Life (2007–2009)
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Roman Nevikov kidnaps Dani Reese and contacts Charlie with his ransom demand: he want Charlie to bring him Mickey Rayborn. With the LAPD brass looking for Charlie as well, he's not spending... See full summary »


(as Fred Keller)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Earley
Jane Seever
Special Agent Paul Bodner
Amanda Puryer
Chane't Johnson ...
Agent Liz Ray
SWAT Officer
Paul Jones ...
Special Agent Paul Jones (as Paul Jay Jones)
Russian Call Girl


Roman Nevikov kidnaps Dani Reese and contacts Charlie with his ransom demand: he want Charlie to bring him Mickey Rayborn. With the LAPD brass looking for Charlie as well, he's not spending much time at the office. He wonders if Rayborn is alive but Ted Earley can't find any financial activity by Rayborn. Where and how, Charlie asks himself, could someone live without money? The answer to that question gives him the solution to Rayborn's disappearance. Charlie also learns, finally, why his friend and business partner Jason Seybolt was targeted by the crooked cops and what Rayborn and his pals were really after. In order to get Dani's freedom however, Charlie can only do one thing: exchange himself for his partner and take what comes. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Mystery




Release Date:

8 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


Although it wasn't official at that time, creator Rand Ravich sensed this was going to be the series finale, so he wrote it with that in mind. See more »


The two white Cadillac Escalades in Roman's motorcade are seen with four different California license plates: 2PCI089, 8Q49973, 2PCE439, and 9Q49955. See more »


[first lines]
Charlie Crews: [videotaping] Your name is Roman Nevikov.
Roman Nevikov: My name is Roman Nevikov.
Charlie Crews: Aren't you supposed to be in prison?
Roman Nevikov: No man is supposed to be in prison.
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Life End Theme
Composed by Jon Ehrilich and Jason Derlatka
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User Reviews

Season 2: Solid & distracting genre stuff but only aspires to fill an hour with lazy and unfocused writing causing a lot of the problems
1 May 2009 | by See all my reviews

I wasn't overly impressed by Life in the shorter first season, it just seemed to be far too derivative and lacking its own identity – pretty much an example of a show that will get by for a few years doing the same old stuff in a new package but will get dropped once the novelty of the new packaging wears off. Maybe I'm wrong and maybe Life will run for as long as Law & Order and be remembered as one of the classic cop dramas but I really, really doubt it. Season 2 continues what it started in season 1 by having all the same faults and adding to them. On the surface (which is where this lives) it provides flashy cases and professional delivery to hold the viewer and I'm not suggesting that I am bored while watching it. No, instead I am generally apathetic – I keep waiting for something to fire, something to move forward with energy but it never really happens. The cases are where the variation and energy appears to be episode by episode and the "bigger picture" remains something that (mostly) is left in the back, pulled out when a cliff-hanger is needed or just to remind the viewer that they need to keep watching to get to the bottom of this – in that sense it is a bit like Lost when it was at its worst because it feels like the mystery will be played out for as long as possible and the writers will work out an ending when the executives decides that Life has gone on long enough.

Again though it is not "bad" so much as just generic and it isn't helped by how it seems so intent on being average and doing average things by way of how lazy it can be. To me the best example of this is the romance between Dani and Tidwell. As a character Tidwell is a good addition as he brings something different to the party even if he is a bit obvious. However the "romance" is written in simplistic blocks and there is little in way of convincing transition between them. This is one example that sticks because it covers a chunk of the season but Dani's relapse into drinking is another one – it just "happens" and then is forgotten several scenes later – essentially telling the viewer that she is not a real person and that we have no reason to emotionally invest in her because the script certainly won't be. I do recognise that I am watching a glossy prime-time cop show so should not be surprised by a lack of grit and realism but at the same time one cannot help but be affected by the show's cavalier attitude to even its own characters and their development (or lack of). Season 2 even sees the things that make it different minimised as we have less of the Zen thing, prison seems a distant memory and even the fruit thing just seems random – to be replaced by endless scenes of guns being drawn for any occasion. It becomes its own sort of beast towards the end of the season by having a focused thread but for my money this is all done far too quickly and didn't convince me. As I was watching it I did think that the show was ending and they were rushing to try and grab viewers and, if not, then at least close things out. It didn't really do either and it just makes it feel messy and adds more to the impression of a show not really sure what it is doing.

The cast do their best within this but without any depth in the script most are left either being entirely superficial or "doing" depth by staring at things and looking thoughtful. Lewis is still a big selling point as he is a likable presence but he does need more to work with if he is to make this work. Shahi continues to be good looking but offered nothing – not even the relapse gives her material to work with. She is most memorable for her frequency quizzical looks and the way that she was increasingly shot from the neck up until her pregnancy took her to the edges of the show. I liked Logue even in his greasy simplicity but the script uses his badly – providing too little good comedic clashes and instead focusing on a lazy romance subplot. Arkin is given a bit more to work with in his character but still feels like a filler even if he is often a good filler.

And so it goes. Most of the episodes are distracting and few are "bad" or "dull" but as a total product Life continues to aspire to little more than filling an hour of network time for as long as the viewers will allow it to. The cast try and do help the material a lot but this can only ever work in the short term as they need the goods in order to be able to deliver them. Of course the chances are that Life doesn't have anything but the short-term because it is unlikely to keep going into a third season. Some will blame Leno eating up all the slots but if Life had really made something of itself then it would not be on the table as an option to be dropped. Personally, I won't miss it because over 2 seasons it never gave me a reason to do so.

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