Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sepinwall on TV: 'Life' review

In today's column, I talk about the move of "Life" to Wednesdays at 9 and about some of my frustrations with this season.

7 comments:

T said...

In contrast, "Eleventh Hour"--which also has a character who figures stuff out way ahead of everyone else--falls rather flat. Of past and present shows and lead characters of this nature--the Sherlock Holmes type--House and Crews, and the actors who play them, are, IMO, right at the top.

I agree about the overarching conspiracy: kinda boring. I watch for the small moments of Crews eccentricity and insight.

Tom Coombe said...

Yeah, once Crews cleared his name at the end of the first season, the whole question of why he was set up became less interesting.

Joolie said...

I respectfully disagree - the why of things is important to me, and I'm interested in why Rachel became an orphan. That said, I do agree that the writing needs to do an uptick back to where they were at the end of season 1. It's a show that's smart in a really good way.

T said...

To dilute my criticism of the conspiracy plot a little, I do, at the very least, appreciate that _Crews himself_ as a character cares about it; that in itself achieves something in terms of propelling the story forward rather than, say, having self-contained case-of-the-week episodes. Beyond that, everything else is a bonus: whenever the conspiracy actually clicks for me, and, as Alan mentioned, whenever our man gets to wield his gun.

As an example of a show that, for me, doesn't work as well as _Life_ in the Sherlock-Holmes-type subgenre I would cite _The Mentalist_, which, despite a charismatic central presence in Simon Baker, doesn't achieve the heights of _Life_ or _House_. I still like it, and it's still much better than _Eleventh Hour_ in terms of enjoyability, IMO.

Debsa said...

'And the addition of Donal Logue ("Grounded for Life") as new boss Captain Tidwell, a greasy New York expatriate whose flirtation with Reese has been as stupid as it hasn't been subtle, has added a discordant comic note the show didn't need.'

I couldn't agree more, Donal Logue is totally sucking on 'Life'. Damien Lewis is the star and Adam Arkin provides some lighter fair to the show. I miss Season 1 'Life'. But as long as Damien Lewis is there, I am THERE ;-)

Anonymous said...

I adore Damien Lewis as Crews - such a fantastic, original character when originality is at a premium on TV - and generally really enjoy my hour of Life. However. Like everyone else, I find the conspiracy story mind-numbingly dull and confusing. I'm just not sure it has a pay-off.

I might be in the minority here, but I (much to my own surprise) really enjoy Donal Logue as Tidwell. Possibly because I love that it gives the perpetually buttoned-up Reese some much-needed enjoyment. And Logue has to be one of the most incomprehensibly loveable actors on television.

My disappointments for the season (apart from the stupidity of the conspiracy storyline) have been the decision to push the entirely uninteresting ex-wife to the fore (zero chemistry with Crews compared to the lawyer Connie) and the criminal under-use of Arkin.

T said...

Yeah, I don't see any _particular_ chemistry with the ex-wife--though it's always interesting to me to see any original takes on post-marriage relationships.

I don't mind Logue. I'm operating under a wait-and-see philosophy. To wit, I'm giving the show the benefit of the doubt on where the relationship with Shahi's character might be going.

I'm sure someone out there is well-versed in this matter: what actually happened with the lawyer Connie as a subplot? There was real chemistry there. Was it a decision (to phase out the character) based on external considerations (the actress landed a bigger gig, etc.)? I remember that thing about the character moving out of state and what not, but it seemed tacked-on after all the simmering buildup. Does anyone know?