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The CW actually took a respectable stab at an Old School WB show last fall with “Privileged,” driven by what ought to have been a star-making turn for Joanna Garcia.It’s too bad that “Privileged” didn’t stick around, because it would have made a fine pairing with “Life Unexpected,” an even better Old School WB series premiering on The CW on Monday (Jan. [Review after the break…] Created by Liz Tigelaar and directed with assurance in early episodes by Gary Fleder, “Life Unexpected” focuses on 15-year-old Lux (Brittany Robertson), who decides that the only way to extricate herself from the foster care system is to become legally emancipated. Her father, Baze (Kristoffer Polaha), is a former stud high school quarterback now doing as little as possible to sustain a life owning and sleeping above a bar.Both implausibilities are acknowledged, slightly dealt with and dispatched in the first couple episodes.
Whereas “Gilmore Girls” made it look like a positive that Lorelai and Rory could be best friends while also having a healthy mother-daughter relationship (even if the roles sometimes seemed to be reversed), “Life Unexpected” leaves little doubt that Baze and Cate could probably be great chums to Lux, but what they need to become is responsible parents.
Appleby has been so agreeable and sloe-eyed in projects as different as “Six Degrees,” “When Do We Eat,” “Charlie Wilson’s War” and “To Love and Die” that I remain baffled it’s taken her so long to get a real follow-up to “Roswell.” She’s a really winning actress.
For viewers who have skipped things like “E-Ring” (lucky viewers), “Justice” and “Eli Stone,” Smith’s transition from “Dawson’s Creek” youth to a grown-up might seem abrupt, but he’s a good-natured foil in yet another role that could have been hatable.
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