• Network: The CW
  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 18, 2010
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Lux is one of those cute, quippy, ultra-mature teens you find only on TV. And several plot points unfortunately come across as false. But it doesn't matter. The lead characters in Life Unexpected are so likable, and the interactions between them feel so natural, that you find yourself willing to give the show lots of slack.
  2. Life Unexpected is TV pleasure unexpected.
  3. The smart, insightful writing of Liz Tigelaar, the crisp and vibrant exteriors of Portland and the palpable chemistry between all the leads combine to make it, dare I say, lovable, an entertaining hour that might even offer a few insights into the complicated ties of desire and regret, friends and family.
  4. 80
    The show works, in its own hokey, feel-good, alt-soundtrack way.
  5. Reviewed by: Randee Dawn
    80
    Life's clean, clear storytelling is worth a go-around.
  6. Life Unexpected turns out to be a warm, sweet, fun family dramedy. The three leads are very likable, the stakes just high enough for the show to not seem inconsequential
  7. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    80
    There’s plenty of life in this deluxe entertainment, with each episode expanding the world of friends and family who have a stake in Lux’s future. So far, I find myself rooting for just about everyone in this feel-good show that’s refreshingly unafraid to wear its feelings openly.
  8. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    75
    Although the show is somewhat predictable, Polaha adds a great deal of laid-back charm that lightens the mood.
  9. 75
    The tenuousness of the situation, and the underlying hope for emotional growth by all, makes for a touching hour. [25 Jan 2010, p.43]
  10. 75
    This cast is so good, especially Polaha and Appleby, that by the third episode it was surprisingly easy to put aside the lingering questions I had and tolerate the fact that at that stage, some of the supporting characters still came close to being caricatures.
  11. 75
    There is pleasure to be found in Life. There'd be even more, though, if a few more of us were invited in.
  12. 70
    The pilot is good; Episodes 2 and 3 aren't as good. But it has potential.
  13. It can be obvious, sometime a little plodding, but its heart is bigger than all of Lux, and it's the kind of show parents and kids can watch together without anybody saying, "Ewww."; With the name Life Unexpected, it actually is an unexpected pleasure.
  14. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    70
    It's a pleasant mix of a little "Juno" hipitude and a lot of "Everwood" glow, and just when it comes dangerously close to feeling like an excessively cool tampon commercial, its characters compel you to keep watching.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    60
    CW shows tend to walk a thin line between escapism and soap opera, and after its witty pilot the show spends Episodes 2 and 3 massaging the tear ducts, hard. But there is the potential for something at least as good as “Gilmore Girls."
  16. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    58
    The cast has major potential, but Life Unexpected still needs to find an original and compelling voice.
  17. Unfortunately, Life Unexpected took all of the schmaltz of "Gilmore Girls" and expanded it several hundred times over, forgetting to insert any of the quirk and only a smidge of the smart banter.
  18. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Despite its modest merits, Life ultimately spends most of its time paddling in the shallow end of the dramatic gene pool.
  19. Robertson is a find. She capably plays both Lux's world-weary, snarky attitude and her vulnerability. She's a large part of what makes Life Unexpected a minor delight, even if its charms are entirely expected.
  20. 40
    The connections are sudden, relationships shallow, and dialogue glib.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Paul
    Jan 20, 2010
    1
    Unwatchable soap opera nonsense meant to fool the very young who haven't seen it ALL before. Everything is a writer's manipulation. The teen's name is Lux. (Means light, get it? Funny how her name isn't, say, Verbose. Look it up, kids.) And the couple who will raise her are radio talk show hosts, so they can display the angst both off AND on the air. Oh, goody! Couldn't last through more than 20 minutes of this phony nonsense. I feel for Shiri Appleby, who deserve's MUCH better. It's a shame when your real life drama makes less sense than your Sci-Fi drama. Why don't reviewers just tell the truth and review these shows with 2 words: CW soap. That's all they need to say. Full Review »
  2. Apr 4, 2012
    10
    A heart-warming, if not sometimes heart-wrenching, show with an on-screen chemistry between the actors that has not been seen in a TV series for a long-time. Cut off in it's prime by CW with the season 2 finale showing the leaps made to wrap the series from the previous episode. A missed opportunity for at least 2 further series. Britt Robertson is an actress to watch out for in the coming years alongside Kristoffer Polaha ( a fairly new face to UK TV ). Full Review »
  3. Feb 15, 2011
    10
    One of the best shows to come out of 2010! I Have just finished watching Life Unexpected in the UK (literally seen the finale today) and I've been watching an episode a day (as they've been broadcast) for about a month, if I could have sat down and watched it all back to back I would have done. The show has been created from such a simple concept but there was never a dull moment! As with any show, every now and again you like some characters more than others but at the end of the day there are some fantastically written and crafted story lines!! It was sad that the show had to end (yet another annoying cancellation!!) but unlike some shows, this one at least got a good ending that nicely wraps up the show! Full Review »