Why You Should Be Watching The Nine Lives of Chloe King

by
Why You Should Be Watching The Nine Lives of Chloe King

Why You Should Be Watching The Nine Lives of Chloe King

What if someone came up to you tomorrow and said that there’s a whole other life plan out there for you? What if you had to drop every sense of normality and there was nothing you could do to stop it? What if death, violence, and personal chaos went from horrifying events that you went out of your way to avoid to a regular part of your day-to-day life?

These are just some of the deeply complicated questions that the latest ABC Family heroine is living and boy, is she in for quite a ride.

Premise:
Based on the book series by Liz Braswell (aka Celia Thomson), The Nine Lives of Chloe King tells the story of, well, Chloe, a pretty 16 year old girl just trying to survive the house of horrors commonly referred to as high school. She does typical teenager-y things: working in a clothing store, hanging out with her two longtime friends, and trying to get a cute boy to notice her. That all changed when she found out that not only was she the only thing standing between an entire race and assured genocide, but that she was gifted with cat-like powers to defend herself against a secret organization known as The Order.

A lot of pressure for a 16 year old, right?

Thankfully, the show has kind of done its own thing and no, Chloe hasn’t had the nervous breakdown that I would have if I were in her position. It would have been easy to piggyback on the Buffy teenage-girl-with-a-calling express and while you see the influence of Buffy in the work, Nine Lives is very much its own show. It’s a little lighter than Buffy and it has shades of La Femme Nikita (secret organizations), Gilmore Girls (quirky mother-daughter relationships), and Pushing Daisies (being physical with the one you like = certain doom), among other oddly juxtaposed elements that work well together. There are the typical issues explored in teenage sci-fi shows, most notably with talk of identity, if one can change their own destiny, and self-acceptance, but those are issues that can never be worked into this type of material enough because they will always be timely, important topics to bring up for the show’s target demographic. Nine Lives hasn’t yet begun to fully explore said issues, but with seven episodes to go in their season and Chloe just beginning her journey, you can bet that we’ll be seeing a fuller scope of Chloe’s inner conflict play out on screen.

All this being said, why should you watch? I’ll give you three reasons (among several).

1. It’s getting stronger. Reviews for the first couple episodes were mixed-yet-semi-optimistic and the show has responded by finding surer footing with each passing episode. The show wasn’t perfect and it’s still not perfect, but there has been progress. Once the action picks up to a more steady pace (it’s been mostly at the end of each episode and The Order are a distant “thing” on the show) and the show digs a little deeper into Chloe’s psyche, there’s a good chance Nine Lives can become the latest addictive ABC Family show that you plan your evening around.

2. It’s fun. As much as summer TV needs stuff like Breaking Bad and Damages for the emotional gravitas and sophisticated storytelling they bring every eason, it also needs shows like Nine Lives to provide a sense of balance. Nine Lives is a frothy, well-humored romp through the streets of San Francisco, a tale of a human trying to become a superhuman while retaining an ounce of her humanity. (Or something like that.) It’s good popcorn TV that has a little more substance than you initially think, which makes it a perfect escapist summer show to try out.

3. Skyler Samuels. While I’ve enjoyed the performances from the entire cast, heroine Skyler Samuels really stands out from the crowd in this, her first starring role. She’s selling Chloe’s vulnerability, her fear and her determination, her loyalty and her love quite well with a truly magnetic presence and a particularly grounded performance. I’m curious to see what she does with the character as she’s given a little more creative freedom and the writers start learning her strengths more, but she seems very game to go anywhere and do anything in the name of the character.

What if someone came up to you tomorrow and said that there’s a whole other life plan out there for you? What if you had to drop every sense of normality and there was nothing you could do to stop it? What if death, violence, and personal chaos went from horrifying events that you went out of your way to avoid to a regular part of your day-to-day life? I don’t know what I’d do (after the nervous breakdown, of course), but I do know that I’m ready to spend my Tuesday nights this summer finding out what Chloe does.

If you’re behind an episode or two (or want to catch up from the beginning), ABC Family will be reairing the first three episodes of Nine Lives today starting at 4:00 EST, with a new episode airing in its regular timeslot at 9:00. The last episode, “Green Star”, is available for streaming on ABC Family’s website, as well.

Have you been watching The Nine Lives of Chloe King? If you have, what did you think of the episodes you saw? Where do you think the show will go from here?

Start a Discussion

6 Comments

  1. AngrodTV
  2. kiki
  3. tvjunkee
  4. Xenakis
  5. Giss
Main Heading Goes Here
Sub Heading Goes Here
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.