|Life: Season One
|List Price: $29.98
Our Price: $15.88
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Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 09/02/2008 Rating: Nr
A quirky drama with moments of startling originality, Life: Season One concerns Charlie Crews (Damian Lewis of Band of Brothers), a cop who spent 12 years in federal prison for murders he did not commit. Exonerated by DNA evidence, Charlie receives a multimillion-dollar settlement for his troubles and returns to his old job, though now as a detective. Cleared of the crime, Charlie still faces skepticism from his law enforcement brethren and the impatience of a new partner, Dani Reese (Sarah Shahi), a former drug addict squeezed by her superior (Robin Weigert) to find reasons to boot Charlie from the force. None of this hostility, however, compares with the terrible time Charlie experienced behind bars, where a former cop is everyone's punching bag. Charlie's sanity, saved by studying Zen methods of non-attachment, remains with him after he is released into a digital world, Charlie has a lot of catching up to do, but it is his post-prison unorthodox manner and tendency to speak without thinking that prove jarring for colleagues and crime witnesses. Still, it is easy to root for the guy and appreciate (non-attachment aside) his fondness for the good life: a mansion, fast cars, beautiful women, and lots of fresh fruit.
The pilot episode is a knockout, the kind of show featuring moments one has never seen before, such as a scene in which Charlie is forced to shoot a suspect and then talks him through an almost dream-like death. Subsequent episodes are a little uneven in quality, but the overall package is quite compelling, particularly as Charlie quietly solves the mystery of the murders for which he was blamed. Throughout, Charlie's religious transformation in prison collides with his darker impulses toward possible revenge, making Life a fascinating study in conflict. --Tom Keogh
- Life is good... ;-)
This is one of the best new shows in a long time. Its combination of fresh approach and great casting makes a great combination. If you have started to watch Season 2 and you have not seen season 1, then you really need to get this so you can understand the motivations and how the characters interact within the story.
S1 has moments that can be both funny and yet still be key to story development.
Who is Jack Reese?
Why did Crews go to prison and how did he get out?
Where is the money?
Why is Crews so obsessed? and
How do you get a date with Dani?
All this important storyline development is in season one. Sure you can watch it online as I did, but the DVD set is worth the money for image quality and great sound.
Great cast, Very Fresh approach, (even if it is in LA) and a solid hit for NBC.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
- Bring the next season on!
I am sad as I have to wait for the second season as the first season was great. I laughed at many of the off jokes and the themes were much like other shows that are investigator types. I can't wait till the second season comes out!...more info
- Complex,quirky and character driven with crime interspersed
Life is a gem - in the age of gutless, talent show TV. It twists the formulaic crime dramas and squeezes the juice out of them. Charlie Crews is brought to Life by an enigmatic and subtle actor (Damien Lewis) who does more with his non-verbals than most actors,do when speaking. Everything from the set of his jaw to his body posture and eyes conveys meaning and sometimes it's not the same one that his beautiful expressive smiling face does. His ability to project darkness with a his ever present goofy smile is absolutely, priceless. It made me IMDB him and go look at some of his other work, like the BBC show Colditz, in which he's terrific.
Counterbalanced with Charlie Crews is Dani Reese, played superbly by Sarah Shahi (hope I spelled that close to right). Dani is paying penance for some sins that are only alluded to early on and she's a bit limited in this abbreviated first season to being the cranky partner stuck with Crews. But as Season Two opens you get to see more complexity from Sarah and more foibles for both characters.
Far from being Mr Zen, Crews wrestles with rightmindedness and has to guard against his darker pursuits of vengenance and a need to get back into his old life. The scenes with the people who deserted him in his hours (and years of need) like his ex-wife, ex-partner and ex-dad are poignant. You can see that while he wants to forgive, Crews can never forget and the life he wants back has passed him by. It's so much about regret and the interview clips show the guilt owned by those who deserted him.
And each week we get some facinating crime of the week, wherein there is usually a murder to be solved. It gives the writers endless fodder and means to play these superb, multifacted actors and characters off each other.
Then there is the story arc of Crews chasing the people who framed him and sent him to prison running always in the background - the ever constant white noise in Crews' life - the noise he uses Zen to combat.
Life is not a black and white cop procedural drama. The good guys have dark moments and the bad guys can be surprisingly redeeming (except perhaps Arthur Tins and Rick Larsen - two truly scary sociopathic portrayals). All the characters are rich and real.
This is a keeper and one I hope survives against the crush of reality TV, which is neither "real" nor LIFE. ...more info
My wife and I have enjoyed this immensely. I don't think we have ever enjoyed any series this much. Do you self a favor and watch this especially if you like you like cops and robbers....more info
- One Of the Best Series on TV, Period!
Amazing show, thoughtful, funny, action and Zen to boot. Damian Lewis is BRILLIANT! Many scenes make you catch your breath- telling a dying man "go back to sleep, it's was just a bad dream"... Great show and enjoying season 2 that's airing....more info
- Wow! You gotta be picky...
Wow, you gotta be picky (and a little bit crazy) to complain about the music. This series is terrific....more info
- Great series bad DVDs
The original music set the series apart like no other series I have ever watched. I think the studio is trying to double dip and will release a Restored version next year with a BlueRay version.
Until they come up with the originals stick to TIVO....more info
- Quirky fun!
Really enjoy the "Life" series -- great, quirky fun show with nice character dynamics. I want more!...more info
- Maybe life is a dream and we wake up when we die?
I wanted to dig this series something fierce, what with my strong support for Damian Lewis having earned eternal credibility thanks to his Winters character from Band of Brothers, who was responsible for more than a few man tears. And he's good here, very good, easily the highlight of the show, and the sole reason why it's semi-noteworthy instead of utterly forgettable.
