Life: Season 1
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Life was his sentence. Life is what he got back. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) stars as the unconventional police officer-turned-convict-turned-detective with a second chance in each compelling Season One episode of the critically acclaimed mystery series Life. After twelve years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, offbeat Charlie Crews has returned to the force with a $50 million settlement, a new spiritual outlook, a strong fondness for fruit, and a highly unusual approach to solving crime. With the aid of his skeptical and demanding new partner, Dani Reese, played by Sarah Shahi (Rush Hour 3), he’s turning police procedure upside down in this unique and fast-paced series with a “terrific cast [and] terrific writing” (Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times).
A quirky drama with moments of startling originality, Life: Season One concerns Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers), a cop who spent 12 years in federal prison for murders he did not commit. Exonerated by DNA evidence, Charlie receives a multimillion-dollar settlement for his troubles and returns to his old job, though now as a detective. Cleared of the crime, Charlie still faces skepticism from his law enforcement brethren and the impatience of a new partner, Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi), a former drug addict squeezed by her superior (Robin Weigert) to find reasons to boot Charlie from the force. None of this hostility, however, compares with the terrible time Charlie experienced behind bars, where a former cop is everyone's punching bag. Charlie's sanity, saved by studying Zen methods of non-attachment, remains with him after he is released into a digital world, Charlie has a lot of catching up to do, but it is his post-prison unorthodox manner and tendency to speak without thinking that prove jarring for colleagues and crime witnesses. Still, it is easy to root for the guy and appreciate (non-attachment aside) his fondness for the good life: a mansion, fast cars, beautiful women, and lots of fresh fruit.
The pilot episode is a knockout, the kind of show featuring moments one has never seen before, such as a scene in which Charlie is forced to shoot a suspect and then talks him through an almost dream-like death. Subsequent episodes are a little uneven in quality, but the overall package is quite compelling, particularly as Charlie quietly solves the mystery of the murders for which he was blamed. Throughout, Charlie's religious transformation in prison collides with his darker impulses toward possible revenge, making Life a fascinating study in conflict. --Tom Keogh
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Every episode was self contained and extremely entertaining; additionally each episode would add bits of pieces to the puzzle of why such calamity had befallen Charley Crews and who had betrayed him and why. I watched this show after it was cancelled on HULU +. No other series I have watched and enjoyed in the past even comes close to the entertainment quality this one imbued with. I found NBCs decision to cancel this show after a mere 2 seasons (a shorter first and a regular second) baffling. Even though I found this series head and shoulders above good shows like "The wire" or "Lost" , NBC saw its way clear to extinguish it just as things were white hot with the series. To their credit at least they did not just cancel it w/o some measure of closure ( the Canadian series INTELLIGENCE comes to mind here). Though forced it was at least a feeble attempt at an organized flipping of the off switch.
This is one series well worth watching.
Now he's trying to find out who set him out. Each week he makes progress on that investigation. You would never know that Damien Lewis is British as he's got the American accent down pat. His character is eccentric, into Zen, which adds fun to the story line. It helps him intuit things about his investigations. This is a quality series with engaging characters and the fine acting skills of Mr. Lewis. Hope to lose 10 pounds treadmilling to it.
Well written, very well acted, and different enough from the traditional police and detective shows on TV to keep you hooked. It's quirkiness is endearing and intriguing, without it being unbelievable or tiresome. I'm only sorry they had only 2 seasons. Well worth watching and purchasing!
The peacock network has a habit of arrogantly canceling shows long before their time. They do away with quality programming for lesser quality shows that cost them pennies to produce. All they care about is the bottom line. If it's too expensive, too smart or high quality, you can forget about it having a long life on this networkk.
It started with Surface. Remember the wonderfully creative show about oceanographers back in 2005/2006? If not, it's no wonder. They cancelled that after one season. Just one. They didn't bother to look beyond the numbers. If they had, they would have seen a very large fan base of loyal viewers. Surface went on to be one of the best selling TV series on DVD, still being steadily purchased almost 4 years later.
And now we have Life. A show that was so unique, so intelligent, so funny, so high quality, so well scripted and acted that it's unlike any other show I've seen. Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi & Adam Arkin were unbelievable in bringing deep, sensitive, complex characters to life. Sure, NBC gave Life two seasons, but wasn't fair to it when it was on. Like another reviewer mentioned, they bounced it all around the schedule like a rubber ball. They didn't promote it; I barely saw commercials when it was on. So instead of backing the show, putting their faith behind it, they just canned it like everything else that's good. Didn't even think twice. All for that so-brilliant idea of putting Leno on at 10 (robbing 5 shows a spot in prime time). What a great business move, guys!
NBC shouldn't have to look further than their own decisions to figure out why they are failing miserably as a network, and why they don't have one hit show right now. Surface. Life. It's a miracle that Heroes is still on the air. They are so unfair to their shows in a way that's just beyond sad. NBC is chock full of executives who are their own worst enemies, and then scratch their heads as to why they fail. We, the viewers, suffer more than anyone. BRING BACK LIFE!!!!!
But, if you are reading this review and haven't seen LIFE, I HIGHLY recommend it. It's amazing. Truly unique.