Life Unexpected

21 12 2009

Tonight I had the opportunity to watch the first three episodes of Life Unexpected, courtesy of the The CW, which sent me an advanced copy.

The show centers around 15-year-old Lux (which is why the show was formerly known as Life UneXpected), a young girl who is seeking emancipation after spending her life being bounced around foster homes. Since she was never adopted, she needs the signature of her birth parents and sets out to find them. She does (in seemingly record time, mind you) and both are understandably shocked.  All three are then thrown for a loop when the judge, instead of granting emancipation, makes Lux’s parents temporary co-guardians.

For months critics have been raving about the show, saying it is reminsicent of The WB, where substance and heart were favored over style and shock.

They were right.

Life Unexpected has the wit of Gilmore Girls and the emotional complexity of Everwood. Less than 20 minutes into the first episode, tears were already welling up in my eyes. I was moved several times, in fact, but also giggled and chuckled a ton, too. That’s not to say there aren’t any cliches or weak points but as we know from watching the teen dramas, those are to be expected. It’s not surprising executive producer/writer Liz Tigelaar started out working for Dawson’s Creek and it seems she learned well.

Shiri Appleby (Rene, Beverly Hills 90210) stars as Lux’s mother, who is in a romantic relationship with her radio show co-host, played by Kerr Smith (Jack, Dawson’s Creek). It was hard at first to see Appleby as a mom but perhaps that is the point: her character Cate is only 32 years old, making her a teenager when she got pregnant with Lux. Smith, who has thankfully dyed the grey out of his hair, is definitely in a supporting role, one whose future on the show I question despite the press materials. He’s included as if he’s here for the long-haul but it seems to me that Cate and her babydaddy Nate, played by Kristoffer Polaha, are destined for each other in the end. It’s also worth noting that this will be the third show on The CW right now with a main character called Nate.

Lux reminded me of One Tree Hill’s Sam (Ashley Rickards), the foster child Brooke (Sophia Bush) takes in in season 6. The two characters may not look alike but their personalities are strikingly similar. Cate has shades of Brooke as well and at times the plot felt very familiar. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth watching. The three episodes held my attention throughout and I’m eager to see what other angles of this story–which easily could’ve been depicted entirely in a 2-hour movie–are explored throughout the season.

I highly encourage you to tune in on January 18, when Life Unexpected premieres after the new episode of One Tree Hill. I’m honestly worried about the ratings the show will get both that night and in the weeks to come since, as I mentioned above, this show sooooo isn’t a CW show. While I personally think that’s a good thing, other viewers may not. Here’s hoping there’s enough people out there clamoring for the days and ways of the WB.

I have to note, though, that Life Unexpected won’t be covered extensively on this site since it is not a teen drama. I will continue to include it as I have thus far: when there’s something relevant to Smith or Appleby or some other teen drama connection. But, again, I really hope you’ll watch it.





News Roundup: 90210, One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl and Dawson’s Creek

11 11 2009
  • Last night’s 90210 (2.1 million viewers rounded up) increased a bit in the ratings compared to last week.
  • The CW sent out a press release touting 90210’s ratings gains in the key demographics.
  • MTV has an interview with Kellan Lutz (George, 90210).
  • SoapNet will air This Time Around, starring Brian Austin Green (David, Beverly Hills 90210), Sunday night.
  • Lindsay Price (Janet, Beverly Hills 90210) and How I Met Your Mother’s Josh Radner have broken up.
  • Mitch Ryan has been cast on One Tree Hill.
  • You can read the full press release the Parents Television Council sent out about this week’s Gossip Girl.
  • MTV has an article on Lady Gaga’s appearance in next week’s Gossip Girl.
  • The New York Times has an article on people wanting to do their hair like Blake Lively (Serena, Gossip Girl).
  • Miley Cyrus said she’s “pretty obsessed” with Penn Badgley (Dan, Gossip Girl).
  • The CW sent out a press release officially announcing the January 18 premiere date for Life UneXpected, starring Kerr Smith (Jack, Dawson’s Creek) and Shiri Appleby (Rene, Beverly Hills 90210).  The release explains how the schedule swap with One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl will work: OTH will have new episodes January 18-March 1 followed by LUX, then March 8-April 12 LUX will air followed by new episodes of GG. After that, LUX is done and OTH and GG will both be back in their regular spots for the rest of the season.







%d bloggers like this: