A review of last night's "Life Unexpected" coming up just as soon as I go to prom with a thesaurus...
Okay, they're getting there. Definitely getting there. That's a couple of episodes in a row completely free of Pilot-itis, and Baze being obnoxious on Ryan and Cate's show was a blast. And even though I unsurprisingly like the adult characters more than the teens - and even though I could see every beat of this particular story coming way in advance - I felt engaged throughout by the Lux/Jones/Bug triangle.
On the other hand, Cate's late visit to Lux's story was the only part of the episode where I liked her at all. I recognize that the writers have stuck Cate into a lot of difficult situations, and also that there are times when the two men around her get off easy for the same actions she gets slammed for (case in point: the listeners don't hold the secret relationship against Ryan), but the character still comes across as grating, particularly in the scene where she accuses Baze of raping her eyes by having sex with her boss. I thought it a nice bit of symmetry that Cate and Lux tell the exact same story to their respective men, only Cate's lie gets Ryan back while Lux's truth sends Bug running, and yet I feel little sympathy for Cate after an episode that was designed (I think) to put us in her shoes and make us realize how tough this situation is on her.
(Some of this, I think, also comes down to performances. Baze was an ass on the radio, I think, but Kristoffer Polaha has an innate charm that I'm not sure Shiri Appleby does. If you put an actress in a role that's supposed to be adorable, and that actress doesn't present as adorable, the character will just seem annoying. Case in point: the early career of Monica Potter.)
But Cate did give Lux good advice, even if it didn't work out, and even if she didn't have the guts to follow it herself. So "Truth Unrevealed" wasn't a total loss for her.
Overall, the show remains pleasant but unremarkable, with occasional drops of sharp dialogue (Baze describes Cate's voice as "like seagulls fighting over a cheese sandwich"), some characters I like, some I don't. With the TV schedule getting busy again next week post-Olympics, and with "LuX" heading for the 8 p.m. trainwreck slot in two weeks, my reviews of it may become more intermittent, with me checking in with a post if an episode's particularly good or bad. But I'll be watching.
What did everybody else think?