Thursday, December 06, 2007

A December without "Life"

I should be cleaning the house. Marisa thinks I'm cleaning the house. (Well, at least until she reads this.)

Instead, after walking the dog (not a euphemism), I've decided you're going to get two blog posts in one day!

And not only have I managed to successfully avoid cleaning, I think I've also managed to shake my TV show jinx.

Well, I thought so until the writers' strike. See, no sooner had my latest addiction, "Life," gotten picked up for a full 22-episode run, last night's half-season climax signed off with (I paraphrase) "New episodes of 'Life' coming in 2008!"

Sigh. And just when I'd breathed a sigh of relief.

"Life," as its small-but-rabid fan base on Television Without Pity's forums could tell you, is a cop show that's anything but a cop show.

It reminds me of the old ad campaign for "Sports Night" (I paraphrase again) - "Sports Night. It's about sports. The way 'Baywatch' is about water safety."

Yes, there's a murder-of-the-week, but the heart of the show is its characters. Charlie Crews (the fantastic Damian Lewis of "Band of Brothers" fame) is a detective who was wrongly convicted of murder and, once freed on appeal, sues to get his place back on the force.

Yeah, it's because he's a good cop. But it's also because he wants to find out who set him up and murdered his friends.

It's addictive. And because Charlie picked up Zen in prison, pretty damn hysterical, too.

Not to mention the fact that it has a pretty kickin' soundtrack, including Aimee Mann and Beth Orton.

Catch it when you can, or, if you've already caught it, be like me, and wait with bated breath for it to return.

It's been a good year for quirky heroes for me. My summer addiction, "Burn Notice," not only lasted its whole 13-episode run, it got renewed for year two in summer '08.

And even if my jinx comes back, if I want to satisfy my character-driven cop series jones, there's always my old standby, "Law & Order: SVU," or as I often call it, "Law & Order: SUV." (To paraphrase a buddy, "Crimes involving big trucks.")

On the other hand, I've finally given up on "Cold Case."

For one thing, I can only watch so much TV these days.

But more, I've found the show has really lost its edge for me this season. The good music and smooth editing (shifting characters between their current incarnation and the past) are still there. But the emotion element - and this was a show whose endings once made me teary-eyed on a regular basis - has really faded away. I guess the writing's just gone south. It's hard to say. But there's been too much formula, too much more-of-the-same, and the Cold Case squad just isn't doing it for me anymore.

It's a shame. I really enjoyed the show for a long time.

But at least now I have "Life" to replace it. Whenever it comes back.

Damn jinx.


Aric Blue said...

Unfortunately for you, I'm hoping Life fails, since it seems to be either that or I lose Journeyman, which is a really good show.

But yeah, I've heard Life is good too.

Ace said...

I never got into Journeyman, but I heard good things. Reminded me of Early Edition from the promos. I get the feeling it's one or the other, too, and I don't think Journeyman's gotten picked up yet...

Ace said...

I meant "...Early Edition meets Voyagers! from the promos."

MitchJ said...

ZOMG, I love all of those shows. Life is great. I started watching because of Damian Lewis and got hooked.

I agree that Cold Case has been a little flat, but I like what they did with the LT wanting to retire. Good B plot.

Journeyman is awesome. It's Quantum Leap, with more tension and deeper character development. It is in danger, though. But I don't think it's an either/or between it and Life.