Life--The Television Series (2007-2009)

My bride departed last week for the Left Coast to visit with some of the children and grandchildren and, I suppose, being it’s the Left Coast and all, commune with nature and eat some multi-grain breads.  In any event, this leaves me with a little time on my hands when I’m not working, and we all know, by this time, what that means.....

Television Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio

Over the past three days, I watched the entire 32 episode run of Life, originally aired on NBC from 2007 to 2009.  I viewed this fantastic series in it’s entirety on the 46 inch high definition wide screen Vizio, streamed through my beloved ROKU box.  All courtesy of my wireless home network, which, at least for the time being, is functioning flawlessly.

Life.  The setup is pretty straight forward.  A Los Angeles policeman is convicted of some murders that he didn't commit and is sent to Pelican Bay.  For 12 years.  Then he is exonerated via DNA evidence and is released.  With a cash settlement of 50 million dollars American and his job reinstated, but now as a Detective.  He has a new set of values and a Zen approach to life.  It’s to be expected under the circumstances, no?

This was one slick TV show.  Well written, acted, shot, directed..........No way on God’s green earth that it was going to last.  And, as previously noted, it didn't.  The writers apparently were told just before the final episode that it wasn't going to be renewed and they managed to write a dandy little ending for the show.  Not altogether satisfying, but far better than just leaving us dangling.

OK, then.  We got British subject Damien Lewis in the lead role of Detective Charlie Crews.  He’s a good actor and has been in plenty of stuff, but I know him as Major Richard Winters from Band of Brothers.  You may know him from somewhere else, but from this point forward he’ll always be Charlie Crews to me.

As his partner, Detective Dani Reese, we got former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, native Texan,  and beauty pageant winner Sarah Shahi.  She was born as Aahoo Jahansouz Shahi to a Mexican mother and a Persian father.  She’s tri-lingual too.  Farsi, Spanish, and English.  She’s been a regular or recurring character in a number of TV shows.  Whatta babe.

Then there’s Sons of Anarchy alum Adam Arkin as Charlie’s ex-con roommate and pal, and Canadian Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, Terriers, Copper, Etc,) as Captain Tidwell.

Too many good people, too good a story.  Had to die.  And it did.  Actually, seems like it never really had much of a chance.  The first season was truncated due to a writer’s strike and it never quite got a good start--the second season was interesting in that the Dani Reese character was more or less written out mid-way into the season due to the actress becoming pregnant.  Things happen, I know, but the replacements didn’t have the chemistry that Charlie and Dani had.

Nevertheless, this is really worthwhile.  Good in the way that so many short run TV shows are.  It coulda been a contender.......

Catch it while you can.....Only on Netflix.


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