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Life Unexpected

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 18, 2010 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
326 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Nate "Baze" Bazile is astonished to learn he has a daughter. Lux is shocked to learn that her mother is Cate Cassidy, a star on the local radio show. Baze feels bad after he discovers Lux grew up in foster care and takes Lux to meet her mother. A judge grants temporary joint custody to Baze and Cate, trying to give Lux a loving home that she has longed for.moreless

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  • Pilot episode

    In this episode of Life Unexpected, the following happens. This pilot episode introduces us to Lux, a 15 year old girl who has been in foster care since she was born. N the hope of getting emancipated she tracks down her birth parents, Baze and Cate, so that they can sign the form for it all to happen. Only the judge orders her parents, to have joint temporary custody of her.

    We learn that Lux was never adopted, because of a heart condition, which wasn't fixed properly until she was nearly 3 years old. As the episode draws to a close, we see them throwing Lux a birthday party, for her 16th birthday. Already I am in love with this show. But I have one question: - If she saw that Baze was her father on the form, then why didn't she know that Cate was her mother? Maybe she didn't have time to read the whole form, who knows, perhaps this will be answered in a later episode.moreless
  • Lux, a child of the foster care system is about to become 16 when she decides to try and become emancipated. She manages to find her birth parents one of which didn't even know she existed. In the end she is put in temporary custdy of her birth parents.moreless

    Surprisingly good and entertaining. The casting is well thought out and the script, even though it was a little sappy had some nice moments.

    Meet Lux played by Brittany Robertson, a very attractive and strong willed fifteen year old about to be sixteen. She has lived in seven foster homes since she was three and never has really had a home to call her own.

    Meet Nate Bazile played by Kristoffer Polaha, a man in his early thirties who owns a bar and lives right above it. Oh, and he is Lux's biological father even though he doesn't even know she exists.

    Finally meet Cate Cassidy played by Shirl Appleby who is Lux's mother, but gave her up because she was barely sixteen herself at the time and had no idea what she was doing.

    Add the fact that Cate is a radio personality part of a team with her new fiance Ryan played by Kerr Smith and you have Life Unexpected.

    This first episode was very straight forward with us meeting the characters and finding out a little about each of them and finally learning that both biological parents are now responsible for this sixteen year old girl. It seems that all three of them will have to learn to grow up together!

    Entertaining with a touch of sap, this could be a really strong show for the CW and hit a wider market than they usually do. I'm looking forward to more Life Unexpected. Thanks for reading...moreless
  • Who is the child and who are the adults here?

    What a wonderful premise for a series! Yes, they don't exactly look alike. Yes, the fact that a three year old could be considered 'unadoptable' in this day and age is a bit far fetched. But what a zany group of characters brought together to mingle. We have one bright and motivated 16 year old looking for a way out of foster care. We have a guy who realizes as our story evolves that his life has most likely peaked in high school. And we have a motivated and sucessful woman who is in denial of the decision she made years before having an affect on her character. I loved it. I even loved the periferial characters. The bar buddies with heart. The radio cohost with the ring in a box. I am looking forward to seeing how this rag tag group is going to form the family that Lux wants...and deserves. And I am REALLY looking forward to seeing Lux raise her parents. Hee.moreless
  • *** Spoiler-free *** Britt Anderson convincing performance, empathic characters, emotional moments but subliminal ads, screwed up Shiri Appleby's character and unprotected sex

    I decided to watch Life Unexpected's pilot after reading an article about how much the show was refreshing compared to other The CW productions. It also mentionned empathic characters and inspiring identity quests but it's really Shiri Appleby who convinced me to check it out. Indeed like many fans I really liked her as Liz Parker in Roswell. But even if her performance as Cate Cassidy, a radio host, was correct it's really Britt Anderson who impressed me. She plays Lux Cassidy a 15 years old girl who was given up by Cate for adoption as she was her age when she gave birth to her and just couldn't consider keeping her. Even if I couldn't relate to them I instantly cared about Lux because the actress did a very convincing job. In fact she reminded of Julia Stiles in Save The Last Dance. As for her father Nathaniel I think some single 30 years old men should identify with him as he's irresponsible and immature. It sounds pessimistic but it's hard to grow up so his story should definitely be interesting.

    But even if I enjoyed some elements others were quite disappointing, even annoying. First the usual YouTube and MySpace subliminal ads were back. They're even on Smallville so it seems the network teamed up with some majors to fill their shows with these abominations. Second I already hate Cate because she reminds me of the girl next door who will never learn her lesson nor control her libido. But I suppose the whole point of the show is to explain her story and cover her issues so in some way I feel guilty of judging her. It's so easy to criticize other's people mistakes. Third considering the target audience I'm shocked that safe sex is not covered. Would you have unprotected sex with someone you don't know anything about ? Do you think taking the pill is enough to prevent you from catching AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases ? If you can't answer these questions I strongly recommend you to talk with your parents, friends or a doctor.

