Monday, January 11, 2010

"Life Unexpected": Bringing TV Back To Where It Belongs...

The face of television is changing. The way we watch television has been changing, as well. Nowadays so many people record and tune in whenever they have the time-- or pop in headphones and log online at work the following morning-- rather than watch a show in its regular time slot. And in the face of these evolving times, why should the term "mid-season replacement" bring the same old sense of doom it once did? If the CW's new example, Life Unexpected, is any indication, mid-season may just become the new fall, and the show itself may just bring the art of television back to its much simpler roots!

The show that has been called "the kind of show that put the old WB on the map" by one of it's stars, Kerr Smith (with whom has an upcoming live chat-- tune in), is a true character piece, following a sixteen year-old hopeful emancipated minor (Lux, played by Brittany Robertson) as she meets her birth-parents (Shiri Appleby and Kristoffer Polaha) for the first time. Though they were just teenagers themselves when Lux was born, and hence why she was given up for adoption, they are ordered by the court to look after her. Instead, though, Lux ends up looking after them.

"It’s such an actor’s piece," star Polaha explained when "My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" interviewed him last month. "It’s why people become actors; they do a high school play and it makes them feel like they belong—like they’re apart of something—and all of a sudden they realize they want to do this for the rest of their life. It’s those moments that make you decide to do something, right? It has the magic of something like camp or school, [so] it just feels so organic, it feels kind of precious in the best way."

Creator Liz Tigelaar, who is also credited as a Consulting Producer on one of the CW's other new shows this year (Melrose Place) has had experience on shows that are mostly style and little substance and vice versa, and luckily for everyone, she chose the latter when crafting her own program. And it is for that very reason that she feels getting a premiere date in January is actually a positive thing; after all, without going up against so many other new programs, her "little show that could" actually has the support from the network's marketing team behind them.

Polaha credits the show's expected success directly back to his fearless leader, though. "
She’s an amazing team leader," he gushed. "She really makes us feel like we’re a part of a team, and therefore we have some sort of say. We have a collaboration feeling, which I think ups everybody’s game, and because of that, the scripts we’re getting week after week are just better than the last. It’s so much fun. I think people are going to sense that, and I think people are going to like it; I just hope people are going to watch!"

Life Unexpected premieres on the CW one week from today at nine p.m. Be sure you watch to show your support for this throwback to real and true storytelling and these phenomenal talents!! And if you happened to miss my exclusive interviews with Liz Tigelaar, Kerr Smith, and Kris Polaha, please click on December 2009 from the "My Life, Made Possible By Pop Culture" archives and take a read!

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