The Nine Lives of Chloe King (***) – Chloe King is a normal teen living with her single mom in San Fransisco, going to school, working at a vintage clothing store, and hanging out with her best friends Amy and Paul. Weird things start happening to her on her birthday — like she can easily walk on the edge of a bench, has retractable claws, and can hear conversations from far away.
The Nine Lives of Chloe King isn’t the greatest show ever, but so far, it is kind of adorable, fun summer TV. Skyler Samuels, who plays Chloe, is not only beautiful, but plays Chloe with a winning combination of vulnerable likability. The interactions with her friends are playful and realistic and the whole superpower plot is enjoyable, so far. I love all the San Fransisco scenery and like that no one keeps too many secrets. Chloe keeps a few from her mom — who is probably my least favorite character because that relationship is a little boring — but even Chloe’s relationship with her mom has some sweet moments and the lack of secrets between Chloe and her friends keeps the plot moving and free from unnecessary melodrama. Some of the acting is a little wooden, but overall, the leads are competent. It’s a fun, easy to watch summer teen superpower show.
[On ABC Family, Tuesdays at 9pm Eastern Time/ 9pm Central. The pilot is available on iTunes for free; Hulu has only 1 episode up at a time for free viewing. (Today it’s episode 3, which I still have to watch.) The new episode is up on Hulu the day after it plays on ABC Family, then taken down when a new episode is posted. All episodes are also available to buy on iTunes.]
Misfits (*** 1/2) – is like Skins meets a British Heroes, but without the boring save-the-world plots. Five young offenders show up for community service on a day that a wicked thunderstorm hits. They’re all struck by weird lightening, but seem fine, until weird things start happening, like one of them can hear people’s thoughts now. While it’s not actually on TV, Hulu is showing the first season for free online viewing on its site, one episode a week.
The daughterling watched the first two seasons of Misfits with a friend and liked it so much I promised I’d watch once it came to American TV. It’s entertaining so far.
Like a lot of British shows the characters are more realistic and less polished than American characters tend to be. The language can be a bit rough and there’s a lot more nudity and sex than on an American show. I also like that the characters are clearly working class, instead of the pseudo poor characters on American shows, who have unexplained fantastic apartments and fabulous wardrobes. The characters are also more regular looking. Yeah, a couple are quite good looking, but not everyone is required to be as glamorous as on your average American teen show. The daughterling says the show gets better as it goes on and that season two is even better than season one.
[The first three episodes are currently on Hulu for free online viewing. New episodes are posted on Mondays. You need to have a free account though because the content is for over 13 years and above.]
Friday Night Lights (****) – If you never watched Friday Night Lights now is your chance because seasons one through four are available on Netflix Instant.
Kyle Chandler plays Eric Taylor, the new coach of a small Texan town where high school football is the main entertainment. I love this show! It’s realistic, moody, sweet, and has me cheering for the football team while at the same time thinking, "This town really needs to get a life." You don’t have to like football to enjoy this show because Friday Night Lights is really about mentoring teens and it’s one of the best fiction shows I’ve seen on mentoring teens.
The first couple episodes have some handheld camera work but they do away with that technique after the first few episodes. Season two has some over-the-top plotlines, but fear-not, the writers realize their mistake and get back to normal in season three.
[Netflix Instant has seasons one through four. Season five is available to rent on DVD through Netflix too. Hulu posts a new episode for season five each Saturday, but the episodes expire after several weeks. Currently episodes 6-10 of season five are up on Hulu. Season five episodes are also available to buy on iTunes.]