NBC needs "Life" Support

Jason Singer
Mar 23, 2010

 

How do you spell purgatory on television? N-B-C.

     

Everyone already knows about "30 Rock," the critical darling and Emmy hoarder that can't get anybody to watch it.

Now "Life" -- undoubtedly one of the three best dramas this fall -- is fighting for survival. On Wednesday, NBC's new lineup of "Life" and Law & Order" finished fourth in the ratings out of the four major networks.

Does NBC have the Ebola Virus? Is Barry Bonds running the station? Why do good shows on the Peacock Network -- and often great shows -- sink into the abyss like Wesley Snipes' career?

"Life," starring Damian Lewis, is about Charlie Crews, a police officer who was just released from prison after wrongly serving 12 years for murder.

Every week, Crews and his partner, Dani Reese, solve a new murder, while he also works on the "big case" of who framed him, killed his friends and sent him to prison.

But "Life" isn't your typical police procedural: It's witty, bizarre and often hilarious, combined with the most interesting and intricate murder cases on television.

Critics love it. The fan base loves it. And I can tell you there's no better way to spend an hour with your television on Wednesday nights (assuming you don't get a channel that plays re-runs of "The Dark Knight," "WALL-E," and "Cool Runnings" all day long.)

But I digress. To put it kindly, prison has made Lewis a little loopy. He listens to Zen tapes, constantly eats fruit, speaks in philosophical tongues and is befuddled by new technologies like Blackberries and the Internet.

And while his lighthearted insanity provides much of the show's humor, "Life" also has a wonderful supporting cast. The always funny Adam Arkin plays Charlie's best friend, an ex-con businessman who embezzled millions of dollars and met Charlie in jail. Arkin has to live with Charlie while he's out on parole, and he lives in a room above Charlie's garage.

Arkin fears three things: going back to prison, not being able to re-start his life, and the wild coyotes who howl at night in Southern California outside Charlie's house.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, I hope people will watch this show. If you're still not interested in it, I promise my writing doesn't do it justice.

"Life" is smarter than the average show on television, but that should be a good thing. Hopefully there are people out there in SanduskyRegister.com-Land who will hear my plea.

Comments

Anonymous

I never watched 30 Rock untill a couple weeks ago. I am glad I tried it, it is the only Network show I watch. Other than 30 Rock I do not want NBC, ABC, or CBS. It all seems like mindless filth. I would rather watch something with some educational content.

Anonymous

Glad you've jumped on the "30 Rock" train! Next stop: Awesome Humor, USA.

For the record, I think there are some similarities between the shows: "30 Rock," as well as "Life," tend to do much better in houses with college-educated individuals. They also tend to better in houses which make over $50,000. So I think the offbeat humor and commentary in both shows is what pundits refer to as "smart" television.

But I agree with you, most current shows are "mindless filth." If you're willing to wade through the garbage, however, I think you can find a few hidden gems that are equally as smart — and offer as many insights into our culture — as "30 Rock."

Like I said though, I'm glad you're watching "30 Rock," and I'm always glad when you're reading and commenting.

Sorry about the Obama post. I know it was unprofessional: It won't happen again.

Talk to you soon!

Thanks,
Jason

Anonymous

Ahh, do not worry about the Obama post. I should of acted a bit more calm in my post. It is just that I had 8 McCain signs stolen out of my yard and even some damage/vandalism to my property. That being said, I am a bit angry at some Obama supporters. I wish the man himself all the luck in the world, he is going to need it. I just needed to lash out at an Obama supporter. It was unprofessional of me as well and will not happen again.

I did see you made into the Regurgitator with your fellow bloggers.

Anonymous

LOL, yeah. I guess it has to happen to everyone at this newspaper at some point.

I invite people with senses of humor, but I wish he wrote in coherent sentences. It would probably be a lot funnier if we could understand what he was saying.

Anyway, I think everyone had reached a breaking point by the end of this election cycle. It was long, exhausting, frustrating campaign. Some many people on both sides were so mean-spirited, it was hard to stay composed.

But I, as a journalist, should not be sharing my political opinions, and I apologize again.

And I think it goes without saying that 99 percent of Americans — regardless of who you voted for — hope President-elect Obama succeeds. We all want the country to do well.

Thanks for the notes.

- Jason

Anonymous

I just watched three episodes of "Life" on NBC.com and you were right!

BEST SHOW ON TV. PERIOD.

You've made a reader out of me.