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Life: Season 2 - Review

Life: Season 2

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THE second season of Damian Lewis’ cop drama Life ultimately proved to be the last… and that was a shame.

The show may have had its flaws but remained a consistently enjoyable and slightly offbeat variation on the buddy cop formula that was extremely well performed.

The murder of the week often took on a slightly quirky scenario, by virtue of the elaborate deaths that the show’s creators dreamt up for its lead duo to investigate, but most stories were well written, witty and constantly engaging.

The central partnership between Lewis’ Charlie Crews and Sarah Shahi’s Dani Reese was also nicely played with a suitable mix of trust and tension, while endearing support came from Adam Arkin, as Crews’ best friend Ted Earley, and Donal Logue as Captain Kevin Tidwell.

Brent Sexton also came into his own a little during the latter part of proceedings, as uniformed officer Bobby Stark, and Gabrielle Union, as Crews’ new partner Jane Seever during the latter episodes.

Life essentially followed the fortunes of Crews, an eccentric detective who returns to the force after being wrongfully imprisoned.

Back on the beat with his determined partner and ex-alcoholic Reese, he sets out to catch LA’s wrongdoers as well as solving who was responsible for framing and sending him to prison.

One of the biggest frustrations with Life was that it adopted a somewhat meandering approach to the plot involving the conspiracy surrounding Crews’ imprisonment. There were numerous times when you wished the show would just get on with it and devote more time to building up the intrigue and pressure surrounding Crews’ search for the truth.

This could have come at the expense of some of the weaker episodes that felt like padding, such as Did You Feel That?, which involved an investigation in the aftermath of an earthquake, and The Business of Miracles, which focused on the murder of a cancer research scientist.

Late on, though, the show gained some serious momentum with episodes such as Trapdoor and Initiative 38, which managed to combine the conspiracy elements more competently with strong murders of the week.

Stand-alone episodes such as Evil…and His Brother Ziggy, which was set on an Indian reservation, and Badge Bunny, which involved women who only date cops, also stood out as minor classics that played up the quirkiness and toughness of the show.

Final episode One, meanwhile, succeeded in rounding off the series in suitably satisfying (and thrilling) fashion, with Crews finally able to devote a whole episode to getting the men responsible for setting him up.

Come that finale, you’ll really be wishing that there was more still to come from Life, whose demise seemed decidedly premature!

Certificate: 15
Episodes: 21
UK DVD Release: December 28, 2009