Unexpected Surprise

9:38 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
How clever! I’ve just discovered that Life Unexpected, the new CW show, can be conveniently shortened into LUX, the name of the main young character. Anyway, all my online searching has turned up the following: that although LUX wasn’t doing spectacularly in the ratings at the end of February, it was performing equally well on the two nights it was aired (on repeat), with new, equal portions of viewers on both nights. Add to that a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly that cited it as one of the Top 20 most downloaded shows (with fellow CW sibling Gossip Girl at the top spot).

Hopefully the CW is wise enough to keep this show around. With the cancellation of Melrose Place certified, there’s a good chance LUX will stick around to plug up that spot, or to complement either One Tree Hill or GG on Monday while the other one is paired with a newcomer in place of MP.

Anyway, I have to say, LUX has quickly become one of my favourite new shows, although it’s not without its problems. I feel like I have written this post in here somewhere, but yet I don’t have a Life Unexpected tag…so I can’t have.

The most interesting thing about a show like LUX is that it appeals to a pretty vast demographic – truth be told, the more interesting dynamics of the show come from the adults, which are conveniently young thirty-somethings. But you still have storylines featuring young Lux, which allow us past-high-schoolers to indulge in some high school drama that we all still kind of crave.

It is snappily written with actually laugh out loud funny delivery, comic timing, and jokes – but it’s also very good at pulling on the heartstrings and making you have serious emotional reactions of nerves, excitement, and shock. It’s also got an interesting cast of characters that rotate in and out on a weekly basis (similar to the awesome township casting of Gilmore Girls).

That being said, there are a few things that need to be ironed out. For one, they need to make Lux a little less desperately whiny (enough with the hand wringing!) and give her some storylines of her own, beyond the trite Bug/Jones triangle. Neither one of these guys really fits with the Lux character we know, so why not let her start from scratch. Introduce a new guy to the mix next season – perhaps another bad boy with a heart of gold a la Jess on Gilmore Girls, to compete with the bad boy she currently prefers, Bug.

We also need to give Ryan a little more depth. I’m actually on team Cate & Ryan, but I enjoy a pining Baze. Ryan’s best scenes, by far, are the ones where we get to seem him open up outside of his tenuous scenes with Cate. Those scenes take place with Lux, and the two of them have a sweet, more realistic father/daughter bond than Lux and Baze. It would be nice to see more of Ryan’s world – who were those groomsmen at his wedding? – outside of the Lux/Cate/Baze world, especially if things continue to be rocky / doomed in that part of his life. We can’t rely on these little Lux windows to continually bring Ryan back from obscured, understandable douchebaggery.

Another problem, likely because of the short season, is the uneven development of the characters outside of our core trio, Ryan being the most glaring example. Baze has a bad relationship with his dad, as demonstrated, but the climactic golf parking lot showdown felt a little…false? We get a lot of the “You always thought I would fail dad!” but it didn’t really give us much insight into why this might be, or where Baze failed, what turning point in his life sent him down his barfly pasture.

Also, in going with my earlier critique of Lux’s boring teen storylines, we really need to have some better character development amongst her circle of friends. I don’t care about Tash or Bug at all right now, nor do I really care to learn more.

There was a hint of high school friendship extensions (which can still be hilariously, competitively done as per that standby, Gilmore Girls) but they were quickly squashed. So Lux should be a million times more miserable at school than she currently is, but because her school life is so boring, we see nothing of it, just her dramatic home life. If you’re going to put her in a bad situation like that, SHOW US. Or come up with a solution. Lux needs compatriots outside of her parentals also.

One final word. Gilmore Girls was about a mother / daughter yes, but in the ways their lives would intersect: family dinners, disagreements about boys, and moments of weakness. Right now LUX is trying to make the relationships between their core trio (+ triangle with Ryan) what the entire show rests on, but for it to be truly successful, we need to build a world around each character, and let their lives intersect naturally. The drama on Gilmore Girls often involved Rory and Lorelei together, but the root cause was often from an outside source from one, or both of their worlds.

That is all, I hope to see a return for this show with some improvements – it has amazing potential and I love the core cast.

- Britt’s On


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