Chasing Life: Season 1/ Episode 1 “Pilot” [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)


Imagine you just hit 24, survived your dad passing on, finally am getting somewhere with your career and personal life, and then find out you have cancer.

Review (with Spoilers)

When it comes to ABC Family you can always expect diversity. Whether it is a program featuring deaf teenagers, those who were in the foster system, and now Chasing Life, there is always an untold story within their shows. With Chasing Life this is no different for while we have shows like The Big C featuring those who are middle aged, and then movies like The Fault In Our Stars featuring teenagers, Chasing Life hits that sweet spot of having us witness someone on the brink of starting their life, learning that it may be about to end.

And, as usual, the cast is stocked with characters who never fully seem like the run of the mill you are used to. If just because ABC Family’s slogan “A New Kind of Family” is more than just some catchy motto, but something they ingrain into each and every program. For between April’s family, who have a variety of obstacles, to the few friends we are introduced to, needless to say ABC Family continues to strengthen their lineup with each series premiere.

Topic 1: An Introduction to the Past – April

It has been about two years since April’s (Italia Ricci) father died, and since then life has been challenging. From what it seems her mom went into a deep depression, her sister decided to just go off the rails with a boy named Sean, and April was tasked with being the adult of the family it seems. Especially since her dad’s brother, George (Steven Weber), who caused her father’s death, decided it would be better to leave than deal with the grief he caused. But, despite this, this tightknit little family, which now includes Grandma, has survived.

Topic 2: The Present – April, Beth, Sara, and Brenna

However, this doesn’t mean things are peachy. For with her husband of 25 years gone, Sara (Mary Page Keller) has just now finally found the courage to date, which both April and Brenna (Haley Ramm), her daughters, applaud. Though because she plans to find the guy online her mother is skeptical. Still, with both daughters having an individual dark cloud looming over them, Sara’s happiness makes for a good silver lining. For, as noted, April’s sister Brenna seemingly had a rough time when her father died and it lead to her skipping class, among other things, with Sean, someone who seemingly may like her company, but doesn’t like her. In fact, she ends up drinking with Sean and things get bad so she calls April to save her.

Making it seem that maybe April has the world on her shoulders, and you would be right. Luckily though, at her job at The Boston Post, she does have Danny’s pretentious self to help her forget some of her worries. If just because he is so obnoxious that it is hard to think of any serious matter when dealing with him. Alongside that friendship though is the one she has with Beth (Aisha Dee), a former co-worker and seemingly the only one who tries to take care of April like she does everyone else.

Topic 3: Perspective Future – April, Domonic, George and Lawrence

Focusing on the potential future of April, though originally not taken all that seriously because she is a floater, thanks to her estranged Uncle George and quite a bit of initiative, she lands an interview with a major sports star who just got out of rehab. Then, due to her being on a lucky streak, while she may not be legally able to publish her report, the hard nose Lawrence gives her a special assignment on an up and coming politician. Then, as icing on the cake, she ends up on a date with Dominic, the cute reporter who works in the entertainment department.

However, as noted before, there is a dark cloud looming over Sara’s daughters. And while for Sara and Brenna you could see that the passing of Thomas could be key, for April that dark cloud comes during her pursuit of her interview with sports star Richie Miranda at a blood drive. You see, after using her uncle to get her in front of the line, she does end up giving blood, getting caught by Richie as a reporter, then fainting. Something which she notes deals with her not liking the sight of blood, but after her Uncle George runs some test, he finds out his niece has Leukemia.

Something which April avoids telling anyone about, much less fully dealing with. For while she looks up what the cancer does, as well as how to speak to others about it, she seems willing to sacrifice her health as she pursues her career. Though it doesn’t help that Uncle George’s abandonment creates this discomfort with him wanting to be her oncologist. Even if he is one of the top ones in the state.

Leaving us with this young girl who found a possible relationship; has to worry about her sister, and maybe mom as she rediscovers love; a burgeoning career; and now dealing with cancer. Something which puts a crack in her being everyone’s dependable rock. But being that this is ABC Family, naturally they don’t just focus on the issue at hand but throw in a little soap opera drama. Said drama? Well, while visiting her dad’s grave April learns she may have one more little sister.

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