Rave & Wreck of the week – 1/27/10

Matt Busekroos

Rave of the Week: Life Unexpected

CW’s new drama “Life Unexpected” is a breath of fresh air on a struggling network that mainly consists of shows featuring spoiled teenagers. Brittany Robertson stars as Lux, a girl about to celebrate her Sweet 16, and is in search of her birth parents in order to become emancipated. Lux had been passed around between several foster homes and is in desperate need of a new home. Lux’s search takes her to a bar owned by her father Nate ‘Baze’ Bazile (Kristoffer Polaha), who reveals that her mother is radio talk show host Cate Cassidy (Shiri Appleby), who Lux coincidentally listens to every morning. Baze and Cate accidentally got pregnant in high school and gave their daughter up for adoption. Thematically, “Life Unexpected” is reminiscent of shows during the glory days of the WB such as “Gilmore Girls” and “Everwood.” Kerr Smith also stars as Cate’s radio co-host and fiancée. With turns from Appleby, who broke through on the WB’s “Roswell” in the ‘90s and likewise, Smith on “Dawson’s Creek,” “Life Unexpected” is built with players from WB’s prime. Robertson is an effective lead. Her performance of Lux is tough as nails, but she maintains a sweet vulnerability that allows the audience to truly empathize with her situation. While some sequences and dialogue verge on being too cutesy, “Life Unexpected” still has a lot of heart.

Wreck of the Week: Ke$ha

Wake up every morning and feel like Ke$ha. Gag. Now that would be quite the nightmare. Admittedly, Ke$ha’s first single “TiK ToK” is somewhat fun and danceable (particularly if you are drunk), but there is hardly any artistic merit to it. The song will barely hold up six months to a year from now (akin to 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me”). It is roughly a year later and I am no longer doing the Helen Keller. Sorry. Ke$ha’s debut album “Animal” neither carries the weight nor sustains the high adrenaline dance-pop power of “TiK ToK” (although, “Hungover” is fairly listenable, as well). It is difficult to imagine what is worse: the fact that she uses a dollar sign in her name or that she thinks glitter sprinkled over her face makes her look more attractive. Sure, Ke$ha’s music may be appealing in a train wreck kind of way, but other alternatives to Ke$ha include Swedish pop singer-songwriter Robyn (“Be Mine!,” “With Every Heartbeat”) or Norwegian pop artist Annie (“Chewing Gum,” “Songs Remind Me of You”). Tick tock: When will Ke$ha’s time be up?