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August 27, 2014

Cancel my Side Order of Life, please

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 16th 2007 12:20PM

side order of lifeGood gravy, that was bad.

After being rather impressed with Army Wives, I thought the next original offering from Lifetime, Side Order of Life, would offer something just as engaging and worthwhile, but instead I was given a full hour of cookie-cutter characters, lame dialogue and a plot I've already seen in about eight million other TV shows, movies and books.

The first episode focuses on Jenny (Marisa Coughlan), a photographer for a magazine called InPerson who's planning for her wedding (Jason Priestly plays her fiance, Ian) and running in all sorts of directions at once. When she finds out her friend, Vivy (Diana-Maria Riva) has cancer, she suddenly realizes that she can't control the universe and might need to take a few detours to truly be happy.

Jenny begins to get signs from all over: a photograph she takes of someone reveals a broken heart inside, the Hollywood sign morphs into a kind of mystical teleprompter that gives her advice on how to break the news to her fiance that she wants to postpone the wedding, and, most cloying of all, a wrong number she dials turns out to be some stranger who just happens to tell her all the right things.

I can deal with the idea that Jenny is getting all kinds of signals from the universe, but a series in which everyone Jenny meets, friend or stranger, imparts sage wisdom to her like some Chinese guru resting high atop a mountain grows tiresome really quickly. I could even forgive this if the dialogue wasn't so pat and the episode didn't feel like a self-help book come to life.

One nice thing I can say about the series is that all the actors, especially Coughlan, play their parts well, I just wish they had more to work with than this.

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Kim

I think this is one of the best shows on TV right now. I really hope that it comes back. I can't wait to see what they do next and the season finale was GREAT!!! Lifetime definitely needs to pick this series up again. The guy that reviewed this show was as wrong as he could be. Thank goodness I did not see this before I watched it.

October 14 2007 at 12:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
June

I rarely feel the need to write comments online but I must respond to this one. I watched the first episode of Side Order of Life when the series started, looking for a new show to latch onto. I was slightly disappointed after watching the first show but decided to continue on just in case....and I'm soooo glad I did. The characters and stories continued to improve to the point where I watched the last episode of the season last week with tears in my eyes, wondering if the show would be picked up for another season. I love Jenny, Vivy, Rick, Ian and even Becca. Great cast, great show.

October 11 2007 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Geri

I love this show. My favorite right now. Although I too, am driven crazy with the time changes. This is my one don't wanna miss show. I couldn't sit through ten minutes of Army Wives. That is real pandering. I don't think "Side Order" appeals to many men. Not enough action, violence, foul language and nudity. Perhaps the pace is too slow. I did like your comment about the self-help book come to life. That's very true. A woman searching for who she is and where she's going in life. It has been thought provoking. And the "messages from the universe" are creatively done.

September 18 2007 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stars

I really enjoy Side Order of Life and look forward to watching it every week. It's a refreshing show, with a great cast. Brings a possitive side to some of the worst situations in life.
If you don't like the show, change the station. I hope it continues!

September 10 2007 at 1:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mitzy

Love this show! You sound so limited in your review. this show is groundbreaking.

September 02 2007 at 9:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
helantra

i love watching side order of life, its a great show..not boring at all...but please,please stop changing the times every week,,,every week "see it at its new time" leave well nough alone...and all you who complain on how bad and boring it is,DONT WATCH IT

August 27 2007 at 9:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maskin3

I agree that those who don't like this type of shows can just flip the channel. Personally, I welcome shows like Side Order of Life since they are different from the majority of shows with a knife (doctor) or gun (law) and very silly shows that underrate the audience intelligence miserably.
Side Order is about the real conflicts in real ife situations and without all that jazz about justice and doctors fooling around in hospital lounges.

August 06 2007 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Neil

You lost me at your first paragraph. Army Wives, despite its big ratings, is one of the worst hours of television I have ever seen. It panders to a patriotic public, without being about anything at all. It's exactly the same series as "The Unit" but without any perspective, good writing, bearable acting, or truthful characters. Cliche-filled and sappy and unintentionally hilarious. If you like Army Wives and hate this new show (even though Variety and the New York Times both said that Army Wives was pandering junk, and that Side Order Of Life was original, and adult, and creative, and funny) then I'm thinking I might like the new series. I'll have to check it out...

July 17 2007 at 2:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tara

well i think its a brilliant show and you guys are just closed minded and i am pretty sure there arent 8 million movies or shows like this one so stop being so freaking cinical. and speaking to the person who made the comment about canceling the show you dont have to watch it but other choose to so how about you be more considerate of the other viewers who actually like the show.

July 16 2007 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Actually, I chose to watch this.

None of us are "assigned" anything. We all pretty much watch and review the shows we wish.

I knew going in this show wouldn't be my cup of tea, but I trust myself enough to at least understand what the creators were trying to accomplish and whether or not they succeeded.

For example, I gave Army Wives a positive review, but haven't watched an episode since the first one. I can spot a good show, even if I personally don't care to watch it.

Besides, I don't want to just eat the foods I like all the time, sometimes I like to sample other parts of the salad bar.

Best,

Adam

July 16 2007 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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