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RIP Life – Cancelled After 32 Episodes

Life started off as a very different kind of show than we are used to seeing on network television. The idea of a show about a zen detective whose research into a conspiracy that resulted in his false imprisonment is certainly unique. Also unique was the kind of documentary style the show was created with.

But that was season one.

It’s almost as if the creators never expected Life to go beyond those first eleven episodes. We went from an underlying story that provided a larger driving force to a run-of-the-mill procedural that was pretty much like every other show on television. The result was a show that was not only less unique, but also less compelling.

It really is a shame the writing failed the show, because the actors were great. The awesome ensemble included Damian Lewis as Charlie Crews, Sarah Shahi as his partner Dani Reese, and Adam Arkin as prison buddy turned roommate/business manager Ted Earley. The interactions between Lewis, Arkin, and Shahi were funny, insightful, and very real.

In addition to the actual writing, on some level I blame the Writer’s Strike for killing audience interest. NBC was also complicit, since they gave Life virtually no marketing support, then banished it to two terrible timeslots during season two. After the long delay between seasons, NBC could have at least put a recap episode out to re-capture the audience. Instead, the put the show in the awful Friday 10pm slot, then moved it mid-season to Wednesdays at 9pm, competing directly with LOST and Criminal Minds. At that point, even I had to demote Life to my secondary DVR. I realize that means that most normal viewers were forced to turn away completely, sealing the show’s fate.

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May 9, 2009 - Posted by | Cancelled, Drama, Television | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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