TV Review: Life 2.1 – Find Your Happy Place

Life: Find Your Happy Place

Life, NBC, Airs Friday 10/9c

Episode: “Find Your Happy Place” (Season 2, Episode 1)

Synopsis: In the season two premiere, detectives Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) and Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi) are on the hunt for a serial killer when three numbered trunks containing suffocated bodies are found scattered across Los Angeles. With their new boss New York transfer Captain Kevin Tidwell (Donal Logue) pressuring them to get answers, Crews and Reese race to find a connection between the murders before the killer strikes again. Meanwhile, Ted (Adam Arkin) and Crews attempt to track down the daughter, the lone survivor, of the family Crews was wrongly convicted of killing.

Review: Tonight was a special treat, indeed — courtesy of the folks at NBC. Not only did one of the most fun shows on TV, that quirky spy show Chuck, come back on for its second season, but one of my other favorites, Life, also made a special guest appearance. Normally, Life is the staple of my otherwise uneventful Friday nights. And in this second season premiere, the writers of Life showed off why their show is easily heralded as something special.

Up first though, is the production value of Life. Season two’s premiere seemed to have a bit more visual flash, the sign of a show in which the network has tons of faith. And why not, Life has proven once again to be one of the most clever, intelligently written shows around. The smart dialog and the pitch-perfect delivery of star Damian Lewis is a deadly combination of funny and authentic, allowing Life to perform the high-wire act between a more serious cop drama and a lighter, less weighty comedy. The promos will tell you that Lewis’ Detective Crews is “the most interesting detective on television,” and they aren’t kidding. Over the course of a the first season, as well as the first episode in season two, they have woven together the world of one of television’s most interesting characters, let alone detectives. He is right up there in the intrigue department with the likes of Michael C. Hall’s Dexter and Battlestar Galactica’s Gaius Baltar (James Callis) — always engaging, mostly unpredictable and never boring.

But enough about my TV man-crushes, lets talk about what happened in this first episode. Crews and his partner Reese, played by the hot and getting hotter Sarah Shahi, take on an interesting case of a killer who boxes up his victims, leaving behind only numbers. It is a clever and interesting case, but not out of the reach of Crews and Reese. This episode also introduces Crews’ new boss, played by Donal Logue. He appears to be the right amount of oddity to play back and forth with Damian Lewis’ unique delivery. What is also interesting is that throughout this episode, as they have done so brilliantly throughout the series, the writers never let us forget about Crews’ circumstances, and his quest to find justice in his own case. This leads to a powerful final moment that leaves the audience looking for more — ultimately, it is setting up for a season full of new discoveries. Thankfully, we don’t have to wait too long, as episode two drops this Friday in Life’s regular time slot — I will be there. Will you?

Up Next Week: Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis) and Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi) investigate the death of a family man who is found beaten and bound to a chair at the bottom of an empty pool. Captain Tidwell (Donal Logue) is convinced the murder was an act of gang violence and sends the detectives on assignment. After interviewing the victim’s daughters and two gang members, Crews and Reese’s only clues are an underground party circuit, a bottle of steroids, and a myth about a man only known as Monster. Meanwhile, Ted (Adam Arkin) gets an unexpected visit from Dani’s father who is determined to find out what information Crews has on him and consequently has a request of Ted. Crews also enlists the help of his ex-wife Jennifer (Jennifer Siebel) to reach out to Rachel (Jessy Schram), the lone survivor of the murdered family Crews was wrongly convicted of killing.

For more coverage of your favorite shows, check out the Control Freaks Archive.

Did you watch Life this week? If so, feel free to discuss below.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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