by Stacey Silverman
Sadly, I am one of those TV nerds that loves watching all of the new fall pilots as soon as I can get my hands on them. I get some pathetic, cheap thrill out of saying to people, "You just saw that one, I like watched it months ago…" (you have to say that line like a valley girl, because it sounds so much more obnoxious that way).
By April/ May of this year I assumed I had finished watched everything and had made all of my predictions for the upcoming season regarding what would stay and what would go, to anyone who would listen. I was wrong. While going through a pile of DVD's on my desk last week, I stumbled upon Life, a new hour drama that will be on NBC this fall. Somehow, in my viewing marathon, I had skipped Life, so I sat down to watch it, not expecting much. It was another cop show and it's gotta be off the charts for me to commit my TIVO to a new cop show.
Well, People Who Read Bean's Blog, I am more than happy to say, that Life was one of the more enjoyable 42 minutes of television I have had in quite some time. The premise is thus: a cop spends 12 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder. When the verdict is overturned and he is released, he gets a $50 million dollar settlement from the department, but also decides to go back to the force (for reasons that will later become evident). The post prison Charlie Crews is surprisingly one of the most delightful, quirky, and fucking handsome cops to come to TV in a longtime. Not the direction I would have assumed network TV would have taken a character fresh out of 12 years in jail, but I applaud the choice. Damian Lewis, plays Charlie, a Brit that you might remember from Band of Brothers, and he is really the one and only reason to watch the show, because Life is Damian Lewis. The show might not be off the charts- but he is. Besides the great looks, he plays this character as part neurotic part eccentric who eats only fruit, and is obsessed with the Zen Buddhist way of living life "in the moment." Apparently this is what got him through his years in jail, and he is attempting to continue this path on the outside world, to varying degrees of success. I'm not describing it well at all, but trust me, this aspect of the show is thoroughly entertaining. Or maybe anything coming out of his mouth would be entertaining to me. I am an admitted cheeseball, with a growing spiritual side as the years go by, so there is nothing I like better than being made to think about the meaning of life from a sexy cop who I would definitely remove my pants for if he asked.
In the end you have a pretty good combo of character driven drama, a bit of procedural, a drop of humor, and a shitload of hotness.
Men, I realize this post was a little one-sided. You should watch the show too, it's good.
Life, premiers September 26th at 10pm on NBC.