Summertime has become the perfect time for broadcast networks to experiment with their shows. Since, they know they aren’t going to get the same ratings as they do during the regular fall season, they are not worried if a show doesn’t have stellar ratings. This leads to shows such as Switched At Birth, The Nine Lives of Chloe King and Teen Wolf. ABC Family’s latest summer offering, The Nine Lives of Chloe King is being touted as the next Buffy. I decided to give the show a try since I love teen dramas and fantasy in teen drama is even more exciting! The show is written by Liz Braswell and is based on Alloy’s series of three young-adult books by Celia Thomson.
The story begins with our main protagonist, Chloe King being chased by someone. She inadvertently runs into a tower where she is pushed off the top from a scar-faced assassin. Chloe lies on the sidewalk with blood oozing out of her brain and is dead. That’s it people, show’s over! Well, not yet. The dreaded “2 Days Earlier” flashes on the screen and we are taken into the life of Chloe King a day before she turns sweet 16. We get to know that Chloe is very good and quiet girl and she wants that to change. She and her friends, Amy and Paul sneak into a dance club, despite being underage. At the club, she meets a boy Xavier and dances with him and has the wildest night of her young life. She kisses him, something she’s been longing to do for a very long time when we see the mysterious assassin stalking her. Next day in school, she grabs the basketball from Alek, an obnoxious jock and sends it flying to the trash can perfectly. All of a sudden Alek seems to notice Chloe and makes his move on her. Before he can kiss her, his cousin, Jasmine stops him.
Chloe discovers that there is something very special about her when she leaps onto a car to escape from a runaway cyclist and she runs like hell to find out what more she can do. Turns out she is quite agile, has an acute sense of hearing, has superhuman strength and sharp eyes. When she’s attacked by a creepy homeless guy in an alley, she scratches the bazeejus out of the guy and finds out that she has retractable claws, not unlike Wolverine. She then meets Brian at work and later goes on a coffee date with him, where a dog acts strangely around her. Now, she has a weird feeling and begins to run away when we find out that she’s being chased and eventually is pushed from the tower. In keeping up with the title of the show, Chloe comes back to life and finds out that two of the shadowy guys following her were actually Alek and Jasmine who were there to help her. They inform her that she is a Mai; the descendants of an ancient and powerful race who are not completely human, nor Gods, but the offsprings of them and she, Chloe is actually the Uniter, saviour of their race since she has 9 lives. They make sure she knows that she can never be intimate with a human, without harming the human and Chloe rushes to Xavier’s place to find out that he had died.
Scarface calls Chloe to inform her that she should come alone to a warehouse if she wants Paul to live. Amy and Chloe drive to the abandoned warehouse, where Chloe fights the assassin. She is helped by Alek and Jasmine, where Jasmine takes a hit for Chloe. Later we find out that Brian’s father was actually the one who was giving the orders for the murder of the Mai’s. One more thing revealed to the audience is that Chloe was actually adopted from a Ukrainian orphanage. In the final shot of the premiere, we get to see that Chloe had received an email from her dad who warns her not to trust anybody. Thing is, her dad left them a long time ago.
I know what you all thought when you saw the premiere! Who needs another fantasy based teen show! And who the hell runs into a tower when somebody is chasing you! That’s so cliché. Well, I don’t mind these kind of teen shows as long as they have a good storyline, direction and acting. And the mother-daughter relationship seems more like two teens relationship. The mother is more excited about Chloe’s dating life than any normal mother should be. And our main character Chloe went from being loser to player in a matter of hours. One moment she’s dreaming about kissing any guy and the next moment she’s juggling three handsome guys. That came across rather unconvincingly. The scar-faced assassin, the evil boss in the black hooded car are some other clichés. Both of her friends are incredibly cool when they learn about Chloe’s inhuman origins. Amy and Paul are very quirky characters and likable, especially Amy. Since Chloe’s dad was being mentioned a lot during the promotional interviews, he obviously has a big part to play in the show.
All in all, this show looks sweet and exciting. The dialogues are funny and sometimes clever, when it’s not dealing with Chloe’s dating life. And Skyler Samuels can definitely act. This girl has the potential to make it big. I think I will stick to the show. I am interested in finding out about the origins of the Mai and how Chloe fits into the Mai world. Also, this show doesn’t have anything to do with Vampires, Werewolves or Witches and that makes me want to watch it all the more.
Alek – Why are you giving me such a hard time?
Chloe – Believe me, if I knew it was going to have this kind of effect, I would have never touched your ball. Don’t say it.