Life: Season 1, Episode 11

Fill It Up (I) (5 Dec. 2007)

TV Episode  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 263 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Crew and Reese investigate a shooting during a family dispute and discover that the couple was also running a marijuana grow-op in their apartment. What they can't find however is the gun ... See full summary »

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Title: Fill It Up (05 Dec 2007)

Fill It Up (05 Dec 2007) on IMDb 8.5/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Jennifer Conover (as Jennifer Siebel)
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The Girl
DeLon Howell ...
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Woman from Animal Control
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Dead Man's Wife
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Storyline

Crew and Reese investigate a shooting during a family dispute and discover that the couple was also running a marijuana grow-op in their apartment. What they can't find however is the gun the woman used to shoot her husband. They do however find evidence that a rather large snake may also inhabit the premises. Crews sets off to find the man who killed his friends and finds that the man is now a born-again Christian. Does Crews bring him in or does he take care of the problem himself. One thing he does realize is that whatever he chooses to do with the murderer, the central question of who set him up remains unanswered. Written by garykmcd

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duct tape gag | See All (1) »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Release Date:

5 December 2007 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

(at around 30 mins) As Charlie is shown upside down in his wrecked car the camera angle through his car shows, several times, the lower front fender of the SUV that just hit his car with such force as to turn it upside down yet there is no damage to the SUV's lower front bumper. See more »

Quotes

Charlie Crews: [to gunmen while hanging upside down in his crashed car] Are you upside down, now, or am I upside down. It's kinda hard to tell...
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Connections

References Magnum, P.I. (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Killer In Me
by D'amato
(DVD Release)
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User Reviews

Season 1: Derivative stuff but still has enough about it to distract in the way that most of the many similar products do
18 November 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I'm not sure how she spotted it but my partner read about Life in the TV listings and asked me to record it for her as it sounded like her thing. I did this without even knowing what it was - indeed Lewis and it being on a backwater channel of ITV made me think that it was a British cop show. Watching even the first episode of season 1 told me why she wanted it recorded because she is a fan of House, Monk, L&O, CSI etc, you know, stuff that has a formula, stuff that pretty much sticks to that formula with a different case each week while some form of story or character development occurs in the background to provide a forward motion to the overall show; y'know - nothing that isn't already being done elsewhere. Certainly the writers of Life have been watching what gets the ratings because on the surface Life is what would happen if you put these other shows in a blender.

This is not necessarily a criticism as, although Life is a genre smoothie of sorts, it doesn't mean that that is all it is. OK so we have the gimmicky detective who doesn't really fit in but is yet very good at what he does, assisted by a female partner, constantly dealing with unusual murders (any Wire fan thinking Life will have a straight up drug shooting one week will be disappointed) and so on, but it is possible that it either does this so well that it is better than the other series, or that it manages to find something that is its own. Well on that first point I'm sad to say that season 1 just didn't mark itself out for me as anything worthy of note (I appreciate the irony of me saying that in a written review). The gimmicks are a bit different and the cases are inventive enough but for me it was just more of the same. The cases put me off a bit as well as they are so weird that the viewer almost becomes dulled to them - and it doesn't help that none of them appear "normal" and then get odd, no we get guys with two identities blown apart by a cooker, a woman dressed as an angel etc etc. The mysteries and the solutions are so off-the-wall that they didn't really engage me as I watched them.

What offered more hope from the start was the "bigger picture" of who set Charlie up and how he is gradually working that out. I had hopes for this part but halfway through season 1 and it had been the equivalent of the "monster" in season 1 of Lost - something that lumbers across in each episode just to remind you that, while you've just watched essentially a stand-alone episode, you have to keep watching to work out what it is. The steps made during the majority of season 1 are small and don't imply that the writers know where this is going. Given that this is the backbone of the series I suspect that, like Lost, it will be kept open as a thread until they are told that Life is cancelled and then they will tie it up from wherever they happen to be then. It has just about enough to perform this task though and in doing it it is entertaining enough to hold me as an "undemanding, brain off, relaxing time filler" but it does feel a shame to see a product that genuinely doesn't aspire to more than that.

It comes through in all regards as the director gives us all the genre standards from shots of LA, fancy homes, use of music, casting of beautiful people etc etc, I did like the use of clips from a "documentary" though to help maintain structure - even if it did gradually get used less and less as the season progressed. The cast are part of the reason that it works and why I did keep watching it when my partner put it on. Lewis maybe doesn't have a great character but he does have a good screen presence and carries a lot of the show on this. Shahi is pretty but the she cannot make more of her character than the basics - part of this is down to the material though, which hands her a troubled character but then does nothing with it. Arkin offers a nice bit of comic relief but doesn't get used that well while Langton just hangs around and feels more like a character created as a useful "go-to" if they need a plot or a narrative device.

Don't get me wrong by my negative comments, Life is not "bad" by any means, it is just derivative and did nothing that made it stand out from a pack of other products, some of which are just as unimaginative and some of which are better. My partner loves it though, so each to their own but, for me, Life is too much like other shows blended together into a genre smoothie but unfortunately the writers have not added the ingredients of originality and freshness into the mix.


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proper end ? UnimpressedBouncer
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Song that ends esp. 'Mirror Ball.' eaglesqn
...Now I get why Life was cancelled... WingsOfWax
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