    To sum things up I can't recommend it because it doesn't properly cover serious issues teenagers or young adults have to deal with. In fact I think watching the show could make things worse because they nearly pictured Lux's dramatic life as a joke considering what Cate did in the pilot. However note that Britt Anderson's performance is excellent and I'm sure many teenager girls should be able to relate to her. She almost made me cry because some moments were quite emotional. But my advice is to at least watch the show with adults or people who know what life is. For the moment I still hesitate to give it an other chance because I read Erin Karpluk was cast as a supporting character and I really loved her in Being Erica. Now that's a funny, refreshing and smart show I can only recommend !moreless
  • Life Unexpected deals with the very same issues we face, in our everyday lives; teenage pregnancy, single parenthood, adoption or abortion.

    Basically anything that goes with your life being cut short and leaving you with the responsibility of raising a child out of high-school, or choosing to part ways with your child so you could have a life.

    Here Cate was faced with the latter; she was forced to choose as a teenager to adopt her child and live her life with the expectation that she would be well taken care of. What Cate did not anticipate was her daughter's heart condition and being forced herself to grow up, because her foster parents couldn't give a crap about her.

    Cate herself is still growing up, she hasn't decided where she's going with her life. She is moving in with her boyfriend, but really didn't intend on settling down and getting married. She even lost touch with her ex from high-school and still hadn't worked up the nerve to tell him he was a father and face what she did. In fact, Cate couldn't even handle facing her daughter after so many years, I don't blame her. When you're sixteen, your mindset is in a completely different area. Instead of worrying about the household and trying to earn a living, at sixteen you're still into clubbing with the guys and finding a dress for prom. I really don't believe that Cate has fully grasped what being a grown up, with responsibility is. Cate is the co-host of a successful radio feed, which her daughter (Lux) listens to with a passion, but I sensed an inner child that was suppressed (or something like that).

    Lux herself leaves a few question marks; she wants to emancipate herself, but doesn't want to get to know her real parents? Lux knows the name of her father and not her mother? That doesn't hamper the unique appeal this series delivers for the pilot. It is engaging and would leave you wanting to know more about their lives. I still don't understand how Cate could sleep with her ex one night and claim to be in-love with her fiancee the next, so I know I would have some problems with that triangular relationship.

    It would also be good to follow through Lux's lifestyle and learn what challenges she faced in foster care. I am certain there were moments when Cate saw her daughter and she was filled with regret. In my opinion, being a mother doesn't leave you. Even if you gave that child away, you would still feel the absence of parenthood. In the guy perspective, Bazile handled being a father the moment he found out well, but I believed he was too quick to sign the papers his daughter gave him. He hardly even read what he was signing into, he could have been signing away his life there. It also was curious how certain he was about who her mother was, he didn't even give it a second thought.

    This series shows great potential. It is good to watch Shiri Appleby, back in her game. I mean it is the first time I have officially noticed her since 'Roswell'. Let's hope my expectations for this series keep climbing as the weeks go by and it meets a new season.

    Lexa Reviews



    Four Stars

    Grade B-


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: The judge says that the parental signatures were invalid because there were no witnesses or notarization. Traditionally, when signatures require witnesses, the witnesses must also sign on a line provided near the other signatures. Therefore, Lux and her caseworker should have known about this fact when submitting it before a judge.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Math: Cate Cassidy never would have slept with you. She was number one in the class, she had a perfect 4.0!
      Jamie: You seem to know a lot about this girl.
      Math: She despised you! You're gross! She hated you! Did you roofie her?
      Baze: No, I didn't roofie her! Who, who...who roofies people?!
      Math: She wasn't even your type! If she was anyone's type...
      Baze: Oh, uh, who, Math? Was she your type? Because you were three hundred pounds in high school. Your type was anyone who you didn't accidentally eat for lunch!

    • Ryan: I know you hate toes...you hate toes, you do! And the word 'moist'. Buying ingredients. And that you never get your hopes up so you never get disappointed. And I get it...and I love you. I love how you hum when you chew. I love that you think that it's weird that Kansas and Colorado touch. I love that you're the only adult I know that still eats Cookie Crisp for breakfast. The only thing I don't know is what happened to you to make you this screwed up! And this is not the speech I had prepared.
      : Wow, that was the sweetest thing that anybody has ever yelled at me before. Alright, go ahead, do it, you can propose.

    • (Baze calls the radio station to talk to Cate)
      Cate: Ryan, let's not talk about high school, okay? Everybody knows that I hated high school, so...
      Ryan: What are you talking about, who hates high school, Cate? What, did you have a pizza face or something?
      Cate: No!
      Ryan: Like an unrequited love affair with the driver's ed teacher?
      Cate: Ryan, will you...Ryan, stop!
      Ryan: Or were you one of those girls who got knocked up on prom night? (pauses when he sees Cate's reaction) Did you get knocked up on prom night?
      Baze: More like winter formal...

    • Judge: (referring to Cate and Baze) I'm sorry, who are you people?
      Lux: Uh, they're, um...my birth parents.
      Baze: Yeah, Lux and I, we go way back, your honor.
      Cate: To when, yesterday?

    • Cate: We need to figure out what it is we're gonna do...like the living situation, for example.
      Baze: Okay look, it took me two months to convince the guys to get a new Ikea futon. I think a fifteen year-old is probably gonna to take a little more arm twisting.

