When Life gets hard, use Crews control

There is nothing quite as entertaining than a man on a mission. Everyone likes to watch it, especially if they are faced with insummountable odds.

Now I am heavily influenced by fictional sources, but a large percentage of these did their damage to me as a child and I am a nostalgic character, so they still hold much weight. Writing in general today in fiction is pretty poor with creators getting paid a large amount of money to rehash stories already told in a million different guises by a million different characters, albeit with far more elegance and class back in the day and less explosionts to keep the short attention spanned viewerd occupi…, OOOOH look  PUPPY!!!!

So it is very rare to be presented with a character to which I am compelled to follow through, especially when faced with this journey, as writing today has become somehwat contrived. A lead character with a clear goal and purpose is no longer something they seem to believe relates to the everyday media consumer. Perhaps this is a reflection of the society we have become today where everyone wants everything handed to them on a plate. Who knows.

Anywho, I wish to present you with what can only be described as an anomaly in this situation, one that was inadvertantly rectified but we will cross that bridge later on.

I would like to Introduce you to a show called LIFE created by Rand Ravich which started to air on NBC  in 2007

Detective  Charlie Crews is a police officer who was framed for a murder of ahis partner and his  family and sentenced to life in jail. afer approximately 12-15 years in incarceration, new evidence and new analysis technology, he was found to be innocent in and was released from jail.

His time in a correction facility has clearly taken his toll on him and while he is completely filled with a sense of unmistakable rage and a drive to find those who a) who framed him and why and b) to bring the culprits of the family that he got.

However this behaviour is far from manifested in the normal way in the portrayed on tv. you seen in order to mentally survive his ordeal, he turned to order within the realms of zen and buddist teachings to channel his behaviour into something.truly verging on the far side of insanity, or maybe that’s the far side of sanity, where both manage to perfectly meander one another.

the tag line was

Life was his sentence and life was what he got back.

It uses America’s previous favourite hobby of casting british actors to fulfill lead quirky roles, such as previously shown in Fraser, House, The Riches and so on and so forth.I must say Damien Lewis of Band of Brothers fame does an excellent job in this role and even represents the Gingers in good light, woop woop.

The day to day episodes in the series are based around various crimes he has to solve on a specific episode but the underlying plot of the story always comes down to him slowly unravelling the conspiracy that caused him to go down for such a long period of time and is beautifully woven into a crescendo based narrative forever building in supspense as the series evolves, only to start asking a bigger bunch of questions as the end of the first season.

One of the strongest visuals of the show is Detective Crew’s conspiracy wall. In his home, he has this secret room where he starts to visualise his case and I believe in the first episode it starts with the first picture and by the end of the first season, it is fully covering three sides of the room, with each week, usually some more information uncovered about the case or information that was witheld or dismissed, or relationships between people that were around at the time and where they’ve evolved to in society during his absence.

I too am a firm believer that alot of things are collected and seeing him unravel this with regards to his own dillemma is quite awe-inspiring, it keeps him focussed on the task at hand and almost resonates the opening lines of my blog, with one small change

N’oubliez pas, ne repetez pas, La vie est forte, mais ainse suis je

(Never forget, never repeat, life is hard, but so am i)

Such a person may be seen clearly as being obsessive but  i like to see him as quite driven and considering all the aspects of his family and friends ended up abandonning him, he is allowed to dedicate his life to a cause. I would like to see myself and more people with that certain drive as it’s the only real immpetus left to make change, albeit it should be driven by another moral compass than simple revenge. Still though we are talking of the realm of entertainment so i shall let that one slide, since it does at the very least entertain in its format.

The thing that strikes me most about this character is the damage. HIs eyes are so damn telling and regardless of how much you wish to see that he has come out smelling of roses in this ordeal, the lead character is nothing short of an absolute abomination of the hell-mouth, a devil in disguise waiting to potentially unleash hell at a moments notice.

HIs only chalices remain in his idealogy of faith which keeps him tithering on that fine line between angel and demon and while the rest of the world may not see his struggles, i certainly am drawn to them like a beacon. His detachment to human life is coupled with his embracement of the idealogy of humanity. He is rage, he is peace, he is balanced, he is broken. He in a sense could be said to represnt all the extremes of life (or at least the survival aspects of it) in one being. That’s pretty damn special

His pain and suffering is infinite and he has had to find himself in order to cope but under that calm and sophisticated exterior, you can clearly see he is a man on a mission, not a normal man but a very very dangerous man, who will ultimately stop at nothing to get the guys who framed him. He has in a sense crossed over the line, not necessarily the rage line, which is a simple and somewhat uncomplicated line to cross, but he’s crossed into the sane line, a region of controlled rage, in a similar line to how the hulk is somewhat dangerous now, but given direction and a deep seeded hatred and desire to take someone out, plus all the education money can afford, then you are on to an entity that rivals any force of nature displayed in any religious texts.

You see here, ultimately he has had to attone for a sin that he had yet to commit and he has found himself at the other end of it. There is one thing to say about paying for a crime you didn’t commit, if you manage to survive it psychologically and if the name sticks, you are more likely to go forward with those crimes, no matter how heinous they are since the previously tight shoe is now pretty comfy.

The appeal of such other characters have been well documented in comic book fiction as such. The best and most famous version of this would be Bruce Wayne, Aka batman, who swore vengeance for the loss of his parent’s lives when he was a kid. Not necessarily at the individual that caused the crime but to crime itself, or victim based crime (although one could point out do all crimes not have a victim but that is a psychological question for another day). However one could say that this impact and batman is a far less controlled character than detective crews, one who is ultimately still in mouirning and his style of vengeance is far from focussed.

Even so, I can’t mention batman without showing clips from mask of the phantasm, the best batman film to date. 99% of everything you need to know about the death of bruce wayne’s person can be found here but in these two clips but i will write up a full report on it another time.

Another better example would be the character of V from V from Vendetta, who is taken in by a not so facist government to try some experimental testing on, which drives him insane but gives him the capitalist to eventually bring down an entire government regime, all with a sense of flair. Ultimately acting like a cross between the joker and batman operating simultaneously. I never realised that until now, how very interesting.

but the use of this type of character in film or in tv is a very rare spectacle indeed. It certainly made a large impact on me

Unfortunately, like many great shows, the subtlety of Life’s narrative and the general requirement to keep watching and its non ‘over the top, in your face style’, coupled with the writers debacle from days gone by meant it only got two series to its name and was cancelled. In any case, it’s written in such a form that it doesn’t leave anything too untied and the inevitability of requiring further puzzle to be solved in a third season and leaves the viewer with a sense his journey will eventually get all the way to the top, whether the detective makes it there or not is unknown but Whomever he finds at the end of that journey, better make piece with their maker, quick time. For i fear what mahy happen to the guy he finally finds.


With this episode, I hereby sentence you to sentence you to watch this show, with your sentence ranging from 32 episodes to life.