Saturday, November 22, 2008


Nuance is what makes good dramas into great ones.


Because nuance means a serious show can have a light moment in just a look, a glance, a moment. A funny moment can be a clue to a puzzle, in just a tilt of the head.

Right now, for my money, there is no cast on TV better at that than the cast of my current favorite show, "Life" on NBC.

Just picked up for a full second season a year after debuting in the writers-strike-marred 2007, "Life" also just got moved to a better time slot, between Wednesday's "Knight Rider" remake and the "L&O" mothership.

And after a bit of a shaky beginning on Mondays and then Fridays (yeah, all in one year), "Life" is starting to find the footing that made its 11 episodes in Season One so memorable.

The key, to any show with a "quirky" main character, is the little things. Unlike the broad comedy of "Monk" or the oppressive drama of "SVU," "Life" has a nice (if sometimes erratic) mix, thanks to lede actor Damian Lewis.

And, more importantly, his parter, cheerleader-turned-actress Sarah Shahi, who is so much more than a pretty face: She is the master of the "did he just say that?" look, and that offsets the odd remarks and Zen detecting skills Lewis' Charlie Crews brings to his dual missions as homicide cop and seeker of the truth behind the frame-up that sent him to jail.

Nuance goes a long way. Tune in Wednesdays at 9 Eastern if you don't believe me.

1 Comment:

Mitch said...

I never miss it. I originally started watching because I like Damian Lewis from his work in Band of Brothers; but Life grabbed me for all the same reasons you mentioned.