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Life Unexpected 2010
TV-PG

  • 2011-01-18T18:00:00-08:00
  • The CW
  • 2010-01-18T00:00:00-08:00
  • 60 mins
  • 1 day, 2 hours, 0 mins
  • United States
  • English
  • Drama
After spending all of her 15 years bouncing from one foster family to another in Portland, Oregon, Lux (Britt Robertson, "Swingtown") has decided it's time to take control of her life and become an emancipated minor. Her journey through the legal maze leads Lux to her biological father, 30-something Nate "Baze" Bazile (Kristoffer Polaha, "Mad Men"), who owns a bar, lives like an aging frat-boy with two slacker roommates, and is astonished to learn that he has a teenage daughter. Lux is equally astonished when Baze reveals that her mother is Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby, "E.R."), a star on the local "Morning Madness" radio show, along with her on-air partner and real-life boyfriend, Ryan Thomas (Kerr Smith, "Eli Stone"). Lux has been listening to Cate's voice on the radio as long as she can remember, so she feels an instant connection with the mom she's never met. Baze takes Lux to meet Cate, who is shocked and saddened to learn that Lux has grown up in foster care, but thrilled to finally meet her beautiful daughter. When a judge decides that Lux isn't ready for emancipation and unexpectedly grants temporary joint custody to Baze and Cate, they agree to try to get past the awkwardness and make a belated attempt to give Lux the family she deserves.

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Discovered this on my usual source for TV series recently and liked the premise as it is slightly similar to Finding Carter what is currently airing, so I gave it a shot. Ended up binge-watching the 2 seasons.
For TV shows this happens rarely, if at all. OitnB is the only other show I can think of right now that I ended up binge-watching.

Knowing Britt Robertson mainly from Under The Dome as the annoying character Angie (played really awful), I was skeptical at first since she plays a main role in Life Unexpected.
But she's much better here, although still somewhat underachieving often times.
I am not sure whether because of the character who seems to be thought of as more grown up than other girls her age (~16; normal, given the fact what Lux went through) or because Britt is just an average actress at best.

Nevertheless, that is the biggest problem I have with this show as a whole. Minor problems are some clichés used in here. The teacher/student plot was probably the worst one of those and I ended up skipping most of those parts by fast forwarding them.
The good thing here is, when clichés are used, they often end up to be just a tease for the viewer. It often feels like the writers made fun of those clichés by using them and twisting them to something no one expects due to all the other shows making use of said clichés for convenience reasons of having plots. What ironically ends up being a plot for a lot of episodes on their own here.

An example would be the delinquent and bad guy "Bug", driving a motor cycle, almost living on the street, stealing autoradios in the past to come by, dating the precious innocent little princess (Lux).
He actually tries to be a better person, almost deliberately, he tries to achieve something, becoming a better person and be there for his girlfriend and gets actual character development in his short appearance in this show. He even goes so far as to propose and is the one getting rejected and leaves (the show), instead of messing things up and fleeing like you'd expect at a specific point.
While there is still a limit of how far the teasing goes and the "normal" cliché starts, it is handled with great care and respect for each character.
That is a part of this show that I ended up enjoying the most, that and the fact that the whole cast was working so amazingly well together at around half of the first season.
At some point it's just like it clicked with everyone on the show and the dynamic of all the characters was working on their own ever since and you can clearly see that.

All in all the second season has more minor problems and I enjoyed the first season more, with S02E08 being the worst episode overall (feels like a mess all over the place).
Especially in the first season the plot somehow always ended up with Baze getting involved with Cate and Ryan in the craziest way possible. The second focuses more on Baze growing up, taking over responisibility and Cate and Ryan's marriage falling apart.
Unfortunately due to being early canned what could be a show that is still running after 4 years the end feels a bit rushed. The resolve for this whole show was cramped into just the last episode of season 2 with a little build up in the previous episode.

However, I'd say this is one of those shows that are easily overlooked.
It is a really refreshing attempt for this kind of show with a fantastic cast, no dragging out of dramas just for plot and with a lot of sensitivity for the involved characters and their stories.
If I had to choose my favourite character, though I'd name Cate Cassidy played by Shiri Appleby.
She did an outstanding job portraying probably the most complicated character in this show and was very believable at that.

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brilliant show!!! so shit that it ended :(

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Great show, but I didn't think it will last.
The creator lost his touch.

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