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September 2, 2015

Life: Find Your Happy Place (season premiere)

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 30th 2008 9:01AM

Crews and Reese are back again for season two of 'Life'.

(S02E01) Ten months. That's how long its been since we've seen a fresh episode of Life. After the last episode aired in November there was nary a word about the show, save for reports of its renewal and a bit about casting changes. This left fans of the show in a bit of a tizzy. For Life wasn't just a dime-a-dozen criminal procedural, but a show with an underlying story about conspiracy and the search for justice. By the time the show ended its very short first season we were cheering Detective Charlie Crews as he was able to get a semblance of his freedom back.

Now we enter season two. And, as usual, the following question comes to mind: did it carry on the spirit of season one? Well yes, and possibly no. Click ahead to find out.

For the most part, the spirit of the show was still there. Charlie still has that look and sense of a little child learning about the world (think Caillou with a gun) as seen when he attempted to use the automatic sink at the park. Reese is still too serious and still a bit annoyed when Charlie starts one of his Zen rants. However, because they've been partners for awhile now, there is a sense of comfort and security between the two that wasn't there in the previous season. What was different with their pairing in the last round was the tension and the secrets that surrounded them. The secrets are still there (and they both acknowledge they are there), but that tension is gone.

That's not what made the show feel different, though. I think part of that was the introduction of Donal Logue as Charlie and Dani's new boss. Where Robin Weigert was a good fit as Lt. Karen Davis, Logue's Captain Kevin Tidwell is a round peg for a square hole. It's the New York City brashness that turns me off. I disliked Lt. Davis because she was against the hero Crews. But Tidwell is sort of unlikable all around. Plus, Logue doesn't do true New Yawker very well.

The other item that gave the show a different vibe was this week's criminal case. While continuing the edginess of last season, this week's case wasn't that interesting. Uh, let me correct that. It was interesting until we found out who the serial killer was. I do not know the actor who portrayed this killer, but he did not exude any sense of creepy whatsoever. The whole thing about never smiling except when he killed someone: didn't convince me. And, here's a question to all television show producers...why do the mothers of all serial killers dress so frumpy?

If there is one thing I was glad about during this episode it was the way they handled Crews' continuing search to find Rachel, the remaining survivor of the family he was accused of killing. At first, I thought the search for her would go on for several weeks considering the fact that Ted said she had just disappeared. When they found Rachel in that secret room of the hostel I was initially angry that they caught up with her so soon. Then I realized that the producers were probably moving this story along just in case the show met an untimely death.

Chalk this season premiere of Life up to new season jitters. The chemistry was off and the feel of the show was different most likely due to the length of time both the viewers and producers had to forget how the show worked last season. I think with some time the show will get back to what made it a cult hit last year. And, if we're lucky, NBC will give it the chance it deserves on Friday nights.

How was the second season premiere of 'Life'?
Fantastic! Continuing with the greatness of last season.351 (53.2%)
Good. Some things were off, but otherwise it was entertaining276 (41.8%)
Fair. I think some of the magic was lost.25 (3.8%)
Poor. Not at all what I remember the show being about8 (1.2%)

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I had almost forgotten why I liked this show last
year. It took about half the episode to get the flavor
of the characters back. Damian Lewis is really a good
actor. Lots of nice character quirks to keep him interesting.
I miss Robin Weigert (any connection to my beloved Deadwood is good), but seeing Titus Welliver filled that
void somewhat.

October 04 2008 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please someone tell me the name of the song that was playing at the very end during this rescue scene!? Thank you so much!

October 03 2008 at 7:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love this show. I forgot how much I missed it. I did think that the resolution was a bit more obvious this week that I remembered. The moment I saw that kid, I knew he was the killer. I would also like to echo the thought that I can't remember exactly what happened last year, esp. regarding Karen.

Oh, and @ Will, above, I think that girl was help captive just in the time that has passed since the S1 finale. She was the girl who adoptive father actually killed the Seybolt family, if I remeber correctly. She was in that house in country in the finale, listening to her "father" preaching..He is the one Charlie visited in the slammer. (Pls. feel free to correct me if I am wrong!)

Either way, I still love this show and Damian Lewis.

October 01 2008 at 1:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Loved the show last season, didn't like the premier so much. I,too, saw all the eps & was confused at the end. So that girl has been held captive all the time Crews was in prison? Weird. I feel a little dumb but I just didn't get it.

Thanks to Odessa, above post, for stating that the kid was from The Riches. It was driving me crazy, trying to remember where I knew him from & I hadn't tried to look it up yet. I just didn't believe him as the killer.

I'll keep watching, because it is a good show, but this opener lost me on a lot of points.

October 01 2008 at 5:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Will's comment

This is absolutley the best TV drama I've seen in years and Damian Lewis is brilliant as Charlie Crews. I loved the season premiere and can't wait to see more.

All of the season 1 episodes are available for free online viewing at nbc.com and hulu.com and amazon.com and the season 1 DVD is also available - so it is easy to catch up or refresh your memory.

October 02 2008 at 9:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really like Life. The only thing about this episode that I wasn't pleased about though was from the first shot of the first trunk, my initial reaction was "Look at the GPS coordinates - It's all about where it was placed". Aside from the smiley face pattern, it was a bit obvious.

October 01 2008 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What is the name of the song played during the opening scenes?

September 30 2008 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show is brilliant, and the season premiere was amazing. I had the opportunity to watch the entire Season1 on DVD recently, and I can't wait to see how Season2 evolves.

Damian Lewis was nominated for an Emmy, wasn't he? Great actor. Sarah Shahi is perfect in her role (and yes, I love her).

Question: Was is ever revealed why Lt. Karen Davis was demoted (or why the actress is no longer on the show)?

September 30 2008 at 4:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed Life last night more than Heroes.
As to the Serial Killer I thought he was plenty scary. He seems like a regular guy and bam he becomes this smirky killer.

The finding of both the girls seems odd.

September 30 2008 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good to have Life back. I generally have problems watching any show at 10:00 pm; I had no difficulty staying awake last night. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's a quality Life has that separates it from the other so-called "procedurals". They draw out and display each character's idiosyncracies, no matter how big or small the part, so well. Nobody is a stereotype.

September 30 2008 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love Life so much. I already caught the online preview.
I really enjoyed it. The kid who played the killer also plays the older son on The Riches if I'm not mistaken.
I wish that Life wasn't banished to the 10:00 on Friday zone. So many tv shows I liked House, Bones, and even Heroes are no longer must watch tv for me, but Life is definitely still the show I enjoyed so much last year!!! If it were up to me I would hype up Damian Lewis being the star of this show, you can't turn on TNT without Holly Hunter, Saving Grace, and Kyra Sedgwick, The Closer.

September 30 2008 at 12:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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