"Oh, great," I thought. "Here we go. The CW must have gotten bored with all it's scripted dramas focused around shallow gorgeous teenagers so they're trying to recapture some of their former WB family-oriented drama glory by creating this new show, Life Unexpected. So now it will be focused around a group of shallow gorgeous hipsters and a teenager."
Yeah, I was wrong.
This might comes as I surprise, but I am perfectly willing to admit when I am wrong. Especially when it has such a nice result. My judgmentalness (I...don't think that's a word) towards Life Unexpected turned out to be completely unwarranted, since after seeing two episodes I can state that it is in fact a sweet, touching, and funny show. Some critics have compared it to Gilmore Girls and Everwood (both aired on the WB, natch), but it definitely has a different vibe than them. But still, it's good and you should watch it.
Premise: After spending her life bouncing from one foster family to another, 15-year-old Lux has decided to become an emancipated minor. Her journey through the legal maze leads Lux to her biological father, 30-something Nate "Baze" Bazile, who lives like an aging frat-boy and is astonished to learn he has a daughter. Lux is equally astonished to learn that her mother is Cate Cassidy, a star on local radio, along with her boyfriend, Ryan Thomas. When a judge grants temporary custody of Lux to Baze and Cate, they agree to make a belated attempt to give Lux the family she deserves.
Yes, it sounds twee, but it's not. And yes the people are pretty, but they are realistically pretty, not tv-land pretty. It shouldn't work, what with the hipsters! and foster teens! and wacky plot twists that result in joint custody! but it totally does. Maybe because the actors are all so likeable, or because when you think the show is steering into "lesson of the week moments" it holds back just enough to avoid sappiness. I don't know how or why, all I know is that I like it and I plan to keep watching.
I mean, there are some concessions to the tv world. Lux has ridiculously awesome hair for a down and out teenager, and her attic bedroom would be FREEZING in Portland, but it is the CW after all. And I can't really think of another complaint, which says a lot right there. It's just a really nice little show.