DVD Review: Life: season one

Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release date: September 2, 2008
MSRP: $29.98

Stars: Damian Lewis, Sarah Shahi, Adam Arkin, Brooke Langton

Twelve years into a life sentence for a murder he didn’t commit, LAPD detective Charlie Crews is exonerated. His settlement agreement awards him $50 million and reinstatement to the force. Det. Dani Reese (Shahi), recently out of drug rehab, draws duty as his partner.

Crews’ study of Zen in prison gives him a unique perspective, enlightened about life yet woefully behind on technology. His colleagues, including Reese, remain somewhat suspicious of him. Among other things, they wonder why he returned to duty instead of using the settlement money to buy a whole new life.

Drawing comparisons to House M.D. and the canceled cult favorite Raines, Life is an offbeat cop drama with an optimistic core. And yet, as focused on the present as Crews is, he’s also independently investigating the crime that cost him twelve years of freedom.

Supporting characters include Charlie’s lawyer Constance Griffiths (Langton), who fought to exonerate him, and Ted Earley (Arkin), a former inside trader-turned-Charlie’s financial advisor. Stalled by last season’s writers strike, only eleven episodes aired between September and December. The show managed to reveal quite a bit of its larger mystery, though, and performed well enough that NBC picked up a second season, premiering September 29.

This three-disc set includes 11 widescreen episodes, five audio commentaries, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, and four behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Order season one of Life from Amazon.

Gerald So
For more of Gerald’s thoughts and observations, check out his blog: If you want to know about my Life…
For more reviews from Gerald, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.