Life is about Charlie Crews, a cop turned convict turned cop again. It’s the story of a man who was framed for a crime who tries readjust to living life in the free world, and his new role as a police detective.
For Fans Of – Any of USA’s detective shows (Monk, Psych etc) as well as conspiracy themed shows such as Prison Break.
What I Didn’t Like
The show has a jarring opening. We get a truncated version of Charlie’s last 12 years via documentary-style interviews and brief flashbacks to his prison life. While the opening doesn’t last long, it threw me off a bit.
As the episode progressed the interviews continued. I really, really hope that the interviews aren’t permanent, but I can completely see how the producers will keep them around. As a device, I don’t dig them.
I was also kind of annoyed at how long it took for some explanation as to how he became a cop again. It was one of the first questions that I had and I had to wait a full act before I got an answer. It might just be me, but I was completely distracted by the lingering question of how a disgraced, if exonerated, cop would be back on the force again.
What I Did Like
I like every character, particularly Charlie. Damian Lewis does a fine job of balancing between “perceptive” and “aloof” usually in the same scene. Charlie is not only a likable character, but he’s also an interesting one. His relationship with his financial advisor was a nice touch.
I loved how the writers didn’t prolong his first trip back to prison. It was dealt with a believable manner, as where his interactions with the prison guards.
I dug Charlie’s disconnect from technology. Again, it’s completely believable that a guy who’s been out of society for over a decade would find the level of technology available bewildering.
While it may have taken a long time for it to be revealed, I bought the explanation for his presence on the force. It makes sense and works within the context of the show.
On the same note I appreciated the reluctance some of his fellow officers had to him being there.
I also appreciate that he’s not the perfect Zen Buddhist as he’s given to acts of spite. It’s a nice realistic touch.
One aspect of the pilot that I really enjoyed was how questions were answer suitably enough to satisfy, without going into details. Example; why didn’t Charlie’s partner have his back? Answered but not delved into, thus leaving tons of potential for the future.
This was one of the shows that I was really looking forward to this season and I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. Life had a well-rounded premiere. Charlie is quirky without being annoyingly so. He’s manages to be a detective with quirks as opposed to a bunch of quirks in the shape of a character. I’ll be watching this show.
Sir Linksalot: Life