When I first saw the teasers/previews for Life Unexpected, I sort of got the impression that we've "been there, done that" before. I mean, a woman who had a child at the age of 16 and is now trying to raise her 16 year old daughter, sound familiar??? But this new mother/daughter combo was about as far from Lorelai/Rory as possible. That was evident from the moment that Lux Cassidy stepped onto the screen, and kept going right until the final frame of last night's
I didn't start watching the show when it began...I was a little behind the times, almost a full season actually. I read a lot of different blogs, websites, etc. and so many of them gave accolades to Life Unexpected that I thought I would check it out. The first episode caught my attention with an emotionally charged episode and characters that were - real. The relationship between Baze, Cate, and Lux was not a unique one, so many of us come from a "broken" home in one way or another...but this trio was able to pull at just the right heartstrings time and again, giving the audience just what they needed. (Note, what the audience needed and what we wanted can often times be two different things...just saying.)
The first season gave great insight into each of the characters, and we, as an audience, learned about each of their quirks, and quickly fell in love with them. Whether you were "Team Baze" or "Team Ryan" for Cate, and "Team Bug" or "Team Jones" for Lux, (hmmmm....."Team whatever" should probably be on the list of banned phrases for 2011, but that is a post for a different time), you had a team. It isn't often in a world where "Reality TV" is king, and awful, scripted shows can span several seasons, (well after they should have been put to rest...again, a post for another time) that a creative, funny, sad, poignant, and dramatic program can capture so many emotions in a single hour. Was it cheesy at times? Sure. Contrived? Of course. But throughout all of that, the characters were people, just like us, with our faults and flaws and problems. (Oh, my!)
The second season brought about a couple of wonderful cast additions, including Buffy alum Emma Caufield, and Melrose Place's (2009, not 1992) Shaun Sipos. These two cast members added even more drama to the lives of, well, pretty much everyone...not that they needed it. Emma added some of her comedic relief into Baze's life (and made a great Roswell reference too..."So your ideal woman - let me guess; pint size, big eyes, sort of looks like that chick from Roswell?" Love it!)
There was one problem with this show, however...ok, I'm sure there were a lot of problems with the show, but go with me on this one. It wasn't given nearly enough time to really find it's footing or it's audience. (Well, I guess that it was given enough time...more than a full 22 episode season, which is more than a lot of show get, but when split up into two separate seasons, you lose a lot of momentum.) The sophomore season of the show had a LOT going on, and had the show been given a longer run, I think some things might have taken a different turn.
Last night's finale episode, however, had everything that I wanted it to. Laughter, tears, and a couple of the trademark, "Oh, no, they are NOT going there! Are they? No. Not poss- oh, yep...they sure did go there." moments. And the final scene? Perfect. (See above re: "Was it cheesy at times? Sure. Contrived? Of course.", but perfect nonetheless). I'm a sucker for the "... Years Later" bit, cause I like closure, and nothing says closure like "we know you don't get to see how they got "there", we just wanted you to know that they did, indeed, get "there"." (Although, I must admit, I don't really buy the whole "Lux as valedictorian" thing...I mean, really, that was a stretch...seriously.) I also loved how Lux finally called Cate and Baze "Mom" and "Dad"; that was well deserved. Also, while there was CLEARLY a lot of relationship switching going on, everyone ended up happy, which fed the hopeless romantic in me quite nicely. (Albeit, maybe a little too happy...I mean, great for Ryan and whats-her-name...but that was probably one of the least realistic pairings of the whole show) And, it just goes to show how quickly you can change from season to series finale with a single well placed scene (or from series to season, as Supernatural managed to do quite well last year).
So, it is with sadness that we bid farewell to Life Unexpected...too soon if you ask me.