TCA press tour: ‘Life Unexpected’ brings back memories of the WB
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This fall, the CW will have a new version of ‘Melrose Place.’ Tagline: Tuesday is the new Hump Day. The network will also have ‘The Beautiful Life: TBL,’ about models in the cutthroat fashion industry. ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is, in brief, a weekly version of ‘Twilight,’ complete with blood, raging vampire lust and a young love triangle at its core.
Then there’s ‘Life Unexpected,’ the story of a teenager named Lux who reunites with her birth parents when she files for emancipation from the foster system.
So it’s no surprise that the first question from reporters today during the session for the CW’s adoption drama ‘Life Unexpected’ was: What’s a potentially warm and fuzzy show like this doing on the CW, home also to ‘Gossip Girl’?
Executive producer Liz Tigelaar said the show is reminiscent of the programming that made the WB network teen drama central. Tigelaar’s credits include a stint as an assistant on ‘Dawson’s Creek,’ and ‘Life’s’ other executive producer Janet Leahy worked on ‘Gilmore Girls.’
‘I think many of us come from the old WB. Even though there isn’t a show that exists like this on the CW right now,’ it could work, Tigelaar said, pointing to ‘Gilmore Girls’ ’ jump from the WB to the CW. ‘It’s a testament to the CW’s [willingness] to branch out a little bit.’
She added that the network ‘should broaden out and embrace what they did from the start, shows like ‘Felicity’ and ‘Dawson’s.’ I’m glad there is a home for a show like this again.’
The show even stars WB alumna Shiri Appleby, as Lux’s birth mom, Cate.
The cast and producers talked up the series’ relatively restrained drama and truer-to-life characters (as opposed to the network’s more elevated fare). ‘I learned probably the basics of good television and good storytelling from Bill Cosby, and he said, ‘You start with the truth and go from there,’ ‘ Leahy said. ‘These characters are all very truthful.’
‘That’s the biggest thing that excites me, how flawed these characters are,’ Tigelaar added. ‘How flawed and how real they are. Just the idea of being disappointing is something we want to explore. It’s one thing to be disappointed, but to know you’re disappointing.’
— Denise Martin