LIFE UNEXPECTED: House Inspected - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

LIFE UNEXPECTED: House Inspected

January 26, 2010 by  

Lux might be the teen, but it’s Cate and Baze that are the real focus in this coming of age story. The road to true adulthood for these two isn’t going to be pretty. Last night their tricky path was paved with bong lamps, broken pottery, public humiliation and a blow up sheep. Because let’s face it, if you don’t encounter at least one blow up sheep on your way to being an adult, I think you’ve done something wrong.

It’s clear that the newly formed family of Cate, Baze, Lux and Ryan have a lot to learn from each other.  At times Lux certainly seems like the voice of reason, but it’s more because she’s lived in a state of chaos and confusion for so long.  She’s a little more adept at rolling with the punches.  Cate and Baze are plucked out of their world and brought to a new dimension that forced them to grow up over night.  It’s in that small space that I find this show so refreshing.

Maybe it’s just because I’m the same age as the fictional Cate and Baze that I could so easily relate.  There was something so honest in the scenes showing Baze and his friends playing beer pong, and Cate struggling with cooking.  Many have probably taken those images as a sign of just how immature Lux’s parents are, or how ill prepared they are to be parents, and maybe that’s what we were meant to see. But I saw it as a nod to the notion that age is just a number.  It’s not the number of years on the Earth that define us as an adult. It’s the experiences we have and how we handle them. When I was a teenager I thought that people in their 30’s were adults.  But having been in my 30’s for a few years now, I can say that it’s not often that I feel like a grown up.  When my friends can find sitters (and even when they can’t) we play beer pong.  I can’t cook to save my life. Hell, I spend my free time obsessing over TV. Not very grown up of me. If all of a sudden the kid I gave up 16 years ago showed up on my doorstep, I’d be feeling to exact same fear, confusion and ineptitude that Cate and Baze are feeling right now. Lux coming back into their lives is the biggest, most incredible experience either have encountered and it’s how they handle incorporating their daughter into their world that will define who they are as adults.  (BTW, in case my parents are reading this.  Don’t worry, there is no illegitimate child to speak of. At least I don’t think there is.)

It’s often said that a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, and a man becomes a father when he sees the face of his child for the first time. Given the circumstances, that wasn’t the experience of Cate and Baze.  For them it took a bit longer. Despite having heir daughter back in their lives, I don’t think either became parents until the thought of losing Lux again became real.

Cate’s ‘a-ha’ moment came when she met Lux’s best friend Tasha. She realized during their encounter how much her actions had hurt Lux and in that moment became determined to never let Lux live without love again. For Baze, his wake up call came courtesy of his friend, Math, who told him: “You have this amazing daughter. You’re now forever linked to the most amazing woman on the planet. It’s freaking pathetic that at 32, you’d make her do it alone all over again. Look around, Baze. No one’s laughing but you.”

Just as Cate and Baze are learning to be parents, Lux is learning to be parented.  She’s been let down by adults for so long that it’s her natural instinct to assume that her new life is just too good to be true. I’m not an orphan but I’ve seen ‘Annie’ enough times to know that it’s the dream scenario – you’re reunited with your birth parents and they want you and love you and they’re pretty great people (and they have the other half to your broken locket, but I guess Lux can’t win ’em all).  But I’d also imagine that Lux has learned the hard way that dreams don’t come true for girls like her. She’s bound to be a little gun shy.

Lux’s makeshift family has never let her down. But then again, I’m not sure her expectations were ever all that high.  Despite the bravado of Lux, Bug, Tasha and Gavin, they are just lost kids. They lash out when someone tries to break up their family. It’s only natural. They’ve had to be selfish their whole lives because no one else was looking out for them. It’s only natural that Tasha would be jealous of Lux’s new life and her new family. But in the end, she loves Lux enough to know that Cate and Baze are the best thing that has ever happened to her friend.

Although it was a little hard to buy the idea that a social worker would deny Lux’s biological parents their rights given how many horrible foster homes she has been in, it was nice to see how desperate Cate and Baze were to keep their daughter.  I think Cate made her argument by telling the social worker, “I gave her up 16 years ago because someone in your department promised  me there would be someone great to adopt her. And no one did. And if you would have left her with us 16 year ago then how can you not leave her with us now?” Preach, Cate.

