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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life Unexpected ends season (series?) in an unexpected way

     One of the charming new treasures of this television season has been the CW's Life Unexpected.  With a mere thirteen episode run, it came to an end last night.  Sadly, it has not yet been picked up for a second season, so what we watched may have been the end of the story.  Gladly, it that is it, there was closure for most of the major story lines.

     Central to this final episode, titled "Love Unexpected", was the love triangle between Baze (Kristoffer Polaha), Cate (Shiri Appleby), and Ryan (Kerr Smith).  It's been brewing for awhile, as in the pilot, though Ryan proposed to his co-anchor and girlfriend Cate, the child she gave birth to a a teenager resurfaced and she fell into bed with the kid's father, Baze.  Had this been a two hour romantic comedy, Baze would have broke in and stopped Ryan and Cate's wedding, leaving the family intact, and the third party to sadly go away.

     But this is television, and after thirteen episodes of getting to know Ryan, it would have been hard to see him rejected and sent packing.  So though Baze did rush into the chapel, he was too late.  And besides that, Cate seems happy to be married to Ryan.  The unexpected ending fit the show perfectly.

     The child in the middle of all this drama, Lux (Brittany Robertson) realized something, too.  Ryan made her understand how any child of a broken family feels, and her friendship with him has been one of the high points of the series, and the reason it would have been tragic for the series to follow the conventional formula.  Sure, she wanted to get her mom and dad together, and he understood that.  But eventually she seemed to realize that matters of the heart aren't so simple, and that there is more to it than a child's longing.  Beautifully handled.

     Lastly, the writers made time to Baze to reconnect with his own father (Robin Thomas).  It was a plot that simmered for a little while, and erupted in this final episode.  It helped the viewer understand Baze, and gave him some sort of triumph, even if he didn't get the girl.  The slow and seemingly natural relationship, with plenty of setbacks, has been one of the most moving stories in the show.

     Hopefully the CW will grant this show another season.  It deserves it.  But if not, it certainly brought some unexpected joy into my life.

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