Life Season 1 [DVD]
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Life was his sentence. Life is what he got back. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) stars as the unconventional police officer-turned-convict-turned-detective with a second chance in each compelling Season One episode of the critically acclaimed mystery series Life. After twelve years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, offbeat Charlie Crews has returned to the force with a $50 million settlement, a new spiritual outlook, a strong fondness for fruit, and a highly unusual approach to solving crime. With the aid of his sceptical and demanding new partner, Dani Reese, played by Sarah Shahi (Rush Hour 3), he’s turning police procedure upside down in this unique and fast-paced series.
"Sharp, quirky, edgy new US crime drama"– Daily Mail
• Life Begins
• Fruits of Life
• Still Life
• Life’s Questions
• Deleted Scenes
• Blooper Reel
• Audio Commentary with Cast and Crew
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
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The stage is thus set for eleven episodes and many intriguing cases - that bigamous tax man, for example, with his lower half vaporized; not to mention the woman wearing angel's wings who plummeted onto a car roof.
Damian Lewis is yet another fine British actor thoroughly at home in a major American role. It is a fascinating one too. Charlie's prison experiences have caused him to delve deeply into himself, he now with great insight - skilled at seeing beyond the facade. Head gently tilting sideways, he gazes through eyes - right into the soul. He also has many highly useful extra contacts, invaluable for helping to cut a corner or two. Best mate is fellow ex-convict Ted Earley (Adam Arkin), finance his speciality. Ideal, for somehow money seems behind those murders so many years ago. The trail goes back to an earlier bank raid where several were shot dead and eighteen million dollars were stolen. There IS a connection and Charlie WILL find it.
Admittedly the series has its creaky moments. Those Zen utterances, meant to be so MEANINGFUL, at times prove a bit tedious. Also there are aspects that puzzle. Why did it take so long for Charlie's innocence to be proved? Who runs the mansion and orange grove bought with his compensation money? (Not just Ted surely?) Why at the end is that major villain not arrested?
Minor matters! Much was enjoyed, appetite well and truly whetted for Season 2.
The series started with a high in the first ten minutes when Crews attended his first murder on his return to the police and when no-one could find the bullet asked " has anyone asked the dog?" Surprisingly the dog did know. Other things to look out for were the episode with the Coyotes, the demise of his car and his relationship with his financial advisor.
A couple of times I did find Crews Zen meanderings a tad tedious but overall these added to what was a very enjoyable series.
Slightly stronger back story arc than most shows of this genre.
Not much in the way of extras and quite short being only 3 discs.
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