Thursday, October 11, 2007

Pilot Reviews Life is Wild and other tv thoughts

Well, the pilots have been slowing down, there are just a few left.  One of them was last Sunday, I watched it online, Life is Wild on the CW.


The show is your typical Sunday night family type show that used to dominate the screen.  You remember, Highway to Heaven, Life Goes On, Touched by an Angel, 7th Heaven: the family drama.  I don't know how successful this one will be, partly because if I wasn't such a big fan of Smallville, I might not have even realized that this show existed.  I hadn't heard a thing about it despite having read about (I thought) all of the upcoming shows so that I would be able to review each of them.  Somehow this one slipped through the net.  I actually saw the commercials for it during Smallville, but quickly forgot about it, until I saw trailers for the second episode during Reaper this week, so I went online to see if I could watch it.  Thankfully, the pilot was available on and I am able to give you this review.  As I said at the beginning, it reminds me of the old family friendly dramas, not that there is anything wrong with that.  Life Goes On was a great television show, and 7th Heaven was pretty good in it's prime.  It seems that the show is going for the realistic family feel that Kyle XY has down pat, but Life is Wild falls a little bit short of that.  The family for the most part doesn't feel completely realistic, in fact it feels forced.  The premise of the show feels a bit forced as well.  The whole show has a cheesy feel to it.  Of course so did 7th Heaven; this show can overcome the cheesiness just like that one did.  Despite it's flaws, the show has undeniable heart, and the fact that it's set in Africa is pretty cool, if only because Africa itself is undeniably cool.  While it took a long time for me to really get into it, primarily because I didn't find the family too realistic, the story (while predictable and cheesy) ultimately won me over in the last act.  I let myself just fall for the traps that the show was setting, and ultimately enjoyed it.  Yeah it's predictable, yeah it's cheesy, but it is what it is, and if you just accept that, than you can enjoy the show.  As another plus, the lead actress, Leah Pipes is amazing.  She's the best actor on this series, by far, and adds believability to the rest of the cast simply by having the story told through her character.  I really think that Life is Wild has the potential to be the type of show that the others I mentioned were, but it's going to have to have a lot more visibility first.  It deserves a look just because I think that there is a place for that type of show on network, even if the network is the CW.  I'll always remember growing up and watching Highway to Heaven, then later watching Life Goes On, and finally 7th Heaven together as a family.  I would like for other families to have that same experience, and I think this show can provide it.

Interesting fact:  The show is actually filmed on location in South Africa, and is based on a British TV show titled Wild at Heart.

Pilot Grade: 79%

Other thoughts about tv shows...  SPOILERS INCLUDED

Chuck: I'm caught up now, and this show just keeps getting better, the third episode was the first to have the opening credits.  The theme music is Short Skirt, Long Jacket by CAKE!

Heroes:  At first I really didn't like the fact that Claire's new friend could fly, we already know someone who can fly.  But with the reveal about Sark's power (I call him Sark because that's who he was on Alias, I'm talking about Hiro's hero from ancient Japan) it is clear that powers can and do repeat, which I guess makes sense considering that it is an evolutionary thing there would be some repeats.  My other problem was with Peter.  I didn't understand why he didn't just use his power to get the box, but I guess that it makes sense that without knowing who he is, he doesn't have any faith in his powers either (much less know exactly how to use them).  I'm wondering if because of the plot holes in season one, I'm just expecting them here in season two, or if there actually are weaknesses in this show.  I honestly am not sure which, but I'm not ready to give up on Heroes yet.

Friday Night Lights:  As regular readers might recall, this was last years winner of Josh's Choice for Best New Show of the Year Award.  After one episode of season two, I am very worried it will not be able to sustain it's success.  Granted, that success was largely critical, as it was not watched by a large amount of people, but the first episode had a few moments in it that I found incredibly hard to accept.  That is very disappointing as the best part of this show last year was that it was incredibly real.  I hope that it corrects itself soon as I love this show too much to watch it destroy itself.

Prison Break:  This show is strangely addictive.  I've quit on it three times only to get myself caught right back up on it and watching it again.  I can't explain why.  I really hope that Sarah Tancredi

NBC: Man, even with the worry about Heroes and Friday Night Lights, you've got to be impressed with NBC.  Every one of their new shows was impressive, and with each episode, Chuck, Journeyman, Bionic Woman, and Life each just get better.

Until Next Time, Kudos to NBC.

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