Even then it's close. Crews is a weirdo for sure and I haven't been able to totally wrap my head around why he is what he is and how deserving 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit led to his eccentricity but the particular mechanics that forged the character aren't crucial--Crews ends up being fun enough to compensate.
But the actual storytelling? Not even Lewis at the top of his game is enough to rescue the mediocre writing. Once in a while, a case will present itself as something interesting (the IRS guy turned spy hunter), but mostly the play-by-play fails to compel. In fact, the oft-bizarre deaths are the most innovative twists on the cases. Or the weird insertion of an extended Prince of Persia video game sequence set to sweeping, melodramatic music. Really.
The flat writing hamstrings the show, even writing given to Lewis, which should be homeruns all the time, is about 70-30 "amusing" to "eh." Unfortunately for the supporting cast, their stuff is even weaker, especially Shahi, who essentially spends each episode grimacing in Crews's general direction, complaining incessantly about her partner's whimsical musings and snarling. The only other character I like was Adam Arkin's, Crews's roommate and former co-prisoner, who has to put up with his weirdness. The exasperated schtick wears thin, however.
Most disappointing is the season-long arc with Crews attempting to get to the bottom of his frame-up. He's got lots of photos and Post-it notes and magic markers connecting the clues and each show usually drops another piece of the puzzle, but usually all of three minutes is devoted to the arc and never quite connected with me. I didn't really care what new piece of info popped up, a mortal wound in my estimation to the series.
To be fair, the series eventually grew on me, as it marched towards the end of the season. Crews became even more of a compelling character and his surrounding entourage, more tolerable. The latter episodes also featured cleverer cases.
But overall, I'm still not completely sold on the show and may or may not tune in for the second season. Right now I'm thinking not, but the Crews character is interesting enough to grab me as I channel-surf. Make no mistake: without Damian Lewis, this show would have disappeared down the memory hole.
- Love it!
Who cannot relate to an innocent person going to jail? Suspense, drama, and the characters are fascinating.
Love it!...more info
- Fantastic Show
Absolutely one of the best shows on television right now. The cast is amazing and the show mixes procedural drama with a continuing mystery storyline and great character growth. There is something for everyone to love. I would highly recommend this series to anyone!...more info
- The other side of life
A fascinating look at the interaction between two lives with only minimal confluence, and a displayed disconnection of life experience. Wonderful scripts....more info
- Life is Good
I loved this show right from the beginning, unfortunately due to the network it's shown on I missed quite a lot of it.
I read the review by "Fred" who didn't like the DVD because of the music, can't say I'm complaining myself.
Having missed a lot of the first season wasn't aware of the music change, and it didn't make it any less enjoyable.
If like me your more interested in the content of the show, the characters and the actors, then the music shouldn't put you off.
Great series, worth buying....more info
- love this show
I have never before bought a session of a TV show. For the most part, except for a special or two, owning a whole season just seemed like it would get boring. Not so with Life. It is like a David Mamet play without the cursing. I can truly watch "Charlie" over and over. He is his own Zen master. I hope the network keeps it around for a long time. ...more info
- Life is GREAT!
Love, love LOVE this show! Damian Lewis has become a character I HAVE to watch each week on TV. A quirky, insightful, zen-inspired, fruit munching cop that grows on you and you are rooting for (to find out who framed him). Great writing, original show, great acting! Only minus is that the show gets bounced around days/times...hopefully it is staying put for now...Wednesdays on NBC. I bought Season 1 and anxiously await to buy Season 2 once it is out on DVD. If you haven't watched Life...you need to! ...more info
- Oh I Love This Show!
Life is addictive. I bought the dvd for myself, but haven't been able to pry it out of my daughter's hands to watch it! We both love Dani, Ted is such a cool guy, and watching them interact with Charlie, and watching Charlie change from episode to episode is just so COOL.
Can't wait for the rest of the series!...more info
- The Real Deal
Yes, this really is a 5 Star show. One of the best I have seen in many years. It is more like a long video novel than a regular series show. And it delivers. If you have not seen it yet, do start from the beginning. Even if you have seen the last episodes of the second season, the first season is really well worth your time....more info
- Is That Zen?
I haven't watched TV in years-got fed up with the high cost-low return from the various cable/satellite companies available. I do watch some of the shows available online offered by the different networks on their sites. Amazon happened to offer the first episode of Life free. Free is a good thing and also a great way to gain viewers like myself. I am hooked. "Life" is not your run of the mill cop show. Charlie is not your run of the mill cop. I own season 1 on DVD and have already pre-ordered season 2(have to love Amazon's price guarantee)and season 2 is a must see and in my case must own. If you haven't seen Life you haven't lived....more info
- Life - Season One
This is a great show that is a show within itself. Not only is there a story every episode, you are also waiting for Charlie to get the next clue to who is all involved in the set up that sent him to prison. I look forward to each and every episode. This was a great buy and I recommend it to all. ...more info
- Best show on Television!
This is a great show. It's not your typical cop show, with the same old story lines. The character development in Life is very smart and the plot is very good. This is the best show on TV in a very long time. It's a shame more people don't watch it. ...more info
Awesome show. Cleaver, witty, funny. Great cast and characters. Its a bit like HOUSE in the way that he carrries the show and makes it what it is. Though this guy went through much more than HOUSE in his life and doesn't whinge about it. buy it...more info
- Enjoying "Life"
This is such a delightful series! We just discovered "Life" this season and with such an intricately woven plot, we were lost! Whether you are playing catch-up or have been a fan from the first show, this Season One DVD is a good buy because there are so many extras included that enchance the plot and the fascinating characters involved....more info