Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Life Unexpected, "Turtle Undefeated": The queen of beer pong

A quick review of last night's "Life Unexpected" coming up just as soon as I have a food baby...

"Turtle Intercepted" was less prone to pilot-itis than the episodes before it. Lux never runs away from one or both parents (though Bug briefly shanghais her in the stolen car), and the conflicts were a bit more varied: Lux vs. the mean girls, Baze vs. his dad, Cate vs. her own uptight nature.

Still, I think I may wait a few weeks - or until the show does a wholly formula-busting episode - before I write another review. I'm enjoying the show, but there's not a lot of meat here right now, nor enough variation. There's only so much time I could spend observing that the drunken Cate does the exact same victory dance Baze was objecting to in an earlier scene with Lux, or that Baze and his dad's frosty relationship feels like a male, less funny version of Lorelai and Emily Gilmore.

What about the rest of you? Are you fine with the show's very familiar rhythms, or are you hoping it'll branch out already?

18 comments:

debbie said...

I hope the characters and story get some major tweaking, but I'm not sure where else this show can go. After watching the first couple of episodes, I:
-Like Baze's character
-Hate Cate
-Feel like Lux's transition is too peachy for someone who spent most of her life in group homes (wouldn't she have more of a disdain for rules?)

But for a CW "family" show, I don't think they can get exactly gritty. "Gilmore Girls" worked well because Stars Hollow was a quirky little town and you got the feeling Rory was raised by everyone, so she was like the town's baby. With Lux, she's likable, but I can't shake the feeling that her back story is pretty shady...even in Portland.

I'd like to see more of Cate's family, but maybe that's because I liked the actress who plays her mom when she was on "Dead Like Me."

Also, am I crazy or did anyone else get an eewie feeling when Lux asked Baze if they would've been friends if they had went to high school together? It kinda creeped me out.

Andrew Gordon said...

I really enjoyed the pilot because it had a nice mix of comedy and happiness-inducing endings. But since then I feel like I just want the show to be more like Gilmore Girls than it actually is, which leaves me wanting.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the characters and the setting, but they definitely need to kick the plots up a notch. Even though this was the most different from the pilot it was still one character screwing up and everyone fighting as a result. I understand what Debbie's saying about Lux's transition being too "peachy" but I also don't think I'd want to watch a show with a seriously troubled girl at the center. And I really don't think this would be the show to tackle that as both Tasha and Bug seem like pretty stock "rebellious kids" and aren't very interesting so far. Plus, is it just me or does Tasha look about 30?

Anonymous said...

Last night's episode confirmed my dislike for the Cate character; the exact moment was when she once again tried to manipulate the authority figure (cop). I get that she's a mommmmm now but it was still annoying; the way she goes about it. And it's hard to buy the Lux character being a foster kid; she's too pretty and undamaged. Want to like the show but it's not building up steam IMO. And why is the bar always empty? I don't buy that either. Baze should be at least making SOME money.

SaneN85 said...

Mmmh, as a former foster child, I'm trying really hard not to be offended by the comment that Lux is too pretty and undamaged to buy her as being a foster kid. Maybe I'm just too damaged to not find that offensive.

I seem to be one of the few that likes Cate and sees where she is coming from. I'm enjoying the show, but I guess I can relate more to the situation.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Sane, I think what people are responding to isn't just that Lux is a foster kid, but that we've been told she's had an extremely rough go of it in the system, so much so that she never stayed with any family for very long and was so desperate to get out of the system that she tried to get emancipated at 16. It's not that every foster kid would be damaged, but that the Lux who is necessary for the show's premise to work probably would be.

BigTed said...

A teenager throws a wild party, lies to her parents about it, and it gets out of hand? The new kid is ostracized by high school mean girls, but the quarterback boyfriend of one of them seems to like her? And her old friends think she's neglecting them to fit in with a more upscale crowd?

This show has the potential to avoid teen-drama cliches, but it doesn't seem to be trying very hard.

Imamarilyn said...

I am already bored. I think the show has a really interesting premise and I am disappointed with the way it isn't really developing. I also really dislike the Cate character, and not in a good way like the one we love to hate.

SaneN85 said...

Alan, I understand that assumption. But, still, as someone who has probably had more of a rough go of things than is implied with this character, I still find it somewhat offensive. Some of us (not just foster kids, but people with rough childhoods in general) use what we've been through as a motivating factor to be as undamaged, successful, (insert postive adjective here) as possible.

debbie said...

Some of us (not just foster kids, but people with rough childhoods in general) use what we've been through as a motivating factor to be as undamaged, successful, (insert postive adjective here) as possible.
Good point, Sane. Thanks for the alternative view. Hopefully, that's the message they convey in the show.

meopta said...

@ Sane - I hear you. Being from a 'background' myself I'm sensitive to those same issues in media.

It's been bugging me a bit that Lux is so 'typical' because she has the 'nice' middle class parents in the wing whereas her friends Tash and Bug are so 'troubled kid' because they don't. They had a group plan, and in that situation they'd all need a head on their shoulders. I think the show is trying to have it both ways there.

To the show at large - I'm bored. I was ff'ing some last night. I really like some of the characters, but it's like a tiny fishbowl, you can only swin in the same circle so many times.

Anonymous said...

Certainly had no intention of offense; have the 'background' myself. Could have chosen better words, but at that age I didn't have the clothes, the hairdo, the poise, or even the devoted cool friends (all 2 of them). But this is just a big fairytale anyway. It never happens like this.

Emily N. said...

I'm finding I don't care about Lux or her friends very much, but I am interested in nearly everything involving Baze, and to a lesser degree Cate and Ryan. Since The CW shows usually focus on teen characters, it's probably a bad sign that the adult characters' lives seem more intriguing.

Realme2008 said...

I love this show, and I have to admit I'm hooked. I got two family members to watch, and they love it too. I really hope The CW renews it for a second season!

canucklehead_ken said...

I like the show but also feel some of the stuff is getting old. Probably because the conflicts are not particularly original. About the last episode though. I know Baze is supposed to be a bit irresponsible but seriously? A turtle race is supposed to be a good way to draw in a crowd for a bar? I find it hard to believe he's that obtuse.

Ginny said...

But Turtle Races were a big hit Monday night on 'Greek!' Well, actually, it was pretty much the same Turtle Race. Isn't the bar across the street (where Lux outed Cate and Ryan) the more successful bar? I like this show, but it really doesn't remind me of 'Gilmore Girls' at all. And why is Lux the only one ever wearing a hat? And, always a different, beautiful, wool one? Hmm...I may be fixating on the wrong elements of the show....

Anonymous said...

I'm a little obsessed with Lux's hats, too. And her coats. We've learned that she's gone shopping with Cate, but it seemed to me that her pre-Cate wardrobe was too nice for the life we're led to believe she had.

Judy said...

Me, I'm obsessed with the Portland references. (I'm from Stumptown, see.) Every time they make a real reference or show a real Portland landmark, we drink some Oregon pinot or microbrew. Every time they make a pretend reference, we don't get to drink. And I also like Lux's hats.