Life, Unexpected feels like one of those shows my wife would enjoy watching. It’s funny, but in the last year or so, she recorded and obsessively rewatched every season of Dawson’s Creek. Isn’t it funny that one of the teen actors on that show (Kerr Smith) is now one of the grown-ups on what feels like a successor to Dawson and his Creek?
I’m new to the show – I initially tuned in because I’d heard Erin Karpluk was in it, only to discover her character is ‘on leave’. Damn. Swindled.
Still, Life, Unexpected made it easy to pick up the plot threads. The central character is Lux (Britt Robertson), a teenager given up for adoption as a baby, who tracks down her birth parents in order to become emancipated. Of course, the three end up bonding and Lux becomes part of their lives. However, the catch is that parents Cate (Shirl Appleby) and Baze (Kristoffer Polaha) are not actually a couple. At the end of the first season, Cate married her radio co-presenter Ryan (Kerr Smith), but there’s a simmering love triangle between the three adults.
Which brings us to Season 2 and Oceans Uncharted – Cate and Ryan (and Lux) are returning from their honeymoon. But rather than settle back into life, there are turbulent times ahead: Ryan and Cate find they’ve been given a new co-presenter – a ‘marriage expert’ who’s been hired to pick apart their relationship on-air. A new hire at the bar ignores the rule about smoking on the premises and sets the bar on fire. And Lux agrees to marry the charmingly named Bug, then goes off on a late-night road-trip with a guy she’s just met. Who later turns out to be a new teacher at her school.
It looks like Ryan and Cate’s marriage doesn’t stand even a fighting chance. Not only is Baze sniffing round like a randy dog (and giving Cate the puppy eyes), but a character called Julia has materialized. We see that she’s sent a wedding gift, but Ryan pretends it’s a friend of his parents’. Later on we see him on the phone to Julia. *strokes chin* Hmmmm…
The storyline with Lux sees her get engaged to Bug, slope off for an ‘innocent’ drive with a new guy, then come back with majorly conflicted feelings about getting married. So she gets cold feet with Bug, and he says some horrible things to her. Then she discovers Eric (Shaun Sipos) at school, but it turns out he’s a teacher and both are mortified about the kiss they shared on the road. Oh dear. You could lose your job, dude.
Although I did laugh when Baze stood in the smouldering remains of his bar and saw a parallel between rebuilding the bar and rebuilding his life. Honestly, I like shows with a morality at their heart – which is why I’m hooked on Being erica – but that felt like a self-help book too far.
Anyway, I’m interested to see what sparks will fly when everybody discovers that Baze boned Ryan’s sister. And if the show is ballsy enough to tackle a teacher/student relationship.
- Cate: “You cannot be a marriage expert and not be married. That is like being a sex expert and still being a virgin.”
- Kelly: “I’m saving myself for marriage. Like Jessica Simpson. And Jesus. Technically I’m a born-again virgin.”
- Cate: “Our show’s being taken over by a fake, smug virgin, whose job it is to pick apart our marriage on air.”
- Lux: “That’s not fair! I was happy how we were. Then you went and asked me a question that no normal 16 year old should have to answer.”
- Bug: “What makes you think that you could ever be normal?”
- Trina: “It’s not secret. I’ve never been a fan. I find you grating, abrasive…”
- Cate: “Word on the street is that you’re going to be okay.” Baze: “Yeah, sorry.”