It is rare on TV to find a show that just appeals to everything that makes you happy. Something that creates laughs, tears, thinking moments, and smiles, especially on a network that is known for smug rich kids. Life Unexpected on The CW is game changing is so many ways….
Life Unexpected comes from Liz Tigelaar, a writer/producer from such shows as Brothers and Sisters and American Dreams. It revolves around Lux (Brittany Robertson, a 16-year-old kid who has been in foster care since her parents (Shiri Appleby and Kristoffer Polaha) gave her up after they hooked up on prom night. Lux is looking to be emancipated but must have signatures for both her biological parents and she sets out to find them both. Her dad, Baze (Polaha), is a live in the moment bachelor, who lives above the bar he owns, and her mom Cate, is a popluar radio DJ in Portland, OR (where the show is set). Cate is engaged to her partner on the air Ryan (Kerr Smith), but when Lux shows up she is more than surprised. The series will follow Lux, as after the judge orders her to back in to the custody of her parents, as she manages her new school, rules, and much, much more.
The acting is pitch perfect. The lead, Brittany Robertson, who you may have seen in Swingtown or Dan in Real Life, is funny, sweet, and most of all genuine in her portrayal of a foster kid, while the rest of the supporting cast provides depth and humor to a touchy but touching subject. The writing however is what really shines, with Liz Tigelaar’s words, that make you feel, make you care, and make you engaged, and combined with the blue, homey feel that Vancouver (where the show films but is said to be Portland) gives the show.
The first three episodes build on each other, with the first being mostly set up for what the series will become, and then in the second hour showing how the parents and Ryan will adjust to now have to care for a teenager that never has really had any stability in her life. Then in the third hour (the last that I saw), the show introduces us to back story, we meet Baze’s parents, as well as Cate’s mom played by the ever so great Cynthia Stevenson and her crazy sister.
The show also gives us look in to Lux’s past with her friends from the street, her boyfriend, Bug, and their struggles to lose a friend and trying to get her back again as she moves to bigger and hopefully better things. Lux is a teenager like no other, as she points out in the Pilot she is more of an adult then her parents and it creates for more grown-up high school drama, that we rarely see on television.
If you are a viewer of The CW, you might not expect a show like Life Unexpected to be on your screen. There are no preppy rich kids, we are not in LA or NYC, no maids, all there is a family. A mixed up family of teenagers, parents acting like teenagers, friends, and the wacky people around them. It is absolutely the best new show you will see in 2010, and if this show is any indication that television can be so special, authentic and honest, we will be very, very happy.
Please tune in this Monday at 9/8c on The CW, you will not be disappointed.