On the surface Life As We Know It seems like one of those “typical” teen shows in which the characters are all really good looking, and we are somehow supposed to be able to relate to their plight as normal people. This was my first assumption but as I started to watch the show, I was really impressed with it’s different take on High School life. While the overall theme is pretty much what we have come to expect from these shows, that growing up is hard and we’ve just got to deal with it, the way in which it was executed and the stories overall were pretty darn entertaining.
This show focuses on Dino, Ben and Jonathan. While these three characters represent 3 different “types,” their goal, like a lot of people’s goals in High School (and life) is scoring with women. What I liked about this show was that the women the guys are after are all different, and the unique style of storytelling that accompanies their quest only bolsters what a strong TV show this really was. I even found myself getting into the relationship that Dino has with Jackie, simply because I felt that it was done well. Not just in it’s visual presentation but in an acting sense.
Overall, Life As We Know It was a show that really surprised me. Maybe I had the bar lowered but I was really impressed with the writing, and with how much these people seemed to get right about the teen/High School experience.
Two Never Before Seen Episodes and Audio Commentaries
The two episodes that were never aired are “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Junk” and “Papa Wheelie.” Since I had never seen any of these episodes before, I guess you could say that all of them are unaired to me, right? Although, why these episodes weren’t shown but the others were is beyond me, simply because they all seem to be at the same level. These commentary tracks sound awful. Where were they recorded? In a cave? I didn’t listen to a lot of any of these tracks simply because they sounded so bad. Add to this that a bunch of people are ALSO talking and you get what sometimes sounds like a jumbled mess.
Outtakes, Deleted Scenes and Producer’s Photo Gallery
Not a ton of deleted scenes but there are about a handful on here. There really isn’t too much to say about them other than that they range in length, and really are not anything that special. The outtakes are the stock outtakes we have come to know and appreciate, although I am starting to wonder if there isn’t a way to make them less pedantic. As the moments that are captured are steeped in candor, it seems like this probably isn’t possible. The “Producer’s Photo Gallery” is basically a still photo journal taken while on the set. Set to music, it shows us more candid moments of the actors doing what they do when they are being paid be around each other for 12-14 hours a day.
Aspect Ratio 1.33:1. These shows seem like they should be widescreen but I guess because this isn’t a legal drama or a cop show, the creators of Life As We Know It probably felt that they could get by without those. There is a sharpness to these shows that really stands out. Yet, thankfully this show has a free wheeling, almost experimental, Special FX-laden style that makes it very easy to watch. The shows just seems to move in an almost frenetic way, yet there are solemn moments and the dialogue always seems to be in the forefront of what is taking place on screen. Yeah, this show is sometimes a little bit too hip for it’s own good, and at first glance it seems like an easy “teen vehicle”, but there is a lot here and I am glad to have had the chance to find it.
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. I loved the Tangerine Dream-type soundtrack that this show employs. Now, if every show starts doing this I will probably want to hang myself, but it was a nice moment when I realized that that was the type of music being used. Having employed similar music in this animated movie I am working on (titled 1985-1986), I really keyed into the synthesizer sounds immediately. It is this slight Risky Business vibe that really attracted me to the show. Another thing I liked is that Life As We Know It didn’t feel like so many of today’s shows. The dialogue didn’t seem stilted and weighted. The characters just acted and that was enough.
Don’t let the cover fool you. You’re going to see 6 pretty good looking people and you’ll probably not see any way that your life could relate to theirs. Just get passed that. This slim, vinyl packaging houses all three 3 discs, spread out amongst two trays. There are more cast pictures inside that you’re gonna wanna get passed, but trust me, it’s easy. The back cover of the vinyl holder that houses all the discs features some shots from the show, a very well written description and a bonus features/technical specs listing. They push the High School vibe pretty heavily in the packaging and since that’s where most of the drama takes place, that’s probably a good idea. I like this packaging even though I could do without a lot of the pictures.
Why this show only lasted for one season is beyond me. Maybe it hit too close to home for some viewers? Perhaps it was too real of a show when all people want to do when they watch TV is turn on and tune out? Who knows? It is just sad to me that in this day and age, when something really good seems to be on TV, it just gets cast aside in favor of cheap theatrics and melodrama.
I am actually really surprised by how much I took to Life As We Know It. I really thought that this show was going to be terrible. When it first started I rolled my eyes just because it seemed like another one of “those” shows. Yet, I think that that may have just been a device to draw the viewers in, get them comfortable and then pull the rug right out from under them. Maybe I am wrong, but that’s how it felt and it’s one of the reasons I really recommend seeing this show.
Life as We Know It was released .