TV Review - Life Sentence
Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) stars as Stella Abbott, a twenty-something cancer survivor in Asheville, Oregon, who thought she had a terminal condition, which she's been facing along with her family for the past eight years. Then, all of a sudden, her doctor tells her she's no longer terminal, so the premise of the series is Stella and her family whose lives were supremely affected by the cancer now have to deal with all the things that were ignored or overlooked in lieu of dealing with the cancer.
This series doesn't have the faith or spirituality of 7th Heaven. It doesn't have the great comedic chops of Gilmore Girls, and it doesn't even have the gravitas of Everwood. It's almost dismissible, if not for one thing. Stella has a brother named Aiden, played by Jayson Blair (The New Normal), and a sister named Elizabeth or Lizzie, played by Brooke Lyons (2 Broke Girls). Both of whom are so dismissible. Lizzie is mostly a non-presence and Aiden is mainly comic relief but unneeded, except that somehow all shows feel like they need a good-looking, idiotic, man-child.
Oddly though, the most interesting thing here is still the women. Paul having to handle financial difficulties could be compelling or even him having to start over socially in his 50s. It depends on the road the show wants to travel with Paul. However, Ida has been very compelling. Her lesbian affair is a joke in the first, two episodes, but it has potential. Ida also has a great moment in the second episode where she explains her experience and point of view over the past eight years and it's an eye-opening moment. The show should dig into moments like that, but even that moment wasn't what hooked me.
Note: Another black British actor, Alfred Enoch, also plays a character named Wes in the ABC series How To Get Away With Murder. Just a coincidence I thought I should point out!
Running Time: 1 hr.
Wednesdays at 9PM on CW.