friday evening slot on NBC.

1 comment:

Stephen Gallagher said...

I had the same reaction when I first read the premise -- "Oh, yeah, it's HOUSE but with cops" -- but the pilot completely won me over and the show went right to the top of my list. Once I realised that the 'zen cop' notion wasn't actually the premise at all, and that Charlie Crews had an agenda straight out of a Jacobean revenge play, I was hooked. It's not showy but it's solid, and I really like that.

Did you catch Damian Lewis's performance in Lodge Kerrigan's KEANE? Awesome.