Welcome back to Adventures in Netflix! Today I’ll be talking about the 2007-2009 television show, Life.
In world where crime shows and police procedurals are a dime a dozen, it can be difficult to find on that’s actually worth caring about. Every now and then, however, a show comes along that does something interesting with the genre. Life is one of those shows.
I recently watched the first three episodes of the series–I do have vague memories of the show from back when it was first on, but for the purpose of this feature I’ll only be going off of those first three episodes.
Life centers around Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis), a detective who’s spent the past twelve years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Now exonerated (with a sizable settlement) and back on the force, Crews pursues justice with his new partner, Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi), and the zen mindset he developed in prison.
The strength of Life lies chiefly with its characters: Crews is a uniquely unusual character, what with his philosophical ramblings and his odd obsession with fruit. There’s a sense of both positivity and intensity in the way Crews interacts with other people, an almost childlike energy that, combined with Lewis’ excellent performance, makes him instantly likeable.
His partner, Reese, is equally well written and played. A more human, realistic version of the no nonsense tough girl trope, she makes an interesting yin to Crews’ yang. Or yang to his yin; I can never remember which is which.
The actual crimes in Life are, while well put together, fairly standard stuff by today’s over-saturated standards. But like I said, that’s not the draw here. Life is all about the characters: from the core group to the lowliest suspect, everyone is interesting and feel like they have a story behind them, not like some of the cardboard cutout stereotypes to be found on certain other procedurals.
If crime dramas are your thing, or if you just like shows with a quirky edge, Life is well worth checking out.