LIFE UNEXPECTED has that old-school WB feel.
It only took four years, but the network that GILMORE GIRLS and 7th HEAVEN built finally seems to remember it roots. “It might not be a typical show in the way of GOSSIP GIRL, but if you consider the CW as a merge of UPN and the WB, the show is very much in the same vain as EVERWOOD, FELICITY and DAWSON’S CREEK,” explains creator and co-executive producer Liz Tigelaar during a recent one-on-one with the TV Addict at last week’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. “[Series star] Kristoffer Polaha said it on the press line, we’re the only show on all of television that’s a character driven show. It’s not a remake, there’s no high concept, there just isn’t that hook. It’s a group of people in this coming of age story about how these grown ups grow up.”
It’s not a high school show.
Putting aside for a moment that LIFE’s plucky young protagonist, 15-year old Lux, played by SWINGTOWN’s Britt Robertson (Who Tigelaar says was “hands down the best actress we could have gotten. There’s no one better!”) will of course attend high school, one of the most unexpected treats about LIFE UNEXPECTED is that thanks to some serious drama between genetically blessed bio-parents Cate and Baze (Shiri Appleby and Kristoffer Polaha respectively), there’s actually a reason for people over the age of 21 to tune in. Promises Tigelaar, “While we want to use the high school as a backdrop to tell stories [The high school that Lux is going to will be the same one Cate and Baze attended.] The set piece of the school is more of an emotional one. If we do a story about the Winter Formal it will resonate because Cate got knocked up at that Winter Formal, rather than an episode about who’s going to ask Lux on a date.”
This time, it’s personal.
Having had the pleasure of meeting Tigelaar in person on more than one occasion, we can assure you first hand, that her enthusiasm is infectious. And for good reason. Not only is LIFE UNEXPECTED a culmination of over a decade of hard work after getting her start on such TV Addict favorite such as DAWSON’S CREEK, KYLE XY and BROTHERS & SISTERS. Lux’s journey of a girl finally getting to meet her birth-parents is a very personal one for Tigelaar who is an adoptee herself, having only discovering her real-life birth parents over the course of filming the show. Joked Tigelaar, “The first thing my bio-mom sad was, ‘I’m not a radio DJ!’” Which trust us, is something that will make a lot more sense after you’ve watched the pilot.
A Strange Guest Star.
While Erin Karpluk may not be a household name to the majority of the CW’s target demo, fans of the CBC/SoapNet series BEING ERICA will be pleased to discover that Karpluk makes an unexpected appearance on the soot-to-be-hit CW show starting with the fourth episode. “I play the character of Alice who is the boss of Shiri Appleby and Kerr Smith, Kate and Ryan,” revealed Karpluk at last week’s Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. A recurring character that fans may also be surprised to discover was far more pressure for the actress than one might expect. “To be honest I was very nervous to start LIFE UNEXPECTED because someone else is driving the ship and I don’t want to screw it up. You’re there to support the other actors on the show and it’s nerve-wracking jumping onto a show where the cast and crew know each other and are already in motion and you’re the new person. But everybody was very welcoming, the cast was fantastic to work with and the writers are great. Plus it’s kind of nice not to work everyday, I can have a life outside, get my taxes down, go to the gym and go on a date.”
Take a look at the alternatives!
No really. Up against THE BACHELOR, HEROES and TWO AND A HALF MEN, what’s your excuse for not giving LIFE UNEXPECTED a shot?
LIFE UNEXPECTED Premieres Monday January 18 on the CW at 9PM