It’s Tuesday, so it must be time for the second installment of our summer re-watch of “Life”! I was tasked with Season 1, Episodes Three and Four (“Let Her Go” and “What They Saw”, respectively).
I will admit it: I’m a crime drama junkie! I have watched every episode (multiple times) of the original “Law and Order” (yes all 456!) and even did background work in two scenes in Season 17, Episode 3. Thanks to the modern miracles we call Amazon Prime and Netflix, I have also been able to devour “Sherlock”, “Walllander”, “Prime Suspect” “Inspector Morse” “Inspector Lewis” “Endeavour” “Grantchester” “Luther” and “Shetland”. However, I have never watched a single episode of “CSI”, whether it be New York, Miami, Las Vegas or Des Moines! While thinking about why I enjoyed some shows more than others, I began to see what drew me to the ones I loved.
“Sherlock”, “Inspector Morse” and “Inspector Lewis” all have partners that are very different. And those differences would always lead to amusing scenes of banter between the two characters. Now, unlike one of my favorite television characters, The Doctor of Doctor Who (who is on record of not liking banter), I love it. It usually reveals the core of the relationship between the partners. And let’s face it; the chemistry between two partners can make or break a show.
Another thing I noticed that drew me to these shows were how the cities they were in basically were co-stars. “Endeavour” makes you believe you are in 1960’s Oxford, and the use of the different buildings of the University are amazing. “Inspector Morse” “Inspector Lewis”, also in Oxford, bring you a more modern day view of the city. “Grantchester” uses Cambridge as it’s home and again, the use of the University is beautiful. With “Sherlock”, “Prime Suspect” and “Luther”, London is the star and I have never watched any episode without wanting to immediately book a trip to London! “Walllander”, and “Shetland” use the beauty of Sweden and the Scottish Highlands respectively. Of course, “Law and Order” does an amazing job of featuring the greatest city in the world, my home of New York.
So, it would be natural for me to love “Life”, as it has both the characteristics that I believe make a great show: the banter between Charlie and Dani, and diverse backdrop of Los Angeles.
Dani: Are you really Zen?
Charlie: I’m Zenish.
In Episode 3 (“Let Her Go”) Charlie and Dani investigate the murder of a woman during a carjacking gone bad.
The show opens with a classic Charlie/Dani exchange:
Charlie: I think I might go into space. You can pay the Russians to take you up there now.
Dani: So after spending 12 years in a box down here, you’re gonna pay the Russians to put you in a box up there?
I love how Dani is usually the voice of reason. She is a no-nonsense woman, and just tells it like it is. I believe she is the perfect partner for Charlie, and she plays the ying to his yang.
While investigating the whereabouts of a possible suspect, Dani and Charlie walk into a garage to speak to the suspects “known associates”. While in the garage, Charlie spots and becomes enamored with a car. Now, they never mention what type of car it is (the mechanic gives Charlie all the details of how “pimp” it is), but one look and I knew in an instant: it is a Buick Grand National. Now, I know very little about cars, but growing up, the Grand National was my dad’s dream car. Not a Mercedes, not a BMW; my dad loved that car and so it brought a smile to my face to see Charlie fall in love with the same car my dad did!
Charlie asks the mechanic if the car has GPS.
Mechanic: You don’t want that! The man track you like a dog with GPS!
Charlie: Yeah. I don’t want that. The man will track me down like a dog with that.
Dani: Crews, you are the man!
This episode highlights Los Angeles in several ways, but Charlie driving through the streets of downtown LA in his newly acquired Grand National (and pulling over his ex-wife and her husband) was the outstanding one for me.
In Episode 4 (“What They Saw”) a murder in the Los Angeles hills finds Charlie and Dani looking at multiple suspects and befriending a homeless man, Easley .
The scene of the murder is a typical magnificent home in the Los Angeles hills. Overlooking the city, the view from the pool at night is gorgeous. And in true Los Angeles fashion, the home has massive glass windows so you can enjoy that view indoors or out. I have never been to LA, but if I ever do get there, this is the type of home I would love to stay in.
While Dani is checking out the crime scene, Charlie investigates the woods behind the home. In the process, he comes across a homeless man (Holt Easley) living in the woods, who seems to think it is best to throw things at Charlie while he hides in a tree. Charlie climbs the tree and he and Easley fall to the ground. Dani comes upon this scene, while Charlie is hand-cuffing Easley. During and exchange between Dani and Easley, she calls Charlie “my partner”. While Easley is being taken away for the murder, Charlie is so happy Dani has finally called him her partner. She denies it, of course. Again, the dynamic of Dani not wanting to get too close to Charlie and Charlie embracing Dani is cute.
Charlie takes a liking to the mercurial Easley, and does not believe he is the murderer.
Charlie: If I were a cowboy, he’d be my goofy sidekick.
Dani: Kinda like how you’re mine.
Charlie and Dani need to know what Easley knows about the murder. As the drive him to the DA’s office, a classic exchange between Charlie and Dani takes place, with Easley happily joining in.
Easley: I’m kinda hungry.
Charlie: I could eat something.
Dani: What did I just say?
Easley: Can we get burgers?
Charlie: I could go for a burger.
Charlie: We gotta eat!
Charlie: I could go for tacos.
Dani brings the car to a screeching halt.
Dani: That’s it! If either of you say another thing about food, or anything, I’m gonna turn this car right back around and I’m taking him to jail!
There you have it. Dani having to play responsible Mom!
Episode 3: a very delicious looking caramel apple
Episode 4: a bunch of green grapes
Bonus Question: Can anyone tell me if my two favorite actors, Damian Lewis & Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), have ever worked together?