I like The Nine Lives of Chloe King. Really, really like it. I’m not saying its perfect (but aside from Friday Night Lights, what pilot is?) and there’s a character I’d like to kill already. Still, I laughed, I worried, I swooned and I even teared up a little. The show’s been touted as a new Buffy of sorts and to be honest, it delivers. I’ll get more into my thoughts on characters later but the dialogue and the plot did remind me (in good ways) of Buffy without feeling like a rip off of one of the greatest shows of all time.
Oh, whoops, wrong intro. You have to get to know me. (If you give a shit. If you don’t, please pretend because I’m kinda self-involved). My hobbies include drinking wine and judging people, obsessing over television bromances and quoting Paris Gellar. Actually, I have no clue how to do an intro. I found a quote once that said “I’m a walking contradiction that has found consistency”. That about sums it up. I like television and have strong opinions. You’ve been warned. *insert evil/crazy laugh here*.
Anyway, back to the show. I’ve been looking forward to 9 Lives for a long fucking time. (Or 3 months, whatever). Tell me something even vaguely resembles Buffy and I’m so there. The show didn’t drag out the reveals either. We jumped right into the story as Chloe’s first life is about to end. (Sidenote: Normally, I won’t recap the plot at all. But since I know a lot of people read recaps/reviews before trying out a show, I’m being a teensy bit more thorough). Basically, Chloe’s about to die and we flashback 2 days earlier. Chloe turns 16 and while her two besties, Paul and Amy, are planning birthday fun, Chloe is gaining weird, not-quite superpowers like those of a cat. (She also freaks out dogs which is totally hilarious). Chloe’s rocking the new skills, because these days, no kid is going to be ignorant of how one should react to developing super powers. There’s a guy following Chloe and I think he’s a bad dude since he kills her, then tries to kill her again. Annoying jock boy at school (Alec) and his cousin (Jasmine) turn out to be Mai, lineage from an ancient Egyptian god who have been watching out for Chloe. Now that Chloe is full Mai, they are trying to help her get acclimated to her new skills. Which incidentally, include not being able to kiss humans without killing them. This is important because not only is Chloe seeing Brian (who is the son of the guy ordering the hit on Chloe) but Xavier, a guy Chloe kissed earlier is dead, allowing her to see how serious this shit is. Chloe’s adopted by a single mom, who secretly knows more than she’s telling Chloe. Jasmine gets hurt protecting Chloe and Chloe’s dad cryptically emails her telling her to trust no one. Because that’s helpful. Oh and apparently Chloe is “the Uniter” because she gets 9 lives instead of one. Copper boom!
Okay, now the good stuff. I’m still debating a bit on how I want to organize these recaps but I think I’m going to gush over my favorite characters, bitch about pet peeves, make inappropriate comments about which high school boy is cutest, ask questions when I’m slow and possibly include quotes. (Editor’s Note: Perfect. That’s basically how we roll around here, particularly with inappropriate high school boy crushes.)
Pet Peeves: I only have one from the pilot. Amy. I fucking hate Amy. She needs to either die or shut up really fast. And those stupid coats are just asking her to become a pelt. Anyone who knows me, knows that I hate very few fictional characters but when I do, I hate with passion. Usually its characters most people love, too (for example, Damon Salvatore, Xander Harris, Dawson Leery, Dean from Gilmore Girls), but maybe this time ya’ll will be on my side. Amy took one episode to jump to 3rd place, just below Dawson and Xander if you care. Its not even the character that bothers me. Its the actress. There are a few too many players in the show right now anyway so I’m hoping she gets killed off. Unfortunately, Amy is also Chloe’s BFF since they were toddlers so I’m not holding my breath.
Question 1: Why did Amy & Paul start dating now? Seems like that could have already been happening off screen. I don’t mind the dating, but the discussion of it (and potential awkwardness) seemed unnecessary.
CBWA or Cute Boy of the Week Alert: I have to give it to Alec. Xavier was a little cute, even as a corpse (dear Vampire Diaries, maybe we could kill him off in Mystic Falls too?) and Grey Damon (as Brian) has gorgeous eyes. But Alec in his hoodie, crouched on top of the dumpster was just too damn hot to beat.
Question 2: Do you think Chloe’s mom knows that Chloe is Mai or just knows more than she’s willing to discuss about Chloe’s birth?
Question 3: Does Brian know what his dad is up to? And if he does, is he using Chloe?
Question 4: Is Chloe’s dad the least useful father ever or does Rufus Humphrey still win that category?
Characters: The order of this is a little random, just sort of as I come up with thoughts.
The Human Friends aka Paul & Amy: I covered my hatred of Amy. I don’t mind Paul, he’s actually pretty entertaining but at the moment he seems expendable. I’m hoping that changes and that he’ll get more to do in the show.
Mai aka Alec and Jasmine: Alec is cute. I thought he looked like (and acted like) a total dick in the beginning and I was like how is Chloe supposed to be friends with him?! And I was worried that Jasmine would be the token mean girl and if you’re not Cordelia Chase or Summer Roberts, bitch you need to step back. I am a little intrigued by how Jasmine seems to be so devoted to the lineage and tradition. (Who wants to bet on how quickly that gets her killed?) I hope Alec is trustworthy though. I don’t want to have to second guess every single person.
The Order: I don’t know the names of these people but they’re into killing the Mai and have a major hard-on for offing Chloe. I know they won’t succeed completely but I do like that this head henchman seems to enjoy killing first and asking questions later. The best bad guys don’t give the good guys time to wise up. I’m going to include Brian here until we know more. If I’m being honest, I barely noticed Grey Damon on FNL but I like him here. The character of Brian has a laidback vibe with a hint of wounded/vulnerable soul to him (something I’m a total sucker for) and I won’t deny being interested in the possibility of his romance with
King parents: I don’t know about ya’ll but for every way that I was invested in Chloe’s relationship with her mom, I could have cared less about the dad drama. He left, he’s clearly aware of the whole Mai business but thought it was best to let his daughter experience this on her own and start dying early. Yeah, I’ll pass. Nothing says a supernatural show quite like daddy issues though. (Its the one time “Who’s Your Daddy” is used as a serious inquiry.) Chloe’s mom, however, is great. Grace Phipps does excellent work at balancing the slightly cool friend vibe with a primarily mom vibe. The secrets she’s keeping fascinate me.
Chloe: I’m kind of in love with her. For starters, the girl got superpowers and started scaling buildings and jumping across roofs. That’s fantastically awesome. This thing is getting a little long though so I’ll focus on my two main comments. First is that Skylar totally got me choked up during the scenes where Chloe realizes Xavier is dead. (Sidenote: I also love the show for going there. Instead of leaving the kiss issue as a threat, Chloe has to deal with the seriousness of her powers almost instantly. It took us to a darker place.) Second, I tried to stay away from opinions of the show until I got my review up (not having wireless at Puget Sound all week helped) but I did hear a couple comments about how people didn’t like that Chloe supposedly can’t get a guy’s attention and suddenly has several guys hovering. I didn’t have that issue thanks to great casting and acting. Chloe strikes me as the kind of girl who’s always had her group and not cared about being popular. The first way to go unnoticed. Plus she seems like a girl who sort of naturally grew up instead of coming to school one fall having turned into a bombshell. Guys don’t tend to notice those girls until they start making themselves be noticed.
Okay so that went on forever, and I apologize. The rest of these won’t be so long since I won’t cover intros or plots, and the like. So are you guys loving the show too or still reserving judgement?