Stars: Skyler Samuels, Amy Peitz, Grey Damon, Grace Phipps, Benjamin Stone, Alyssa Diaz, Ki Hong Lee
Writer: Andy Reaser based on the novels by Liz Braswell
Director: Joe Lanzarov
Network: ABC Family, airs Tuesday nights
Original Telecast: June 28, 2011
The good news: THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING ain’t getting any worse.
The bad news: It ain’t getting any better either.
With the show’s third life, er, episode “Green Star”, we’re promised some secrets of the Mai will be revealed, but other than learning that Chloe is the great Uniter and that each death she has is more painful than the other, the show is still doling at its mythology at a very liberal, if not maddening pace.
This would be fine, if there was more going on the show to like other than a likable cast, but there’s not. Give us some major things to wrap our heads around. Let’s see some cat on cat action. ANYTHING except a cheesy bad guy trying to throw a chained Chloe underwater to drown out the rest of her eight lives.
The story for this episode is pretty uncomplicated. Essentially, Chloe (Skyler Samuels) is worried that the hired assassin psychopath could kill her at any time, so she’s paranoid and on her guard – while also worried for her best friends Amy (Grace Phipps) and Paul (Ki Hong Lee) who know her secret and her mom (Amy Pietz) who doesn’t are kept safe.
Then, Jasmine (Alyssa Diaz) introduces Chloe to her mom Valentina (Alicia Coppola) who happens to be the head of the San Francisco Mai. She tells Chloe about her destiny as the Uniter and that she’s there to protect her. If things get too hairy, she’s going to send Chloe into hiding too – whisked away from her mom and her friends.
This weighs heavy on Chloe and even makes her break up with potential boyfriend Brian (Grey Damon) because she realizes Mai and humans can’t be close and she doesn’t want to lead him on.
Ultimately, Valentina eliminates the problem assassin (after Chloe disobeys orders and tries to deal with him on her own).
We also get one of the episode’s best moments where she realizes she not only still has feelings for Brian, but also has feelings for protector Alek (Benjamin Stone). Both did chivalrous things to protect Chloe (and in Alek’s case her mom) and it adds an interesting triangle to the mix now. If only the rest of the show could have been good as that moment she realizes she’s in between emotions between the two guys in her life.
The problem with CHLOE KING continues to be its inability to find a way to meld the mythology elements and the teen angst stuff in a cohesive way. Some of the teen angst stuff works for the most part, but there’s too much of it. The actual mythology elements are handled way too literal and in a very rote, predictable way.
Plus, Chloe’s powers are so minimal right now and not that exciting yet, that it makes her a rather passive heroine at this stage. If she’s this great person, show us something that hints at her greatness. Yes, she needs to grow into her Uniter role, but I’m not seeing that spark that even Buffy showed in early days of the now classic BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER.
Perhaps the only thing that’s not obvious about this series is the relationship with Amy (Grace Phipps) and Paul (Ki Hong Lee). It’s strange, quirky and provides some nice moments of levity amid all the heaviness. I thought it was actually funny that when Paul was crying for Amy on stage during her singing performance, it wasn’t a sincere emotion, but the result of him stabbing himself in the leg with a fork so he wouldn’t laugh (he often laughs when she sings, as a defense mechanism – not because she’s bad).
I’m not sure how much longer I can hang on to watching THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING. I keep thinking it’s going to get better, but I’m starting to believe it’s going to ride this middle-of-the-road line road until the end of Season Three.
Hopefully, I’ll be proven wrong, but I think the show has committed already to its path and there’s not much that can be done to course-correct unless it gets a second season to redeem itself.
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Click on link: for AX’s review of THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING – Season 1 – “All Apologies”
Click on link: for AX’s review of THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING – Season 1 – “Redemption”
Click on link: for AX’s review of the series premiere of THE NINE LIVES OF CHLOE KING
Click on link: for AX’s review of the series premiere of TEEN WOLF – “Wolf Moon”
Click on link: for AX’s review of TEEN WOLF – “Second Chance At First Line”