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Pilot Watch: "Life"

Pilot Watch: "Life"


The networks have announced their fall schedules, but which of the series will actually be worth watching? Throughout the summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. A lot can change before a show makes it to air, so these aren't comprehensive reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's installment: NBCs "Life."

What's it about? Charlie Crewes, a police officer who was wrongfully convicted of murder and served 12 years of a life sentence, returns to the force after being freed, at least in part because he wants to figure out who made him take the fall.

Who's in it? Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin

The good: Maybe it's because I went to school at Northwestern, home of the Center on Wrongful Convictions, but I think the topic of what the wrongfully convicted do when they re-enter normal life is fascinating fodder for a show. The pilot at least made me interested to find out how prison shaped Crewes and why he decided to return to the force despite a huge settlement that would keep him wealthy for years.

The bad: There's a whole lot of Dr. Gregory House in Crewes, but the writers haven't figured out how to draw the line between "endearingly quirky" and "downright annoying." I mostly found him grating in the pilot — not on account of Lewis, who gives a good performance, but because of the lines and stories he's given. I'm not sure why he couldn't have just been a freed cop instead of a freed cop who happens to also be a tortured, oddball genius.

Will I watch? I can't see this winning a permanent spot on my viewing schedule. Then again, just like "Journeyman," the final scene was good — if more compelling than anything else in the episode.

To watch a preview and see a gallery of photos, read more

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