After both Cate and Baze showed that they have the ‘parental skills of a banana’, it was Ryan that was able to get through to Lux to let her know that she was wanted. She was loved. He let her know that it was going to be easy, for any of them, but as a family they could make it through. And there is room for her in this family. Aw, isn’t Jack McPhee the best? (Hopefully by the next episode I will fight the urge to call him Jack. It’s too soon.)

As Lux settled into her new room, in her new home, she finally startled to settle into her new life.

Another fantastic episode of my favorite new show of the winter season.  A few more thoughts to share with you while I clean my bong lamp.

  • It’s like my hairdresser was psychic. She knew I got a kid, she made me a soccer mom.” – Loved that the show addressed Shiri Appleby’s hair change.  Although I j’dored her hair in the pilot, it did make her seem a little too young. NOT that 33 is old mind you.
  • I find it amusing that Cate and Ryan’s radio show is predicated on Ryan being a carefree bachelor and Cate being cripplingly single. Isn’t total deception of your audience going to come back and bite you in the ass at some point?
  • Another thing going to bite Cate in the ass? That snooty producer of hers.  Something tell me she has a secret thing for Ryan. I’m not going to be surprised if she’s the one that eventually spills the beans about Cate and Baze’s night of parental passion.
  • Baze showing up drunk in a cab to pick up Lux from school was perfection. I hit the rewind button on the DVR a few times. It’s not easy to play drunk but Kristoffer Polaha nailed it.
  • Giving Shiri her due props, the scene with Lux driving was pretty damn funny. “Why is she driving? WHY IS SHE DRIVING?
  • I loved the look of shame and disappointment on Baze’s face when the social worker told him that Lux could only live at Cate’s. Despite saying earlier in the episode, “I don’t want to be that guy who bails. Not again. I want to be a dad.” It seems that he failed at the first Dad thing he did. Don’t worry Baze. You’ll do better next time. Baby steps.
  • Best line of the night: “The only thing between us is the lingering smell of your Axe body spray.

Let’s talk about this important second episode. Did you love it as much as you did last week’s series premiere?

Will Cate and Baze figure it out or do you think the show will be a series of one step forward and two steps back (and no I don’t mean the Paula Abdul song, although it would be fitting given the nature of Lux’s lineage.) Will Lux’s friends be a blessing or a curse in her new life? Ryan has been pretty understanding and welcoming so far, but does our boy have a breaking point?  What happened to the blow up sheep? Please tell me Baze didn’t destroy it like he did the smoke detector. Perish the thought.

I’m almost a whole day late, but I hope some of you still want to talk LIFE UNEXPECTED!


18 Responses to “LIFE UNEXPECTED: House Inspected”

  1. Sara on January 26th, 2010 9:11 pm

    I loved this episode as much as the last. I may have (or definitely) said Bazinga after “The only thing between us is the lingering smell of your Axe body spray.”

    I think Baze is going to go for the turnaround to prove that he can be a good father figure, but I have a feeling that we haven’t seen the last of blow up sheep, beeping smoke detectors and forced teen driving. I know he’ll work hard, but I don’t think it’ll come easily.

    Thinking about my own local radio duo that I listen to every morning, I’m not sure it’s as big a deal as they’re making it seem about Cate having had a kid and giving it up for adoption. I’m not sure I get what they’re assuming repercussions would be if she admitted it but I probably wouldn’t give it too much thought. The “Chicago Cate” adopted a little boy a few years ago and it was noted but rarely discussed. I just don’t feel like the personal lives of radio personalities are sought after for information. Maybe that’s why there must be some ulterior motive for the producer.

    I also told my mom to watch last night to help pass the time during her hospital stay. She really enjoyed it as well and is going to continue watching.

  2. Give Me My Remote on January 26th, 2010 9:47 pm

    While I’m glad LUX has a new fan, I’m sorry to hear that your Mom is in the hospital. Wish her well from all of us here at GMMR.

    Yeah, while the personal lives of our local radio personalities are definitely a part of the show, I don’t feel like they are as pigeonholed as Cate and Ryan.

  3. aileen therese on January 27th, 2010 9:06 am

    I love Life Unexpected and I agree with your points. Age is just a number and its the maturity that really counts. I love how the show did not make Lux into some crazed angst ridden teenager. I like how she is amazed at her new life, really delighted when she gets her own room for the first time.

    At last another show while Glee is out that makes me smile at the end of the episode!