    • Cate: I did not want a lot of things when I was sixteen. Okay? I didn't want to take calculus, I didn't want to wear a retainer, and I did not want to have a thing for some...some meat-head quarterback that...
      Baze: What meat-head quarterback? Me, meat-head quarterback?
      Cate: No.
      Baze: Because the back of my mom's minivan, I mean, that was a...that was, like, a fluke.
      Cate: Yes, it was a fluke. I was just, um, a sucker for wood paneling and multiple cup holders.

    • Baze: How did we end up in the back of my mom's minivan?
      Cate: You lured me in. With Zima...and the Spin Doctors.
      Baze: Oh. See, I thought it was my mad skills...and my rockin' tape deck.
      Cate: Oh your skills, really? Didn't even make it through "Two Princes."
      Baze: Touché. Hey, listen Cate, I'm sorry.
      Cate: Oh come on. It's fine. That song, it's like five minutes long.

    • Lux: (as Baze signs the release of rights form) And rifle through the memory banks of teenage girls you impregnated...that'd be great.
      Baze: Okay, um, Cate Cassidy. That's your mom. Cate with a 'C' okay? Are you good? Are we good? Are you cool?

    • Baze: You wanna take my cookie order or what?
      Lux: No, I...I'm not a girl scout. I'm kind of...comprised of half your gene pool.
      Baze: Huh?
      Lux: I'm your daughter.

    • Lux: (to Cate and Baze, as they argue about high school) Seriously, I'm going back to foster care. You can't be parents, you both need parents!

  • NOTES (10)

    • Kristoffer Polaha and Shiri Appleby previously starred together in season 3 episode 11 of the TV series Roswell.

    • Featured Music:
      "Love Me Like The World Is Ending" by Ben Lee
      "Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song" by Matt Hires
      "Remote Control" by Jet Stream
      "The First Day Of My Life" by Bright Eyes
      "Break It Down" by Alana D.
      "Falling Awake" by Gary Jules
      "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors
      "Can't Go Back Now" by The Weepies
      "People Talk" by Pal Shazar
      "I Will Always Love You" by Aaron Doyle

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 on AXN
      United Kingdom: Sunday, September 19, 2010 on E4/E4 HD
      Malaysia: Thursday, June 17, 2010 on Hallmark
      Slovakia: Sunday, May 8, 2011 on JOJ

    • Although they play the roles of mother and daughter in the series, Shiri Appleby (Cate) and Brittany Robertson (Lux) are separated by less than twelve years in age. In addition, Kristoffer Polaha (Baze), who plays Lux's father, is just 13 years older than Robertson.

    • Leading up to the pilot, various CW previews for the new series featured the following music:
      "Only My Heart" by Nathan Brumley
      "Something Real" by Nathan Brumley
      "Senses" by La Rocca

    • The city scape in this episode was filmed in Portland, Oregon.

    • Life UneXpected was the first pilot that the CW ordered for the 2009-2010 season but it was the last one that the network picked up to air.

    • The title Life UneXpected has the capitalized letters spell out the main character's name Lux.

    • This episode was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    • Before settling on Life UneXpected, the CW announced this show as Light Years in January 2009, Lux in April, Parental Discretion Advised in April and then Life Unexpected, spelled normally, in June.


    • Ryan: (looking at Cate's high school yearbook) It's a bowl cut!
      Cate: No it isn't! I asked for Mary Stuart Masterson, the woman just heard Dorothy Hamill.

      Mary Stuart Masterson is an actress who has appeared in numerous movies, including the 1975 film The Stepford Wives. Dorothy Hamill is a former figure skater who started a fad with her bobbed hairstyle at the 1976 Olympics, where she won a gold medal.

    • When Lux has Baze sign the parental release form, she turns around and he signs the paper using her back as a hard surface. This is similar to the 1996 movie Matilda, where the father and mother sign the same type of paper using the child's back.

    • Ryan: If you're just tuning into Morning Madness, Cate and I are in a rousing game of "Sex, Marry, Kill." I did the Jessicas: sex Biel, marry Alba, and definitely kill Simpson.
      Cate: Oh, um, you forgot Jessica Rabbit and Baby Jessica.

      Jessica Biel is an actress who made her debut on the series 7th Heaven and went on to star in numerous movies. Jessica Alba became famous while starring in the series Dark Angel. She, too, went on to act in movies, including Sin City and Fantastic Four. Jessica Simpson is a singer and actress who had her own MTV reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.

      Jessica Rabbit is a character from the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? and the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Baby Jessica is a reference to Jessica McClure, who fell down a well in Midland, Texas in 1987 when she was 18 months old.

    • Cate: I'm Cate Cassidy here with my illustrious co-host, Ryan Thomas.
      Ryan: Thanks, Juno.
      Cate: Who better never call me that again.
      Ryan: Oh my bad, Jamie Lynn.

      Ryan is teasing Cate about her high school pregnancy. Juno is a reference to Juno MacGuff, the title character from the 2007 movie Juno about a girl who gets pregnant at the age of 16. Jamie Lynn Spears is an actress and younger sister of Britney Spears. She also became pregnant at 16.