• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Sep 26, 2007
Season #: 2, 1
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Laura Fries
    80
    Crews quirky mannerisms don't overwhelm the plot, and the show does strikes a nice balance between whimsy and its much darker backstory.
  2. It's an entirely different vibe, further enhanced by a charismatic and quirky central character who is both unpredictable and impossible to pigeonhole. Given a chance to develop, Detective Charlie Crews could someday take a place with the likes of Kojak, Columbo and Monk.
  3. Playing it long and lugubrious but with a tantalizing twinkle, Lewis (last seen in the States as the hateful husband in "The Forsyte Saga") may well wrest the mantle of sexiest troubled American played by a Brit away from Hugh Laurie.
  4. The narrative structure of the show is incredibly satisfying: During each hour a crime is committed and solved, as Charlie’s search for who might have framed him provides the overriding arch, satisfying our short attention spans and taste for long-form narrative at once.
  5. 80
    The actor [Lewis], who uses a flawless American accent, makes Life worth a gander. And he is surrounded by a distinctive cast.
  6. 80
    This peculiar comedy-drama has some cockeyed wrinkles that make it interesting.
  7. Of all the new shows I've watched, it's also the one I'm most eager to see again.
  8. 75
    Lewis is terrific. But his brazenly loopy lawman may not be to everyone's offbeat crime drama tastes.
  9. Life doesn't squander the talents of its cast. The mysteries are solid, the characters multilayered, and Crews is given a bigger mystery about which to obsess--finding out who framed him.
  10. Reviewed by: Tom Jicha
    70
    Lewis is such a commanding presence that Sarah Shahi is rendered little more than an accessory as Dani. There's nothing going on between the partners at the outset, but this is subject to change.
  11. 70
    Details of color and composition do the work usually handled by too much expository dialogue, granting access to Dani and Charlie’s thinking.
  12. Just as we begin to wonder whether Life is intended to be, um, wacky, it takes a darker turn.
  13. 60
    Mildly satisfying, but pretty formulaic.
  14. While one can never count out a decent cop show, Life's main character is so weird he either fascinates you immediately or turns you off.
  15. There’s no doubt Life is blessed with a fine lead actor, an intriguing premise and better writing than most new shows this fall. It’s just that viewers aren’t going to find that promising TV drama buried underneath all the crime procedural.
  16. Lewis is a strong enough actor (again, see "Band of Brothers") that there are moments where he pulls together all these tics into a character who could be interesting, but too much time gets wasted on pedestrian mysteries to give him room to work.
  17. 37
    Strip away the abrasive flourishes, and what's left is a standard-issue TV mystery with cases that are too easy to solve and internal conflicts and conspiracies that make no sense.
  18. It gets bogged down by so many procedural elements that all the character moments get squished and forced out around the edges, resulting in an uninteresting blob of an overly familiar TV show.
  19. Just dreadful enough to want to shoot yourself and end up in the tender loving arms of the people at "Private Practice."
  20. I could make more fun of Life, but it probably wouldn't be too good for my karma.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 251 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 41 out of 251
  1. Dec 21, 2013
    10
    Zen philosophy in a prime-time network show, what a great concept. The police procedural simply serves as the framework to explore DamianZen philosophy in a prime-time network show, what a great concept. The police procedural simply serves as the framework to explore Damian Lewis' character, and how he deals with the world. Lewis and Shahi play their parts so well, and with the sharply written dialogue, it is a pleasure to watch and listen to. Full Review »
  2. Mar 13, 2013
    10
    The writing is great, the pacing is great, the character development is fantastic, the camera work is engaging. This is a thoroughlyThe writing is great, the pacing is great, the character development is fantastic, the camera work is engaging. This is a thoroughly entertaining show. As I came upon the last episode, I worried that it would end in medias res. But in fact, they wrap the whole thing up beautifully and you are left with a satisfied sense of having read through a long and wonderful novel. Full Review »
  3. Jan 2, 2012
    10
    Fantastic show! Contains just the right amount of drama, hilarity, and everything in between. The characters are pretty much all fantastic asFantastic show! Contains just the right amount of drama, hilarity, and everything in between. The characters are pretty much all fantastic as well. I'd highly recommend it. Full Review »