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11 September 2007

Preview: Life

Life, starring Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Dreamcatcher), is the story of an LA police officer named Charlie Crews, who was sent to prison for triple homicide in 1995, only to be exonerated and cleared of the crime 12 years after. Now, tons richer, thanks to a sizable settlement awarded by the city, Charlie finds that life isn't what it used to be.

Today, Charlie lives in a mansion, drives a great looking car, buys his own orchard so he that he can get a truck (which is what he actually wants rather than the orchard) and fully embraces Zen living. To help his life get back to normal, Charlie returns to his old job as a police detective and tries his best to learn how to use a cellphone or the internet. As he becomes familiar with these, his former co-workers are also trying to re-learn relating to him. Charlie used to be your average by-the-book kind of cop. But experiencing solitary confinement and torture in prison has changed him and his whole outlook. Every now and then people working with Charlie will find him muttering Zen-inspired phrases, acting all weird and quirky. This method, which he apparently learned while in prison, is what he also applies to work, when he is out investigating crime scenes.

And in between all these is a lingering back story --- with Charlie piecing together facts, in the hopes of learning who framed him.

Crime drama isn't something new on TV. A cop who becomes the victim and is now out to seek justice isn't also a fresh idea. Life is only slightly different because the central character is spiritual.

The writing is sharp, with several funny lines that made me laugh modestly:

"Charlie: It is the universe that makes fun of us all.
Dani: Why exactly would the universe make fun of us?
Charlie: Maybe it's insecure."

Overall though, I'm still not certain people will get behind it or give it a chance. It is up against stiff competition in the Wednesday time slot, mainly from other shows which are surrounded with so much more hype. And critics have been unkind towards Life, calling this the first TV show to tank this season (hopefully not true).

However, I give this show an extra-special mark, if only for this scene below, taken from the pilot episode, with Damian Lewis reuniting with former series co-star Michael Cudlitz. I wanted to shout out....in fact, I did exactly that (hehe, nerd!) --- "Hey, you both did Band of Brothers together!" ---


Life premieres on NBC Wednesday Night, Sept 26 at 10 PM.

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