  4. Becky on January 27th, 2010 9:20 am

    Thanks for adding the recap of this show to your site! I’m loving it. There’s very few shows where I’mready for next week when this week ends, but this is one of them. How awesome! I liked Baze’s speach to Cate about wanting to be a dad and then I just felt awful for him at the end when she said that Lux couldn’t live with him. And you could tell that Cate didn’t notice anything off with him but Lux did. I thought that was sweet. I’m excited for next week. And – maybe it’s me – but I like shows that keep the title theme going like House Inspected or Chuck Vs Episodes. 🙂 Thanks again for the recap. 🙂

  5. Kristen on January 27th, 2010 11:05 am

    While I enjoyed the episode overall, I’m still not sure if I’m ready to commit to a new show. You guys (Dan included) were so right about Modern Family and Glee this season but I just don’t quite feel the connection with Life Unexpected yet. I loved Kristoffer Polaha in “Miss Guided” on ABC but I find his bartender persona a little less charming. Of course Ryan/Jack is amazing, but he’s a little too cliche for me at the moment. But maybe that’s the magic of these WB throwbacks. I’m going to give it at least another episode, because I trust the opinion of TV Talk but I’m not super psyched about it yet. When I’m used to the raw, real drama feel of Friday Night Lights (again, thanks to you guys), Life Unexpected just seems a bit forced in comparison.

  6. Give Me My Remote on January 27th, 2010 11:22 am

    Don’t feel bad if you don’t like it. Not every show will resonate the same way with different people. I’d be hard pressed to find one show on TV that could hold it’s own when up again FNL. For what LUX is, I think it’s great. But if you’re not feeling it, then you’re not. We don’t take it personally. Well, maybe Dan does. Yeah, you might want to lock your doors at night.

  7. Anna on January 27th, 2010 1:37 pm

    I’m loving this show a bit more per episode.
    Last Monday’s Home Insp was perfect. It’s different to all you can catch up at tv.
    I agree with your review completely. And Baze acting like drunk was sooo funny I had to watch it twice, too.
    And every time I remember Cate finding that sheep in the loft I laugh so hard!
    It’s such a smart show!!

  8. Kristen on January 27th, 2010 1:44 pm

    I think I just have so many amazing shows on my plate right now, Supernatural, Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, to name a few, that adding something that I’m meh about doesn’t sound appealing. But I feel like I want to keep watching because I love when I understand what you and Dan are talking about on the podcast. I do like the characters, I just don’t have as much of a loyal connection to them as I do to others.

  9. Beth on January 27th, 2010 3:10 pm

    I totally agree with this review. Great show that is just emotional enough to be sweet and genuine, without being syrupy or over the top.

    I loved all the parts you mentioned, but my fave was when Baze slept outside in his car so he wouldn’t be late picking up Lux. Awww! He’ll figure this out yet!

  10. Give Me My Remote on January 27th, 2010 6:30 pm

    Aw, I should have mentioned that scene, Beth. That was great!

  11. c on January 29th, 2010 4:09 pm

    yeah, watching Baze’s face when the social worker said Lux could not stay at his place was really powerful.

  12. seeleybaby on January 31st, 2010 2:09 pm

    I have been playing the part of single mom to three girls this whole week, which meant that today was the first chance I had to watch this ep. Totally late to this discussion party, but I still wanted to comment. I liked this episode. I agreed with you about the way the show dealt with the haircut, haha.

    I also liked that it was an episode about Lux’s loyalties, and I liked that she was protective about Cate and Baze to her friends.

    I also totally agree about the idea of the 30 year olds being forced to ‘grow up’ is a great theme. I turn 30 this year, and my life is very different than I thought it would be, but not necessarily in a bad way.

    But I do think that like me, a lot of people are searching for something to be passionate about personally, and so I like that Baze and Cate were like ‘we are in this’ to the social worker. That Baze was wearing a cheep beer tshirt with a bird on it was also great. I like that while the characters will certainly change because of their decisions, there is still this idea that its a ‘this is what we are and we are doing the best we can with what we have to work with’. That is something I feel a lot, so that really resonated with me.

    And TOTALLY that producer radio bosslady person is someone Cate should watch out for. Their dynamic was so weird, obviously there was tension, but then why was Cate so quick to share that she had slept with Baze? Hmmm…

  13. Faith on February 2nd, 2010 5:22 pm

    I am really loving this show. And I thought the same thing you did about portraying real early-30s behavior. I’m about to turn 29, and I feel like every character that’s supposed to be my age on TV is WAY more adult-like than I am. It’s refreshing to see stuff like the beer pong and helplessness in the kitchen and the annoyance at the haircut. (= I can’t wait to see more of the show!

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